|Open Mind Fashion||
Loafing & lounging
Sunday morning--just lounging around. Slip-ons optional.
Kate Spade, Chloe, Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin, Burberry, Louis Vuitton--are you a woman who loves a designer purse?
How much are you willing to pay for one? Are they worth what they cost?
My friend Rachel took me on mall mission to find out! We visited designer purses at the department stores Nordstrom & Neiman Marcus & in the individual stores of Coach, Burberry, & Louis Vuitton. As much as they would let us, we examined the material (not always leather), the quality, & the prices of the bags.
For a woman (me) who has never owned a designer bag, it was an education.
We started out in Nordstrom, conveniently celebrating its Half Yearly Sale. Of all the places we visited, I'd say Nordstrom would be the easiest place to buy a designer bag since all the purses are accessibly on display, & the salespeople are available but not pushy nor snobby.
I already knew that I liked Kate Spade purses, & the styles seem wearable & well made. The bags also weren't ridiculously overpriced really (from about $80-$800) compared to the other designer bags we would come upon later.
We saw several pretty options on sale--still more money than I'd usually spend but very nice.
Also at Nordstrom are displays of Valentino, Alexander McQueen, & Jimmy Choo bags with some unique features...
Designer Alexander McQueen is known for putting art into fashion...
Rachel & I agreed that the super shiny patent leather bags didn't seem worth the high price tags. We also found several designer bags made of polyurethane that definitely didn't seem worth the three- & four-digit price tags.
Next we headed to Neiman Marcus, which seemed to have an even larger selection of designers & bags than Nordstrom in beautiful, museum-style displays.
Yves Saint Laurent
We settled into studying prices in earnest when it came to the Yves Saint Laurent bags. I admired the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, but I don't like the YSL bags with the huge logos.
Considering that Yves Saint Laurent hated "the snobbery of wealth," why are his bags priced so high?
After Neiman Marcus, we headed to some individual designer stores...
The Coach store is all about animal prints for the upcoming fall season. Coach bags, shoes, jackets, & clothes seem well made & worth the cost. Rachel & I have both been pleased with our purchases from their outlet store. My husband bought me a little Coach backpack from the outlet store in 1998 that I still use--still in great shape after all these years of wear!
The elegant & serious salespeople in the Louis Vuitton store did not like me taking pictures. The signature styles are very nice & very expensive. Their travel bags appealed to me the most, but would you be willing to check them through baggage claim?
We visited the Burberry store, but after being chastised at Louis Vuitton, I stopped taking photos. Still, the Burberry bags might be my favorite. They remind me of the medicine bags the British veterinarians in All Things Bright and Beautiful carried. We headed back to Nordstrom where a saleman welcomed us to try them on & take photos.
Well, I confess that Burberry bag seems to upgrade my outfit from "everyday" to eleganté. I can't imagine spending $1000 or more on a purse, but I can see the value of investing in a classic, lasting piece.
Many thanks to Rachel for touring the mall with me & introducing me to some of the finest designers!
Do you own a designer purse? Would you want one?
How bold is your print?
"Even when I'm uncomfortable, I want to look comfortable." --Lena Dunham
A friend of mine brought up this topic, & it's been in the back of my mind for ages:
What should you wear when you don't feel comfortable in your own skin?
Most of us feel this way now & then, perhaps as often as once a week & certainly when we've gained weight or lost a friend or have to go somewhere we don't really want to go.
I'm not sure I know how to help people feel more at ease with themselves, but I think I can help you to dress to look more at ease.
After much thought, I have a few suggestions to help us through these times:
1. Avoid colors that make you feel underpaid or overfed, even if you are both :-) What colors are those? Well, you'll know best which colors make you feel rotten. I'd say you should avoid the colors that make your face look red if you know what I mean. I used to wear white when I was down on my luck since it felt like a fresh start. Today, I wear light gray, red, & white to feel cool, calm, & collected. Rich colors like black & gold can feel powerful too--you know the colors that feel best for you.
2. Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics. This suggestion just piggybacks on the last one. Dress cool, stay cool. Avoid feeling overheated; default to lighter weight fabrics like cotton but make sure it's not the kind of cotton or a color that will show stains if you sweat. Wear a cami or undershirt to capture the heat from your body.
3. Wear clothes that fit you well. You certainly don't want to feel stuffed into your clothes or like you're falling out of them or like you're swamped in them when you're already feeling awkward.
4. Go with the status quo? It's rare that I would recommend that you dress like everyone else, but clothing forms a sort of code within social circles. If you want to fit in & feel more at ease, I suggest you dress like the people you want to be or have to be around. Or is it counter-intuitive to dress like the mob when you're trying to feel like yourself? It may help you to feel less out of place, but perhaps to be true to ourselves we should dress how we most want to dress--we should dress like who we are?
5. Clothes are one way to renew ourselves. Clothes can help you find yourself. When we're wearing the clothing that feels most "like us," we feel at our best. To realign with your core self, you might want to put on an outfit you've always felt good in, one that reminds you of good times. Or you may want to buy a new outfit that appeals to the vision you see for yourself.
A last suggestion...
Speak kindly to yourself. Try not to tell yourself you look terrible in whatever it is. Tell yourself you look great! Nod at yourself. Say "I've got this."
Just writing this post I now feel that prickly out-of-sorts feeling. For me the feeling comes when I haven't done something I need to do or when there's an event I dread approaching. Most of the time I feel back to myself once I've confronted the task or made it through the event. Sometimes I just have to wait it out.
It's time to call in a friend or loved one.
This week I challenge you to let someone else choose your outfit for just one day. It can be anyone you like, but I recommend you choose someone benevolent who won't intentionally make you look like a fool (although my son says it would still be fun even if your sibling chose something silly for you).
The goal is to find a new combination in your wardrobe you hadn't noticed before or to let the person who has strong opinions about what you should wear finally get a chance to dress you.
I gave him free access to my closet & my drawers & told him to pick an outfit including jewelry & shoes. It might come as no surprise that it took him less than two minutes to pick out my Broncos t-shirt, jeans, & tennies :) GO BRONCOS! :-))
I asked him to pick out something for work too. He walked in the closet, picked out this outfit, & said, "Well, that was easy." He said the colors just seemed to go together...
I like the outfit & I like pairing patterns, but I hadn't noticed this combo before. The colors do go together, & I think the cardigan breaks it up enough to make it all ok.
My son had fun picking out the outfits & having the power to make me wear whatever he wanted. I hope you'll try it & send me a photo or just tell me what they picked out for you!
What to throw on
When I wake up in the morning, when I come home in the evening, when I'm running to the store for a couple quick things or taking out the trash to the sidewalk, I want to throw something no hassle on. I don't want to worry about my legs or my arms. I want to be absolutely, no stress comfortable.
Here are some things to throw on...
Capris, yoga pants, or culottes
A maxi dress
A maxi or long midi skirt
A thin loose shirt or tunic
For better or for worse, people may not notice what you think they will...
No one will notice that you didn't shave your armpits unless it's broad daylight & you're either writing on the top of the board or putting your hands in the air like you just don't care. They won't notice that you didn't shave your legs unless they touch them.
They probably won't notice if you're underdressed, but they will if you're overdressed.
They probably won't notice the stain on your shirt, but they will notice if you get roaring drunk.
They won't notice that your clothes are wrinkly, but they will notice if you're a starched shirt.
They won't notice that your shoes are old or scuffed, but they will notice if they're excessively shiny.
They won't notice if your clothes don't match; even if they do, they'll think it's your intentional style.
They probably won't notice if you dress conservatively, but they'll notice if you let it all hang out.
They won't notice if you wear flats, but they will notice if you wear high heels.
They won't notice a run in your hose or that your shoes don't exactly match unless you point it out. (One day I accidentally wore two different boots to class, & no one noticed.)
They won't notice if you wear the same basic outfit every day unless it's a distinctive dress.
They'll notice if you wear a scarf. They'll notice if you wear colorful shoes.
They'll probably notice if your pants or your skirt is too short.
They won't notice your plain old handbag, but they will notice your designer purse.
They won't notice if your purse & belt & shoes & bag don't match each other, but they'll notice if they do.
They probably won't notice if you're having a bad hair day, but they'll notice if you make a dramatic hair change.
They probably won't notice the pimple on your face, but they will notice if you never smile.
They won't notice if you don't talk, but they will notice if you never let anyone else talk.
They may not notice if you're nice, but they'll definitely notice if you're mean.
Do you agree? What do you think they'll notice?
My fall/winter preview
Ah the feel of warm wool in July. It's a little like drinking a cup of hot tea on a hot day--does it actually cool you?
Summer is fun, but I look forward to fall & winter all year.
Here are a few of my fall/winter outfits...
Are you looking forward to fall?
Happy 4th of July! :-)
This is the best time of year to buy boots...
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