The Sartorialist in Chicago

Last night, famous style photographer and blogger Scott Schuman of the Sartorialist visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago to give a talk and sign copies of his new book, Closer.  The MCA was clearly unaware of his enormous popularity.  The barely publicized event drew throngs of fashion and photography lovers all dressed to catch his eye (which made for fabulous people watching) and left hundreds of disappointed fans without books to buy (they sold out almost before it started – thank goodness I received one as a birthday gift from my super chic friend Samantha) and on a wait list to hear the talk.  All were invited to stay for the book signing, and wait they did!  Worries of blocked fire exits forced museum workers to move the most stylish single file line you’ve ever seen from one end of the museum to the other.

Having my book signed.

Luckily my friend Cynthia and I were at the front of the line for the signing as we were both wearing what my friend Kelley calls “five-minute shoes”.  He was gracious and amusing, indulging enthusiasts who had questions or simply wanted to snap his photo.

Exiting the MCA, happily on our way to RL for a late dinner.

The following are some of my favorite images from the book:

Photographer becomes subject. How can you resist a man in a trench?

For the Men

Today’s inspiration comes from the masculine shades found in winter’s austere landscape.  Silvery grey, snow white, midnight and weathered teak meld with the warmth of deep mahogany, rich amber, camel, and espresso to create a sophisticated neutral palette in menswear and interiors.

Images via The Gifts of Life, Patterson Maker, and Pinterest.

Happy Thanksgiving

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder

Clockwise from top left: (1) maple glazed apple crostata, recipe here (2) firewood (3) wild turkeys at Menemsha Inn, Martha’s Vineyard (4) acorns collected from our treasured oaks (5) a favorite wine (6) autumn in Lake Forest.  All photos via the aesthete and the dilettante with the exception of image 2, via pinterest

Girl Crush #2

If I could steal anyone’s entire wardrobe it would be Olivia Palermo’s. But it’s not just what she has, it’s her insane ability to put it all together. Palermo has mastered a two-thirds-uptown/one-third-downtown aesthetic that makes every look from casual to cocktail impossibly, enviably chic.

Breaking the Breakfast Rut

I have a confession.  Most mornings my breakfast consists of a peanut butter Think Thin bar and three cups of black coffee.  Awful, right?  Like everyone else, I’m usually rushing to get to a meeting or a workout and have zero time or inclination to get creative.

Last week I ran across a recipe for “overnight oats” that reminded me of the Swiss Muesli at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek, Colorado.  When we stay there, I fill up on this nutrient-rich rolled oat/fruit/nut/yogurt dish before skiing and it holds me until lunch (a cheeseburger and cold beer get me through the afternoon, but that’s another post).  So I started messing around in the kitchen and came up with three make-ahead Muesli recipes using some of my favorite ingredient pairings.  You can certainly make it the morning of, but I really like how thick the mixture becomes over time.  A thicker consistency also cuts down on the mess if you’re eating on the run.

Pistachio, Date and Orange Muesli

makes two 1-cup servings

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking or instant)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 3 to 4 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 cup peeled and chopped clementine or orange segments
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • tiny pinch salt
  1. Stir all ingredients together and divide between 2 8-ounce canning jars or tupperware containers.  Cover with lid and refrigerate overnight.

Peanut Butter and Honey Muesli

makes two 1-cup servings

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking or instant)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (I’m addicted to Parker’s peanut butter which is in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, but any brand will work.)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (This is a lot of honey, but I wanted it to shine through as a main ingredient.  You can always use less if you prefer.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 banana (optional)
  1. Stir all ingredients together (except for banana) and divide between 2 8-ounce canning jars or tupperware containers.  Cover with lid and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Dice or slice one-half banana and stir in just before serving if desired.

Apple, Cinnamon and Maple Walnut Muesli

makes two 1-cup servings

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking or instant)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup apple, very small diced
  • 2 generous tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • tiny pinch salt
  1. Stir all ingredients together and divide between 2 8-ounce canning jars or tupperware containers.  Cover with lid and refrigerate overnight.

The great thing about these recipes is they work beautifully with substitutions.  Play around with your favorite ingredients and see what you come up with.  Anything goes!

Weekend Casual

Weekend Casual

Enza Costa colorblock top
intermixonline.com

Sweater vest
barneys.com

Arlotta short robe
journelle.com

La perla
journelle.com

La perla
journelle.com

Madewell suede bag
madewell.com

Ileana Makri gold jewelry
matchesfashion.com

Moncler
bergdorfgoodman.com

Checked Wool Throw
williams-sonoma.com

Foul Weather Gear

The cold November winds are blowing through Chicago, taking down leaves and leaving a serious chill in the air.  Dressing for the elements and feeling stylish are not always synonymous, so I thought I would pass along some of my favorite outwear pieces and foul weather gear lines that look great and keep you warm and dry.

I love Helly Hansen.  The Norwegian outwear company has been around for 132 years and it manufactures gear for sailors, skiiers, and all around adventurers who need serious protection from the elements.  Truth be told, I use mine most often to walk the dog, but when that breathtaking wind whips off of the lake mid winter and the temperature goes subzero, it is an absolute necessity.  The above Paris Parka looks like a great option, but you really should flip through the entire site as they offer many layers of warmth.  Looking through the images will make you wish you were on the slopes, behind the helm, or summiting a mountain.  Okay maybe not that last one.

Sorel makes ridiculously warm and very stylish boots for women, men, and children.  You can find them on many online sites, but Zappos offers a myriad of styles (including both of the above) as well as free shipping and returns.

I have to admit that I am a little old-school and still wear the above L.L.Bean boots quite a bit (not quite as warm as the Sorels though).

If you are looking for a warm boot that reads a bit less outdoorsy, the fur lined Justine boot from Vince is a great option.

And those Vince boots would look amazing with this leather trimmed Zyta peacoat from Mackage.

Another great peacoat option (I cannot resist a great peacoat) is this shearling collared version from A.L.C. (one of my favorite clothing companies).

This insanely fabulous Faucon parka from Moncler has a nausea inducing price tag, but I swear Moncler makes some of the warmest – and definitely the most stylish – down jackets on the market.

The Moncler Clairy coat is simple but far from boring, comes in several beat-the-winter-blahs colors, and it’s half the cost of the Faucon.  It also holds up beautifully on the slopes.

As long as we are on the Moncler subject, how fabulous are these shearling lined Zillertal boots?!  Shoot me now.  Or at least take away my wallet.

Almost as cute (and much easier on the bank account) is the MacAlister shearling wedge boot from JCrew.

Finally, don’t forget a cozy scarf!  Love the pattern and size of this one from DVF.

This wide cashmere wrap from JCrew comes in a rainbow of colors, is relatively inexpensive, and will last you a lifetime.  So what are you waiting for?  Get shopping!