Cafe Au Lait

In a season of BRIGHTS, I’m occasionally inclined to go counter-trend with breezy neutrals.  Earlier this week, for example, I wore a pencil skirt (yes, I wear white before Memorial Day — MaxMara, $224, Matches) with a day-glo mandarin orange top ($48, Dorothy Perkins), a shocking pink linen-fabric scarf (the one below is a cashmere fabric, but you get the drift — $44, Pret-a-Beaute), and these uh-may-zing gray-orange-and-white colorblocked Anya Hindmarch tootsies that I own and adore (couldn’t find anything like them online, so these Louboutin’s will — $1,149, MyTheresa). The next day, however, I am completely re-fashioned in a neutral, cafe-au-lait look:








{Earrings: $200, Mariam Haskell; Dress: Marc by Marc Jacobs, $600, Net-A-Porter; Tootsies: Louboutin, $806, Matches}

Do you love?!  So refreshing and sophisticado.  Would wear with this uber-drool-worthy Anya Hindmarch tote (OMG. — $1,000, AnyaHindmarch), which would be home to my oversized tortoise-shell sunnies (glam, glam, glam — but I hate you, Oliver Peoples, for being so pricey — $330, Net-A-Porter) and  a snakeskin iPad case ($145, Kooba):

Must admit that I may have lifted this chiffony neutral obsession straight from Donna Karan’s Spring 2011 collection — my favorite look of the bunch:

The only thing I’d change would be the hair and makeup.  Why wash the poor girl out so terribly?!  I’m thinking that a red lip would have had a major impact.  FYI: the models reportedly wore Deborah Lippmann’s “Naked” color ($16, Deborah Lippmann), which is temporarily sold out.  I snagged a bottle earlier this season and did not like it one.bit. to be honest — it made my fingers blend in with my hands.  Freaky.  I’m thinking that I’ll give it another try when I’m nice and sun-kissed from the summer.

I’ve also been majorly into easy-on silky little dresses paired with sensible flats.  I have a few in heavy rotation — one from Zara, another from Parker, and another from H&M.  I wear them constantly.  In this vein, I find myself gravitating towards neutral dresses like this cinnamon-hued TopShop number ($64, TopShop), topped with statement-making necklaces (Karen Walker, $198, Glassworks Studios — for something similar but a bit less pricey, check out this $80 Kenneth Jay Lane find at Shopbop):

I’d pair with some easy-on neutral flats (am seriously, sickly obsessed with Reed Krakoff — where did he come from?! — $395, Net-A-Porter) and this eye-catching satchel by up-and-coming label, Gryson ($675, Gryson):

Like the slightly “urban safari” vibe the look gives off.  Round it out with some glammed-up aviators (Dolce & Gabbana, $260, Saks):


I’m also loving the idea of re-vamping some of my many white dresses to suit this look — consider how fresh a simple white shift ($248, LaGarconne) would look with a tortoise-shell bead necklace (Kenneth Jay Lane, $160, Pret-A-Beaute):




I’d finish with some heavy, strappy brown sandals (love these — $99, Zara — they’re the recessionista’s take on the YSL Tribs):

This quirky rattan-style handbag (Stella McCartney, $648, Farfetch) has my attention at the moment, and would look just right with a pair of tortoise-shell cat-eyes ($235, Orla Kiely) to complete the a sort of laidback 70s safari look:

Just my cup of…coffee?  Haha.  Dumb.  If you want to go more literal with the urban jungle-teer look, try a khaki “cargo-style” dress.  I snapped up one up earlier this season and love to wear it with heels and a leopard scarf or flats and some mega statement jewelry.  This Rag & Bone style also caught my eye ($395, ShopBird), and I’d pair it with my oversized wood-bead necklace (very, very similar to this affordable find — $26, ModCloth):

I’d finish with some open-weave flats (like the added interest — $98, Vince Camuto) and this chocolate-accented messenger (Michael Kors, $990, Net-A-Porter):

A pair of smart shades (Olivia P. owns these puppies by Thierry Lasry, $395, Opening Ceremony) and a scallop-accented wallet (See By Chloe, $195, Net-a-Porter) finish the look with a bang:

For weekends, I just re-discovered this amazing slim-fit cocoa-on-white striped tee that I plan to put in heavy rotation.  For something similar, try this ALC tank ($84, Barney’s) with some LRR (Lather-Rinse-Repeat) gold studs (Gorjana, $40, Shopbop), a simple gold personalized chain (I’m tempted to buy one with my initial and one with Mr. Magpie’s — $132, JenniferZeuner), white jeans, and some amazing t-straps (love the nautical rope detailing on these Guccis — $465, Net-A-Porter):


Spruce it up with this yellow python-accented clutch (do you die?! — around $210, WeLikeFashion) and a stack of bangles (MaxMara, $78, Matches):

And finish with some aviatahs (really into this style today — Marc by Marc Jacobs, $110, Shopbop):



Another sweet look for the weekend — perhaps brunch with your mom? — this darling cream-colored little dress (Vanessa Bruno Athe, $150, Net-A-Porter) with a tangle o chains necklace ($100, Amrita Singh):

I’d finish with toffee-colored pumps (Pelle Moda, on sale for $87, Zappos) and that amazing Marc Jacobs clutch I’ve been featuring non.stop ($1,385, Matches):


An oversized starburst ring adds just the right amount of funk to the outfit (House of Harlow, $60, Nordstrom), and are perfectly offset by these Chloe shades (the scalloping sort of echoes the ring design — I live for nerdy design details like that! — $330, Nordstrom):



Of course, what’s a post focused on coffee without, well, the actual coffee?  Mr. Magpie makes my French Press cup of coffee every morning — he’s got it down to a science.  He likes Intelligentsia or Stumptown for his beans, which he grinds fresh every morning with his fancy burr grinder.  I’m one spoiled little lady.


P.S CORRECTION TO YESTERDAY’S POST: I mistakenly mentioned that my Mom has been getting her nails done at Ilo for the past 20 years, but I was wrong — that’s where she gets her hair cut and colored (by Terry and Sal, her dynamic hair styling duo!)  My Mom has actually been getting her nails done by Gloria Phillips at Salon Jean Paul (on Yuma Street in Spring Valley, DC. 202-966-1900) for the past 20 years. My apologies for the oversight!

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