The object up for grabs is this Elie Top, their luxe-beyond-luxe heavy gauge Italian four-ply cashmere vest/poncho hybrid. There is no designer in my closet whose clothes I get more wear out of than Cornejo, and like most of her pieces that go into super-highest closet rotation, I had to be talked into this one. I couldn’t quite see when I would wear it, or with what. But as it turns out, the answer to that question is: pretty much always, over just about everything, from tees to sweaters to dresses. I am so stupidly excited to be giving this away to one lucky member of the GOACA army. For your chance, just enter here by 5pm, Sunday December 6.
And here, just for kicks, are five other Cornejo pieces—some of which I own, others that I just covet—which would make for a nifty capsule wardrobe. First up: I am exceeding the GOACA price limit for this dress, because it is the ass-saver we all need in our closets for when another wedding, important meeting, or occasion when you just generally want to feel good about yourself and look exactly right rolls along. I’m a bit of a chubster at the moment, and recently had to find an outfit for a family Bar Mitzvah where I knew the crowd was going to be on the conservative side. All the tenable options in my closet don’t fit so great right now, and I wanted long sleeves—which none of my dresses have—to cover up my tattoos, which only made the search more frustrating. Then I found this: possibly the most versatile and flattering dress I have ever owned. You need to go to the site and check out the side view, cause it does a pretty gorgeous drapey thing that you can’t see here.
I wear my jersey bubble top at least twice a week, which would get pretty gross except for the fact that last year, when I lost mine and no amount of closet excavation would reveal it, I got crazy excessive and bought another. After which point, but of course, I found the original (it was at a friend’s house). But now I’ve always got one ready to wear when the other is in the laundry, so there’s that.
It wouldn’t be a proper Maria Cornejo capsule wardrobe without some kind of print thrown into the mix, and this one is an instant outfit-maker.
The biggest reason I’m such a freak for Cornejo is that her collections are like Garanimals for grown-ups: she brings back popular silhouettes every season in different fabrics, and her Gabi Trouser is a perennial. Super-flattering, and eminently dress-up-or-down-able.
A walkable wedge boot with an edge.
Back when I was fancy, I used to get invited to a lot of work-related black tie events. They were pretty much always a chore, but a day or two before, the funnest thing would happen: a market editor would wheel into my office a rolling rack jammed with formal dresses that had been called in from various designer showrooms, and I’d get to choose one. (They did the same thing with jewelry. Serious jewelry*.) It was all very Princess For A Day, right down to the fact that the morning after, everything went back. These days this option isn’t available to me (not that I’d fit into the showroom samples anymore anyway; I lived on yogurt, cigarettes, and stress in those days) but that’s OK. Because I have found the solution to all my black-tie needs: this silky floor length skirt. It’s designed by my dear friend Kathy Kemp, whose store Anna you must visit if you’re ever in the vicinity of E. 11th Street, because she creates super-flattering pieces for real women. The skirt has a slight sheen, which ups the glam factor nicely, and all that’s left for me to do is comb my closet for one of my dressier parties in a top, and I’m set.
*Reader, I wore diamonds from Fred Leighton on my wedding day.
The quiet red accents are what make this option especially chic.
A well-priced cape scarf in a simple color palette that’ll go with most anything.
A little bit of well-deployed color goes an awful long way here.
An almost preppy, nicely streamlined version.
I have desperately wanted this foul weather-proof, down-filled Fjallraven number for a while now—imagine how warm it would be layered over your everyday parka on especially bitter days.
This endlessly chic creature is Caroline de Maigret—yes, she’s French and yes, I’m predictable—who provides here an excellent object lesson in how transformative just a single touch of blue can be, especially if your default palette is black and white.
I stopped by Opening Ceremony’s boutique in the Ace Hotel the other day—it’s one of the city’s more quietly fantastic stores; much more subdued than the multi-level Soho original—and found these cute mirrored sunglasses. They’re part of a collaboration between OC and the Swedish company Sun Buddies. I need a new pair of sunglasses like I need a hernia (see here for evidence) but went for it anyway, because many of my current pairs are black, and the older I get, the more I realize that black can be pretty harsh up against your skin.
What a fun, bright not-too-big-not-too-small backpack from Baggu.
A tailored coat in colors other than grey and black immediately renders any outfit more interesting.
The kind of huggy cardigan that makes winter bearable.
These boots are almost even a little purplish, but still deep enough in tone to be pretty versatile. It is my feeling that they would look fantastic with jeans.
I love the look of an un-shlumpy sweatshirt.
Everlane’s Petra magazine bag has been on my wish list forever.
Pointy-toe skimmers are so cool and new wave-ish, and altogether much edgier than your typical ballet flat—while still not being much of a fashion risk at all.
Today’s post is inspired by the vintage Coach Station Bag I bought this August at a yard sale, and upon which I receive many compliments. You can find one pretty much exactly like it on Ebay.
Or, if you’d rather go for something new: here is the same shape—but in a clutch style.
Here’s a rather luxe version.
And here’s a cheaper take on above.
From the moment I started to care about looking cool—and I’d date this to freshman year of college, when I fell under the sway of a cadre of girls from New York whose style seemed to me unprecedentedly on-point—I have owned a pair of Chelsea boots. And for all these decades since, I don’t think there’s been a time when there wasn’t a pair in my my closet. These days, they seem less about cool (likely because, at 51, I am less about cool) than about supreme versatility: they can come off anywhere from classic to edgy, and are just so very walkable. My current favorites are Blundstones (see first pair below) because they’re endlessly comfortable, the treads make them good for when there’s snow and ice, and the price is right. But I’d happily say yes to every pair you see here too.
“Tell me a peacoat cavalcade is imminent,” writes Raina, one of my favorite commenters, who writes the witty design blog If The Lampshade Fits. “And that you will be including this vestment of the gods.” Request granted, Raina, even the part about the (frankly fantastic) Sacai coat you see here, even though it exceeds the GOACA price limit by a pretty wide margin.
Here’s a more classic version from J. Crew, right down to the bold gold buttons.
The slouchy cut and pale, pale grey here is a cool take on the pea.
For those of you who live in parts of the country where it never gets seriously cold, I present this, which is pretty cute in the denim.
A good bit longer that is standard, with a nifty (faux) fur collar.
The exterior stitching here is a lively touch.
To my mind, there is no floral more elegant—or wearable—than one that’s set against a black background. And I particularly like when those black backgrounds are punctuated by really clear, bold brights. They’ve got just slightly more of an edge than your typical floral (if a floral can be described as having edge), and my mood is instantly lifted when I see a particularly good one. Like this J. Crew shirt, for instance, which is an object lesson in how good blue and black can be together if you choose a really good blue.
I mean have you ever seen such a chic iPhone case?
I’m trying very hard to talk myself into the notion that a scarf can be an investment purchase, because this one fromStella McCartney isn’t cheap. But it sure is a dream.
You can’t quite tell from the picture, but the Fair Isle print here is all in silver and gold metallic, rendering it quite awesome.
A splurgetastic option that is as much Baja stripe in feel as it is Fair Isle.
The poppy berry-on-berry color combo here is what keeps things from coming off too trad.
Adorably apres-ski, ever-so-slightly Peanuts.
It will surprise you not at all to learn that new jewelry site Iconery is the brainchild of two jewelry obsessives,* as there is so very, very much to want here—a mere fraction of which I have catalogued below. And there is much to afford too: the big idea behind Iconery is that most every piece is constructed to order. So if, say, you’ve wanted one of these rings that the whole world is obsessed with, but can’t get behind the price tag, just order it in a gold vermeil, or sterling. You’ve splurged, sure, but not in a way that stops your heart. There are also an impressive amount of really appealing pieces in the under $200 range, which, after you’ve factored in your hefty 20% sitewide discount, makes for some serious savings. Just enter ICONICGIRL20 at checkout; the offer is valid from right this instant until the end of the day Thursday October 8. Do not delay!
Iconery has handpicked a pretty amazing group of designers—both well-known and emerging—with whom to collaborate: this horseshoe ring by Wren’s Melissa Coker is both pretty and witty at the same time, which isn’t something you can say about most jewelry.
This boss signet ring, by Iconery’s in-house line, is meant to be engraved but I always love them blank.
From Ariel Gordon: this snake necklace is so good.
But the ring version is even better.
From Elisabeth Bell: a delicate-but-somehow-also-edgy, eminently stackable cuff.
This lock-and-key chain by Lena Wald is quite Tomgirl Elegant.
And finally: this wax seal pendant from Wren is very Goth Gone Pretty.