Category Archives: Fashion

Essentials Sunday: Crisp weather coats.

Perhaps it’s due to the slightly overcast weather that we’ve been having in this neck of the woods, or because I have a serious soft spot for autumn…but either way, we are undoubtedly on our way into the seasons that require coats.  Now while there’s always a place for the seriously functional (I am absolutely alright with the increasing rotation of my North Face fleece and rain jacket when necessary), there’s always an option for a little flourish and fashion.

My favourite pick as soon as there’s even a touch of chill or dampness in the air is my Barbour Beadnell Waxed Jacket.  I picked mine up about a year and a half ago in London – I was dead-set on a little bit of classic British branding, and clearly went straight for the deep green with brown cord…and a little Liberty rose print lining naturally.  It’s weather friendly, but still undeniably functional.  My particular version is just there on the left (tragically it’s no longer available), but J.Crew has also picked up this delightful pairing and a navy and miniature rose garden print is available on their site.

{ Barbour/Liberty Beadnell Wax Coat: Barbour By Mail, £230 / J.Crew, $399 }

Next up is clearly a good trench.  Classic khaki or black are always options, but again – since outerwear can be so bland – I’d advocate for a little trimming or extra detail.  A couple of my favourite bloggers – Emily of Cupcakes & Cashmere, and Becki of Shopping’s My Cardio – have both featured their own excellent trench finds in the past (seen here and here, respectively), so I know that at the very least Burberry is making some excellent options.  If I were to go looking today, these are three that I would gravitate towards that are perhaps a little more pocketbook friendly, but still capture that idea of classic shape / non-classic detailing.

{ 1 Madison Faux Leather Sleeves, $228 / Sam Edelman Belted Trench, $178 / Gallery Satin Trim, $148 }

And now for the ones that just don’t fit a category, beyond staying true to what I’d argue are my core tenets when I’m looking for a good crisp weather coat: capacity to accommodate layers, a dash of detail, and the promise of a structured fit. 

{ Annabelle Tweed Coat, Tory Burch, $595 / Lady Day Coat, J.Crew, $325 / Plush Twill Coat, Talbots, $269 / Three Quarter Sleeve Tweed, Ming Wang, $300 }

Or for a few that throw all of that rationale out of the window, because the slightly deconstructed mixed-media trend is just too damn cool?

{ 10 Crosby by Derek Lam, $795 / Vince Shirt-Tail, $725 / Rachel Roy Tweed & Faux Leather, $498 }

Whatever the case, my coats are going back in rotation.  Well…my coats plus a healthy contingent of blazer layered over sweaters with a scarf…because sometimes it’s just not that cold.

What are your favourite coats right now, or your go-to that you’re excited to pull out of your closet and back into rotation?  Be sure to share with the class in the comments!

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Monday Musings: Outfit re-works and irrational fears.

I have a confession to make.  The text that accompanies the following graphic is absolutely a reflection of how I feel nearly every time I get dressed.  As a small disclaimer, I’m abundantly aware of how frivilous this all sounds…but let’s just chalk it up to being relatively fashion conscious and #firstworldproblems.  I’m also going to blame my mild obsession with Pinterest (@anonymouschic) as the reason why this issue has suddenly been clarified in my conscious.

{ carolinaclass.tumblr.com via Pinterest}

It’s kind of a sinking feeling, when you’ve come up with a brilliant outfit and just the right accessories…when you’re hair and makeup go just right…and then you realize that the outfit that you have just put together is going to be used up on a really average day (and you’re lucky if you realize this before you leave the house in the morning).  Sure it’s going to make you feel fabulous, and there’s a very high probability that you’ll end up holding your head a little higher because  you know how stellar you look.  The thing is that as soon as it all falls together, I always manage to realize that there’s another day that week when I realize I’m going to require an above average ensemble, and that seems to deflate my mood ever so slightly.

Clearly, I’ve thus developed a strategy on what to do.  Never fear…five steps for outfit repurposing follow.  Keep in mind that if this does happen to you, you’ll probably need a few minutes to accomplish the switch so either learn how to run in heels, plan for a little extra time, or start coming up with a really good excuse for why you’re late.

Item #1take note of how you’ve put together what you’ve already got on.  Also, before you continue, I recommend a momentary hesitation and mental pro-con list of using your existing outfit on that particular day.  If you do come to the distinct conclusion that Friday is a better day to don said outfit than Monday…then proceed.  Otherwise smile, and leave the house knowing how excellent you look.

Item #2identify one thing about your outfit that you absolutely love.  Maybe it’s your lip colour, or a t-shirt, or your favourite blazer and jeans…and keep that one thing on.  This way your preserving the essential note of what’s making you feel particularly confident about the outfit.

Item #3rework another outfit surrounding that one item.  This is what you are going to wear today.  And I mean taking a look first at the bare bones of the outfit: top, bottom, shoes.  Substitute in alternate basics for these.  Perhaps it’s navy/black/grey pants as opposed to a pair of jeans.  Maybe a blazer as opposed to a boyfriend cardigan. Perhaps a dark t-shirt as opposed to the white one you were wearing.

Item #4re-accesorize.  Swap out the jacket, add a scarf.  Add a bright lip colour, a quick winged liner or smokey eye.  Maybe it’s a pair of chandelier earrings as opposed to studs and a necklace, or even a great statement necklace that you haven’t rocked in a while.  Consider curling your hair quickly or maybe throwing it up in a ponytail or chic chignon.  Think through these “detail” pieces, and be creative.  I’ve often found that swapping black flats and a black bag for brown options can completely change the feel of an outfit with little effort.

Item #5stop, take a deep breath, and do a little twirl in front of a full length mirror.  Put a smile on your face and notice that one key piece that’s still there to remind you of the brilliant outfit to come later in the week (or early in the next for that matter).

Now I must absolutely give a word of warning.  There is a significant possibility that after all of this you will realize that you’ve created another brilliant outfit…and it’s now the thing that you want to wear on said upcoming above average day.  Merely switch back into the original outfit and congratulate yourself for having the creativity to be stylishly brilliant twice in one morning.

This is usually the point at which I really hope that really comfortable shoes were a component part of both outfits…as I’m now running about 15 minutes behind schedule and need to sprint to get to wherever I’m going.

So now I wish you all good luck in your morning outfit endeavours!  Let me know if there are any go-tos that you have for when this kind of stress plagues your morning…or if perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones and never have to deal with this!

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