Swing Drama

The weather these days has me bewildered.  I feel like it’s kind of spring, but I also think that it could turn back to winter at any moment.  Snow last week, totally melted off now.  Today I went out without a coat, and last week I was in my heavy winter jacket.

In these in-between weather days, I find myself reaching more for my swingy capelet to top off my outfits.  I have a red plaid capelet perfect for days that are not too cold.  It’s easy to wear, yet keeps the wind out. It’s a great “in-between” option while I wait for whatever February decides to do next.




Snow has been accumulating…yay!..and I have felt like hibernating as a direct result.  As I have few options for actual hibernation (pesky work!), I have adopted a bit of a hideout within the most chunky, delicious scarf I own.   I received a Christmas gift of a cream scarf with light grey and beige stripes that basically covers my neck and the lower half of my face.  It’s lovely.

Highest recommendations to the chunky scarf or snood in a neutral.  I’ve even portmanteau’d it: snoodtral.  Try not to be overwhelmed by my cleverness.


Snoodtral. It’s now a thing.

Cozy, Cuddly Cashmere

I have severe snow envy. Everyone’s been posting blizzard pictures with rosy-cheeked children romping in the snow, but I’m fated to have no snow days. Despite that, it’s still cold! Retailers are pushing spring, but the weather isn’t cooperating.

Which is pretty much perfect, because it’s time to buy sweaters! That cashmere sweater you wanted for Christmas (but didn’t get because it was over $100) is now on deep discount. Time to snap up some sale sweaters! I’ve rounded up a selection of cashmere and cashmere-blend sweaters, all under $50 right now. Get to getting. They’ll be on your doorstep in no time…if the mailman can get through your snowbanks.

Cashmere Under $50

More Cashmere Under $50

ReGeneration X

It’s undisputed fact that fashion trends come around cyclically, and there seems to be a resurgence of 90’s style going on.  Seeing this, I can’t help but feel regretful that I gave my fairly pristine 90’s Doc Martens Mary Janes to charity a few years back.  I said as much on social media not long ago, and a former student in her late 20’s replied that she LOVES hers, and was faithful to a 90’s grunge aesthetic.  The picture she sent made me want to say oh, you poor baby chick.  That’s not 90’s grunge.  A Nirvana tee does not the 90’s make.  But I didn’t, because in her leather and ripped jeans way, she’s attempting to find her style. And isn’t that what your 20’s are all about?

Dr. Martens shoes

Buying my Docs was like a rite of passage for me. I bought them with my birthday money at the Doc Martens flagship store in London. Before my Docs I exclusively wore £5 cotton kung fu shoes from Covent Garden Market. The Mary Janes cost £100, and I thought I would die from sticker shock. However, they were the most resilient and long-lasting shoes I ever bought. They wore in beautifully, were pretty comfortable, and looked great with a floral babydoll dress.

However, the offerings today are pretty great, too. They still offer the classic Doc boot and a take on the Mary Jane, but they’re also offering cute librarian-esque shoes, patterned boots, and even sandals.

ReGeneration X

Maybe instead of mourning for my lost shoes, I should think about a modern upgrade…

The Holy Grail that is Jeans

I can’t count how many times I’ve pulled my jeans up today.

Since I had the day off, I finally got around to some of the dirty work cleaning around my place.  I wore my “day off” jeans (a step up from yesterday’s “Sunday yoga pants”), which, at their purchase, fit just right.  To the point that I got stopped in a swank hotel once by a woman who wanted to know where I got them, such was their perfection.  But now, even after a good washing, they don’t fit like they used to.

Jeans are the most frustrating, because when they look good, holy mother, they look GOOD.  But it’s alchemy finding the right ones.  Right length, slim around the thighs but not too tight, with a supportive backside that doesn’t droop, with a rise that fits on the waist without cutting off circulation, and a leg that’s slim, but not super skinny.  And it needs to be affordable, to boot.  It’s impossible.

And now I have THE JEANS in mind.  Every now and again I’ll see something, or I’ll get some trigger, where I decide that my life will be incomplete until I own this one piece that I can just picture being the next big thing.  But the retailers haven’t quite caught up to my madness.  And right now, I want jeans with a slim leg and a wide cuff.  Like, super-wide.  Half my calf wide.  I’m having a hard time finding it, though.

Cuffed Jeans

This is the best I can find, but they are 1) mostly too expensive and 2) still not wide enough in the cuff to suit my preferences. I have a mental deadline of March to meet, since I’ll be going to Spain then, and would rather not be pulling my jeans up all trip.

An Unfashionable Age

Sometimes I think bloggers are just out to make me mad.

I read another blog post dictating what you “shouldn’t wear” after 30. I have to reiterate my stance–fashion isn’t dictated by age!

One of my major challenges with aging is finding a role model, because society begins to rule women out at a certain age. Once you’ve reached 30, you need to be a “grown up”, once you’re 40 and beyond, you need to disappear as an individual. Leave fashion behind, especially looking sexy, because you are just too damn old. Remember when Sex and the City was the big empowerment show for women over 30 who wanted to be fashionable and relevant? I read another blog post this past week where some man snarked about how there thankfully would not be a third movie, because nobody wants to have sex with women their age. So let’s all dress in polyester and die together, shall we?

Grandma Yetta

This article, which so incites my ire, needs a whole new title. For most of the items listed, it’s not about age limitations, but rather about being fashionable in general. I can eliminate most of the list this way. Platform flip-flops, booty shorts, tube tops–no one should be wearing these anyway.

Then there are brand names–VS Pink, American Eagle, Abercrombie and Fitch. All marketed towards young girls. As far as Pink is concerned, anyone you’re going to show your underwear to doesn’t usually care about the brand, and if they’re comfortable, wear them. I don’t ever advocate being a label whore, especially if the label is marketed to teens. But if you find a pair of jeans that fit just right, well–that’s a holy grail item right there, regardless of the label. I really didn’t need the blogger’s snarky “Does A&F even FIT women over 30?” comment, however.

And there are some things on this blogger’s list I’d like to actively dispute.

Leopard print

Leopard Skirt

A leopard print pencil skirt is practically a basic–totally appropriate at any age.

Graphic Tees

Graphic Tee

Don’t give up graphic tees! Just pick ones that are more awesome.

Anything Furry


I don’t need to tell you about shearling, right?

Crop Tops

Crop Top

Despite the fact that I can’t pull this of myself, I rather like the crop top and full skirt look that’s been showing up lately.

Oversized Sunglasses

Oversized Sunglasses

Over my dead body.

Wear what looks good. Don’t let age dictate fashion.

Edgy Workwear

“I sometimes wonder what my colleagues think of me.”  I said this to my mother on the phone yesterday as we were talking about fashion.  I was explaining that I always dress modestly, but not always conservatively.  Everything’s covered up–I feel very awkward teaching teenagers with cleavage in view–but I also like to be stylish.  In a profession that un-ironically keeps the novelty sweater business alive, I find that fashion-forward outfits are not the norm.

This year, for autumn/winter, I’m really into leather–real and fake.  I already posted about the triumph that is my oxblood pleather skirt, but I’ve even gotten more, like a zipper cardigan with leather pockets, and a dress with leather accents.  I started to put together some outfits that are conservative enough for the workplace, but still have the edge of leather.

Silver Lining

This laser-cut black leather midi is quite edgy, and could appear hard. Every other detail is soft. Cashmere wrap sweater, dove grey shoes in a vintage librarian style, and a soft acrylic infinity scarf. Juxtaposing the hard and the soft makes it work-appropriate.

Leather Weather

I’m a little obsessed with the Hayden-Harnett leather necklace for a couple of weeks. It’s a perfect statement necklace–the material makes it more casual, while the design is a little over-the-top–just like I like it. The leather here is used as an accent. Skinny ankle pants (not too tight if you’re over 24) and plain flats look casual yet refined–a bit of a grown-up Audrey Hepburn. I’ve provided two versions of this look–straight sizes on the left, plus sizes on the right–because this is flattering to more than one body type.

KooKoo Chanel

I am super crazy for this look. The quilting in the skirt reminded me of a vintage Chanel handbag, so I went with it, using a mass of pearl and chain accessories with big links. It’s cute and cheeky.

Screw what my colleagues think. I look awesome.

Essential Autumn Skirt

This is it.

The one skirt you need for fall.

I’m obsessed with oxblood leather–have been for a while. I think my mother owned boots in oxblood leather when I was a child, so I’ve never gotten over the sentimental attachment. So of course when I saw an oxblood leather skirt, I swooned–HARD.

This is not your black leather biker pencil skirt. (Yes, I once owned one of those. The leather was like BUTTAH. But I wouldn’t wear it anymore, even if I still owned it.) The shape and the color make it fresh and work-appropriate.

Faux Leather

I envision this as a fall staple. Wear it with a button-up and a blazer or a soft cowl-neck sweater and boots. For my own styling suggestions, I would say keep it long-ish (I’ve seen some great midi versions) and avoid black. A nice camel color would work, too.

Now if you’ll pardon me–I found one of these on sale and must go buy it…