Saturday 20th December 2014
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Object lesson: The tuxedo jacket

katekate

I rarely write about Kate Moss: her life choices bring out the mumsy pearl-clutcher in me; I loathe the way our culture can fetishize certain “wasted” glamorous women, like her and, say, Edie Sedgwick. But the woman can can certainly nail a look, and currently, I stand in awe of her mastery of the tuxedo jacket.

kate shawl collar

She has many, and wears them to  varied effect, but almost invariably with all black, which of course I love.

kate tuxedo

Ms. Moss—who just turned 40—hasn’t abandoned her leather jackets and I can’t imagine she ever will. But I feel like her increasing reliance on this more polished menswear piece is evidence that she’s paying attention to matters like growing up her look just a touch. Which makes her like one of us in a way I find quite winning.

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Here are a few jackets that remind me of her best ones. First up: Nothing beats a nice, sharp peak lapel in my book.

 

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leather lapel takes things in a rock and roll direction.

topshop shawl collar

This oversize, low shawl collar version is the perfect butt-covering option for skinny jeans.

 

 

 

Posted on December 16th, 2014 37 Comments

Gift Guide: Jewelry Under $150

snake ring

Just the most simple, graceful snake ring.

diamond whisper

Nobody wouldn’t love to receive this delicate diamond ring.

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The pyramid stud earring is its own kind of classic.

paperclip pendant

paperclip is such a fun, geek-chic spin on the ubiquitous punk- rock safety pin motif.

in it to win it

For your friend who needs some fighting words.

 

Posted on December 8th, 2014 4 Comments

I am obsessed with this necklace

 

necklace perfection

And I could not even begin to tell you why.

necklace perfect

It’s really the simplest thing ever. Just two round beads; one small, one smaller, one dark, one light.  But there’s a spare elegance about it that very much appeals, and makes it feel like so much more than the sum of its parts.  I’ve always craved an Elsa Peretti Bean pendant from Tiffany—talk about your spare elegance—and this, somehow, scratches that same itch. But for considerably less cash.

Posted on December 1st, 2014 9 Comments

The scarf that makes it easy to knot a scarf like a French girl

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This silk and cashmere scarf from Chan Luu is so perfect I own two—one in black, one in blue—and they are literally the only scarves I ever wear. They’re super-warm but really lightweight, and go with literally everything I own.

knot scarf

They’ve also allowed even me—because I am usually no good at this type of finessing—to  knot like I know what I’m doing. Here’s my personal trick, although you might find one that works better for you: first of all, but of course, make sure the scarf is in diamond, and not square, formation. Next, wrap the entire thing from one side—instead of draping the scarf over your neck and producing two halves of equal length. Wrap like you’re creating layers of a cake, and keep wrapping until there is just barely enough scarf left to knot. Then knot it low and to the side. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time—you don’t think those French chicks practice in front of the mirror too?

Posted on November 25th, 2014 26 Comments

A Party in a Top, Part 3

party in a top7

Penelope Tree knew a Party in a Top when she saw one

Here, from my original exegesis on the topic, is the concept behind the Party in a Top:

My philosophy about dressing for the holiday party season has always been pretty straightforward. Weddings are an endurance game: you’re on display for hours, possibly on a dance floor too.  So there’s every reason to sweat it to some degree. And dinner parties are typically so intimate that no aspect of your outfit goes unnoticed there either. But holiday parties are crowded,  frenetic, standing room affairs, where all anybody really notices is what you’re wearing from the waist up. I realized this truth a few years ago, and it totally set me free. 

party in a top

It set me free because I realized all that was called for was a really strong top—a Party in a Top. As for its qualities, a really good Party in a Top should change the way you look at yourself in the mirror a little. Possibly, it should be a touch bolder than you usually go. And it should all have just a touch of sexiness to it—even if it’s just in a cheeky way, like this snake print and sequin number.

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You know the woman who shows up wearing wear this Party in a Top will be the most interesting person you meet all night.

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Surprisingly sophisticated, for a top with so very much going on

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Of course you won’t wear this one with just a bra like the lady here, but instead with a perfectly simple cami. And you will come off all kinds of French and sexy for having done so.

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Most off-the-shoulder tops are too flouncy for my taste, but this one is so clean-lined and sophisticated and perfect and I want.

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A cool way to show skin without really showing any skin.

Posted on November 19th, 2014 15 Comments

It’s the little things

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 10.21.50 AMI spent way too much for this Isabel Marant shirt, but it makes me so damn happy.

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It does that magic secret French thing where it fits like this. Which—in my frightfully skewed value system—is something upon which you can not put a price tag.

 

Posted on November 17th, 2014 21 Comments

Top 5 of the week: white button-downs with a difference

tuxedo top

Nothing sexier than a tuxedo top, buttoned as low as you dare.

sequin button down

I had a spirited debate with my friend Regan recently about sequins for day; she insists they’re a Fashion Never, but I believe that a small dose, well-deployed, can be good fun. The fact that the stripe of rich blue here isn’t front-and-center makes all the difference.

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I’m sure there’s something out there as simultaneously chic and cheery as this blouse’s perforated star pattern, but I am quite certain I don’t know what it is.

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Throw this on and your outfit’s got all the statement it needs.

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You can look at the crew neck here in one of two ways: as a nicely laid- back version of a button-down, or as a dressed-up version of a t-shirt.

Posted on November 14th, 2014 7 Comments

My strange obsession

 

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I used to have an actual active distaste for anything made of calf hair, but lately, weirdly, I keep finding myself attracted to it; specifically on footwear (it still kind of ooks me out on bags). These crazy winter boots by UK designer Penelope Chilvers boots have been haunting my dreams for weeks now.

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The mixture of textures and patterns on these Nike platform sneaks just slays me.

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These are on my (not-unlengthy) Definite Maybe list over at Maria Cornejo: they’re super-comfortable and look so cool on.

Posted on November 12th, 2014 15 Comments

I brake for Liberty

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 10.51.48 PMThe new Liberty/Nike fall collab just launched, people, and I couldn’t not share the crazy cuteness of it all.

Posted on November 10th, 2014 11 Comments

This shirt is perfect

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On the rack, it looks like a whole lot of shapeless nothing, but I was intrigued enough by the super-thin cotton—so good for tucking—and the fact that the Steven Alan salesgirl told me pretty much every woman who worked for the company owned it to head for the dressing room. And you guys, it is magic on: perfectly slouchy, and nicely body-skimming in a way that bulkier cotton button-downs never are.

Posted on November 7th, 2014 11 Comments