finding a coat, pt. 2

Here is a look I styled with one of the coats I suggested as a starting inspiration. I finished the look with items that I rely heavily on as part of my casual winter uniform in my neutral palette of black, navy, cool gray, and ivory. I also went with subtle beauty like a pearly, cool gray polish and pale pink lips as I would on the weekend when I am looking for a low key yet pretty look.

finding a coat

Last weekend, a classmate was sharing her struggle with finding stylish yet appropriate winter wear. During our conversation, she complimented me on my coat and said something like why can't I find something like that. This got me thinking about my strategy for coat shopping and how I got my coat(s).

Finding a good coat can be a complicated process. I have had my mind made up about a style or cut only to discover it is nowhere to be found or sold out in my size. It can be disheartening and can make you settle for something that is not quite right to just get it over with. You must fight the urge to settle because it is entirely possible to find something you will enjoy for years to come.

When I find a good one, I tend to keep it for awhile. In fact, the coat, which my classmate complimented, is five years old! Since I have a tendency to keep costs for awhile, I feel comfortable investing extra money from my wardrobe budget towards coats. Especially when the additional money is towards a functional and fashionable must have piece. 

I start looking for a replacement once one begins to fall from favor or is no longer useful/mendable/etc. Since I keep a few coats in my wardrobe, I can wait until I find a solid one to add to the rotation. Sometimes it will take me a long time to find a replacement, in fact, I have gone at least a year looking for a good coat before. Even with potential lengthy delays, I have found this strategy to work fairly well. I (almost always) have a small rotation of quality coats that fit my lifestyle and keep me warm. 

So there you have some insight into my coat shopping strategy! I hope that it is helpful. Here is an edit of my current favorite coats on the market. Keep in mind that some of them are on sale so if they strike you as a winner, you may want to move quickly as they will not be around forever. 

1. & Other Stories will-blend coat. A standout piece with a print that is sure to cheer you up.

2. AYR cocoon coat. An updated classic in a wintery white.

3. j. crew lady day coat. A feminine, polished piece with the added bonus of thinsulate.

4. Steven Alan evening coat. A first glance this looks black but it is really a stunning deep green.

5. COS flared back wool coat. A modern, clean-lined a-line shape perfect for colorful accessories.

6. All Saints jax coat. An off-duty beauty in burgundy that will add edge to workwear. 
 

newness

Happy New Year! Bonne Annee! 2014 was filled with opportunity for growth and changes. So many wonderful things happened in my life yet I was still eager to move forward into 2015. 

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I took the time during the holidays to unplug and reflect on the year. It was needed. We can all get wrapped up in events, things and busyness in general. It can cast shadow on things that are truly important and meaningful in our lives. 

One thing, I learned from in 2014, was my experimentation with a capsule wardrobe. I decided to try a capsule wardrobe quietly and if it worked, to bring it to this platform for the following capsule. The concept is promising and can be an effective and stylish solution for some people. However, I learned that those people are not me. I am not a capsule wardrobe person. I understand the merits of it and the benefit it can add it a person's life, but it just is not me. And that is not only OK, it was a great moment of growth in understanding my own personal style and approach.

I planned my color palette, key pieces and a uniform look as a fallback - all fun and insightful about my taste. I used my plan to go shopping to fill in the gaps in my wardrobe and got started. The problem was when I was getting dressed, I just kept feeling stifled and fashion was not fun. I thought, perhaps, tweaking a color here or a key piece there could help but that does not align with the central premise of capsuling. I struggled with it and became a bit wrapped up in how off it felt. It was hard for me to accept, and this was a mistake. 

When I was reflecting on the year, I realized how silly this all was. While personal style is important to me, I should not allow a mistake in my approach hold me back, I should use it as a learning opportunity. That is what I decided to do. So in the upcoming season I am going to try a new approach, the five-piece french wardrobe (5PFW) and look forward to continuing to learn and grow in my personal style. 

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I will be sharing more information on the 5PFW method and my take on it. Do you follow a specific wardrobe method? What have you found to work?

kandinsky: a retrospective exhibition

The weekend before last, I was delighted to have the opportunity to catch an exhibition on one of my favorite artists Wassily Kandinsky. The exhibition is entitled Kandinsky: A Retrospective and it is currently on display at The Frist Center for the Arts in Nashville, TN. It runs through January 4, 2015. Here is an excerpt of information on the exhibit from the center's website:

Considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Wassily Kandinsky is often credited with creating the first purely non-objective painting. Featuring more than 100 paintings, watercolors, drawings and a reconstituted mural, Kandinsky celebrates some of the most significant aspects of the artist’s oeuvre. Beginning with his early paintings influenced by symbolists such as Edvard Munch, Russian folk painting and Fauvism, the exhibition also includes works the artist created while part of the Munich-based group, der Blaue Reiter, which greatly influenced Kandinsky’s stylistic shift toward pure abstraction. The exhibition also surveys Kandinsky’s work during his time in Russia through World War I and after the October Revolution, the time he spent at the Bauhaus in Germany, and concludes with late works he created in Paris.
Drawing extensively from the collection of Kandinsky’s works from Paris’s Centre Pompidou, which were donated by Kandinsky’s widow, the exhibition will also feature  an additional selection of works by other der Blaue Reiter artists from the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, providing a context through which viewers can appreciate Kandinsky’s significance.

The show was fantastic and exactly what I needed last weekend to inspire and invigorate me. I had not slept well the night before and thought about skipping it because I was tired, but I am glad I did not. It was stimulating and more energizing than caffeine. I was struck by how much his style evolved yet elements of his style remained faithful through his final works. Here is one of my favorite late works of Kandinsky entitled Reciprocal Accords

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Here is a work used for the advertising and imagery of the exhibition, entitled Yellow-Red-Blue

Be sure to check out the exhibition if you are in the Nashville area!

Celine campaign SS15

Wow, it is surprising how quickly a month can pass. Things have been rather busy, but I am glad to report that things are also well. We selected and moved to a new place quickly, and we are settling in. The new space is great with a picturesque view. We are working on outfitting the space in a simple, modern way, aligning with our aesthetics and does not detract from the setting. 

When I think of simple and modern aesthetics in fashion, I am reminded of the beauty and luxury of Celine. Daria Werbowy takes another turn starring in the advertising shot by Juergen Teller. She looks lovely, makeup free and fresh. The standout piece for me is the white, pebbled tote. It is a stunner. Here are the images. Enjoy and be back again soon!

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the sale(s): october

I don't know about you, but I get way too many shopping related emails. It is sometimes overwhelming to attend to them all, but I have this organizational need to keep my inbox tidy. So, I end up going through them, keeping interesting ones and discarding the others. In my most recent review, I noted a few interesting sales happening over the weekend - I guess it is kind of a holiday weekend with Columbus Day on Monday so it makes sense. Here is a list of what I found:

  • Steven Alan: 20% off select styles through Friday, October 10th. Use code OCT20
  • Club Monaco: Extra 30% off sale styles and extra 40% off clearance styles through Monday, October 13th. Use code FALLSALE
  • Madewell: 30% off select styles through Monday, October 13th. Use code OHFALL.
  • Theory: Friends & Family sale, save 25% off through Monday, October 13th. Use code THEORYFF2014
  • Helmut Lang: Friends shop 25% off through Monday, October 13th. Use code HL25FW14
  • Barney's Warehouse: Extra 30% off select styles and extra 40% off clearance styles through Monday, October 13th
  • J.Crew Factory: 50% off women's and men's styles and 40% off girls and boys styles through Sunday, October 12th
  • (Malin + Goetz): Free shipping through Monday, October 13th. Use code SOAP14

Happy shopping!

gamine shopping: steven alan

Steven Alan is a well-curated boutique filled with pieces that walk the line between classic and modern. It is a gamine style dream! The shop features a range of items including clothing, shoes, bags, and jewelry, from select designers including the in-house line. This is a place where you can go to get quality, everyday pieces with beautiful details, like an embroidered top or simple elegance, like a turquoise ring. It is this combination that speaks to gamine style: quality, every day, beautiful detail, and simple elegance. There are 20 boutiques in the US, a showroom run by Steven Alan, and the in-house line is sold in over 200 stores worldwide.

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These images are from the Boston outpost. The visual merchandising in the boutiques is brilliant! Whomever Steven Alan employs to do their visual merchandising excels at creating an airy, open concept. There is a light, spacious feel to the boutiques, and it is felt from these images. I am also biased to the image above because it features my beloved CV simple tote. It is practical yet luxurious, and it is striped! That was a great purchase and so gamine. 

 

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