Life's Daily Lessons...

My "tip for the day", as one of the ever-so-helpful agony aunts might not, under any circumstances, when one has been faced with the double whammy of a root canal and the bill for the aforementioned root canal (and no dental insurance)...not, I say, to weigh up the cost of said r.c. in terms of, say, a certain green Balenciaga handbag. Because that way, my friends, madness lies.

Instead try a cheery cost per wear analysis on your newly refurbished tooth...or write a blog post while you're still under the influence of pain killers...


"See what perils do environ those who meddle with hot iron" - John Galsworthy

The thing that I like about today's quote is that by pronouncing 'environ' in just the right way you can manage to get 'iron on' to work with the rhythm of the sentence (egad, I need to get out more). Not that I'm suggesting that Galsworthy spent much time considering the humble iron on...though somewhat surprisingly, as I always thought of them as something quintessentially 1970's, they were actually invented about 100 years, in theory at least, Galsworthy could have spent the odd moment pondering their beauty...just as I'm currently doing with these quaint, naive, muted examples from Sukie.



"Enlightenment must come little by little - otherwise it would overwhelm." - Idries Shah

When you're feeling rather grotty...especially on a Sunday...there's nothing like curling up in a corner and flicking through a few magazines in search of inspiration (for when you feel better and less interested in your "comfortable but crappy" sick wear). Inspiration, or so they say, comes in many forms...I just never expected one of those forms to be American Elle (and with Jennifer Aniston on the cover, no less).

Yet, there you go...styled by Camille Bidault-Waddington, "Age of Enlightenment" is all about the details...and what fascinating and appealing little details they are...



"'I think therefore I am' is the statement of an intellectual who underrates toothaches" - Milan Kundera

Another day...another set of apologies...this time because a raging case of toothache (multiple teeth...some of them must be sympathy pains...I just wish the little swines would choose another time to be sympathetic) a result of which I am finding it difficult to think...let alone come up with anything vaguely lucid in written form.Photobucket


"Everybody is happy in Switzerland." - Jakob Kolliker

Apologies upfront...this post is completely selfish...but I just found out that I'll be spending a few days in Geneva in the middle of September and (having never visited there before) am throwing myself on the mercy (and wisdom) of my readers.

Basically I'm looking for recommendations...inexpensive (yet good) restaurants...places to grab a quintessentially Swiss snack...great boutiques or "must see" places to visit (just so that everything isn't glutinous and food based).

Thanks for indulging me on this one...normal posting will resume shortly.


"It's no longer a warmth hidden in my veins: it's Venus entire and whole fastening on her prey." - Jean Baptiste Racine

Not to be over curmudgeonly and nit-picky (she said, before continuing and being just that) but...can anyone explain the point of a relatively heavy winter coat whose only fastening is one, meager little button? I ask because I keep coming across coats that are perfect...heavy wool...cozy lining...with all the bases covered in the winter warmth department...

Except, that is, for the measly fastening trying to contain all your body heat...wide open at the neck (hello chest cold!)...billowing out at the hem with even the slightest puff of wind...completely ignoring the practicalities of life...and the concept that if it’s cold enough to require a heavyweight coat it’s surely cold enough to want a coat that doesn’t gape open and let the cold roam freely about the person of the wearer...


(A) patch of green to arrest the monotony...

"The smallest patch of green to arrest the monotony of asphalt and concrete is as important to the value of real estate as streets, sewers and convenient shopping." - James Felt

I always find myself deeply attracted to the Balenciaga bags that aren't part of their normal arsenal of Works, Citys, Firsts, et al...the hybrids, the freaks, the bags that you rarely see and, when you do, are generally on sale because they don't fit the accepted criteria for a "B bag". Though it's currently full-priced (and rather expensively f-p'd at that) I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this retro futuristic jade number. a fascinating color...and not readily other words, bag nirvana.


"...a great variety of morbid symptoms appear" - Antonio Gramsci

"The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear."

A psychiatrist would probably see something deeply depressing in my fixation with skulls...but, really, can anything be truly depressing when it's covered in gold vermeil and is made by a company called Tylie Malibu (which I would like to think is the name of Barbie's prescription drug addicted neighbor but is, in fact, a California based bag and accessory company).

Oh dear, that Barbie comment would probably cause an analyst some anxiety as well...


"If someone wants a sheep, then that means that he exists" - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Fall is almost upon us...I know this not because I am "at one" with nature...but because I’ve started my annual battle against the inner demons compelling me to buy (yet another) chunky, over-sized, thick woolen sweater. This annual affliction has occurred since I was a teen...and, at this point, I have enough wool in my closet to re-fleece an entire herd of prematurely balding sheep...I need to step away from the edge (and the fleece).

Even if it's braided...and calling out to me like a lamb stuck in a ditch at two o'clock in the morning (ah, sweet memories of the two springs spent working on a friend's sheep farm).



"What the hell are they all looking for? A decent way to give it all over to the giver of it all, with thanks for the bother." - William Saroyan

It's rare (or, at least, it's seemed that way recently) to stumble across customer service that is kind/generous/thoughtful/helpful to the customer and not just another way to part them from the contents of their wallet...the kind of thing that changes you from a curmudgeonly old cynic (i.e. my normal genetic make-up) into someone who runs around discussing rainbows and the fact that the glass is, indeed, half full...

As I passed Store A yesterday I realized that I was almost out of Wondergoop Z (the only product that actually makes my hair actually look like hair and not straw)...once inside, however, I realized that "Z" was no where to be found. Aghast I stopped a passing sales assistant and was told that my beloved Wondergoop had been taken out of production. They suggested Goop L...I thanked them but explained that I had tried Goop L previously and found it unsuccessful. They asked me to wait a moment and disappeared through a doorway. They returned and said, "we have three bottle of "Z" in the back...they were testers...they've been opened...but they've hardly been used". I asked if I'd get them for a reduced price (my frugal Scottish blood rearing its head)...only to be told that, if I wanted them, there would be no charge.

What really shook my inner curmudgeon was that not only was I given three, full-size, mostly unused bottles of my beloved Wondergoop Z but (in a show of customer service above and beyond the call of duty) samples of various other conditioners and hair treatments. Forget "half full" glass might actually be overflowing...


"Deaf as Ulysses to the Siren's Song" - Lewis Theobald

A couple of days of vaguely Fall-like weather shouldn't induce giddiness...yet...oddly...they have. The siren's call (aka the morass of jackets, sweaters, and other layering pieces lurking in my closet) is strong...only my last vestige of common sense meant that I actually left the house in something lightweight...

Jacket - Heimstone, vintage t-shirt, dress - Anthropologie, lo-tops - Converse


How The British Upper Class Prepares Its Offspring For Life...

There's something very Sloane Ranger...Princess Diana (the early years when she gazed a chocolate box puppy...into the eyes of Prince Charles)...and spinster librarian about these loafers from Rachel Comey. And yet...they're also kind of cute...or am I still randomly fixated on the whole choccie/puppy thing?


Today's title is the sub-title of The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook...


The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg?

All this talk of cost per wear has dragged my mind over to Golden Goose...Italian designers of beautiful (but gulp inducingly expensive) rough luxe. At first glance it's hard to believe that the outfit below would leave you $3,795 plus tax less well off once you passed the cash register (do not pass Go, do not collect $200)...lest you blame it on the fur, even if you remove the fox vest from the equation you're still looking at $403 for a plaid cotton shirt...$510 for chinos...and $488 for some pre-distressed hi-tops.

The shirt and the hi-tops I can't even attempt to rationalize...a plaid shirt being, well, a plaid shirt...and my own well worn pair of Converse treating me just fine (thank you very much). The chinos on the other hand...I'm on the fence over...I can't help but admit that they're excessively priced for a pair of cotton pants...yet...there's something about the fit...slouchy and relaxed...yet crisp...which I know few lesser priced pants could attain. Once again, the c.p.w. conundrum leaves me reeling under the weight of "52 weeks...divided by 2...times 3" computations...



Keeps raining all the time...

Jacket - Phillip Lim, top - Dover Street Market, skirt - H&M, talon necklace - Erica Weiner, rubber riding boots


"Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees" - Rudyard Kipling

This is one of those random posts that really has nothing to do with anything I have previously managed to kill almost every plant I’ve ever owned I've nursed my tomato plant for several months now (daily watering, leaf plucking, moving into and out of the light as needed)...I feel an almost maternal pride at having actually assisted in the creation of a tomato. Of course, mothers don’t usually do what I did and eat their young...the upside of this cannibalism...junior was delicious.



"Math is like love -- a simple idea but it can get complicated." - unknown

I'm as guilty as anyone of throwing the old "cost per wear" rationalization out there anytime I feel the expensive purchase urge coming on...and I'll be the first to admit that the math doesn't always work...some items have made it out of the closet once, thereby having the worst c.p.w. ratio going. these chambray pants from Prada...get worn so often that I think I'm down to about fifty cents an outing. Logically...the math shouldn't have been right...pricy, pseudo-denim, vaguely 50's housewife, vaguely Humpty Dumpty pants are not "wardrobe staples"...yet I love them.

It kills my inner nerd but, like I said, sometimes the math doesn't work...sometimes you just have to let the intangibles take control...

Hat - Urban Outfitters, t-shirt - Blood Is The New Black, pants - Prada, moccasins - Minnetonka


"It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project." - Napoleon Hill

The following was so easy that I'm loathed to call it DIY...instead, let's just say it was a happy concatenation of circumstance which started when I stumbled across a vintage fanny pack...a sentence which I never thought I'd write as I loathe fanny packs...bum bags...any kind of bag that looks like a goiter on a belt. But, the f.p. in question was thin, structured, leopard printed ponyskin on the front, leather on the back and...most importantly, completely detachable from its belt.


Which left me free to track down some vintage brass chain...thread aforementioned chain through the belts loops on the back of the bag...and close the link with the pliers that have been sitting in our junk drawer, unused, for the past few years (self and any kind of home related DIY going together like oil and water).


The result is...a piece of the leopard love that I've been looking for...and another one of those bags that is inadequately small to use to carry the majority of things needed on a day-to-day basis. As a decorative, cross-body, extra pocket, though, it's perfect.



"...all monsters and dust..."

"The mind of a thoroughly well-informed man is a dreadful thing. It is like a bric-a-brac shop, all monsters and dust, with everything priced above its proper value." - Oscar Wilde

I constantly find myself attracted by fashion tsotchkes...the wearable equivalent of a figurine of Edinburgh Castle with Dayglo haggis romping around it...or a 2" high replica of Brussel's Manneken Pis...actually, in the interests of full disclosure, I did fall prey to the latter, and he is mock-urinating off our bookcase at this very moment...but I digress, back to the fashion tsotchke...because, while its tourist kitsch cousin may fall at the inexpensive end of the financial scale, the f.t. is usually horrifically over-priced (in the way that only something so completely useless and excessively ornamental can be).

The latest piece of f.t. to catch my attention...this Vivienne Westwood rosette...either (at least to my feverish mind) ode to the kind of political "Vote for me" ribbon that you could have imagined Margaret Thatcher wearing in her heyday...or a "Best in Show" award for one of Thelwell's punkier equestrians. The problem? The $75 price tag. Because, as is the concern with all tsotchkes, you let one past your make the purchase...and pretty soon you're buried beneath a pile of bric a brac..Photobucket


"Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail..."

"As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go? Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now." - the Bible

If this is summer, make it stop...excessively high humidity...monsoon-like rainstorms with accompanying crashes of thunder and lightening...and talk of hail later in the day...


T-shirt - Blood Is The New Black, dress - Anthropologie, rubber riding boots, vintage scorpion ring, watch - Hermes


"Even God cannot change the past." - Agathon

I'll say upfront that I realize that this post could be taken as a case of "pot calling kettle black"...but that's not my just comes from the amazement that I felt when I read on the Times' website that people were paying to have themselves airbrushed in their holiday pictures.

Because...although I fall back on Photoshop to try and rectify the color (as my photos never seem to accurately reflect the actual hue of the clothes) or to increase the exposure (in the hope of getting some detail from a sea of black) of the photos that I take and use here...I don't see the point in trying to make myself look thinner or giving myself bigger Popeye said, "I y'am what I y'am".

The thought of doing that (and a whole lot more) for vacation pictures just seems exhausting...and a little depressing.

And...nagging away in the back of my the fact that the pleasure that comes from looking at old grandmother surrounded by dalmatians on the beach...Mr. Heb and I in Paris...dumb shots of animals at the zoo...would be altered if I knew that everything had been passed through some kind of "beauty filter". Though we increasingly publicize all aspects of our life...on Twitter, or Facebook, or countless other sites...we shouldn't forget that the life that we're living is's real...and it's the only one we've got.


"...a small black and white relative of the lemming..."

"The vermine is a small black and white relative of the lemming, found in the cold Hublandish regions. Its skin is rare and highly valued, especially by the vermine itself; the selfish little bastard will do anything rather than let go of it." - Terry Pratchett

What "comes before a fall"...pride or Chloe boots? I ask because...having managed the inch or so of heel attached to my Russell & Bromley ankle boots...I am recklessly envisioning a future which includes Chloe's zipped and buckled beauties (and their three and a half inch or so heels). Realistically I know that after a few steps I'd topple over like a reluctant lemming going over a cliff...but I can't help but feel that, on the upside, I'd look pretty good as I went down...



"If at first you don't succeed, Mr. Kidd"..."Try, try again, Mr. Wint."

I know that I haven't talked about many lower priced pieces me, I was cursing the fact that everything that caught my eye was ruinously expensive too...then I found a little something on was shiny...unusual...and five dollars and fifty cents.

And...though it's technically a "sign of the zodiac" immediately brought to mind the scene in Diamonds Are Forever where Mr. Wint puts a scorpion down the back of the diamond smuggling South African dentist...takes Mr. Kidd's hand...and strolls off into the desert.

Yes...I watch too many Sean Connery movies...and yes...I am this pale in August. The seller that I got this from has several other zodiac rings for sale...including some that weren't listed when I bought mine (darn it, now I want the lion's head as well)...if you want a cheap thrill, take a look.



And now...a word from our sponsors...



"Pessimist: one who sizes himself up and gets sore about it" - unknown

As if the normal quirks associated with clothing sizing standards weren't enough I've discovered a new (and immensely irritating as it's so easy to solve) issue. When I ran into it the first time I muttered under my breath...when it happened again, I got mad. The problem? American stores that sell European clothing labeled as either a 1, 2, or 3...

Incident #1...

I visited the US boutique of a French clothing line...after "hello" the first words out of the sales assistant's mouth were part of a long (obviously pre-memorized) spiel going into great detail about why everything was labeled either a 1, 2, or 3...what that translated to...and (I'm pretty sure) injunctions not to panic over something so obviously insane as a piece of clothing labeled "1". Okay...I made up the last one...but I haven't received such detailed instructions about anything in a very long time. Even after explaining that I actually am European and have numerous articles of clothing that use this sizing method hanging in my closet I was treated like a size-challenged nincompoop. Needless to say, I left soon after...empty-handed.

Incident #2...

Happened yesterday. I had ordered Rika's Lou leopard blouse online...after being smitten by Rika's Fall/Winter lookbook...and, as you know, lusting after a little leopard. The sizes listed on the website were US and a note was made that the style ran "true to size". All well and good...until the blouse arrived. I'd ordered a size 8...I'd usually have bought a 6 but I wanted it slightly over-sized. What arrived was a European 3 (i.e. a US 10)...and a massively large 3 at that...had they listed it as 1, 2, 3 I would have ordered my normal size, a 2. Needless to say, the shirt is being returned...not exchanged, as I wasn't massively keen on the quality of the fabric.

I can't help but wonder though why US stores treat the Euro 1, 2, 3 this way. So many labels size in this manner...consumers are becoming more, not less, savvy...why treat them like idiots? In the two scenarios above both issues were related to information...way too much in #1...and too little in #2. I don't want to sound like Goldilocks but surely there's a way of getting it "just right".


"I'm thinking balls are to men what purses are to women. It's just a little bag, but we feel naked in public without it." - Carrie, Sex and the City

I think I'm attracted to this necklace-bag hybrid for its practical impracticality (well, that and the abundance of embellishment...oh, that delicate fringe of chains hanging from it)...but, egad, the random flood of thoughts it's released inside my head...because I know that it's too small to hold more than some folded currency and a key...and even if I could ram anything else in there it would spoil the lines and concuss me if I tried to run...yet I virtually never leave the house with so little (even if I wanted to, I need two keys to get back in) I would only ever wear it as an over-sized necklace...but it's a lot more interesting than the majority of necklaces out there...and so it goes on...

Perhaps the easiest thing is to try a DIY version...or a tranquilizer...



Pattern language


Striped t-shirt - American Apparel, embroidered top - Max Studio, skirt - Acne, flats - Jones the Bootmaker


"There is only one basic human right..."

"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." - unknown

In general I find it difficult to go into raptures about "basics"...rationally I know that they're necessary...but, by definition, they're generally not terribly exciting and after buying them I'm left with a dissatisfied feeling (like buying milk instead of champagne, you know it's on the weekly grocery list but you'd rather save your pennies for a bottle of fizz). However, Acne's Sprait top counts as a basic that I can get excited about...a t-shirt-sweater-anti-twin-set in cashmere and with a nice mix of textures.

And, music to the ears of a basics cheapskate like myself, I managed to track it down online for 70% off. I've said it before (and, gosh darn it, I'll say it again)...if you find something you love, do yourself a favor and take ten minutes and search for it on Google to see who has the best price...I found the Sprait top on sale in several online stores...but the discounts ranged from 30-50%...which just wasn't enough (in my mind) to seal the deal...70% though was, basically, perfect.



I keep on knocking...

Knock knock
Who's there?
Orange who?
Orange you going to open the door?


Top - Hazel & Jaloux, plaid skirt - Zucca, flats - Chloe


"I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love." - M. Monroe

As my consumerism tends to swerve between "being good" and "being bad" I should probably just invest in these angel and devil shoulder pins. Perhaps a literal reminder may help me to be "good" more often...even if they don't work, how often do you get the chance to wear shoulder jewelry?



“The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot” - Salvador Dali

Last week was rather it wasn’t until the weekend that I had the chance to sit down and mull over Gold Sphere’s comment on my tweed versus leopard coat post..."you already have a great leopard coat", she wrote...and, I have to admit, I do...vintage, 1980's, voluminous, plush, Emporio amazing combination of cute and utilitarian in sub-zero windchills.

But...irrationally...even though I own the aforementioned didn't fit my current ideal (slim, printed or very little nap, femme fatale)...and was therefore passed over in my thinking. Realistically I knew it existed...I just didn't want to admit the fact to myself. Which is why GS's comment struck such a cord...there's always that elusive search for something that is close to what you own, yet slightly different. I suppose it's why some people end up with fifty pairs of jeans...or dozens of almost-identical t-shirts...or, in my case, a little bit of everything. There's the hunt for perfection...and there's the "I'll buy it now because it's close to what I want"...and much as I try to aim for the former I generally find myself veering wildly, like a drunk driver, towards the latter.

I'm getting better...thanks, in part, to taking the time to write own my wants, needs, and desires in this blog...but it's obviously something that is, you could say, a work in progress. Which means the leopard (a new leopard) has been removed from the coat wish list...and "something leopard" has been added to my clothing/accessories wish example of identifying the want...but buying it in a form that isn't currently lurking in my closet.


Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Seven Deadly Sins - Avarice


"In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed" - Darwin

By this point you've probably picked up on the fact that I have a slight addiction to Liberty florals...and, it's also likely that you've been bludgeoned to the point of insensibility by my (sadly much more inexpensive) love of Hermè you can image the glee with which I danced round my apartment when I heard of a collaboration between the two...Photobucket

If I was in London I'd probably camp out at the temporary boutique that Hermès is setting up in Liberty's scarf department...the lure of the design (an over-sized dressing up box)...the activities (providing the opportunity to amp up your scarf tying skills)...and, most importantly, the limited edition Tana Lawn scarves emblazoned with Hermès' Ex Libris logo...would be too much for me.

Sadly I don't have any plans to be in London on September 6th (when the boutique opens)...or at any point during its six week run...which means I have to put my trust in the internet Gods and hope that I can satiate two of my addictions online.



"Sure, you'll be a sham wife, but you'll be the envy of every other sham wife in town!" - Troy McClure

A fair number of disturbing, PR-related, missives hit my inbox...but the "dear God, why did you send this to me?" award has been won by an invitation to a 'Cocktail Party Shopping Event' entitled "How to Dress to Land a Millionaire". Few things have depressed me more than the news that, for three hours at Sak's Manhattan outpost, I could focus on "fun, fashion, and flirtation" and learn how to "develop a fabulous wardrobe day to night...the qualities millionaires look for in their to further develop (my) package".

I've never been so scared in my life. I know times are tough but is this really what we've been reduced to..."packaging" ourselves in a dubious attempt to marry money?

Personally I have a feeling that Saks may be the only ones coming out of this any financially better off...thanks to the $50 entry fee and hypothetical clothing sales during the millionaire-cocktail induced frenzy...though the information that 10% of the proceeds will be donated to Dress for Success suggests that someone has a sense of irony.


"Like all New York hotel lady cashiers she had red hair and had been disappointed in her first husband." - Al Capp

I'm going to venture into complete impracticality here...because, for someone who always manages to lug round twenty or thirty utterly unnecessary items in her handbag on a daily basis, a hard-sided envelope bag is about as impractical as you can get...but when the bag in question is made from shiny red lipstick-hued leather and suede...and comes with its own mirror and wallet nestled inside...and conjures up images of elegant femme fatales of days gone by...a girl can dream.



A broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew, And the Yellow God forever gazes down...

There's a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu, There's a little marble cross below the town; There's a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew, And the Yellow God forever gazes down.

He was known as "Mad Carew" by the subs at Khatmandu, He was hotter than they felt inclined to tell; But for all his foolish pranks, he was worshipped in the ranks, And the Colonel's daughter smiled on him as well.

He had loved her all along, with a passion of the strong, The fact that she loved him was plain to all. She was nearly twenty-one and arrangements had begun To celebrate her birthday with a ball.

He wrote to ask what present she would like from Mad Carew; They met next day as he dismissed a squad; And jestingly she told him then that nothing else would do But the green eye of the little Yellow God.

On the night before the dance, Mad Carew seemed in a trance, And they chaffed him as they puffed at their cigars: But for once he failed to smile, and he sat alone awhile, Then went out into the night beneath the stars.

He returned before the dawn, with his shirt and tunic torn, And a gash across his temple dripping red; He was patched up right away, and he slept through all the day, And the Colonel's daughter watched beside his bed.

He woke at last and asked if they could send his tunic through; She brought it, and he thanked her with a nod; He bade her search the pocket saying "That's from Mad Carew," And she found the little green eye of the god.

She upbraided poor Carew in the way that women do, Though both her eyes were strangely hot and wet; But she wouldn't take the stone and Mad Carew was left alone With the jewel that he'd chanced his life to get.

When the ball was at its height, on that still and tropic night, She thought of him and hurried to his room; As she crossed the barrack square she could hear the dreamy air Of a waltz tune softly stealing thro' the gloom.

His door was open wide, with silver moonlight shining through; The place was wet and slipp'ry where she trod; An ugly knife lay buried in the heart of Mad Carew, 'Twas the "Vengeance of the Little Yellow God."

There's a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu, There's a little marble cross below the town; There's a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew, And the Yellow God forever gazes down.

- J Milton Hayes


Shirt - APC, skirt - Isabel Marant, ankle boots - Russell & Bromley, 1930's bakelite buddha necklace


"Accept that some days you are the pigeon and some days the statue." - Dilbert

I have a feeling that I may be in the minority when it comes to my enthusiasm for these images from Aquascutum's Fall/Winter ad campaign...because, it has to be faced, anything that has the nickname "rat of the skies" is not destined for mass popularity. And of course...there's the side issue...if my vacation photos are anything to go by...that people get a tad squeamish when they see a pigeon on your head.

For me though, these pictures serve a dual purpose...allowing me to both covet the trench...and reminisce about pleasant times spent feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square...before the bureaucrats banned it.



“If I had as many love affairs as you have given me credit for, I'd now be speaking to you from a jar at the Harvard Medical School.” - Frank Sinatra

When you think about it, discussions on 'age appropriate dressing' tend to be one-sided...focusing on mini-skirts, low-cut tops, and lycra...otherwise known as the key components of the bad girl school of dressing (you know, the popular one who cut class and smoked behind the bike sheds). You rarely hear anything about the pieces that scream actual school this color-blocked cardigan from J Crew...a cardigan that I like...but which does kindle a few playground related memories.

What causes this lack of parity in the mutton dressed as lamb stakes? Or is "virtuous and scholarly"...oh, alright, and just a little acceptable dress code for any age group?



“A bad compromise is better than a successful suit” - Spanish proverb

You can always tell when someone isn't forced to wear a suit on a regular basis...they're the ones who actually enjoy wearing them on the rare instance that they choose to do so. Not that this is a suit...more a non-suit...a jacket and pants united by a color and a lack of limb coverage...

Jacket - See by Chloe, ribbon top - United Bamboo, pants - Prada, glitter flats - Me Too


“We must cut our coat according to our cloth, and adapt ourselves to changing circumstances” - W. R. Inge

A pre-Fall battle is currently being waged between the two sides of my shopping personality...which, for the sake of this discussion, we'll call the practical and the "ooh, is that something shiny over there?"...

Practical is discussing the merits of tweed...a very practical choice. Of course, if p. was being truly practical she'd point out that I don't really need a new winter coat at all...but there are levels of practicality and you have to be realistic about these she bowed to the inevitable and started talking about tweed.

Her more whimsical alter ego, on the other hand, is pushing for something in a leopard...not the plush, faux fur kind...more the flattened pile of a vintage find...or a print.

The lines have been drawn in the sand...let the battle commence...


Tweed coat - Acne, vintage leopard trench


“All cases are unique and very similar to others.” - T.S. Eliot

This bag struck me as very "vintage Prada"...except that it's "new Anthropologie" and, more importantly, 50% off. Of course, I'm not in the market for a tote right now...which tends to be the way of such generally find what you're not actually looking for...Photobucket


“Airplane travel is nature's way of making you look like your passport photo.” - Al Gore

Not traveling...just thinking about travel...thanks to the airplanes on my bag. Travel sickness confirmed when a silk-screened plane gives you wanderlust...


T-shirt - Strand Bookstore, NY, skirt - Alice Ritter, bag - APC Madras, rope bracelet - Club Monaco, lo-tops - Converse


"Mama keeps whites bright like the sunlight, Mama's got the magic of Clorox 2." - Ellen DeGeneres

Much as I love outfits one and two in the video...the simplicity of the first...the girliness of the second...I was left pondering one of life's little questions. How does anyone keep white ankle socks so blindingly white...especially when worn with open they wander the wet, dirty, summer streets?


“The dark-veiled silhouette that solitary form patrolling without visible strain or vainglory a demented dreamland of fearful potential.” - K Hulme

When I was a child...and, for some inexplicable reason, had a much better profile than I currently mother took me to a local department store where a very nice lady cut my silhouette, Victorian-style, out of black craft paper. I'm not sure why the store was offering this somewhat unique service...or why my mother decided that the rather funereal outcome was the perfect way to record my childhood (most people at the time, after all, being perfectly happy with a Polaroid)...but she did...and because I can look at them and reminisce about pudding bowl haircuts, thin turtlenecks, and retrousse nosed profiles I'm rather glad.Photobucket

And, after stumbling across Daydream Nation's silhouette brooch, I can't help thinking how fun it would be to translate my paper memories into something a little shinier.


"Real life is, to most men, a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible" - Bertrand Russell

A certain blurring of the lines is taking place this a back room someplace...the advertising boffins noticed all the blogs and streetstyle websites...and little lightbulbs went on over their heads...while not a ‘Eureka!’ moment I’m sure one or two cries of ‘Eek!’ were heard.

How else to explain the current fascination with advertising featuring either “real people” Anthropologie’s latest catalog...shot on “r.p.”s in Paris, London, and New York...or the DKNY Jeans ads photographed by The Sartorialist...featuring models but shot a la streetstyle?

The thing is, while I'm happy for the "real people" involved in this, I can't help but feel that I'm being patted on the head and given a piece of candy by Uncle Addy. They're jumping on a this case, our shiny red bandwagon...and I don't think I like it. Perhaps I'm in the minority but, personally, I'm neither more nor less likely to buy something because the model is "real"...I'd rather look at the products...weigh up their quality and how they'll work in my wardrobe...and leave the "real" looks on "real" people where they the "real" world...every outfit uniquely belonging to the individual...not just another contrived, formulaic, advertising mechanism.


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