The Fashion Magpie What You Are Shopping For

What You’re Shopping For: January 2022 Edition, Vol III.

*Image above via Toteme. ULTRA CHIC. The skirt is everything.

Q: A longline black cardigan. Budget is $100.

A: This is $5 over, but I love this Everlane one, and the pockets/shape of this one feel so modern. If it’s more of a duster situation you’re after, consider this Aqua or this soft knit. Love the idea of layering the latter over a crisp white button-down for a texture contrast. Last but not least, had to mention this J. Crew style, currently on sale for $118. Love the weight, texture, shape — sort of a coatigan situation.

Q: Spring crossbody bag.

A: Total frivolous and trend-conscious splurge: this Gucci, this Loewe, or this Lady Dior micro. Investment: Chanel double flap in caviar leather in a spring color. More reasonable but still spectacular and high-quality: this Frame, this Pam Munson, this mini jute, this DeMellier, or this Tory Burch. I have written about this a lot, but I own and adore this Marc Jacobs bag (under $400). It’s the perfect shape and size for carrying just the essentials — phone, card case, keys, sanitizer — and I love the details. It is also available in a slightly larger size in fabulous spring colors here (the green!!!). (I own it in this more fall-centric color palette.) The design reminds me of a lot of this far more expensive Marni style, but I think they’re equally chic. This matte pink Osoi also caught my eye — so unusual and architectural! For styles under $215, I am in love with this Ariel Okin x Neely and Chloe (perfect Easter bag!), this Hermes-inspired lady bag, and this wicker style (!). Not crossbodies but worth a mention: this is a clutch but had to mention here: it’s $12 and v inspired by Bottega! And this little woven bag with the pink leather handles is SO cute!

Q: February wedding (“formal” – is that black tie?) in Santa Monica.

A: I believe formal is the level below “black tie optional,” but a step above “cocktail.” I am assuming Santa Monica will be warm next month given that it’s in the 70s now? A few favorite options that feel dressy, location-relevant, CHIC, and weather-appropriate:

STAUD

AGUA BENDITA

REFORMATION

SAU LEE

ZIMMERMANN

SELF-PORTRAIT

REFORMATION AGAIN

P.S. More wedding guest picks here.

Q: I’m hoping you can help me find fabric. I’m looking to reupholster a set of vintage dining chairs we inherited. If I’m brave enough, we’ll wallpaper the dining room above the wainscoting in S&L’s navy grasscloth. I’m looking for a fabric to complement that wallcovering. Leaning traditional, timeless, possibly floral. Would so appreciate your input! Thanks in advance!

A: WOW! This sounds so incredibly chic. I would spend some time skimming the Instagram accounts of interior designers you admire/like and see what they’ve done. A few constant sources of inspo for me: my girlfriend Jen Hunter, Clary Bosbyshell, Amy L. Berry, Kelley Proxmire. They all do such interesting things with colors and patterns. I was surprised but I like the way these two dining rooms (1 and 2) use solid upholstery against white chairs, for example. (Would you consider painting/re-staining yours?). I would not have thought to do that but it adds so much youthfulness and airiness to the room, and might be fabulous against the navy wallpaper. I also like the vibes of this room and this room, and so maybe going with something similar — a gingham/geometric pattern is the direction I’d lean if I want a pattern. Maybe something like this, this, or this? That said, this Sister Parish design is so fabulous. It’s having a major moment right now and I can’t stop thinking about it. It might feel dated in time, though, given how on-trend/grandmillennial it feels. And so that leaves me thinking maybe a blue and white stripe is the way to go — Lee Jofa, French linen? How could you ever tire?!

I will say I’m sharing thoughts based purely on aesthetics, and if you have young children, you might consider a performance fabric. I’m sure you can find a classic, timeless blue and white stripe or solid blue in a performance fabric. (Otherwise, be sure to throw a towel down whenever your children are eating…that’s what we do in our home.).

I’ve also leaned heavily into blue patterns in my response here because I think it’s a simple way to tie into the navy grasscloth without being matchy matchy.

Q: Classic crewneck cardigans.

A: I “answered” this last week by completing ignoring the question and actually sharing pullovers. Ha! Sorry about that! I was in la la land. I don’t know why J. Crew has retired its timeless Jackie style — I own tons of these in different colors and they are perfect, tailored, fitted. You can find a tiny run of them here. J. Crew Factory has a similar style though I do find the quality of their Factory pieces hit or miss. And there is limited inventory in a similar style at Boden in a great warm white color here. Zara = has some simple, unfussy ones in pretty colors out, too. And if it’s cableknit you’re after, I’m drooling over these ones (on sale!) from N. Peal. A few other “classic with a twist” options I love:

THIS MADEWELL

THIS CASHMERE FROM FAVORITE DAUGHTER

THIS ALEX MILL

THIS ANINE BING

THIS CABLEKNIT DEMYLEE

THIS PEPLUM MCQUEEN

THIS PREPPY RL

THIS CHUNKY TARGET

Q: Wondering if you have any recommendations for first communion dresses (and shoes)? 

Congratulations to your little one!  Here are a few gorgeous options:

BELLABLISS

THIS ETSY SHOP

AMAIA

BHLDN

ANOTHER AMAIA

For shoes, I would look at Elephantito or this simple pair from Hoo Shoes.

Q: Table linens! I need to build up my collection, and am looking for reasonably-priced basics, though I never mind a suggestion for a fun, pretty purchase as well.

A: I love this and could stand to do the same! My top recs for versatile, timeless table linens are this scalloped Matouk (would pick a color that compliments your dining room or that you simply love…personally I’m afraid of white tablecloths so would go with one of the colors!), a timeless linen, probably in the flax color, and a simple runner in a color you like (this one I have in white because it’s less likely to be stained by food and it just looks fresh and lovely; i love that it’s quilted because it makes the table feel more “done” for some reason, maybe because of the texture contrast? and never needs to be ironed!). For everyday dining, I love placemats like these, these or these. Again, the texture is interesting and they don’t need to be ironed as intensively as, say, linen or cotton. They hold their shape better, too. I think a woven rattan placemat like this or this would be lovely for the same reasons (not a pain to iron/launder). I also have a set of cork-backed placemats that I love because they are wipe-clean!

For napkins, I love these (the white would go with absolutely EVERYTHING), these (just ordered in the magenta/pink but the neutral colors would stand you well for everyday), these, these, and this green set. Such a funny thing — I have a set of plain sage green cotton dinner napkins that have seen the heaviest use of ANY of my napkins. They just go with so much as a contrasting color, are pastel without being too frou-frou/feminine, etc. They can also work across seasons I find. One other note on napkins: you can often find GREAT deals on clearance at Pottery Barn on these. Currently love these and these.

As for more fun/punchy/statement pieces, I’m currently in the market myself for some of those scalloped linen placemats from Mrs. Alice, La Gallina Matta (I bought my mom a set of these!) or The Avenue. So many chic options! And a few other table linens with more distinctive patterns to consider:

JUST BOUGHT THIS PINK MRS. ALICE — THE MOST FUN HOT PINK AND CAN GO WITH SO MANY COLORS…GREEN, PALE PINK, WHITE, TAUPE, RED — FOR DIFFERENT OCCASIONS

THESE FABULOUS PRINTED NAPKINS

PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING FROM JULIA AMORY BUT ESPECIALLY THIS GREEN ONE

PEACH AMANDA LINDROTH — I HAVE A TABLECLOTH FROM HER THAT I ADORE…GREAT FOR A SPRING OR SUMMER TABLESCAPE

THIS PAINTERLY GREEN STRIPE IS ON MY LUST LIST

THESE TOILE NAPKINS

VERONICA BEARD

Q: Art for my son’s nursery that will work as the room changes. Not too cutesy.

A: I love the pieces by Leslee Mitchell. Something like this would be so fun! We had a reproduction of an Andy Warhol printed on canvas in our son’s room. He has some fun pieces (these cars? this cow?) that read whimsical but sophisticated, especially when mixed in with artwork in other styles/media. (Side note: I have a thing for Andy Warhol’s portrait of Carolina Herrera and sometimes stalk reproductions on eBay. I think it would be so fabulous framed or printed on a stretched canvas in my office with other feminine artwork.) Also love the idea of a set of vintage animal sketches like these framed across a wall.

Q: Good source for wedding inspo? Any posts on your wedding?

A: Congratulations! Unlike Bride and Over the Moon are the only bridal accounts I follow! I was married nearly twelve years ago but I find them SO inspiring and sophisticated, so that should be an indication of how strongly I feel about the aesthetics! I don’t have much on my own wedding, sadly, but I do have a bridal section here with fun finds for brides-to-be.

Q: Men’s leather wallet.

A: Paul Stuart makes lovely, timeless men’s products. I’ve purchased Mr. Magpie several pairs of shoes and belts from there. They have this straight-forward, elegant wallet on offer. Todd Snyder has some lovely pieces from London-based brand Ettinger worth a look. Smythson makes beautiful leather goods, too, and some are on sale. Last but not least, I have gifted Mr. Magpie two Ralph Lauren bifolds in our time as a couple!

Q: Rehearsal dinner dress in August.

A: Congratulations! I have loved this Zimmermann for the last few seasons — it’s just so elegant and chic and easy. This Carolina Herrera has a sweet vintage quality to it that I love; this Sachin and Babi is romantic; this Staud is darling and fresh; this Shoshanna feels formal but fun at the same time; this feather-trim style feels on trend and festive; this Markarian is spectacular; this mini says “I’M HERE TO CELEBRATE!”

Q: New bath towels.

A: My favorites are Matouk’s Cairo and Auberge — I own multiple sets of each. I also have some Weezie, which offer the greatest monogram options. I do find the latter are soft but snag easily, just FYI!

More bathroom refresh finds here.

Q: Dress for me for my newborn photos and my almost three year old girl. Baby two is also a girl!

A: Congratulations! I would treat myself to this Thierry Colson or this one, or one of Julia Amory’s shirtdresses — all boast loose fits in fabulous prints with a nice amount of coverage. If those are too busy for your taste, consider a simple and elegant Daphne Wilde dress. For your little one, you can’t go wrong with a petal collar Proper Peony or smocked Luli and Me. Pukatuka also has some darling pieces in pinks and blues. I have also had fabulous luck with Sal E Pimenta over the past few years — they do the sweetest pieces with unusual, slightly whimiscal details, like this sailor-inspired beauty. Cecil and Lou nails the look for less with precious pieces like this and this. Proper Peony, Luli, and Sal e Pimenta all run small but Cecil and Lou runs generously.

Q: Fall black tie wedding, coast of Maine.

A: Love that you’re planning ahead. I’m the same way. I would wear this, this, or this with a little copped jacket like this, this, or this over my shoulders (it will certainly be cold!). This navy number or this black velvet are also striking!

Q: 84th birthday gift for my mom.

A: Happy birthday to her! Wow! How about one of these gorgeous Heidi Carey robes, some beautiful table linens, a beautiful frame with a special photo of the two of you (or the entire fam!), an Alice Walk cashmere wrap, or an Artifact Uprising photo book. I’m thinking of doing the latter for my mom/mother-in-law one of these years. I know they would treasure it! If she prays, my mom loved this rosary bracelet as a recent gift. If she is still fairly active (plays golf / likes to go for walks), I love the idea of buying her some new fitness gear from Tory Burch, whose styles are so age-versatile.

P.S. More gifts for women who have it all.

Q: Practical anniversary gift for our son and daughter-in-law with two small children.

A: Great quality (but not too pricey) towels or sheets in go-with-everything white. I only got my second set of sheets for my bed a few years ago and it finally made me feel like an adult not to have to leave the bed stripped every time I’d launder the sheets. But second, or third, sets of sheets are just not something you want to spend money on when you have so many demands! Alternately, a piece of furniture! It takes a lifetime to acquire a full set. My mother bought us dining chairs awhile ago (we consulted with one another on style) and WOW. To have a huge part of my dining room outfitted was beyond generous!

Q: Valentine’s cards for adults.

A: If you’re thinking of sending a bunch out to friends, I like the simple design of these and these! Such a fun idea!

16 Comments

  1. I’m doing a galentine’s day too! With diy flower decorating and breakfast for dinner. And thanks for the Valentine’s Day card recs!!!

    1. Hi! It is a bummer. I think a tradeoff though — they are ultra-soft and plush, and that’s the price you pay for that? Whereas my Matouks are a bit heartier/less likely to snag but not quite as plush.

      xx

  2. Oh my the Zimmerman you suggested in the Santa Monica wedding post is just fabulous!!! May need to buy it and find an occassion to wear it to later… thats ok right??

  3. Thanks for answering my question! I love all the scalloped options in particular, and I’m sure I’ll consult this post many times in the future whenever I am in the market. One thing I love about your posts is how they are often rather timeless; the links have lasting power 🙂 and I come back to months-old posts when I know you’ve got the relevant recommendations. (For example, I just pouch-ified the Metro tote I received for Christmas!)

    1. Oh I’m so glad! Thank you for the compliments, too. I will be building my linen collection up alongside you! It was fun to have the prompt of Landon’s birthday to buy something new for my collection. I do need more basics though. Thanks for the nudge!

      xx

  4. I can’t remember the specific post since you have mentioned them multiple times, but thank you for recommending the Madewell Perfect Vintage Jean! Wow, where have these been all my life?? I’m still working from home and am trying to wear real clothes everyday. These are fabulous for that – still casual but so comfortable!! Love!

    1. I SO agree! I reach for them close to every other morning. They feel fresh/contemporary and are surprisingly comfortable. The fit is fabulous. Have had lots of other women write in to say the same! Just a magic pair. Thanks to the many Magpies who pointed me in their direction in the first place!

      xx

  5. Hi Jen,
    This is going back a bit, but I remember a post you did about not wanting to have cold ankles in the winter because of cropped pants. I remember you had some great suggestions for this dilemma! Could you help me locate that post? Boston’s cold weather isn’t going away any time soon….

  6. Jen, many thanks for the nursery art recommendations! Such great suggestions and the Warhols are exactly the aesthetic we’re aiming for. I now have my eye on that Carolina Herrera, too. Much appreciated!

  7. Hi! I am a fairly new subscriber to your daily emails and it’s the highlight of my morning! I esp. like your round ups at the end of every musing as you find very unique brands/stores. I subscribe to a handful of influencer newsletters but yours is definitely one-of-a-kind❤.

    I was wondering if you plan to curate a gift guide for Galentine’s day. I love to pick out fun little gift for my girlfriends and would be thrilled to see your picks .

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Val! Thank you so much for the sweet note. So happy to have you here! Glad we’ve found one another. I love the idea of a Galentine’s Day gift! Let me put some thought into this and will share some ideas in an upcoming post.

      xx

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