Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Costume Idea!

It's fall and my kids are going back and forth on what to wear as a costume. I found this great idea on Pinterest. The original link is here. It was originally an idea for a girls tulle tutu but I love how it was done above for a witch costume. CMB is thinking about being a witch this year and this might just do the trick!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


CMB's horse is named Dancer. We bought him about 3 years ago when she outgrew the little pinto pony she had learned to ride on. He's about 15.3 hands and a registered quarter horse. For those who don't know, horses are measured in "hands" which are 4 inches each and they are measured from the withers (at the base of the neck) to the ground. Anyway, he's been pretty good and she's had 3 good hunt seasons on him. However, he developed some bad habits as CMB got more demanding and became a better rider. She also got busier when middle school started. Dancer lives on my parent's property about an hour from where we live. He started bucking people off, well, CMB and I specifically as we are the only 2 who ride him. He went to spend the summer with a trainer to see if some good old fashion discipline would help. CMB and I went to visit last weekend. He looks really good and she had a nice ride on him. Hopefully, things will improve when he comes home.

Friday, September 25, 2015

An Interesting Side Effect of the Capsule Wardrobe

I'm going to start right off by saying this isn't my closet. Although, I totally wish it was! I've posted in the past about trying to buy fewer, better clothes and stick to my defined style and colors. The interesting side effect is that you really don't want to buy stuff. I guess that's the point. I click around on web sites and flip through magazines but, if I already have the perfect navy turtleneck sweater, do I need 2 or 3 less than perfect ones? No. The hardest thing for me is re-training myself to look for clothes that really fit my style now that I have narrowed it down. I admit I love dresses and pencil skirts. There are times when I fill my on-line shopping cart or eBay watch list or dressing room with them. Then I look at them and remember, I can't wear heels at all anymore (severe arthritis in my ankle and big toe joint) and I think flats worn with pencil skirts and most dresses make me look dumpy. I know lots of people wear them and look great but I hate the way it looks on me. Same thing with button front blouses. In theory, I love the crisp look and style of a button front. In reality, I have narrow shoulders and they don't really fit right. Still, I long for them. It's been an interesting transition. My wallet thanks me and I love the ease of getting dressed and out the door in the morning so I plan to keep it up.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Not getting it done, J Crew

Ok, first off this is not a good picture but my computer is not performing well this morning. I just can't get over how, I guess the word is over, I am with J Crew. There was a time almost all my clothes came from there. I've thrown away the last several catalogues after a quick skim and a laugh. The super skinny models, the sloppy layered look, the messy hair and don't get me started on the dropped shoulder trend. All of this was visually off putting but the lack of lined dress pants, the increased costs and the declining quality are also a major factor. The last time I had the chance to walk into a brick and mortar store, I turned around and walked right back out. Really the final straw is the apparent demise of the School Boy Blazer, one of my staples. I wear a blazer almost every day in my business casual office. I have wool school boys for fall and winter and linen ones for spring and summer. I hate the popped collar on the Regent blazer and am not a fan of the Rhodes or Campbell either. The prices are higher and the fit isn't as good on me. I'm busy scouring ebay and snapping up school boys when I can. What do you think? Am I being to hard on the "Crew"?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Ethically Source/Produced Clothing

As I learned more about "fast fashion" and started to re-focus on buying few but better items, I began to add learning about a companies production environment was like and including that in my calculations when looking for items. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Brooks Brothers is one company that is paying attention to this. They have a detailed description of their process and commitment on their web site here. They also just opened a new, expanded manufacturing space in Massachusetts.  A commitment to ethical production and to production in the US and not oversees. Just another reason to love them! Brooks Brothers has long been one of my favorite places to shop, although I usually stalk items and wait for sales. As I re-focus on fewer and better things, this really has been working for me. Do you consider production when you shop?

Friday, September 18, 2015

In Which I Embrace Printed Pants

I was always a dark, solid pants person. Navy, black, the occasional glen plaid maybe, but nothing printed or bright. I know that printed slim pants have been around a while but I have only recently jumped on the band wagon. My shift on only flat shoes have had something to do with this. I tend to wear mine with a pointed toe loafer or flat and either a round neck top or turtleneck and a blazer. That's my new uniform but I'm experimenting with some slightly different pants to mix it up.
 It's really hard to tell but these are from Brooks Brothers and a very dark navy or black (I can't really tell) and have a small, subtle brighter blue foulard print on them. They almost look like a man's tie.

These I think I have posted about before. Also, Brooks Brothers. They are so great! I was nervous about buying them as they were my first toe dip into printed pants but I love them. I also have a gray windowpane plaid pair of Sloan slim ankle pants from Banana Republic which I couldn't get a good picture of. I wore them to work this week with a dark green Tippi sweater and a dark green blazer. I think the key has three parts. First, quality trousers. They shouldn't look cheap or shinny. Second, I always try and pair them with a conservative top. The busier/crazier the pants, the more conservative the top. This goes for shoes too. Third, I'm sticking with conservative prints too. Not wild floral prints. It's working for me and I quite like it. It allows me to feel fashion forward and safe at the same time. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Almost Fall!

I think fall is one of my favorite seasons, not that we get a lot of season in the Bay Area. But the feeling of fall is the same. The light is a little different, even the sunshine feels quite, a little sad. I went to college at Fairfield University in Connecticut and the fall was so beautiful there. I miss it every year. Still, there are a few leaves turning on the trees outside my house, the evenings come quicker and there is a nip in the air. Time for fires, pumpkin spice, quilted vests and boots!