wardrobe workhorse: one skirt four ways

one skirt four ways
Who would’ve thought a little white skirt could be so versatile?  This cameleon goes from spring to fall, weekend day to dinner party, in the blink of an eye.  I’d wear it now with tall boots, a bomber jacket and a cable knit sweater!

Rag Bone short sleeve crew neck t
rag-bone.com

Torn by Ronny Kobo skirt
intermixonline.com

Anxiously Awaiting Spring

A detail from Cornelis van Spaendonck’s Vase of Flowers on a Stone Table with a Nest and a Greenfinch, 1789. The Louvre

I am desperately craving everything spring.  Crocuses.  Tulips.  Daffodils.  Longer days.  Cool breezes.  Light layers.  Skin-warming sunshine.  Open windows.  Digging in the dirt.  GreenI want green.

Daffodils exploding on Martha Stewart’s Bedford Farm

Is anyone else sick to death of wearing heavy knits and of boots as the only option for your feet?  Sadly, it is going to be awhile before we can pack them away here on the Third Coast (the Weather Channel is pushing a winter weather advisory as I type), but there are ways to bring elements of spring into our lives and wardrobes now.

Pale pink hyacinth.
Pale pink hyacinth.

A high impact/low cost must is to grab a bunch of spring flowers from the market.  I bought the above bouquet at Trader Joe’s for a mere six dollars.  The fragrance was amazing and they lasted for an entire week!

The next easy way to get a spring fix is to inject color into your wardrobe.  Almost every shade of colored denim (above pair available here) looks fabulous with grey, black, or winter white, so wear your spring hued jeans with a chunky neutral sweater (don’t you think the above outfit is crying for an oversized grey cardigan?) and throw on a pair of ankle boots.  Done.  I’d add a messy updo and a thick chain link bracelet but that’s just me.

Bold black and white was a heavy hitter on the Spring 2013 runways.  This body skimming number (here) is a great transitional piece.  Wear it now with tights, booties and a jacket, then bare your arms and legs as the mercury rises.

This soft and flowy iris print blouse (available here) will look perfect peeking out from under a blazer and paired with rolled up boyfriend jeans.

I was thrilled to see ultra-feminine lace return as a spring trend.  This dress (available here) would look chic with a loose blazer or a hip length jacket now.

Spring stripes and pastel button downs are a breath of fresh air for men and women.  This cotton cashmere sweater (available here) will transition beautifully through the next three seasons.

I’m crazy over this silk tie with its pale pink back ground and graphic chain-link print (available here).  Justify it as an Easter Sunday splurge and wear it all spring and summer.

Let’s ignore the fact that the above model looks like an extra from Less Than Zero and focus on the fabulous floral prints from the Prabal Gurung for Target collection.  Run, don’t walk – it’s flying off the shelves (see the entire lookbook here).  If you’re on the fence about investing in florals, this ultra-reasonable line would be a good place to start.

J. Crew’s spring collaboration with Liberty of London showcases the latter company’s famous floral prints on everything from the above collared shirt to shoes, pajamas, swimsuits and pocket mirrors.

A spring inspired pedicure will make you smile every time you glimpse your toes.  Mint green polish (above available here) is on every beauty editor’s hit list for spring, but I say choose whatever cotton candy color makes you happiest.

My daughter has this light purple on her fingers right now and I am a little jealous.  Must copy.

Uniqlo is finally available online, and this ultralight down jacket (available in several colors here) is a steal at $69.90.

Leather is another huge trend this spring, and this muted metallic cap-sleeved top from Skaist Taylor (available here), while definitely not a steal, would be a fabulous layering piece now and an absolute stand out when the weather breaks.  It truly makes me weak in the knees.

So from now until sunshine coaxes the first crocuses through the snow, I will plan my gardens (finally getting to the landscaping this year), watch spring training games on mlb.tv (the Cubs, of course) and shop like it’s already here.  You?

Image one via The Louvre, image two via The Martha Blog, last image via The Gifts of Life Tumblr.

Designer Spotlight

When designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright started Rag & Bone in 2002, they had no formal training but knew they wanted to make beautifully constructed, impeccably tailored clothes with the highest quality materials.  I fell in love instantly with this small label and it became my go to for relaxed weekend pieces as well as night-on-the-town ensembles.  And then they got big.  Everyone wanted Rag & Bone in their closet so of course many of the top department stores and boutiques began carrying their clothes.  You know that feeling when you stumble across a band that not many people have discovered and then you start hearing them on the radio and become selfishly annoyed because you want them to yourself?  That is how I felt about Rag & Bone.  I was also worried.  How could this Kentucky label that was crafting all of their clothes in the United States “the way they did 50 years ago” keep up with demand and maintain their steadfast quality?  But they did.  Now based in New York City, they continue to turn out pieces with construction, design, and details that amaze me.  And though their clothes are now readily accessible to the masses, I still love them like I did a decade ago.

Rag bone dress, $655
Rag bone dress, $220
Rag bone sweater, $695
Rag bone sweater, $245
Rag bone top, $150
Rag & bone shorts, $290
Rag & bone jeans, $109
Rag & bone sandals, $595
Rag & bone ankle booties, $495
Rag bone wallet, $115
Rag & bone sunglasses, $350
Rag bone belt, $150
Rag bone hat, $56
Rag bone scarve, $115
Rag bone scarve, $48

Saturday Styling

Spring Layers

Transitioning your wardrobe from winter into spring is difficult.  We’ve all tired of dark colors, heavy sweaters, and tall boots but the proverbial March lion continues to roar.  The key is to bundle up in light layers that can be added and removed as the temperature fluctuates.  Pull out your light knits, silk blouses, and gauzy scarves in spring inspired hues, and top it all off with a fabulous leather jacket and colorful accessories.

J Crew crew shirt, $168
J Crew j crew sweater, $268
Rick owens jacket, $2,510
Hudson Jeans embellished jeans, £200
White jeans, $80
H&M flat shoes, £7.99
Rag & bone grey boots, $495
Duffel bag, $950
Chloé summer tote, £1,545
Yves Saint Laurent gold plated jewelry, $695
Monica Vinader pendant, £65
Waxing Poetic rope jewelry, $62
Mulberry chunky bangle, $320
Alexander McQueen skull scarve, £319
Dorothy Perkins green scarve, $17

Nautical Chic

nautical chic

I have great affection for the open water.  Its influences can be seen in both my home and closet, where the colors of ocean, lake, sand and dune dominate.  The outfits above were inspired by my recent trip to the sea, but adjusted for our current cooler climate.  I love the idea of mixing and matching everything, and then swapping out the leather pants and dark jeans with white denim, casually rolled or patterned shorts, and breezy skirts when the weather breaks.

Rag bone short sleeve cotton shirt
Jil Sander fitted denim jacket
Armani Jeans fitted jacket
Hudson Jeans skinny fit jeans
Rag & bone mid rise jeans
Current/Elliott punk pants
Antik Batik embellished sandals
Giuseppe Zanotti peep toe shoes
J.Crew ballerina shoes
Proenza schouler bag
Yves Saint Laurent hobo handbag
Elizabeth Cole silver jewelry
Philip Crangi steel jewelry
Burberry Brit cashmere shawl
Club Monaco intarsia sweater