Saturday, September 19, 2015

Fall Shopping: Head to Toe

I have a lot of things to do this weekend. I just finished having a brief moment of resentment about this, even though, as I work my way through the list I know I'll feel productive and pleased. Gardening (the thing that's tormenting me in the back of my mind) will not be on the list because there's a projection for rain. Tomorrow, when the cold front moves in, it'll be 10 degrees cooler but sunny again. I suppose there's time enough to get into the weeds (literally) then. But I've also got tons of stuff on the agenda for tomorrow and I'm loath to leave the least fun of the activities for Sunday morning. Could this paragraph be more boring?

So let's move on to something endlessly interesting: new clothing. I've had a bit of a shopping moment lately (in addition to sewing and knitting moment). Truly, I'm in a stage of renewed interest in being chic, updating my style choices and going for something novel. Can't say my bank account is thrilled but in the spirit of that Marie Kondo book (which I did not read so don't take me to task if I'm misconstruing), I'm going with the things that thrill me. I do wish I'd beat her to the punch and written a best seller about going for the things that thrill you (and getting rid of the other stuff) cuz I've been doing it forever.

For starters - DO NOT go to Club Monaco if you don't want to have to put down 60 things you love (and which would look fantastic on you) because they happen to cost 795 bucks each. I hate how they've raised the prices by 100% over the past 5 years, but I cannot quibble with the quality, fashion-forward nature or deliciousness of Club Monaco goods.

I've always been experimental with pants. I was wearing the harem pants 2 years before anyone found them tolerable (again). I led the skinny-charge. Cropped jersey pants, check. Culottes (I did that sewing series). Gauchos (yeah, they're diff than culottes), I've done those too. Sexy sweatpants - a fave. Oh, and lets not forget Danskin body suits (that's what I wore to yoga in the 80s, before yoga pants were freakin' invented). Y'all know I was first on the scene when they started small-batch producing that new style of "lounge and fitness wear". Point is, I don't eschew the new styles and I'm glad of that - because pants are fun (especially if your challenging fit area is tops).

So I've been watching the cropped tapered tulip pant with interest. And yesterday, at CM, I found a pair that may be a very useful wardrobe addition:

Odiel Wrap Pant
What you can't really see is the wrap front (thanks black fabric) which is quite sassy. The fabric is a very strange, slinky, slightly stretchy viscose (3% elastane). It's got excellent drape and I cannot be unhappy about the elastic waistband because a) so comfortable and b) it doesn't appear to be a fashion faux-pas anymore.

One of my new style directions is to be a bit less "fitted everything" and a bit more industrial "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" - but the luxe version and without the tattoo. I used to feel that would be a terrible waste of my god-given curves - and I don't regret maximizing those for a quarter century - but it's not like I'm at my most knowable shape ever (trust me, if you can't see it it's because I'm masterful at bamboozling!) and I'd rather maximize great fashion - well-applied - than continue to work a look I did better in another time and place. Note: I'm not suggesting that I won't return happily to highly fitted looks on a regular basis, but I want to have equally chic options.

I am entirely committed to feeling and being as gorgeous in my 40s as I was in the other decades. It's a gift and responsibility to myself (to sound totally therapy-plus) - and let's face it, it's stupid to be otherwise.

In case you feel like I'm taking the boxy look too seriously, here's the other item I got at CM:

Club Monaco Wylda Top
One of the reasons I bought this (and it looks really good with the boobs) is because I intend to copy it in the future, with some of my new-found bamboo jersey.

But where I did the real damage made the most novel impression was at Marshall's?! I'm not a lover of Winners (my only discount store of choice is Loehmann's - the one in West Palm Beach). But I gave it a go, on a whim when I found myself in the building. Lord - the shoes!

I found Ash wedge boots (a polarizing choice, if all of the peeps I've shown them to are anything to go by). I can't find a stock photo of the ones I purchased but they're not dissimilar to these except that mine are tougher looking - and more streamlined - because they're black leather from top to toe (including the sole). Mine have the same basic lines, though (and velcro!) and this brown pair shoes off the details well:

Ash Wedge Ankle Boots
Ash is a Dutch brand and those people know the shoes. Let's just say that the brand does not design for sunny car culture which is why these will serve me well through much of the winter. Mine are real (if not fine) shearling. While they're technically heels, I find wedges are walkable in moderation (i.e. one way to work rather than there and back).

Finally, I spent a lot of money to get the deal of the century (ain't it always the way?). I found one lone pair of these Stuart Weitzman 50-50 knee-high boots in olive suede. Amazingly they were in my size, though I didn't bother to look before trying them on. They're lined in leather:

Stuart Weitzman 5050 Suede Olive
These are spectacular because the calf (back portion of the boot) is stretch fabric so the hug one's calves and ankles perfectly - a rare feat when one has skinny calves and ankles. And when the universe sends you hella sexy flat-fucking-boots, you buy them.

Let me save you the trouble of looking up the absurd price on Nordstrom. They cost 900 bucks in Canada, before tax. I got them for 300 bucks, before tax. Yeah, that's pricey, but even in the States these cost 2 and a half times that amount USD. I'm viewing this as kismet because they go perfectly with all kinds of fall skirts and dresses. And they're hot (do not let the photo deceive you).

So, that's where I'm at this September. Curious to know if you're in the midst of a change in style (or fashion). Whatcha think of my new pretties? Let's talk.


  1. Absolutely love that top for a high waist pant.

    1. I know - isn't it chic? I almost didn't try it on. It was the last one and it is cropped but they only had a large (I'm generally a small or med in jersey stuff at CM). I gave it a go cuz I was trying on other things and I was surprised by what a small large it is (in the shoulders). But the large gave it more space in the boobs and in the length. So it was one of those unlikely successes that are so fun.

  2. Wow, love that Club Monaco top. I would like a more detailed review. Do you think those of us who have a real lower belly pillow, not your invisible-in-photos pillowy lower belly, could pull it off? I know the boots are pretty much iconic. Finding boots that flatter slender calves and ankles is challenging. At that much of a discount, especially for the poor shoppers in Canada who get screwed with customs and other protectionist nonsense, they're a miracle. Good going!

    1. Thanks! I haven't worn it out yet so I can't say how I'll feel over the course of a day but I can say that it's not the shortest cropped top in the land. Note (in comment above) it's a strange fit - v small in shoulders for size. That's prob how this is working for me. And, to the lower belly question, I think if the stomach is flat and toned until the puffy part, then yes (that's what I've got going on). If the waist area is soft, then it might not work. Also, wearing with high waisted jeans or pants will also help (so if you don't like that look, it might not be the best). Another way to wear it would be over a jersey dress with a full skirt but a slim waist.

    2. I clicked on your link to the crop top, and the product page bears out your description. Club Monaco says it's 17.5" long. That's a good length for me. Your upper body is firmer than mine and therefore better suited for crop tops, This particular top, however, would go a couple inches past my waist. It'd elongate and slim my torso. I may even brave traffic and parking at the mall this week to try on this top.

    3. Let me know how it goes! BTW, I was able to (just) tuck the sides into my high waisted jeans for a slightly more "age appropriate" look. My abdomen showed slightly right around the navel (but the jeans are higher than my navel so it's not like I was baring anything significant :-)

  3. Wow! Looks like really therapeutic shopping session )))

    And 50/50s deal is a really good one! I'm sure that they will be very useful addition to your shoe wardrobe (as they look absolutely perfect with demi-season skirts and you can wear them with skinnies and leggings too). And cost per wear is what really matters!

    1. Therapy accurately describes it :-) And thank you for enabling me! I completely agree with you!