Thursday, September 25, 2014

Autumnal Closet: Building the Blocks

There comes a time in one's life that contemplating a build-from-scratch one's stylistic approach looks inevitable: moving house,  losing 40 pounds or starting a new career all signal that desire to demolish the past with a giant eraser and start afresh. Or you might just caught be in a rut stylistically, like, ahem, moi. A more prolonged than usual leafing through the hangers in my closet and perusing on the wardrobe shelves (accompanied by little exclamations "when did I ever buy this, I wonder!") confirms it: I have been acquiring endless variations of more or less the same style of clothes for years on end.

That's not so terrible, really. My style has always been classic dramatic (let me clarify: lean lines, mostly tailored items, basic, primary or jewel colors and lots of black & white with bold and stylish accessories/jewels). I figured early on that a) they wouldn't go out of fashion in 6 months so they'd withstand the investment, b) the color scheme suits my coloring and my lifestyle and c) you're never too fat for your accessories so one might as well let it all hang out with them and indulge a whim.
They've indeed served me well. Problem is…I got a bit bored. This is the moment to inject something…I don't know, different! The autumn and inter fashions have been inspiring: mod 60s look, medieval helmet hoods at Dolce & Gabbana, 70s wallpaper Prada coats, go-go boots, Mongolian knits, those deep blue Versace suits…and some lovely metallic makeup to accompany it.

So here are a few things I singled out. Do you like them? Do you have additions? Have you added things to YOUR wardrobe you'd like to share in the comments? Please do.

An open wrap style jacket. Preferably with leather sleeves. (Depicted the "Laura" jacket from Nordstrom, currently on sale). I have resisted these for long, reasoning if I'm going to wear a jacket I might have it buttoned to give a lean line. The reality is it's never too cold to button it up and when it is, I seek a full length coat, not a jacket.

A tile print shirt from Flowing and floaty, can be tucked in a skirt or worn over leggings or jeans. Boho-chic enough.

Two trends in one dress: blue & 60s motif, in a tried & true shape (and practical 3/4 sleeves). This Mango dress caught my eye because it can be easily dressed up (pumps and gold jewelry) or down (cardigan and flat boots).

It's been ages since I've worn such a long skirt. Interestingly enough it might be just the fresh shot I need. I'd pair this Mango skirt with a black body-suit myself though.

Likewise, I never really bought a hobo bag (structured is my thing, so totes and messengers fit the bill most of the time I'm not required to carry a clutch). The Diane von Furstenberg "Sutra" (depicted) in deep cherry has me thinking other thoughts nevertheless.

A studded headband is an ingenious idea of adding a little rock chic without the perils of thighs bulging inside pleather pants. Lo risk, high pay off. This one in mint should contrast with my natural hair color just fine!

Going out of my comfort zone includes embracing the metallic bronze and coppers around for fall 2014. Though I have flirted with copper lipsticks (mind you, in the warmth of summer when I have some semblance of a tan) the eye decoration in warmer tones has been beneath my usual greyish, blueish and tone-sur-tone choices. But Lancome's Color Design eyeshadow in Kitten Heel is inspiring, the subtle shimmer forgiving of any mismatch to my natural skintone. Probably the next addition to my trousse de maquillage.

And on to you!!


  1. ohhhhh, yes, i have added a few items to my wardrobe for autumn: a pair of black mid-calf boots to fill the niche for wet days when i don't want to go out in the tall black suede ones, a wine-colored lace dress with matching 3/4-sleeve jacket, and a couple of vintage maxi skirts, one of which was made from gorgeously ornate kimono fabric. maxi skirts are heavenly to me; style, grace, and comfort plus figure-flattering for all...can't go wrong with them!

    i like your selections, especially the print blouse and (mais oui) the maxi skirt. i'd wear that skirt in a heartbeat with a slim-fitting black cashmere jumper and an old coral necklace and earrings...

    happy shopping!

  2. Love the maxi skirt!

    I have a crush on all things burgundy at the moment. I found a beautiful leather bag on eBay and have my eye on a new hoodie.

  3. VertMontPerfumery14:40

    Buy that jacket! It's amazing and could chic up any of your neutral safe basics. This Laura piece is a wow.

  4. Unpaletteable14:40

    The floral skirt has something of the Russian fairytale about it and the paisley shirt....hold me back!
    I have so many printed garments already that my wishlist consists of a new pair of black jeans and a black jumper, gotta tone things done abit...

  5. Love everything on your list! For me, I have been downsizing my wardrobe for the past few years now, and I think what I really need is one more cardigan or blazer to go with my mostly black wardrobe. I just haven't decided whether to go neutral (eg, grey) or venture beyond my comfort zone and go with some color (burgundy? blue?) It's nothing I need right now, so I'm going to wear my fall wardrobe over the next few weeks and then see if it truly is a gap.

  6. Mary K23:52

    I like your choices! I think I need a few new types of clothing items in my wardrobe, too. I did buy a blouse similar to the one in this post. And I also went shoe shopping last week, so it's a start. I really like that long skirt and its print.

  7. Tania M09:25

    It's interesting to read what you say about the open jacket. For me coats and jackets are like protection. I always want something that i can at least tie together in my waist. It makes me feel comfortable and safe.

  8. NFS,

    I flirted with booties, but I have so many already! Probably not buying this year. But I definitely understand your desire. :-)

    Glad the maxi skirt is appealing. The length seems a bit intimidating even for someone tallish like me. I did use to opt for these these as a young thing (going through a very retro phase), so maybe revisiting isn't too far fetched. It's nice to see someone like you feeling so about maxi skirts.

  9. R,

    oh burgundy is such a delightful color, especially for fall! It's rich and deep and still complimentary to most people's coloring. Go for it!

    Thanks for loving the maxi skirt, you have me sold. :-D

  10. VMP,

    I think I shall! Thanks for the thumbs up. :-)

  11. UP,

    yup, the print is the thing that drew me to it.
    A print wardrobe, very unusual. Neutrals injected with the odd bright here & there are just so little thought (reason I accumulated so many).
    You must have a lovely assortment of things!

  12. Jaime,


    Oh, a blue or burgundy cardigan is highly versatile. I say go for it!! I bet it mixes great with the blacks (and both are very trendy this season, but also -really- timeless).

  13. MaryK,

    the print is really eye-catching and relatively easy to pair things with. ;-)

    Oh, shoes, my favorite item of shopping (besides perfume). Care to share what you bought?

  14. TaniaM,

    a very interesting point. I hadn't really thought of that, but it's certainly true for many I bet. I sometimes feel like I'm bursting inside the jacket if it's warm and this is highly annoying in my climate. So open is a good choice.
    The cocoon principle however merits some thought. I'd probably succumb via a big scarf!

  15. Miss Heliotrope02:25

    Prints are stimulating - and I adore 3/4 length sleeves - almost all my full length ones are damaged from being rolled up all the time anyway -

    I have pushed myself & started wearing a strong coloured lipstick for going out (not really a makeup person), and am having fun with it - being so pale skinned (dark hair) the strong colour is striking. I hope it looks good, too -

  16. MH,

    love 3/4 sleeves, so versatile!!!

    Oh, that looks certainly good, the lipstick I mean. It always looks stunning on people with similar contrast to their coloring. Enjoy your new habit!

  17. Anonymous00:41

    Hi Elena!

    Long time!

    Love that headband! I found it online at a nearby department store and promptly ordered it. :)

    I love the color and the studs.

    I hope you and your family are doing well.

    We need to catch up via email soon.

    Love and hugs from here.


  18. Dearest Dawn,

    what a wonderful surprise!!

    I was thinking of you the other day, using the heart-shaped paper weight to hold down some papers in the gust of wind that was blowing throughout the house!!

    How are things? Yes, we need to catch up. Same email as before? :-)

    Love the fact that you found and bought the headband, It's so cute and gives just the right touch without going overboard with the studs (I like them on shoes too!)

    hugs to you and my best regards to your lovely hubby :-)

  19. Anonymous15:40


    I'll send an email to you soon.



    p.s. The heart paperweight. *smile*

    Can you believe it's been 3 years that has passed already?


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