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.
My laptop, by a mile.
*All humans and animals are safe
I was a moody little shit even then.
I mostly can’t bear perfume (although I tried this recently and it was divine) so typically I just wear the combination of lemongrass and geranium essential oils that my friend (and former masseuse from when I was fancy) Stephanie makes for me. The scent is so uplifting and happiness-making, and if I find myself sinking over the course of the day, I just spray more on and then I’m better—maybe not all better, but definitely, demonstrably better.
Now it’s your turn, people: I want your perfume stories, and have a feeling you’ve got some good ones. How many of you have stuck with the same scent for decades? Who was a Charlie girl and who went Jontue? How far have you gone to locate a discontinued perfume? So many questions!
This is my mom and my stepdad Howard, who died Thursday night—at home, peacefully, and after politely waiting for my mother to return from buying brownies around the corner. He had pancreatic cancer, which typically doesn’t end pretty, and true to form, took him in just under a year. But he fought with grace and dignity, rarely missing his daily walk, and dressing for chemo in his jacket and tie and pocket square. With my mother, Howard was one half of perhaps the most charming couple on earth. And he was definitely (with the exception of my mom) my biggest fan. My father died many, many years ago, and after he did, I closed that door. Howard opened it up again, and sent the most brilliant bright light shining through. I miss him already.
I’ll be stepping away from the laptop for a few days to sit shiva and honor his memory. Expect me back here around Thursday.
Feel free to go as trivial or consequential as you please. I’m choosing coffee, because it’s the only thing even nominally like a vice I’ve got left, and because it is quite literally what gets me out of bed every morning. You?