In 1991, I bought the Anna Sui black and white check mini-suit you see here—minus the newsboy cap, and with a wee little skirt instead of shorts. It cost around $400, which represented enough of my paycheck at the time that I literally broke out in a sweat when I laid down my credit card. I never wore it all that much—life doesn’t call much for mini-suits, after all—but I will say this: while I’ve gone on to spend way more on far fancier items, no purchase since has ever felt quite so special.
Clothing or accessory-wise, that is. I’d guess for me it’s my rings—if for no other reason than that I wear so many of them.
This question is so hard for me to answer that I almost didn’t ask you guys to; my makeup loyalties are many. But off we go: number one with a bullet is BB Tinted moistiurizer from Tarte, which I bought over the winter when I was breaking out badly with what I’m pretty sure was roseaca. I needed something with good coverage so I wouldn’t scare small children when I walked down the street, and it’s great on that front: it totally evens you out, and you can still see you skin, which is key. But the truly amazing thing about this stuff—and I almost don’t want to say this for fear I’ll jinx it—is that pretty much as soon as I started using it, my breakout started to clear. And it has not returned even once. People have been complimenting me on my skin a lot these days and I tell them it’s because of all the green juice I drink (I drink so much green juice, and the gunky all-vegetable kind too). But really, it’s this magic potion, I’m pretty sure.
I had never been able to pull off a true, classic red lip until I picked up this stain and now I’m obsessed. Somehow, the fact that it’s in a chubby pencil format and not an actual lipstick makes it less scary-pigmenty and ten times easier to apply.
You know it has to be good, because the name is so annoying that there’s no way I’d use it if it wasn’t.
Check out my new fluffy pink jacket—the one that, when I included it in a post a while back, inspired comparisons in the comments to both a chenille bed jacket and the Muppets. Neither assessment is without merit. And to be frank, the jacket has received a mixed reception. “It’s a thing,” said my most trusted style advisor, by which she meant: trying too hard by a mile. And possibly it is. But I care not. Careful good taste is all well and good, but too much of it makes me sleepy.
But enough about me: your purchases (or fantasy purchases) please.
Don’t get me wrong; the crimes against style during fashion week were many.
Grown women dressed like children.
To an astonishing degree.
Really, it was almost too seductive.
Meanwhile, apparel looked like creatures.
Bags looked like toys.
And there was a convergence-of-the-nouvelle- Stepfords thing going on that I can’t even begin to understand.
Possibly you can explain.
But there was something else going on too; something kind of great. Photographers took their eyes off the clown college auditions long enough to shoot some of the many, many women who turn up at the shows looking absolutely fantastic. These are the women I’m always telling you about—editors and buyers for whom attending the collections is work, not a spectacle. These are women who encounter every trend that comes down the pike each season, and develop a style that—at its best—is the very chicest version of classic. Check out the oversized shirt here, so excellent and crisp, and the leather skirt, which is perfectly and simply tailored. And the fact that she accessorized with espadrilles instead of something dead serious just delights.
Another nice example of how little it can take to get things fantastically right: the quilting of the skirt combined with the shirt’s stripes is such a sophisticated (and wicked simple) take on playing with textures and prints. (Here’s that shirt if you’re dying for it—as I, predictably, am)
OK, these two get a couple of points deducted for dressing in jackets when it was by no stretch of the imagination jacket weather last week, but I like how much they both look like people who’ve found their signature looks and stuck with them.
I just want to share for a moment that Emmanuelle Alt, editor of of French Vogue, is 47, and she is looking pretty damn good in leather pants for 47.
And just in case you guys are beginning to fear that I am only a proponent only of the boring, the solid, and the safe: here is a balls-out print that works fabulously well, and here is why: its wearer has wisely decided to make it her outfit’s single statement, instead of piling on the lunchbox handbags and whatnot. She does have fun with the sunglasses, but it is the kind of fun that creates harmony with the dress, instead of fighting violently against it for attention.
I just love this picture because so many women in my former line of work looked exactly like this. They were the ones who always had fresh manis.
And finally: Lauren Hutton shows the kids how it’s done.
Pictures via The Cut, Marie Claire, Racked, Style.com and Vogue.
I am neither a fan of the loafer, nor that which is conspicuously designer-branded; my style only just ever-so-slightly skews preppy. And yet I crave myself a pair of Gucci horsebit loafers something fierce. And you?
It was a lively one out in Sag—we had a full house, a nephew’s 12th birthday party (I can’t believe I have a nephew who’s 12), a white knuckle-inducing 14-hour cable-and-wifi blackout, and the September issues of Elle, Marie Claire, and In Style. And a visit to Provisions, the health food store/cafe in town that has had a fantastic natural beauty section since well before natural beauty was a thing. I met Andrea there for lunch, and afterward we smeared various delightful-smelling samples on ourselves, and I fell in love with this Dr Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Body Oil. It’s light enough that you’d be happy to use it even during this sticky time of year, and has the very most refreshing of scents.
There is a lot of physical fitness around here in the summer—my sisters-in-law are both runners, and typically get their five miles in before the rest of us have risen for coffee. This—and the extreme cuteness of the Stella McCartney for Adidas collection—has me rethinking the wisdom of my sedentary lifestyle. I know some of you are going to think these sneaks are twenty different kinds of silly for anyone serious about workouts, but I believe they might just provide the exact kick in the pants I need.
It’s been a very head-to-toe summer whites season for me this year —as long as there is a jumbo-sized bottle of Shout on the premises, I am good to go—but there is suddenly a distinct nip in the air out on the south fork of Long Island in the evenings, and a bit of layering is called for. I failed to check the forecast and shivered my way right through this weekend, and am thinking that to avoid a repeat performance, I might just pop into J. Crew and grab this nifty shirt jacket —it’s a slightly heavier weight, and meant to be worn on its own or unbuttoned and layered—when I’m back in town. Military green is aces with white, and is a look you can take right into fall.
“Do they change over time, or pretty much remain the same?” asks a reader named Cara, who wants to know yours. Her quest is for “the perfect dark blue blazer/jacket,” she says, before adding a decisive “still looking.” Cara is not atypical: according to the highly scientific text poll I conducted among friends Saturday afternoon, most holy grail items are wardrobe cornerstones. Everybody wants the perfect jeans, white button-down, black dress. Unlike Cara, however, most respondents were serial holy grail monogamists, satisfying one fixation—or growing bored—then moving on to the next. It will surprise you not at all to learn that this is the category I fall into, and right now my obsession is with locating a really good everyday bag. Today’s top contender: this Clare Vivier hobo, which I surprise myself by liking, as the chain handle is so lady and I am not.
I had a boyfriend once named Jim, a serious rock climber, who literally couldn’t look at a building, house, or wall without trying to map out how he might scale it. I found this kind of amusing, but for Jim it was a full-on obsession; he couldn’t have turned it off if he tried. I thought of him this weekend because I finally (finally!) started Instagramming, and now feel similarly fixated: it is with some effort that I now fight the impulse to evaluate every person, place, or thing I come into contact with over the course of a day as potential feed for the feed. I’ve posted a number of pictures from the weekend, among them, this shot of the shed in our Sag Harbor backyard. Follow me at @kimfrancenyc and I’ll follow you right back.
This question comes via Andrea, who called the other morning to ask if it was OK for her to buy the Maria Cornejo spiral skirt she’d admired on me the other day when we hung out. I told her that of course it was—there is no one I have style-glommed more over the years than her. I’ve also never thought imitation was such a big deal—at Lucky we all copied each other endlessly,* but everyone had her own style, so nothing ever looked exactly the same on any two people. Still, I do believe it is polite to ask. How about you? Compliment or nuisance?
*In fact, in the art department there was a very amusing cork board of Polaroids depicting particularly egregious cases of Office Twinsies.