Every spring, I try to give my wardrobe a good edit: culling pieces that I no longer wear, and considering additions that will seamlessly fit into the rotation. I look for items that are polished and city-appropriate but comfortable enough to spend the day walking and Tube riding, not to mention sturdy enough to withstand the not-forecast-but-hey-it’s-a-quick-rainshower London weather. Here are the pieces that made my shopping list for spring 2014:
- Céline Edge Bag File this one under “Not Needed but Definitely Wanted”. I have a handbag problem, and thus find it hard to simply browse Céline handbags. The Edge bag has been tempting me for a while, and now that it comes in a smaller size — and the color gray! — I was a goner. A pricey indulgence, but it gives any outfit I’m wearing an instant upgrade.
- Coach Soft Wallet in Saffiano I’ve decided that I need two wallets for my life to proceed smoothly when moving between the UK and the US — carrying around “everything” seems like a recipe for disaster in my book. Once I bought the Edge bag, I started the hunt for a wallet to hold my UK credit cards and cash. I spotted this Soft Wallet while browsing the Coach store on Bond Street. It’s the perfect size to store the necessities, but of course I had to go and fall in love with the peach/rose color, which at this point is not available in London. I am still on the case.*** Wish me luck.
- Kjaer Weis blush in ‘Desired Glow’ I am a convert to cream blush — it looks like you’re glowing from within instead of reading “makeup”. Kjaer Weis’ formulations are a dream, and they’re even easier to apply now that I’ve learned how to “pat on”. I think ‘Desired Glow’ will be the perfect addition to my makeup wardrobe: a subtle but healthy flush of color (like on this gorgeous model**) works for me.
- Diptyque Eau Rose Hand Emulsion I seem to go through hand cream by the vat since moving to London. Diptyque’s version smells ever so lightly of roses, and is small enough to toss in your coat pocket.
- Citizens of Humanity ‘Emerson’ Slim Fit Boyfriend Jean in Crosby I’m a boyfriend jeans kind of girl, and I’ve come to rely on Citizens, for their reliable cut (slouchy but not sloppy) as well as their super soft denims, like the the new-for-spring “Premium Vintage” washes. I came across Citizen’s Emerson jean while checking out the Selfridges denim department, and it was love at first try-on. The jeans prices in London are crazy $$$/£££: couldn’t wait this time, but will definitely be stocking up next time I’m “home”.
- Birkenstock ‘Arizona’ Sandal in Birko Flor Basalt This pick feels rather “fashion victim”, but I figure the combination of comfortable sandals + being on trend is a win-win. Let’s blame Phoebe Philo for this one, and cheer for happy feet this summer.
- JW Anderson Silk Canvas Reverse Seam Skirt The raw-edged hem takes a relatively conservative skirt and gives it a bit of edge. The seaming tones down the volume that usually comes with pleats. (Also good.) And it’s black. Perfect.
image credits: 1. purseforum.com (a really great resource for the handbag obsessed) 2. coach.com 3. kjaerweis.com 4. diptyque.com 5. oliverclothing.com 6. birkenstock.co.uk 7. theline.com
** The team at Kjaer Weis posted this photo to Instagram a few weeks back and I went bananas for the model’s über healthy makeup. They kindly passed it along for me to pin and share with you.
*** Update: Since writing this post, I have taken myself off the case. I have emailed and tweeted Coach, in hopes that someone — anyone! — would be able to tell me if this wallet style/color was coming to London’s Bond Street Coach store so that I could purchase it. The only relevant response I’ve received has been a suggestion to write a letter (so very 20th century!) to Coach, attn: International. And if you think that is an effective means of communication in 2014, you’re much less cynical than I am. My follow-up email went unanswered. (Validation for my cynicism!) Though I typically do not write about negative experiences, I must say this experience left me feeling very disenchanted with the brand.
Chic simple looks from Finnish design studio Samuji seem sweetly innocent. Loving the fall collection, viewable at Style.com.
image credits: samuji courtesy photos for style.com
Fitness for me is not a case of “Look better by bikini season!” or “Drop 5 pounds over the weekend!” — you know, the typical magazine come ons. It’s also not the New Year’s Resolution of Radical Transformation. (Which is why I’m posting this in March instead of January.) Rather, my goal is to be healthy, have my clothes fit well, and minimize the “wobbly bits”. I love that Britishism, as it aptly summarizes the body woes of aging.
For eons, my routine was simple: running 3x a week coupled with a Wednesday Pilates session. Since moving, I’ve tweaked my routine, cutting the running back to 1x a week (I walk a lot) and focusing more on toning + arms work. (Those darn wobbly bits.) I like to work out at home, but get bored quickly, so I’m constantly improvising, adding and deleting to suit my mood**. The following is my routine-of-the-moment:
- Fitbit Flex since Christmas, I’ve been wearing a black Flex on my wrist. Fitbit + its companion app do a nice job of tracking the basics: steps per day, sleep habits, as well as water consumption. It makes for a great reality check and also motivates me to get up and move on those days when I seem tied to the computer.
- Body By Simone a friend recently suggested I check out BBS TV, the online workout site developed by trainer Simone de la Rue (who is reportedly responsible for keeping Sandra Bullock in enviable shape). The dance-influenced workout choices include toning (using light weights and a Pilates ball) and surprisingly easy-to-learn dance cardio. I would love to visit the NYC studio and try my hand at Dance Cardio in person with room to move. In the meantime, BBS TV is a solid at-home option, and the Body By Simone book, pictured above, should be out shortly.
- Ballet most of my fitness tips can be done from the comfort of your living room. For exercise with a social interaction component, I signed up for an adult beginner ballet course in January at a local community center. Ballet is a deceptively tough workout — I always feel it the next day — and has the added benefits of better posture and a soundtrack of classical music that soothes the mind while you work the body.
- PopSugar Fitness FitSugar is a veritable gold mine of free, 10 minute workouts from a wide variety of of-the-moment trainers. New videos are constantly added: boredom be gone! At the moment, I’m addicted to this Tracy Mallett lower-body workout. Killer.
- Barre3 want options for 10, 30, 40 and 60 minute workout? An online subscription to Sadie Lincoln’s Barre3 video library gets you access to a deep library of toning workouts — rooted in ballet, yoga, and Pilates — devised to strengthen, lengthen and tone. The instructors’ cues are clear and modifications are suggested when needed: Barre3 stresses the importance of knowing your own body and working out at a level that feels good for you. I never thought that moving an inch (Barre3’s signature move) could be so effective.
** in fact, i’m already eyeing essentrics as the next workout to add to the rotation.
image credits: 1. fitbit.com 2. amazon.com 3. bloch zenith shoes from zappos.com 4. fitsugar.com 5. barre3.com
excerpt from ‘bakery’
As a fan of B Magazine, a Korean publication that takes an in-depth look at a single brand with each issue (don’t miss issue 16, focused on Aesop), I was elated to see they’ve now launched B Paper, which expands the focus to a product category. The first issues cover the gamut of my interests, from bakeries to bookstores to bottled water. (And the March issue is all about shoes!) All gorgeously photographed, naturally. You can see more at the B Paper website: hopefully, tracking down copies won’t be too onerous. (Reference Shop is a great resource, but the site and currency is Korean.)
images from paper-b.kr
Every season, I stumble across a new-to-me utilitarian luxe® designer that I immediately fall in love with. For fall 2014, that designer is Anteprima. Based in Hong Kong and Milan, Izumi Ogino designs for a woman of all seasons: intelligent, confident, feminine and joyful. (And if that doesn’t sum up what I’m trying to achieve via fashion, I don’t know what does.) The fall collection is sophisticated, slouchy but not sloppy, and ever so artfully glamorous. Of course, my obsession comes at a price: it’s near-impossible to find in the States*, but as Leanne Palmer from Portland shop Quotidienne was my entrée to the brand, here’s hoping that changes soon. See the complete collection at StyleBistro.
look 32: is this not perfection?
look 35: cozy glam
* the closest location at the moment (for me) is italy with shops at corso como/milan as well as rome.
image credits: imaxtree photos for stylebistro.com