It’s all about the back view on this one.
As someone who recalls Banana Republic’s glory days with particular affection, I was intrigued by the following note, which I received recently from a reader named Aubrey: “My days shopping at Banana Republic ended a few years ago, but I had some time to kill, and stopped into their store earlier today. Lots of great pieces. Would be interested to get your take.” My initial take is that it would take a lot to revive Banana—the brand has felt so same for so long, and when a lot of customers jumped ship, it was because the quality just wasn’t there either—but with new creative directors anything is possible, and they have one of those. The website looked promising, but that doesn’t always mean much, so off I went to the Soho outpost to kick the tires.
And here is what I discovered: progress. Nice pieces here and there that I would totally wear. The best of them by far—a near-perfect leather A-line midi skirt—isn’t on the site for some perplexing reason, but it should be. This very 1970s YSL military blouse, which I liked the looks of online, was just as nice in real life.
If I worked in an office, I would be all over this boucle skirt with the zipper detail, because it is professional-looking but also just a tiny bit badass. Also, it’s not as short as it looks: on a person of non-model height such as myself (I’m 5’6”) it hits at the knee.
I thought this jacket was pretty fun, and very much the type of item one could throw on and know looked good and not have to worry about. And it’s boucle—which I know, again with the boucle—but it’s such a fun, luxe fabric for everyday items.
And this wool trench in the grey is straight out of the Lauren Hutton playbook.
I couldn’t send you into your weekend without letting you know about the big sale event at Saks, but I must offer this one large caveat: there are a ridiciculous number of designer exclusions—like pretty much everyone fancy. If you’re interested in shopping contemporary brands, you’ll have more luck. I, as might be expected, found no shortage of things to like. These boots from 10 Crosby Derek Lam are at once totally cute and completely sophisticated.
I’ve had my eye on this plaid jacket from ALC all season—that leather detail at the waist just makes it.
And it’s always nice to be able to grab a nice little Iro something marked down, since their sweater jackets are so cute but so tragically overpriced: this moto-shape is light enough to layer under another coat or jacket—a look that gets me every time.
I love that designers continue to reinterpret this preppy standard, and the mix right now is especially inspired. There is no particular reason why space-dye and fair isle should work together, but they do here, brilliantly.
Bold and happy red white and blue, with fluffy (and humanely sourced) angora.
A good mood in a sweater.
I’ve been obsessing in a minor key over this Band of Outsiders horse-print fair isle for weeks now—it is at once classic and totally 70s to me.
Inside-out stitch, flourescent—and still somehow not too much.
These excellent old-school Onitsuka Tigers—which I discovered recently at Emerson Fry —get pretty much everything right: the black laces, the cool grey-on-black palette, and most of all, the price: a mere $75.
Whenever Shopbop does their 25% site-wide discounts (which they’re doing now through Thursday; type in FAMILY25 at checkout) I get excited to indulge in items that I might otherwise reject as too splurgy. Like for instance: this dreamy Jerome Dreyfuss backpack with the chain straps.
Or perhaps a thoroughly unnecessary bauble of some sort: Shopbop’s got tons of fine jewelry, and you don’t often see that marked down—I’m currently obsessing over this devastatingly sharp little black diamond ring.
I am so proud of and inspired by my sister in law Shanna, who is running her second New York City Marathon in a few weeks—just under three years after taking up the sport. Some might take that pride and inspiration and actually use it to lace up a pair of sneakers themselves and get cracking, but the only fire it has lit under me is—predictably—one to find her the perfect marathon leggings. She has been very kind to humor me in this respect, allowing her busy work days to be interrupted with enthusiastic emails from me filled with links to possible candidates. Her pick, I am delighted to report, is the one I was hoping she’d choose: this awesome pair from Stella McCartney’s Adidas line. Are they not totally Print of the Week-caliber? It is a little ridiculous how much pleasure I am taking in all of this.
It might be overstating things to say that life itself would be impossible without my J. Crew bib popover, but not by much: it’s an instant outfit crisper-upper for when I’m feeling shlumpy, and always makes me feel like I’ve got a little bit of a look going on, even when I pair it just with jeans (which is usually). It’s simultaneously tailored and feminine so it’s sweeter than a button-down. And It’s impossibly comfortable. I’m thinking I might be wise to order it in multiples, just in case the Crew stops making it, which would be just absolutely criminal.
Also: please do excuse the bathroom selfie. Eventually I will class things up around here.
Clutches make the whole act of carrying a purse more glamorous: they’re like objects of leisure, really, meant for adornment rather than utilitarian hauling. And because utility isn’t so much their thing, it is my belief that they pretty much only have one job: to be either very clever, exceedingly attractive, or some engaging combination of the two. I like that last one best.
Take this Meli Melo green and leopard number as a perfect case in point. As cheeky as it is beautiful, in the very best possible way. And how exciting is this: the fine people over at the (really) genius bag site Roztayger are offering it exclusively to Girls of a Certain Age readers for 20% off! Just enter GOACA at checkout. This rather elegant grey version of the same bag is part of the offer too.
A good metallic bag—even more than a shoe, I think—can both function as a neutral in your wardrobe and still be rather badass, like this option from McQueen.
This Lizzie Fortunato bag with geometric embroidery might seem like a particularly eclectic choice, but it incorporates so many colors that it’s actually amazingly versatile.
An elegant croc print in surprising blue, for fun.