The Fashion Magpie Ampersands

Ampersands.

A peer of mine, Sarah of the blog “Fewer and Better,” recently asked to profile me as a part of her “What’s In Your Closet” series. She’ll be publishing it on her blog in a few weeks, but one of the questions she asked was about the five most special items in my wardrobe. Most of the pieces that sprang to mind were gifts or inheritances from my mother and grandmother, but the first item on my list? The hot pink Louboutins seen above. I’ve written about these elsewhere, but —

These are shoes that know how to have a good time.

These are shoes that wink, that want to dance, that splash a little champagne over the rim of the coupe as they make the rounds at a cocktail party — but with an elegance that makes you forgive the oversight.

If she were a car, she’d be a convertible with white leather interior. She’s impractical but so style-conscious you overlook it. She’s coquettish like Marilyn but doe-eyed like Audrey. She might be seen taking a roast out of the oven, but she’ll also enjoy a gin martini in the corner booth.

These shoes invite imagination. Sometimes clothes just do that to you — they conjure a mood so powerfully that you can’t help but fall under their spell. I feel that way about many of the pieces from Ralph Lauren in particular. As an example, I look at the fair isle knit skirt and sweater I shared here and I am flung into a montage of fall moments on the back roads of Connecticut, surrounded by leaves and wood-burning fires and a lot of people wearing things like tweed and driving gloves. And I think: “Oo, am I that woman?”

Yes. Fashion can invite you to be that woman, and also the movie starlet wearing hot pink heels to a Hollywood party, and also the ski bunny wearing mukluks and a sherpa vest, and also, and also, and also —

A woman contains multitudes. Fashion often reminds me of that truth, in turn urging me not to hem myself in. I can wear sneakers one day and knee-high boots the next, just as I can be a mother and a lover of pop music and a Catholic and a chick-lit reader and a serious student of poetry and a dutiful daughter and an embarrassingly competitive Scrabble player and a bug-hater and a nature-lover and a reluctant cook and an avid baker and and and and and and

Let’s wear those ampersands today.

Post-Scripts.

+Are we all studies in contradiction?

+Things to say yes to.

+On the notion of “remaining interesting” to your spouse after children.

+The dotted lines between work and life.

+I am change.

+On the stigma of “the lowbrow.

Shopping Break.

+Two fabulous pairs of shoes that evoke similar sentiments to the above: these Birmans (swoon) and these Aquazzuras (I can’t EVEN with the bow). Those girls want to DANCE.

+Also hoping that by the time this post is live, these moire and feather mules will have been discounted as a part of a Black Friday promo. I need them! Can’t decide if I need them more in black or pink…

+While we’re talking pretty, glitzy things, Rotate has some really fabulous sequined pink pieces that I can’t stop thinking about. I love this dress and this skirt. Get the look for less with this $128 steal, which would be so chic with an ivory crewneck cashmere sweater.

+Fun shearling-puffer combo situation.

+OMG how sweet is this Christmas house for a little girl’s book shelf or dresser? Have her outfit the scene with these flocked bottle brush trees.

+Also, I don’t know what I’m going to do with these, but I just added a few of these flocked reindeer to my cart in the icy blue color…

+Several of you are in search of plaid midi/maxi skirts for the holidays. Two worth a gander: this The Great and this Nina Blanc.

+You need hot pink in your life.

+We’ve been entertaining a lot more recently — I am considering buying this to keep tabs on all of our guests and menus for both practical and sentimental reasons. (Sometimes it’s easier to pull out a menu that worked well!)

+Contemplating ordering this wreath for our front door. Love the dried citrus! Would add a velvet or grosgrain bow.

+Pretty $14 bow for you to wear this holiday season.

+I saw these oyster shell Christmas trees in a boutique in St. Michael’s — how cute?!

+I mention this all the time, but I live for pouches, especially clear ones. I like to use these inexpensive ones for stowing overflow cosmetics and samples under my sink. I have separate ones for different categories (i.e., hair care, skin care, cosmetics, etc).

+A v good stripe.

+Another ACNE-esque beanie for less than the real deal.

+More chic cold weather accessories!

+Another great utility buy: these round makeup removing pads. These are so helpful on nights I can’t be bothered to scrub my face or when I want to remove all makeup to reapply before going out for the evening. Wet with water and everything comes off!

+My current skincare regimen.

+How fun are these cocktail stirrers? Imagine tied off with a green grosgrain bow as a hostess gift! (And maybe mix up a batch of these and bring along with you!)

+This velvet maxi skirt comes in two fab colors and is only $30. I’m drawn to the champagne with a ladylike blouse!

+OO! This dress in the navy for a winter wedding!

+What to wear this holiday season.

+Another fab feathered top.

+I love Gathre mats with children — these changing mats wipe clean and are fold up really small in a diaper bag, and I still use our large size allll the time when my children are doing sensory play or having a picnic in the living room or even coloring with markers — but found this brand is very similar and has great patterns!

+Pretty little key ring (can be personalized) — sweet gift for a new homeowner or teen whose just gotten her license!

+Tartan finds for the holidays.

6 Comments

  1. I love this! I often think of my favorite clothes and outfits as costumes. Not because I’m literally dressed up as, say, a unicorn (despite how much my daughter would love that), but because they represent the character I want to be that day – the sporty one, the glamorous one, the outdoors-y one. This implies that I dress outrageously but nothing could be further from the truth, but they’re costumes, all the same.

    1. I totally connect to this line of thinking!! Dressing the part is half the battle for me. I get dressed to work from home because it puts me in the right frame of mind to be productive.

      xx

  2. This is random but the makeup removing pads reminded me… I was at my TJ Maxx the other day (Nashville) and saw the Shiseido cotton pads you rave about! I am not using any in my routine right now but thought I would share for others to be on the lookout for a steal.

  3. Jen!!!!!

    You are amazing. Thank you so much for the loveliest interview–I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading it, and I can’t wait to post it next week!!! I have loved getting to know you over the years and getting to know you even better through your favorite pieces in your closet. It’s such a fun way to get a deeper look, as you said, at the ampersands.

    You made my morning with the lovely mention (especially lovely as I have a two-hour budget meeting for work at 9am, haha!) Thank you so much!!

    (P.S. Your interview has also inspired me to hunt out a pair of dancing shoes for myself :))

    1. Hi Sarah! My absolute pleasure — I was flattered to be asked. Go for those dancing shoes!

      xx

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