Oct 19, 2011

Old Thing


This is what I wore today:

Before I realized that it would rain.

And this is why I love this dress, which I also accidentally wore to the sweetest wedding on Friday, then to Work, on Monday with black blazer, cardi, stockings, and shoes and today with a

Oct 13, 2011


Yesterday, j'ai vu la long pleated skirt most perfectly beautiful. Je thought, "Oh, if it were only available... Oh, wait! There is this long and nice silk skirt inside ma garde-robe since junior year (of high school!). In fact, said skirt has only been worn a handful of times. Why would the idea of buying one be so automatic? Holy geese!"

Well, "Holy geese!" it is was. Some of my most admired blog owners are not controlled by the overtly consumerist propaganda. It seems like aforementioned bloggers, however, are either self-declared francophiles or French. I am neither. Nevermind the bits aléatoires de la langue française on this blog. Oui, j'ai appris un peu français avec de mes amis d'enfance. Even if I dream of taking the scroungiest job in Paris just so that I could at least live there, (too weird?).... That is where francophilia stops for me: No méthode française. Yes, even more blasphemy. This blog seems to be high-doing on this kind of language.

But I digress. The truth is maybe too painfully embarrassing: The long black silk skirt, that i was going to re-buy after  I saw it on a number of fashion and style publications (blogs, magazines) is only one of many an unnecessary dysfunctional possession inside the garde-robe. For somebody who favors minimalist blogs, like Austere, it's hard to know what to make of this nouvellement conscients pattern.

The sudden awareness of how vulnerable one can be to subconscious consumerism can be a little unsettling. It disrupts one's illusion of free will. So, aujourd'hui, j'ai looked at the wardrobe, and said, "J'ai assez de choses. There is simply more than enough here."


-La Copine

Sep 28, 2011

Blue dress


A post by, perhaps, my favorite blog(ger),OneSleeplessNight, who was in turn inspired by Ines de la Fressange's Parisian Chic, is the perfect backdrop for the following list. Said list was actually inspired by an article from Vogue Nov 2007 title "On Having Enough". This is what I am wishing, right now, to make of my wardrobe:

1. A handful of tailored blazers in dark colors, one or two in a bright primary color and in beige. 
3. Dresses. dresses. dresses. 
2. Six or seven pairs of trousers, from navy to beige, and two or three really fun pairs, tailored but very comfortable to travel, walk, and run for the train. 
3. About five skirts, some with volume and some fitted. 
4. A pile of cashmere sweaters and cardigans in blacks, browns, navy, and various fun colors. 
5. Some bags: brown patent Cole Haan that looks gorgeous, fits my laptop and anything necessary for a weekend away, flushed Arcadia tote, and a bunch of fabric totes to carry purchased goods. 
6. Men's shoes, flats of various kinds, some eccentric sneakers, and boots. 
7. A small pile of hats in brown and black. 
8. Jewelry: vintage, faux, and real. My absolute favorite ring is probably not real and I wear it almost daily.

Sep 21, 2011

Today's Outfit


This dress exemplifies a rather unusual behavioral pattern pour moi; an impulsive luxury. This dress may very well be my only impulsively chosen luxury item. It is an example of subconscious changes leading to behavioral changes. It was acquired along with a very couture leopard silk cropped jacket. The jacket went back to the store in one day. I still wonder if I should have kept the jacket. The dress has stayed in the closet. In the store it was just the best thing, absolutely perfect. In my wardrobe, it never seemed appropriate for any occasion.

Last night I needed the hanger and, absentmindedly, put it on a hanger over a white shirt that was already on it. Place the giant, vintage, men's cardigan that I was given when I volunteered for a local fund-raiser this weekend, and voila!
I can see the dress twinkle knowingly, in a pretty accent, "You see? I can go many places."


On Trend

Inspiraition Collage Late Summer

Sources for all collages on this post: The Sartorialist, jcrew.com, Parisian Chic, The Glamourai, Altamira: Models Off Duty, Closet Visit,  StockholmStreetStyle. If I've missed a source, please let me know.
It catches you almost by surprise, the idea of radical change. Peering into your reflection is almost like peering into a window almost voyeuristically. There, the object of voyeurism person is the voyeur herself. Peoplewatching.
Those changes happen subconsciously. Unexplainably. Gradually. Unexpectedly. A voice sobers the radically changed image, "Most of our personal decisions are made subconsciously. The phenomenon of awareness lets us rationalize the decisions that we made before being aware of them. But neuroimaging data presents that the ancient animal part of the brain makes the motion first. Then the exclusively human part makes sense of it... or tries."

Doubtlessly the bloggers and stylistas of the world are making certain items nearly irresistible. For many. I can't deny that I'm inspired and spend precious time making collages of these fantastic looks. But, for some reason, they stay in the computer screen, never to cross the virtual world into my physical expression. Maybe this reluctance to start imitating is the reason why my quest to develop and maintain a style is somewhere between non-punctual and never-ariving.

Perhaps it has to do with a long-established penchant for rebelliousness. For some reason, I avoid anything horizontal striped. Maybe it it the association with Picasso'ish breton tops that everyone else seems to be loving. This is despite having worn a white and navy striped long-sleeve tee almost every three days last summer. it is strange, for such frequent traveler, this item gets packed on for every trip but never sees the light of day. The same goes for my beautiful, high-quality, great-fitting, favorite fabric red pants. They were absolute favorites last fall and the fall before last fall. Said previously outrageously red pants used to get stares in the sweet and polite world. Being now trendy, it turns out they are staying in one of my three extra armoires in the basement.

It is undeniable that both of these trendy items actually make sense. They make sense even despite the fickleness of fashion. The striped tee is, actually, a long established classic. It is almost plain, but very interesting. Then there are perfectly chosen red pants. They are unexpectedly versatile, making the raggiest of rags look stylish. From all the red, however, I'm starting to turn to blue and yellow and everything but red and stripes.
Summer for FW

I'm starting to crave graphic black and white, vintage Italian knits, and menswear or metallic flat shoes.
Inspiration Collage Black White Camel

Are you craving anything un-fashion lately? Have you felt like wearing all black in a tropical country, bright colors in the land of black, and business classic in a casual place?  I sure do. Perhaps because I should not?

-La Copine

Sep 19, 2011

Additive 30X30, 21-Day Challenge, One-Year Wardrobe Reformation: Month 1 - Week 3 - Wear a dress or skirt

Ateliers_2011.09.11-1.11 (3)

Understanding what we find cheerful may be a big part of how we approach a closet reformation project. Yes, it is important to create a set of items to work together well. For this, we might use a methodical approach. But this methodical approach, at its core, can be driven by our feelings. Do we want to feel powerful? Cheerful? Noble?

Today's pick is this cheerful little yellow silk dress! This might be my favorite this summer. Regardless of how methodical my process might be, there will need to be something cheerful and soft, if this reformation project is going to work at all. Maybe you will find that you gravitate toward an item like a compass points north. It could be because of how it makes you feel, whether it's one emotion or a balance of them. So, what's your north?

Ateliers_2011.09.11-1.11 (8)

Ateliers_2011.09.11-1.11 (7)

Ateliers_2011.09.11-1.11 (6)

-La Copine

Sep 15, 2011

Additive 30X30, 21-Day Challenge, One-Year Wardrobe Reformation: Month 1 - Week 3 - Closet Orphan

This is la première runway dress que je purchased with my own self earned money. Although in consignment shop, it was still too steep for my high-school budget. OK, fine, that was after all the leisure funds were spent on some Ferragamo cashmere, a Via Spiga trench, and a fancy suitcase that was way too heavy. But I digress. 

Sep 9, 2011

Additive 30X30, 21-Day Challenge, One-Year Wardrobe Reformation: Month 1 - Week 3 - Wear something in an unexpected way

Ateliers_2011.09.08 (4)

Perhaps it is not obvious, but I tend to stay away from tying items of clothing. It turns out, with this cardigan, that the buttons were not the best part of the cardigan. A buttonoctomy took place.

Sep 2, 2011

Additive 30X30, 21-Day Challenge, One-Year Wardrobe Reformation: Month 1 - Week 2 - Wear something on your head

(Black sunglasses, acetate, Burberry; Striped white navy ribbon, silk, thrifted; Green scarf, not sure; Gray blazer, wool, Ann Taylor; Pink chino pants, cotton, J.Crew; Blue top, silk, Diane Von Fursternberg; Silver shoes, leather, Miss Me.)

Aug 30, 2011

Sorting out likes and dislikes from "Cats Say Meow"

Mes chers readers:

Je suis desolais for the lack of recent posts. Je vou promets que the daily challenges from the 21 day challenges are taking place and that the reformation project is in place. However, by the time I leave home in the morning there is little sunlight, and by the time I arrive, there is also no sunlight. Oui, plenty of work. The outfits will be recreated exactly as they were photographed in the poor light with mon bad camera.

Here is a list of likes and dislikes inspired by Cats Say Meow's post. This might help to clarify what will be added to the 30-item list these 30 days.

Aug 28, 2011

Additive 30X30, 21-Day Challenge, One-Year Wardrobe Reformation: Month 1 - Week 2 - Sunday: Copy-Cat

  Outfits Summer Aug X-3
Today's challenge is "Copycat!". To re-create an outfit that I really like from a blog, magazine, etc. I chose to recreate the "Lazy Sunday" outfit by northwestisbest. I love her DIYs and her weekender outfits. Her pop of red with the tights is so fun! Like party-kind-of-fuuuun! But, I can't pull off bright colored tights. Also, I would not wear them to work. I go to work almost every day. Thus, I have no bright colored tights. But it is raining all day today and I have red duck shoes!

Aug 27, 2011

Closet Reformation: The Plan

Some of us would do well with the now-famous Parisian minimal wardrobe method. My life-style involves a good amount of traveling, with a semi-nomadic history. There is always a home-base somewhere, and a notebook, pen, laptop, and toothbrush in my bag. Yet, my homebase is overflowing with things. Really. One girl: 4 closets/armoires + 1 big dresser + 5 storage bins + 1 small rack.

Oui, ce'st plenty to wear. Mais, il ya aussi too much to carry. Perhaps a good way to start are the travel capsules: the I6L, also the 7 easy pieces during the fall with 1 week of outfits, and the
Light Travel series made in preparation for and during a domestic trip in the winter.

Many people have this amount of things (most American girls that I know). I would much rather not. Or at least have them in doses. A Closet Reformation must be put in place. Prepare to be reformed, closet(s)! ;P

I mentioned, "The One-Year Wardrobe Project" in this last post. I also mentioned the 30x30 challenge in which you wear 30 pieces for 30 days. In addition, this will take part in the 21-Day Challenge. I will do a hybrid. It's only logical... Of course it's not logical.

I-Starting from the pieces worn and posted this week and going forward.

1)Add pieces to the wardrobe. The editing process will be selectively additive, not subtractive.

2)The pieces added will follow daily challenges. Initially, these challenges will come from The 21-Day Challenge. Then, they will come from yours truly.

3)The items worn to eventually complete a 30-piece wardrobe. When the 30 pieces are complete, the addition will stop and the 30 items will be remixed.
The wardrobe will be the result of what was worn, thus retroactive.
The 30 items should be complete by the end of the challenge(s).

II- The process will be repeated with or without variations until the initial problem was solved and a wardrobe was reduced enough to accommodate a semi-nomadic lifestyle and a migration-prone history.

Je suis très enthousiaste to start making collages and proposals for this. I was thinking of restricting everything to one palette like in the I6L.

These are the items that I have been wearing for the past week:
Experimental Challenge
(Images from: harpersbazaar.cometsy.com, and atelierscloset )

What do you think? This is the start, but more transitional pieces should be included, no?

-La Copine Avec 30 Ampoules Sur la Tête.

Aug 25, 2011

Gloomy Rainy Day

Outfits Summer Aug E-1
Outfits Summer Aug E-2Outfits Summer Aug E-3

Oh, to live through a rainy day. I mean to really live it. To enjoy the perfect break from heat-waves in the summer. Just hearing and watching the water fall like a giant shower onto the city.

Aug 21, 2011

Favorite Summer Outfit

Outfits Summer Aug T-4

Lately there has been a lack of personal outfit photos. Well, I've been wearing some variation of this outfit.

Aug 17, 2011

Closet Reformation: Proposal

Young adulthood and economic freedom should come with warning signs, or at least big green banners like we see on the highway, telling us what exits and roads are nearby. One of my figurative highway signs should read "Clothes-Hoarding in 10 miles".

Yes, it is much fun to be a clotheshorse and to collect nice cashmere, silk, wool, cotton, linen, leather, vintage, contemporary, designer, mall-rack, color, neutral, monochrome, patterned, solid... well, you get the idea. My closet will be put in line. Maybe someday my items for any given season will all fit in my existing closet and giant dresser and storage bins without the need for storage suitcases.

Perhaps you've heard of "The One-Year Wardrobe Project" from Roth at getrichslowly.org. He took all his stuff to an extra room and only put things in his closet after wearing them at least once. The rest went out to be donated. It's interesting. Are you thinking that it might be a good thing to do? Good for you, I support it too. And, I won't be doing that.

Yes, back to the closet reformation. I like what http://closetcase365.blogspot.com did. I won't be committing to that either. But I will go in that direction. Yes. Do you agree? Good. Because I will. Right?

This is perhaps 5% of what I have:

And this is my ideal:
Or this:

 Well, not quite this minimal! And you believe these pictures? Ha, in any case, it's good to have some goal. Better unrealistic than completely absentso the saying goes, right? No? Is it, "Better late than never". Well, I like my saying better. And that's how my saying goes.


-La Copine

Jul 30, 2011

Black Pants: Part Quatre

If you read this post, you are already familiar with my praises for the perfect black trouser. The odds are that you are even more familiar with the wardrobe-builder, perfect staple: black pants. Clean-lined, seasonless, well cut, well-fitting black pants go from boardroom to ballroom. This is perfection.

Wardrobe Staples: Silk Shirt

This skirt has gotten some non-stop wear since I started my quite terrific new job.  a colleague and I have been outside a lot while we are working on Project A. It arrived to my wardrobe in perfect time for the massive heat wave of last week. This skirt was a small gift from ma mere, promptly presented to moi, and after feigning disinterest, it was snatched and worn almost non-stop for a week. Thanks, mother!

May 22, 2011

Tentative weekend uniform II

The early morning started with an outfit quite different from this. It was actually a repeat of this one. However, after a quick trip home to get some items for my niece, this is how the outfit transformed. The boldness did not turn into a regret at all (surprisingly), even after meeting an awesome med resident who reminded me of my super-missed friends now in med-school or recently graduated. Hearing nerd-talk was even cooler with an officially/deceptively non-nerd uniform on.
I am still planning to hem these pants as wisely advised  by  the very writers of the blogs that I admire most.  I still have not put the time aside for this particular task. However, the lack of hemming did not pull away from the strong interest in hemming.


La copine bien trop occupé

May 17, 2011

Weekday Uniform Lately


If you have, like most american women, ever told yourself that you have nothing acceptable to wear, you understand me. It was impossible to have a semi-decent look in 4-minutes.

So, dernièrement, j'ai remarqué un certain comportement that is absolutely uncharacteristic que of moi. It seems like the items in the wardrobe as all great quality and fit well. That nearly, impossible goal was achieved by a clotheshorse. Dressing consumes little time and effort.

May 14, 2011

High-School Reunion

Images from daily reads: golestaneh-streetstyle, Stockolm Streetstyle, Street Peeper, La Parisienne by Ines de la Fresange

We have all received that wonderful invitation. As this summer approached, I am sure that you have or will very soon. The college/high-school reunion is that amazingly cool opportunity amidst a femme's tress busy life to meet up with the most amazing people from academia. The girls that you wish to have within your city lines. Yes, I want to see my awesome friends on the weekends again!

So perhaps it's a little difficult to say it out loud, but the only worry about the event is what to wear to it. Je voudrais penser que je suis profonde et intellectuelle. Styling should come naturally, as an afterthought, perhaps. Who are we fooling?!  Of course it's not effortless! I'd look like a crumpled cow or wear PJs every day if it were not for some dose of effort!

What do you recommend? 

May 2, 2011

Tentative weekend uniform

Khaki silk shirt, vintage; Black wool cardigan, bcbg; Black/silver pants, Alessandro Dell'Acqua; Black peeptoe leather shoes, very old.

While we loved the beautiful maxi skirt and wide-leg pants trend, there is one classic that will always come to the chic girl's rescue almost unconditionally. This classic's underestimated style power has been reviewed previously on this blog: The skinny black pants. Oui, la maxi of this season is lovely. But the black pant goes beyond, as a staple. What I never thought was that adorned skinny black pants would become a staple, my perfect alternative to the intolerable leather pants.

Last year I bought my first pair of perfect, skinny, black trousers. They changed my attitude toward dressing. My attitude changed even more so after completing the Six-Items-Or-Less Challenge. The lack of recent posts is due to this change, refocusing energy and planning from whim to realism.

Apr 14, 2011

Predicted Staples for May 2011

Predicted Staples for May 2011

Mes chers lecteurs, 

Here we have the predicted staples for the roller-coaster weather of the season. 
From left to right: 

- Single-button blazer, black, wool, Armani (part of suit)
- Knit pencil skirt, gray, angora, vintage (I6L classic)
- 3/4-sleeve dress, teal, silk, See by Chloe (recent, sales)
- Relaxed tapered pants, black, wool, Vince (last summer)

- Vara mid-heel shoes, black, patent, Salvatore Ferragamo (recent, sales)
- Wedge mid-heel sandals, black, leather, Faryl Robin (recent, sales)
- Akoya pearl necklace (old classic)

- Cubic zirconia silver studs (lost diamond ones into NYC sewer, not kidding!!!)
- Nail and lip balm, beeswax, Burt's Bees
- Lipstick, red Revolution, Urban Decay


- La Copine

Mar 12, 2011

I6L x 30 Recap

I was just browsing through my old style notes...
Oui, dès que j'ai décidé de prendre soin de mon appearance, the nerd in me started studying the books and taking notes in a notebook that  je garde toujours to this day.

It is near incredible. It seems like it has taken me until 2010-2011 to try out the advice that I so carefully studied and annotated at the library on 11/24/2007. It would have saved some pain, no? Then, you also have to have the lifestyle. Mon style as a Vanderbilt student afforded cashmere, wool dresses, and red pouts every single day. The days of wispy sequined luxuries and floaty whites for everyday are overshadowed by the more professional/corporate looking attire. Perhaps the real world is a wake up call to teach oneself the discipline to have style out of a tiny armoire or weekender bag. I am still learning.

In fact, I am still teaching myself the discipline to keep my funds until I really fall in love with a piece and it's price is not as big an issue because I will have waited for it. It has taken the I6L challenge and books and blogs on minimalism to approximate a mass-media-independent approach. Icons who have excellent taste seem to be able to wait. They are patient, it seems, because they are confident in their own visions.

Soon there will be a post on my absolute essentials and the summer's must haves (already in my "summer clothes" closet/bins).
The last month of posts from the I6L challenge focuses on these soon the basics.

It takes a while to start purging consumerist urges and be more mature about the value of the dollar. After all, most of us work for our money and "women on a budget can't afford to buy cheap clothes." as stated by the Calgary Herald in "Stop the spending spree!". The truth is that I sentenced myself by mere curiosity and perhaps the subconscious drive to simplify my life a little. And my closet was becoming the ubiquitous American woman's garment graveyard.

More than the years of notes that I've taken, the I6L challenge really changed mon way of thinking when shopping. So far Jusqu'à présent, j'ai acheté un blazer in silk by Anna Molinary, revived mon Giorgio Armani black suit, and acquired the Ferragamo Varas in black patent in my perfect size and width.