14 August 2013, 12:33
You probably know by now that I’m a little bit obsessed with Kate Spade. From their handbags to their t-shirts to their two-piece suits, I can’t get enough of their quirky — but grown-up — style.
So I almost did a back-handspring of delight in February, when I saw their collaboration with Darcel. I made a Vine (geez, remember Vine?!) of the presentation and tried not to swoon onto a total stranger.
Now the collection is dribbling into stores and it’s even cuter than I remembered. Best of all, it has a major NYC theme. Talk about knowing the way to my heart!
After much deliberation and back-and-forth, I have decided that these are the 10 pieces I absolutely must have or I will die a grisly death. They are definitely easing my angst re: the briskly-approaching fall.
Without further ado…
KSNY x Darcel Pretzel Belt. Let’s begin here, because I never knew I needed (needed) a belt with a pretzel on it until I saw this glorious cincher. You know, I don’t even eat pretzels, and I find the whole thing bizarre and unappealing. But for some curious reason, a pretzel belt is just… perfect. Sublime in its silliness. If you want to buy me something for my birthday, this would be top of my list. (Just saying.)
KSNY x Darcel Donut Bangle. Other things I don’t eat? Donuts. But a donut bangle?! It’s so wrong it’s right. It makes me think of The Simpsons, which I was obsessed with as a child, and we already know that I can’t resist anything pink or covered in sprinkles. Conclusion? I just gotta have this swinging from my wrist.
KSNY x Darcel Hot Dog Coin Purse. Pretzels, hot dogs, the Empire State Building, yellow cabs and Notorious B.I.G… These are true New York icons. Pretzels and hot dogs are mostly sold via little carts on street corners, offering a quick and inexpensive snack for the famished femme. Dodgy? Yes. Delicious? Also, yes. Switch out the real thing for this coin purse and you probably won’t get food poisoning. Bonus!
Go Taxi Flats. Did someone say “yellow cab”?! I am practically allergic to flats, but I would make an exception for these. They are hilarious and adorable!
Bow Terrace Small Fulton. I don’t know about you, but I can never really have too many pink bags. They go with everything in my wardrobe, and of course you need a pink bag for every occasion: a quick dash across town, an oversized version which holds a camera, an overnight bag, a suitcase… You know, the list just goes on and on. I fancy the hell out of the Bow Terrace Small Fulton: it’s simple and chic but sassy and fun. It doesn’t get better than that.
Far From The Tree Resin Apple Bag. No New York-themed collection would be complete without something apple-shaped, and so, this glorious, PINK apple bag fills the gap nicely. Shockingly small? Why, yes. I don’t even know if it would hold your phone. But it’s a fantastic novelty clutch for spontaneous nights out… And quite kawaii meets Gossip Girl, n’est-ce pas?
Twist And Shout Hinge Bangle. Why is this so alluring?! I have no idea. This pretzel bangle inspires me to mix metals in a major way, and add some food-themed pieces to my collection of arm candy.
KSNY x Darcel Donut Coin Purse. If you can’t quite get enough of donut-mania, and a bangle doesn’t really fit your aesthetic, it’s okay. Kate has you covered with this donut-shaped coin purse. If loving this is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.
KSNY x Darcel Hot Dog Earrings. Want to prove your devotion to junk food but not totally shove it in peoples’ faces? Then these hot dog earrings are perfect. They’re subtle but still surreal. I mean, you could have little snacks dangling from your earlobes! These might be the weirdest things Kate Spade have ever produced… And I back it.
Gooey Flats. OKAY. These are unabashedly fantastic. Channel your inner Homer and get up close and personal with these babies. As the great man himself says, “Life is like a box of donuts… Mmm, donuts…”
Wait… I’m already at ten?! Okay, well, you can’t stop me… I have to shout about the fact that I’m also quite in love with the Shelley top (a shirt covered in NY icons? Who could say no?!), and the Coreen skirt. (It was my favourite thing at the presentation, and the thrill has certainly not worn off!)
Sigh. There’s so much to love!
Dreaming of gooey accessories,
11 March 2013, 13:19
Just shopping at Bergdorfs… !
Witches are having a pop culture moment. From dark clothes on the runway to mysterious editorials and a slew of new fairytale films, the witch has replaced the vampire as the new icon of power and fantasy. (Hey, if the New York Times says it, it must be true!)
We’re being encouraged to embrace a spookier side of life, and even though there are fresh green shoots emerging from the dirt, I still want to spend my time anointing candles, pulling cards and lighting incense.
Witches get a bad rap. Far from devouring children (à la Hansel and Gretel), modern witches celebrate the divine in their own way. For more information, check out my interview with two wonderful women: I’m A Witch!
Either way, here’s my very stylised take on the whole phenomenon…
“The witch is the ultimate bad girl. You want to be her.”
A modern witch would wear a white lace dress with supersonic leggings, white moto boots and a wired crystal pendant around her neck. She would enchant in a harness-back maxi dress and t-strap wedge sandals. She wouldn’t go out in public without a pair of oversized cat eye sunglasses and a skeleton hand collar. She would stash her treasures in a studded tote bag, and at night she’d go dancing in a pair of striped platform sneakers.
A modern witch always has her divination tools within arms reach. My new favourite set of cards is The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck, a gorgeous illustrated deck which has a guidebook that I’d highly recommend if you’re new to reading the cards. In an ideal world, you wrap your cards in silk and put them in a little bag, but this leather tarot card pouch is fantastic!
A modern witch is always thinking about the stories we tell with our hands. Fingernail rings, knuckle rings, chunky cocktail rings and engagement rings all have their own narrative. They are part of our make-up, an essential piece of costume. A modern witch selects her rings with care every morning, and slides them onto her fingers: elvish twig rings which stack magnificently, rune rings and a Lily Dale spiritualist ring all take pride of place on her hands.
Her jewellery box is full of sparkly gems and unusual finds. A cobra ring in diamond, ruby, black rhodium and 18k gold sits alongside an amazonite pendulum and a crystal point necklace. She scours flea markets and antique shops for anything that catches her eye.
A modern witch embraces symbols and talismans. She adorns herself with charms and amulets to protect her from the evil eye: a little diamond ring, or a necklace from Max and Chloe. Her martlet and heart necklace guarantees good news. She wears a bracelet showing the phases of the moon...
A modern witch has a well-stocked library. All of these books are excellent, and give a friendly introduction to what modern witchcraft is all about: Confessions of a Teenage Witch: Celebrating the Wiccan Life / A Witch Alone: The Essential Guide for the Solo Practitioner of the Magical Arts / Llewellyn’s 2013 Witches’ Datebook / Llewellyn’s 2013 Magical Almanac: Practical Magic for Everyday Living / Grimoire for the Green Witch: A Complete Book of Shadows / Practical Protection Magick: Guarding & Reclaiming Your Power / Llewellyn’s Complete Formulary of Magical Oils / Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery: Everyday Magic, Spells, and Recipes / Magical Housekeeping: Simple Charms and Practical Tips for Creating a Harmonious Home / Llewellyn’s 2013 Witches’ Companion: An Almanac for Contemporary Living
...But most of all, a modern witch knows that the magic comes from within. She knows that she contains all the power, guidance and courage she’ll ever need. She loves boldly and she is never ashamed of who she is.
13 August 2012, 11:52
Note: This post was first written in January of 2007! I’ve added to it because I am extremely excited about the release of Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, which will be in cinemas starting September 21st, 2012!
When people ask me who I am inspired by, one of the very first names off the tip of my tongue is Diana Vreeland. She isn’t known to everyone, & she was no great beauty, but then, fame & good looks aren’t everything!
Diana Vreeland was an incredible woman. Born in 1903 in Paris, she spent most of her life in New York & rose to acclaim for her work as fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar & then at Vogue. Later in life, she did a tremendous amount of work for the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Flitting from Paris to London & all over the place, her husband’s job caused them to move to New York City in 1937, & she lived there until her death in 1989.
She was brilliant, & of course, that also means she was a little bit nuts. She pronounced her name not as “Diana” but “Dee-Ann”, & loved to invent words, including “pizazz” & “faction” (a combination of fact & fiction)! She obsessively searched for the perfect red, & wore hair blue-black hair slicked back with lacquer. She believed that a “good hairline” was a hallmark of elegance.
Diana was not a flashy dresser. She appreciated quality & described her ideal outfit thusly: “I’d like to have on the most luxurious cashmere sweater; the most luxurious satin pants, very beautiful stockings, very beautiful shoes — marvelous — & whatever would be suitable around the neck.”
She spent her mornings in bed, dictating & making notes, & usually showed up at the magazine around noon. Diana is the woman who popularised animal print — when a young Yves St Laurent showcased them in an early collection, she was the one who pushed them to the public.
There is so much to love in this photo! The turban with crystal stars, that looooong cigarette holder, the perfectly-manicured hands & chunky rings… It’s too divine!
“I’m terrible on facts. But I always have an idea. If you have an idea, you’re well ahead!” (Diana Vreeland)
Diana wrote a fantastic column for Harper’s Bazaar called “Why Don’t You…?” which offered creative — & not necessarily practical — ideas for its readers. Some of my favourite suggestions are:
Why Don’t You… wear violet velvet mittens with everything?
Why Don’t You… fit your clothes easily? Only English & Americans have this mania for snappy tightness.
Why Don’t You… have an elk-hide trunk for the back of your car? Hermès of Paris will make this.
Why Don’t You… have your cigarettes stamped with a personal insignia?
Why Don’t You… wear, like the Duchess of Kent, three enormous diamond stars arranged in your hair in front?
Why Don’t You… paint a map of the world on all four walls of your boys’ nursery so they won’t grow up with a provincial point of view?
“Vogue always did stand for people’s lives. I mean, a new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life you’re living in the dress, & the sort of life you had lived before, & what you will do in it later.” (Diana Vreeland)
Diana styled her environment just as much as the pages of her magazines. From her flaming red living room to her royal blue floral bedroom to her office which was absolutely covered in pictures, they were all an example of her larger-than-life sense of style.
This is what her living room looked like. When she was having it designed, she told a friend, “I want this room to be a garden — but a garden in hell.”
Bettina Ballard said Diana’s living room was “one of the most attractive atmospheres that I know,” comparing it to “an over-crowded Turkish seraglio on a rather elegant boat.” Books, bibelots, calculated clutter, personal pictures (among them, sketches by Augustus John, Bébé Bérard, & Cecil Beaton of herself), & “treasures, many Scotch snuffboxes in horn & silver, are massed on tables, walls, & shelves looking as if one could never get around to seeing them all. A long-stemmed anemone stands in a long-stemmed vase. There are oriental divans against the wall covered with inviting cushions, & she dines at a table pushed against a divan with bright cushions propped behind her back. She presides on a big Indian print-covered sofa like a sultan’s favourite, before & after dinner, with everyone gathered on small chairs at her feet. She lives in an atmosphere of informal luxury confined in crowded quarters, in an aura of intimacy & mystery.”
I absolutely ADORE this photo of Diana in her Harper’s Bazaar office! The best thing is you can barely see her, but for the enormous plume of smoke.
“You gotta have style. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it you’re nobody.” (Diana Vreeland)
She loved to collect old snuffboxes & various treasures.
“For years I am & always have been looking out for girls to idealize because they are things to look up to, because they are perfect,” she wrote in her diary. But since she had never discovered “that girl or that woman,” she announced, “I shall be that girl.” (Diana Vreeland — source)
Rock that pom-pom trim!
What I wouldn’t give for a late-night dinner party with this woman…
“Never worry about the facts. Just project an image to the public.” (Diana Vreeland)
“The idea of beauty was changing,” she said. “If you had a bump on your nose, it made no difference so long as you had a marvelous body & good carriage. You held your head high, & you were a beauty… You knew how to water-ski, & how to take a jet plane fast in the morning, arrive anywhere, & be anyone when you got off.” (Diana Vreeland, on the 1960s)
“Don’t look back. Just go ahead. Give ideas away. Under every idea there’s a new idea waiting to be born.” (Diana Vreeland)
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel comes out September 21st, 2012.
“Give ‘em what they never knew they wanted!” (Diana Vreeland)
Part of the reason I find Diana Vreeland so inspiring is that she was such an original. Her sense of personal style was strong & she did exactly as she pleased. I really admire anyone who puts themselves out there, without censorship or fear of rebuke. She had many cruel things written about her: journalists mocked her starry-eyed “Why Don’t You…?” column & passed judgment on her appearance, but that doesn’t matter anymore.
Being a critic is easy, but Diana changed the course of fashion forever.
20 February 2012, 13:05
Every year (or thereabouts) I write up a little style direction piece for myself. It helps me to get really clear on my aesthetic & how I want to dress. In fact, I bookmark my style direction articles on my phone so that when I’m out & about, I can revisit them! It’s so easy to get overwhelmed & confused when you walk into a store, so getting really clear on what you want to wear & how you want to look can be a total godsend!
With my new inky black locks, I’m totally ready for a different look & a few changes! Here’s where I’m heading this year…
Day Tripping Darling is a violent & vibrant mingling for a thoroughly modern minx. Inspired by the recent collections shown by Betsey Johnson & Kate Spade, Day Tripping Darling is a celebration of eccentric girls. We’re not afraid to jumble up prints or wear pink with orange, & we firmly believe that the higher the heel, the closer to god. We are ladies with punk rock hearts.
Colours are bright & punchy, anchored by classic black & white. Hot, hot pink, day-glo orange, sunshine yellow, amethyst purple, emerald green & peacock blue all dance the Charleston on this stage. Patterns boldly rub shoulders: stripes, polka-dots, leopard, florals & brocades. We pair purple & green, paisley with stripes, & wear popping pink lip gloss.
Day Tripping Darling is not shy or coy — it is big & brash. Pastel colours have no place here, this is not a nursery! We wear huge striped sun-hats & oversized sunglasses; our shoes leave a trail of glitter in our wake…
Texture is big big big. (Always!) Wear an ostrich feather skirt with a simple cotton t-shirt & a leather motorcycle jacket. Mix sequins & candy-coloured patent leather. Pair a rough-cut citrine crystal necklace with an orange neoprene skirt. Do something unexpected, be a surprise!
Stock up on belts: skinny, thick, patent leather, bows, & crystal-studded. The focus is still on the waist, but skirt-lengths have shortened from the 1950’s mid-calf to the 1960’s mini. You don’t have to go ultra-short if you’d prefer not to show off your gams, but keep it above the knee. (Anything is more flattering than a mid-calf length skirt!) If you buy a dress from the 50s, take it to a tailor & have them hem it to just above the knee. I promise it will look so much more cute, not to mention modern!
To really embrace the 60s mod look, cut a blunt bang/fringe & flat-iron your hair. Use a good highlighter underneath your eyebrow, & open up your eye by using a flesh-coloured pencil along your waterline. Don’t forget a pair of fabulous false lashes! These retro 60s & Raquel Welch-esque make-up tutorials are gorgeous, too!
Details, of course, are of utmost importance. Paint your nails with holographic glitter or black & white stripes. Get your hands on a brightly-coloured handbag to cart around your essentials — Kate Spade, Cambridge Satchel Company & Zatchels have wonderful options. (I would go so far as to say that the Kate Spade New Bond Street Florence is the statement bag of this look!)
We’re never stodgy or old-fashioned. Though we may be wearing vintage dresses, we carry iPads in our candy pink satchels. We wear glittery sneakers to the gym, & get high-tech Japanese manicures. We talk with our hands & support independent designers. We’re never afraid to be different. We lead the pack, we don’t follow it!
LOTS of animal-print (every girl should own a leopard-print coat).
A bare head is akin to sacrilege — back-comb your hair, wear a hat, add a crown of stars or a huge bow. Something, ANYTHING! Scour Etsy for fantastic hats from the 1960s, there are some absolute gems to be found. My new favourite thing to wear on my head — also via Etsy — is a pair of Swarovski crystal-encrusted mouse ears. Love!
Go through your lingerie drawer & throw away any bras or knickers that don’t fit, don’t support you properly or are raggedy & uncute. Make a resolution to only buy underwear which fits you & makes you happy! Think of your lingerie as the essential foundation for your clothing. Seriously, you could be wearing an Herve Leger bandage dress, but if your underwear doesn’t fit, you’re going to look like a sack of potatoes. Anything that pinches or gives you unfortunate lines beneath your clothing is a definite no-no! If you have no idea where to start, Cosabella thongs are fab & Victoria’s Secret yoga knickers are excellent too.
A mix of shoes which are both practical & decadent. My everyday shoes are still my Frye motorcycle boots, but I love to switch it up & don a pair of purple pumps, sparkly ankle boots or crystal-covered platforms.
Chunky — & slightly weird — statement necklaces. One of my favourites is a cluster of candy-coloured skulls by Vivienne Westwood; the other is a bundle of oversized gold, bronze & silver stars from Topshop. Wear ‘em short, so they rest on the collar of your t-shirt. Gorge!
A steady hand for major cat’s eye realness! I used to be a devotee of MAC Fluidline & an angled brush, but my new favourite is L’Oreal Lineur Intense in carbon black. It has a felt-tip end which makes adding a little flourish to your eyeliner super-simple!
Stockings, tights & socks in every possible incarnation. They’re such an easy way to add some interest or a splash of colour to your outfit. I’m flying to Las Vegas right now & I have short socks covered in kiss prints, polka-dot anklets & long black over-the-knee socks all packed in my suitcase, because I know I’m going to need ‘em! I’ve had great luck buying fun socks & stockings at DSW — they’re always on sale & great value.
Fun separates. Look for brightly-coloured miniskirts, t-shirts with cute designs & blouses covered in wild patterns. Kate Spade have some super-cute t-shirts right now, & I always love browsing ASOS for well-made & inexpensive options. I especially like this tank covered in square sequins, this orange lace tank, this cheetah-print peplum top & this green neoprene top! Any of these paired with a colourful mini would make for a really sweet look!
What are you wearing this season?
Love & psychedelic colours,
29 November 2011, 11:06
Winter is coming to New York City. It’s not even December & somehow, we’ve already had our first dusting of snow for the season! All signs point to the fact that it’s going to be a cold one this year.
When I first came to the U.S.A., I’d never really experienced winter. New Zealand’s winter, while chilly, is nowhere near as brutal as what North America is lashed with every 6 months. We don’t just get a light sprinkle of snow here on December 25th, no, no! There are blizzards, “Snowmageddons”, black ice & filthy slush which ruins your favourite pair of boots. It can be savage, but this of course only intensifies the need to properly outfit ourselves for the oncoming carnage!
It’s that time of year where we start to search through the depths of our closets & dressers to locate our winter woolies. When you go through your stuff from last season, you’ll discover whether you made smart purchases or not! If you have a closet full of old cheap, flimsy things, DON’T be tempted to go back to your favourite super-cheap retailer & stock up on a whole lot more of the same. Instead, make your money go further by investing in pieces that you’ll wear all the time. You don’t actually need that much in winter, & your coat is the only thing that will be on display 80% of the time.
Start with a great coat, & work backwards from there. A couple of good cashmere sweaters, some thermal underthings & a few pairs of wool stockings should definitely have their place in your stash, as well as the other things outlined here!
Being cold in winter is no fun, & one of the easiest ways to stay cozy is to wrap something lovely around your neck. I have always been a huge proponent of scarves, but I think I’m a bit over it. They’re always too long & tying them in a way that doesn’t look scraggly & messy is difficult. My new obsession — the cowl — is even warmer, looks cleaner & can be pulled up over your mouth & nose when it’s really, really freezing out!
The best ones come from Etsy, & are knitted by cute girls in their living rooms in Montana or Ohio or somewhere in the middle of the United States. Just have a look & see what’s available! I recently bought a chunky indigo cowl from Trisha in Colorado (SEE?! Totally knitted in the middle of the U.S.A.!), & it’s a little treasure!
Another way to spice up your neckwear is with colour. Instead of going for something which you think will coordinate with all your clothing (like, for example, black), why not pick a colour that complements your eyes?
If you have brown eyes, try green, gold, bronze, brown, plum, purple or blue!
Blue-eyed babes, go for a cowl that is grey, violet, purple, deep blue, brown, rosy pink or silver.
For green-eyed girls, experiment with brown, purple, pink or light green.
If you have hazel peepers, try teal, gold, pink, lavender, plum, khaki green or deep warm brown.
These colours will make your eyes POP & also add a great accent to an outfit!
Look… It’s cold. I used to think UGG boots were truly hideous, but then, I had never experienced a real winter. Once I’d had my first taste of snow, ice & sub-zero temperatures, I quickly changed my tune! I’ve had a pair of classic UGGs for a few years, & even though the shape still doesn’t really stoke my sartorial fire, I wore them for dog walking & quick errands because they really do keep you warm.
This year, I decided to go for an upgrade. After some deep & meaningful research on Zappos.com, I got my hot little hands on a pair of UGG Jillians. Unlike a lot of the other UGG styles, these boots are a tailored riding boot style which give your leg a bit of shape. They’re black suede with MILES of shearling inside, they’re extremely cozy & I’ve already worn them to death. I love ‘em!
If you can’t afford to splurge on a bit of shearling, don’t be sad! You can snap up a pair of wool insoles — which will fit in any pair of shoes! — or an UGG inner (which I have heard about, but couldn’t seem to find anywhere on the internet?!). Thick socks are also a great thing to have. I like really massive wool ones!
...Or you can just DIY your own furry sock — see above! — & call it a day!
Leather pants are effortlessly cool, & they make you instantly bad-ass. They also happen to be pretty damn toasty!
I was very fortunate to receive a pair of Ted Baker leather pants last year, & let me tell you, they barely left my body last winter. The same will be true this year, I’m sure. If you get a close-fitting style, they can operate as leggings under dresses or oversized sweaters, & slide easily into a pair of motorcycle boots. They’re an extremely versatile piece of clothing.
Leather pants are typically pretty expensive, but sometimes you can luck out & get a reasonably-priced pair. I bought a pair from Victoria’s Secret which I loved & wore for a while, until one day I jumped out of a cab in them & split them up the front. Classy! Thankfully, I was wearing a long sweater which covered the HOLE in the crotch! If you do go the less expensive route, you might like to take them to a tailor & have someone reinforce the seams… Just to be sure!
ASOS has leather pants for $179, & they come in either cobalt, silver or black. Fantastic! Have a little browse around & see what you can find.
Nothing is worse than cold ears. Okay, a few things are worse, but cold ears are definitely on my shit-list! While hats can definitely help you combat this problem, the very very best thing is to invest in a pair of cute earmuffs.
Again, I think the best ones come from Etsy. A cursory glance around will show you the infinite possiblities… Unicorn earmuffs? Pink candy earmuffs? Enormous panda earmuffs? How about white with pink bows, pink & white polka-dots, or blingy crystal pandas?!
See?! The choices really ARE endless, & you’ll surely find something to keep your ears icicle-free!
Something I always battle with in winter is dry skin, & this only gets worse when I have a cold & am constantly blowing my nose! Those aloe vera tissues help a little bit, & drinking as much water as possible to rehydrate does too, but sometimes your skin needs a little extra help!
Skin Drink moisturiser by Lush Cosmetics is the best thing I’ve ever found to treat really, really dry skin. It’s loaded with beautiful, rich, hyper-hydrating oils & butters, & it’ll make all those flaky, scaly, not-so-beautiful bits disappear like magic!
I keep a pottle of it in the house at all times because you never know when you’ll have a Dry Skin Emergency™! You can rub it into parched elbows, knees, hands & feet, too. It’s a wonder balm!
P.S. If you can’t afford to splash out for a whole pottle, next time you’re near a Lush Cosmetics store, go in & ask for a sample! (They’re usually pretty generous with their samples!) Just a little tip from me to you!
I don’t know how people function in cold weather without hats. I always suffer from the dreaded Frigid Ear™, which is something I’ve invented, but basically results in a horrifying headache from too much really cold wind rushing past your ears. If you experience this too, you definitely need hats… & ear muffs.
You should start out your hat collection with a couple of good, solid knit beanies. The two I wear most often are grey & black, because they go with absolutely everything I own, are comfortable & are perfect on bad hair days. I love knit hats because they add a finishing touch to an outfit, while at the same time dressing down something fancy. They’re a great accompaniment to sequins, a snazzy fit & flare dress, or a crisp white tuxedo shirt. Meow!
Take a peek inside my hot pink steamer trunk, though, & you will see hats stacked towards the heavens. I am a bit of a hat fetishist, you see. I have all kinds, from fedoras to bowlers to cloche hats, from fascinators to bunny ears to headbands embellished with enormous bows. They all serve their purpose & they are all fantastic in their way.
My two knit beanies actually came from Urban Outfitters, & I’ve had them for years, but in my experience, you can get great hats from Etsy. Etsy does vintage hats especially well; if you’re looking for something original & beautiful at a reasonable price, it is definitely the first place to check. When you search, set a price limit of $20. It may sound low, but you’ll find a plethora of treasures!
They’re so much more chic than wearing a real dead animal draped over you, & just as warm. If you ask me, faux fur coats never go out of style, though thankfully the high street is embracing them in a major way this year. Pretty much every major clothing chain has their own take on the trend, from dalmatian print to leopard, & they’re all pretty damn fabulous.
Having said that, go vintage if you can. The construction is usually better & the styling tends to be more timeless.
I’d also recommend going for a different colour than you usually wear! I bought a chocolate brown full-length faux fur coat last year, & while I was a little unsure about how I’d wear it, it turned out that I wore it ALL THE TIME, with EVERYTHING. It’s easy to go all black, sure, but adding in some brown or grey or blue (or whatever!) adds dimension & makes your outfit a little more interesting. I have a great wide stretchy belt with a beaded clasp that I always use over the top to give my coat some shape, too. It helps you feel chic when you’re wearing a million layers!
However… The other day, I left my beloved coat out in the living room & Dolly, who is going through a major Terrible Twos stage, ripped a whole lot of the faux fur off, leaving it looking dreadfully mangey. Thankfully, I found a great replacement shortly thereafter. It’s a vintage, knee-length black suede coat, with quilting on the inside (read: very warm), faux fur around the collar & cuffs, & a built-in belt for easy cinching! Love it! (Vintage is really the best!)
When it gets this cold, simple cotton leggings just won’t cut it. You can’t have all that frigid air swirling around your knees; you’re just begging to “catch a chill,” as my mother would say!
Cashmere leggings are the answer. Honestly. I know this sounds very fancy, but they’re actually very inexpensive & my goodness, will they keep you warm! I buy mine from Victoria’s Secret, & have done for a few years now. (Their sizing runs a little large, so size down unless you want your leggings to bunch around your knees after a few wears!) They’re so comfortable, essential for lounging around the house & imperative for cold weather missions! I wear them every morning for walking the dogs, under dresses or a big faux fur coat. You can even wear ‘em to the gym. Superb!
You can add glitter to your look in approximately 3 trillion ways: fantastic eye-glitters, sparkly hairspray & glistening lip gloss are 3 places to start, & that’s just on your head!
The good news for those of us who love a bit of sparkle is that this season it is IN, IN, IN! Of course, this means that we have a glut of glittery options to choose from. My advice? STOCK UP! From sequin Chuck Taylors to sparkling striped dresses, the options are endless.
A bit of sparkle can cure all kinds of doldrums, even if it’s just a mirrored bangle which flashes at you from time to time. Beautiful things are essential to the soul & the spirit, so don’t deny yourself!
I always think it’s lovely to wear a pop of colour in cold weather. An indigo hat, a mustard yellow peacoat, fuchsia stockings or an emerald green scarf make things so much less dreary!
In fact, I went back to pink hair in October precisely because I wanted something to ward off the oncoming cold! It’s hard to feel sad when you have raspberry locks, & the exact same theory applies to any brightly-coloured clothing you might own.
Don’t be afraid to be the one person in your office who wears red stockings, or a beautiful turquoise sweater! It will make everyone around you happy, & improve your mood too. Colour is powerful — don’t be too timid to use it!
You know, when I lived in New Zealand, I never needed anything more than a pair of fingerless gloves. Sure, sometimes my bare fingers were clutching a hot coffee cup for extra warmth, but you don’t need anything crazy to survive down there.
America is… well, different. Gloves with fingers are pretty necessary here. I can get away with a pair of black & white-striped fingerless gloves for about a month, & then I need to step it up a level! I’ve had great luck finding winter accessories at Century 21 though you do need patience (& nerves of steel) to deal with what can sometimes be an INSANE shopping experience. Anyway, I found a pair of Moschino gloves there, black with white hearts, & lined with cashmere. They’re pretty decadent & marvellous, & I’m really looking forward to busting them out in a couple of weeks time!
I also wanted to draw your attention to the Agloves touch-screen gloves, just in case you hadn’t heard of them. They are gloves you can wear & still operate your touch-screen phone (or iPad or whatever!). GENIUS!
Yes! A good ugly sweater should be a necessity in everyone’s life, & not in that silly “it’s ironic to wear something so unattractive” way. No, just wear it because it makes you smile!
I have this amazing (read: amazingly hideous) baby pink cardigan which is knitted with fuchsia flamingos. I mean, REALLY. I don’t even know where it came from, I think I bought it in a vintage shop in Los Angeles, but I love it. Whenever I put it on, Mike’s eyes get really wide. Other people have seen it & they have the same reaction… But either way, I absolutely ADORE it!
I strongly recommend going on your own Ugly Sweater Hunt™ before it gets really cold! EBay is an amazing source for these, too; just search for vintage sweaters!
There are few things as wonderful as surveying a bookcase bursting with fantastic tomes, especially when it’s cold outside! If you’re into books too, but you’re not sure what you want to read next, here are some ideas. These are all books on my Amazon wishlist!
Allure by Diana Vreeland; Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel by Diana Vreeland; Everything Is Going to Be OK by various contributors; The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America by Daniel J. Boorstin; You Drive Me Crazy: Love Poems for Real Life by Mary D. Esselman & Elizabeth Ash Vélez; The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men by Janie Bryant; Be My Guest by Conrad Hilton; Tarot Diva: Ignite Your Intuition Glamourize Your Life Unleash Your Fabulousity! by Sasha Graham; Decoded by Jay-Z; My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living by Jonathan Adler; Shameless: How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure… and Somehow Got Home in Time To Cook Dinner by Pamela Madsen; Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gelman; From A to Biba: The Autobiography of Barbara Hulanicki by Barbara Hulanicki; Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French by Jean-Benoit Nadeau; The Unfolding Now: Realizing Your True Nature through the Practice of Presence by A.H. Almaas; Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion by Joseph Campbell; Initiation by Barbara Haich; ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley; Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman; Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth; Cosmos by Carl Sagan; Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway by Cherie Currie; Team Rodent : How Disney Devours the World by Carl Hiaasen; The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life by Steven Watts; Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream, also by Steven Watts; The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker; Legends of the Chelsea Hotel: Living with Artists and Outlaws in New York’s Rebel Mecca by Ed Hamilton; A Course in Miracles by Dr. Helen Schucman; Gypset Style: Jet Set + Gypsy = Gypset by Julia Chaplin; To India, With Love: From New York to Mumbai by Waris Ahluwalia, Tina Bhojwani & Mortimer Singer; The Cannibals of Candyland by Carlton Mellick III; Edie: American Girl by Jean Stein; I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie & Let’s Spend the Night Together: Backstage Secrets of Rock Muses and Supergroupies by Pamela Des Barres; & Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?: Bodies, Behavior, and Brains — The Science Behind Sex, Love, and Attraction by Jena Pincott.
Wow… That’ll keep you busy, huh?!
When I think about winter, one of the first & most obvious things to be happy about is all that enforced indoor time. Sure, at some stage, cabin fever may strike, forcing you to run madly around the block in the snow, screaming, wearing nothing but your knickers & a faux fur coat, but until THEN, lots of wonderful things can happen inside!
It’s a lovely time to embrace all that your television can offer you: namely, a selection of fantastic comedy movies which will keep you giggling, laughing & guffawing all the way through to spring thaw. If you have no idea where to start, this list of laugh-out-loud comedies is an excellent jumping-off point. You might like to read 33 Movies To Watch When You’re Sad, Glum Or Bummed Out, too!
Laughter is the ultimate medicine, you know! Be sure not to skimp on it this coming cold season!
Winter just isn’t winter without a hot beverage by your side, & at some point you might get sick of your trusty old favourite. When this happens, it’s time to take yourself on a research trip to see what might replace it.
I love flavourful (soy) milky tea, & I also love anything which tastes like a flower, so my new favourite thing is a Versailles lavender earl grey soy latte. &%*$^@^*!!! You cannot even imagine! If you’re in NYC, I get this magical concoction from Physical Graffitea in the East Village. If you ask me, it is the ultimate post-workout treat!
There are lots of delightful things to suit every palate, though. From peppermint hot cocoa to jasmine pearl tea, a hot vanilla malted to ginger-spiced hot chocolate, a little investigation & internet snooping should set you right!
Winter can be difficult for even the brightest & sparkliest of us. The best way to deal with it is to prepare yourself, make plans & give yourself things to look forward to!
Some other things which aren’t necessarily essential, but definitely great for winter, include…
Ugly/fabulous beaded or printed maxi-dresses for lounging around the house Maxi-cardigans to go over the top A humidifier for your bedroom (to keep your skin from drying out overnight!) Kimonos or fabulous bed-jackets, again for lounging Velvet everything Coconut water, for ultimate rehydration power! Colourful blankets & cushions, to keep you smiling Vitamins Scented candles (Ladurée candles are my new favourites!) Lots of wonderful bath products!
Additionally, I’ve never used one, but have heard marvellous things about those lamps for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). The NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light & Ion Therapy Lamp gets amazing reviews & people say it really does help them stay happy in winter.
Good luck, & stay warm!
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