Candy Striping

By: Jen Shoop

So I have a confession: I get weekly and, occasionally, bi-weekly (!) manicures.  Shame on me.  Every time I head to Vicky’s (best nail salon in D.C., hands down — and conveniently located a block away from in Georgetown), I tell myself “You know, you should really try a new color.”  And every time I make a bee-line for Essie’s Lollipop.

Well, that’s not true.  Sometimes I’ll branch out and try Geranium or Escapades, but let’s be honest: they’re all pretty much the same — the cheeriest, glossiest (lolli-)pop of color.  Vicky recently joked with me about my fascination with red (“Do you wear anything else?”) and suddenly I realized I was, in fact, sporting not only lollipop-red nail lacquer but a lollipop-red ruffle coat (Juicy Couture’s Poinsettia Coat):

and, over a frilly white blouse (J. Crew):

And lollipop-red Jackie cardigan (also by J. Crew):

In essence, I was candy-striping my way through winter.

It make sense: traditionally, candy stripers wear red-and-white get-ups to boost morale while visiting patients in hospitals; no wonder I was gravitating toward cherry red!  It was powering me though the lingering grayness of late winter / early spring.  I mean — wouldn’t these red kicks put a little pep in your step?

(The first pair is quite a find — $39 by Chinese Laundry!  They bring me back to my childhood, when I sported “Jellies” for weeks on an end.  Word to the wise: Missoni has a similar “Jellie throwback” style out this season, and Sassanova is selling them in a hot pink color with a signature Missoni print fabric bow.  They are pre-cious.  The second pair above are classic Kate Spade.)  Or why not brighten your day with these adorable underpinnings by the one and only Phillip Lim (available, for more than a pretty penny, through Net-A-Porter):

Or, for the truly fashion-forward, this happy nod-to-the-50s frock:

On the runway, Jacobs styled the dress with a belt, which leads me to believe that I would never be able to wear it in “real life” (it’s also conveniently well out of my price range) — I’m envisioning myself engulfed in voluminous, definitionless organza.  Looking for a more wearable iteration of the same, retro-cheery look?  Try Kate Spade’s Jillian dress:

You’d almost need to wear them with a nude or pale pink pump like the Louboutin I featured in yesterday’s post.  If you’re not so much into the head-to-toe look, a pop of cherry red here or there will be enough of a mood-booster to propel you through the day.  Imagine sporting this cute Kate Spade bag (the “Plisse Priti,” on sale now at the KS website):

Or this bow-heavy tote, by Augustina (London and Toronto-based):

(It’s a hair more affordable than the classic Valentino bow bag.)  I imagine myself wearing one of them with a crisp white oxford (no frills or details), some cigarette-leg dark-wash jeans, and some kickin flats, like these, by Guiseppe Zanotti (on sale now for $220 at FootCandyShoes, one of my personal favorite eRetailers — they have a killer sale section):

Maybe you’d just want some retro-chic Wayfarers, a la Rachel Bilson, or an eye-catching “red-hot” necklace like this one, by Bettina Louise ($800, vivre.com)?

Or maybe, in true “candy-striper” fashion, you want to entertain some guests?  I’d love to host with one of these Fontaine Maury personalized melamine trays (I snagged a green and navy version with my new married initials on it, as I mentioned in my “Certified Monogram Fanatic” post):

You could serve up some old-fashioned cocktails with some old-fashioned paper straws (I’ve seen them sold at Crate & Barrel in seasons past, but also know that you can pick them up on the cheap — $3 for 50 — at kikkerlandshop.com):

If you’re looking to take the look literal, I dig this Vivienne Westwood (on sale at TheOutnet.com):

To avoid looking like a walking peppermint stick, I’d tone down the accessories — just some black wayfarers or a pair of oversized, jet-black sunnies.  These, by Oliver Peoples, should do the trick:

You’d also need a big, black “I’m super classy” bag, like this one, which I got from my wonderful mother for Christmas (the Kate Spade Poppy Fields Tote in black, still available at zappos.com):

Slip into a pair of simple black flats (preferably patent), and you’re ready to go.  But before I skip off in my own mood-boosting cherry red, I’ll leave you with a few drool-worthy footwear options:

(Jimmy Choo.)


(Also Valentino.)

Now that’s enough to put you on a day-long fashion high.

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