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Chelsea boots, now and forever

victoria beckham

Classic Posh

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.


chelsea boots1. Blundstone 2. Loeffler Randall 3. Loeffler Randall 4. Doc Martens 5. Rachel Comey 6. Marais USA  (Vegan) 7. Everlane 8. Church’s


Posted on October 26th, 2015 23 Comments

Taking requests


“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.

J Crew peacoat

Here’s a  more classic version from J. Crew, right down to the  bold gold buttons.

mango peacoat

The slouchy cut and pale, pale grey here is a cool take on the pea.

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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.

loft peacoat

A good bit longer that is standard, with a nifty (faux) fur collar.

nordstrom pea

The exterior stitching here is a lively touch.

Posted on October 20th, 2015 15 Comments

Prints of the week

black floral

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.

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I mean have you ever seen such a chic iPhone case?

stella scarf

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.


Posted on October 19th, 2015 1 Comment

Top 5 of the week: Left-of-preppy Fair Isle sweaters

mes demoiselles

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.

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splurgetastic option that is as much Baja stripe in feel as it is Fair Isle.

joie black

Black on white gets so excellently graphic (and here’s your bonus similar-but-cheaper option).

berry combo

The poppy berry-on-berry color combo here is what keeps things from coming off too trad.

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Adorably apres-ski, ever-so-slightly Peanuts.

Posted on October 14th, 2015 5 Comments

The best new commerce site in ages, and 20% off just for you


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!

horseshoe ring

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.

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This boss signet ring, by Iconery’s in-house line, is meant to be engraved but I always love them blank.

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From Ariel Gordon: this snake necklace  is so good.

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But the ring version is even better.

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From Elisabeth Bell: a delicate-but-somehow-also-edgy, eminently stackable cuff.


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This lock-and-key chain by Lena Wald is quite Tomgirl Elegant.

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And finally: this wax seal pendant from Wren is very Goth Gone Pretty.


*The lovely Ivka Adam and our own Andrea Linett.

Posted on October 7th, 2015 11 Comments

Home again


My just-concluded vacation included many and varied activities: I hiked through a cloud forest, kayaked on a lake and swam in the Pacific. I dined on multiple ocean delicacies and learned more than I could have imagined there was to know about the Colombian Inquisition. I also took a rather massive tumble down a flight of stairs in the pitch-back of night finding my way back to my casita one evening (eco-lodges aren’t big on outdoor lighting) and split my knee wide open. A kind doctor at a country clinica stitched me up and—aside from some bad swelling and epic bruising— I was good to go. Only most of my shoes didn’t feel so great to walk in afterward, so I pretty much defaulted daily to the Tevas I’d been prevailed upon to bring for hiking and water sports. And guys, now that I’m back home, I’m still wearing them constantly. Several people have assured me that they look great, but I secretly still think they’re on the nuts side, and don’t care.

Posted on September 28th, 2015 26 Comments