Monday, March 29, 2010

Rag and Bone Fall 2010

Yeah, so plaid is not so springy... but otherwise, these outfits look super for Kitsap-wear.  Layer-upon-layer of separates, substantial bootage, menswear inspiration but showing some leg.
The photos are taken from with photo credit to Rob Loud.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Keep the Shoulders Warm Also

My sister has lived in the Pac NW for almost twenty years, more than twice as long as I. She and I have regularly discussed just what parts of us we have to keep warm in order to be comfortable. What I mean is, over these years of drafty and damp, we've discovered that if certain key parts of the bod are protected, then other parts will be cozy even if exposed. For eg: if our ankles are wrapped up, then we don't mind our legs being bare. That's why tights work with boots and a skirt, or why you could even wear a skirt with no tights as long as you have on boots, or legwarmers or a nice pair of socks (and I don't mean Burkenstocks and Uptight Seattelite socks, but something like this). And if the back of the neck is cuddled up and safe from the aforementioned d&d, then you might be able to get away with a sweater rather than a full-blown-coat, because who wants to tote a coat nine months out of the year also?
Now, these sisterly experiments have been helpful but I must confess that I tend to be a lot colder than the sister. (Also, she has become a tri-athlete and is now training for her first half ironman (!!!!) and has hot, sportsbabe blood running through her veins at all times even though she's as slender as a reed. Also.) I need not just a warm neck, but warm shoulders! Also: arms and upper back!
Also, I am no runner. True, I run to Kingston or to Central Market, but that's in the Volvo. And while I'm doing that, I need to look good and keep warm.
To that end, I have three cropped cardigans, the newest of which is pictured at right and is also available on ebay right here (what a world! I googled that shit and up it popped).  The tube top available on ebay is overkill, but you wouldn't have to wear them together.
I scored my cardigan without the tube for twelve bucks at Boca Bargains, the Boca Grande (FL) Women's Club's thrift store. It's a bit overwhelming, that place, especially in the high season. Some friends and I stopped to talk and were glared at for blocking traffic, but if you are willing to muscle your way through the sea of elbows, you can find some good stuff.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Match this Pac NW Palette: Poulsbo in the Morning

Cozy, not too heavy and handmade. Check out -- you can even search by locale -- for handmade beautiful stuff and click here for this shaw from Turkey.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Green Staples from Alternative Apparel

There's no style revolution going on here, but Alternative Apparel is producing hip, eco-friendly fashion staples and making an effort to treat workers well.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Barn-to-Evening on the Road: Spring Training!

"I see great things in baseball." Walt Whitman

And the best way to see baseball is during spring training. A beautiful day at Charlotte County Stadium, the Twins v the Rays -- and did they ever v!
The human scenery, other than the 40-some-odd young men on the field and in the dugouts, was not so beautiful. How is it we can put a man on the moon and yet not have enough shelf bra tank tops for all the women in America who really need them? Somebody please get this girl a shrug.... And I'm sorry, gentlemen, there's no mistaking you for Francisco Liriano and Joe Mauer. They are the men doing the rigorous and vital work on the field; you are the fat slobs in the stands drinking beer.
The young lady in front of me had a more appropriate way to show her affection: a leather bracelet with baseball-style stitches and the name of the favorite on the front, held together with a baseball bead on the back.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

H&M Garden Collection

A few styles from H&M's new organic fabric collection. Pretty cute, although it'll be four months before we can wear anything this skimpy in the Pac NW. And while I'm sure that, at these prices, there is much to be desired in how workers are compensated, organic fabrics are a step in the right direction. You can see their press release here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Soot! Or Boot-andal.... Or Sand-oot....

Keep your ankles warm in spring! Courtesy of The Finerie, First Ave., Seattle.

Barn-to-Evening on the Road: Florida!

No photograph can capture the beauty of my father and stepmother's spot in Florida. Here's a shot from their top deck. I am so grateful to be here.
Of course, that barn-to-evening outfit that looked so urbane and sleek as I stepped on the plane at midnight at SEATAC (black Tread Air brogans, black Lululemon yoga pants, black cashmere sweater) looked ridiculously out of place at ten a.m. the next day in Fort Myers!
I shipped my Florida clothes via FedEx (and thanks, btw, to Uncle Fred for being the rare Republican to come out in support of our president's business policies), but it's been a bit chilly for Lily and Sweet Chemise these first few days.
There has been a trunk show on the Island that I'll be reporting on shortly, and one vendor smartly brought along a couple of gross of cashmere, merino and alpaca wraps that I bet sold like hotcakes.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Yellow Bird Project Raises It For Haiti

Muse Model Management's lovely Renee is standing tall for Yellow Bird Project and the band TV on the Radio.
Yellow Bird Project is based in Montreal. They work with indie rockers to make and market tee-shirts which are sold to support charity.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Waypoint Sara

My beautiful friend Sara is the field rep for Waypoint Outdoor -- -- which means she gets to run around the countryside and do stuff like ski and 'board and rock climb and basically have fun for a living.
She travels for KEEN and Arc'teryx and a whole bunch of other brands that keep us cozy and looking good in the Pac NW.

Here's her apparel report after a weekend of skiing:

"I'm pleased to announce that I washed my jeans this weekend, so they're a little better than the last time we chatted wardrobe! My top today is:


Naturally Bamboo is the life-work of April Johnson Femrite, an awesome, go-get-'em, hardbody who should be out here in the Upper Left Hand Corner with the rest of us.

Friend Sara and follow her adventures here:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Skirts, Mud and Looking Good

I love the Louis Vuitton Fall 2010 collection. My first thought on seeing those dresses and skirts in the below-the-knee length was "Oooo, sexy!" The very idea of covering something up (!) is sexy!
In the right fabrics, these clothes, especially the skirts, are great for our barn-to-evening conditions. I love a hunk of skirt-cloth to pick up as I pick my way through the muck. Change from barn boots to pumps and you're ready for the market, or for dinner and a movie.

For most of our nine months of dank, I'd choose a sturdy merino wool. Some of the Vuitton skirts were lined, which is a luxury I'm not sure the barn permits -- perhaps too much to keep clean. The wool brushes off clean once the dirt is dry, and when you get it dirty (notice I didn't say "if") you could just think of it as you would a Persian rug or a vintage Pendleton blanket: those aren't stains, they're character marks.

In the winter of 1983, my dad and I drove from Manhattan to Annandale-on-Hudson in a blinding blizzard. I had on a brown wool skirt, yoke-waisted, cut on the bias, and in this same mid-calf length. Plus, it had pockets! Couldn't have wished for a better garment for visiting colleges in a snowstorm.

I probably had on tights, but these days, I prefer cashmere leggings.
True, they bag-out at the knees eventually, and much sooner than you'd like considering what you'll pay for a nice pair, but man, are they cozy.

Here's an image of some Donna Karan cashmere leggings that would set you
back about five hundred dollars, but Victoria's Secret and The Find have more reasonable prices on cashmere-blend leggings.

And up top? In 1983, I probably wore a sweater of my dad's, but I wonder why I felt like I had so much to hide. How about something fitted and low-cut? You can always pile on scarves or shrugs or both....

This dress from Urban Outfitters would make a great top:

And so would this bodysuit:

And they're both on sale.

The last time I shopped Urban Outfitters I was not legal to vote, and I find it hard to support a business that does SO much business -- where is all the fabric coming from? And who made it? But check out their sale page. Urban Outfitters won't feel unduly encouraged if you buy at such a deep discount and there's plenty of cute stuff.

And that bodysuit reminds me: I think we in the Pac NW should get a special extension on the wearing of velvet. And especially in Kitsap County. We need as many beautiful fabrics on as many people for as many months as possible. Valentine's Day is about six weeks too early to quit with the warm, cozy, lush fabrics; how about Easter? Or May Day?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Rugged Jewelry

David Yurman. A barn-to-evening standard. Thanks, Dad!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

This Girl Has the Right Idea

I always check out what Christine's got on. Her style is cheerful, practical and surprisingly up-to-the-moment considering she probably never reads Vogue.

Here she is on a typical school day.

A pink plaid coat with butterscotch and cream details; a Pucci-inspired dress, empire
waist, in a satiny polyester (playground-practical).
The bubbly design of the dress contrasts nicely with the rigor of the plaid, yet the dress and coat are tonally similar. Christine, you've got such an eye! You're going to make a great stylist.
And to bring it all home to the Pac NW, instead of tights, she's wearing jeans and the lastest boot -- not an Ugg, which is so 2008, but a suede, furred boot with a lace up the front.
She's warm, she's layer and yet she looks really cute. Of course, Christine always looks cute.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Poulsbo Style

Hey, it could happen.

Handsome, hand-done skirt at Closet Exchange, Poulsbo.

Cold! Damp!
Brown suede International Concepts trouser.
Grey v-neck J Crew sweater.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What Julie Case is Wearing Today

"Typically I prefer shopping at boutiques and second-hand stores. I love these "finds," which tend to be more unique than you get in the big stores. But a couple of weeks ago I was walking through the Bon and this blouse caught my eye. I walked by on first pass, but then had to turn around. There was just something about it.
On the mannequin it bloused over a pair of silver leggings. That look was ridiculous on me. Then, I found a pair of stretchy black slacks, with a boot cut. Suddenly, I had an outfit. What I love about it is how the belt cinches the waist, nuzzling my curves without grabbing on like a bareback rider. And, it's sassy."

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Asked Readers: What Did You Wear Today in the Pacific Northwest?

Rachel writes:

Low rise Paperboy khakis, off-
white cable knit zippered cardigan hoody, light pink Converse Jack Purcell low tops, and a tailored leatherette BCBG blazer
accented with jungle red kid gloves. Three out of five of which were purchased at the Capitol Hill Value Village.

A couple of responders I agree to keep anonymous hit me back.

Anonymous #1:
Today is acceptable, but
only acceptable. I'm wearing a silver hand-me-down shirt, grey blazer and
slacks and the world's most comfortable heels.

Shoes by Born and top by Krizia D.

Anonymous #2 writes:

walking shoes, work-out capri's layered with polar fleece pants, work-out top layered with l/s henley, polar fleece t-neck & down vest with polar fleece hat.
do not mention my name, def. a "Glamour Don't" today!!

Poet Jill Johnson, who normally resides in the San Juan Islands, is wearing spring colors and warm layers in Nebraska:

I'm headed to a Randall Kenan reading at the Center for Great Plains Studies (even though he lives in Chapel Hill) wearing eucalyptus cords, a pale blue and white striped shirt under a foamy green wool sweater interspersed with watercolor hints of that same pale blue. Cowboy boots. sparkly earrings, brown trench. That's how we roll in the Midwest. Nothing matches. No one cares.

It Snowed!

I kept warm in a pair of Telluride Clothing Company wool trousers and this felted neck-cuff my sister gave me for Christmas.
What did you wear?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Apparel for fence repair and for holding wet puppies

Black rubber boots
Brown corduroy mini-skirt by Anna Sui
Snug white tee with shelf bra, designer and creator lost to history (via Tacoma Goodwill)
Brown Lululemon fleece with lavender satin ("satin") details

And a plug for Tacoma Goodwill, here? I mean the one in Spanaway, south of Pacific Lutheran University -- there are no hipsters nor fashion mavens shopping in Spanaway, I PROmise. So this Goodwill has the Top o' the Line Goodwill stuff in the area.

Several of these in all colors

and the Cenex boots

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Clothes to chase runaway horses in

Brown Marisa Christina cashmere turtleneck.
Tan Old Navy tee.
Brown Skin nightgown with spaghetti straps.
Black rubber boots from Cenex. $16.95

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Audition tomorrow requires camisole.
Got a cute new Prana top from Poulsbo's own Sport Haus! Chocolatey brown with sky blue trim. Break a leg in Prana....

No More Black! And yep, I froze....

And no matchy-matchy. Makes me want to get that Commes des Garcons jacket back from Rachel....
Top: Orange polkadot I was wearing the day Jack was born.
Skirt: Vinyl graffiti print from Buffalo Exchange in Portland.
Boots: Black Immagini with red stitching, from J. Gilbert Footwear in Seattle
And socks! Blue with white snowflakes. I'm loving the socks with haute shoes look on the spring runways. That's a PacNW-friendly style!
And my favorite:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pacific Northwest Collection

I get excited about new clothes in the spring, and especially this year, since I've now spent a year contracted with a modeling agency and thinking more about how I look. I've spent a lot of time lately looking into the home trunk show business.
Originally, I knew about this business model from Doncaster, which was very successful in Memphis. Later, Worth came to town; my stepmother bought me my first real suit from one of the early Worth collections. Why didn't I keep that legacy piece?! Well, yes, I'd be proud to still have it hanging in my closet, but truly, how many opportunities do I have to wear a red linen suit in my Pacific Northwest life? It worked great when I lived in Puerto Rico....
The idea of selling fantastic clothes in my own home is very exciting to me (even if I might choose a storefront), and I love the idea of a whole fashion season that comes direct-to-the-shopper four times a y ear. Just the one label, the consistency of that, how they add pieces based on previous seasons, each season elaborates on the last. Both as a consumer and a marketer I like that you wouldn't be style-toggling between a number of designers; it seems so much more streamlined to have, yes, an abundance of choices, but to have the field just be a little more narrow and inter-related than it is when you walk into a boutique that represents several designers. That seems to carry a lot of authority.
But as excited as I get when I look at and etcetera, at or the others, like Carlisle Collection and Doncaster (although -- see below about the Doncaster model), I have to admit that those beautiful clothes would be a hard sell in my life and the lives of my friends. On the fashion-needs continuum, there's office-to-evening, carpool-to-cocktail and barn-to-evening, and Kitsap County is decidedly in the last category.
So what would a collection have to look like to work here? Two distinct issues come immediately to mind.
First is shoes. Most of the people I live around and to whom I'd love selling clothes, do not work from nine to five, five days a week in clean and heated offices. We are running in and out of our kids' schools, our own yards and barnyards, farmers' markets and grocery stores and, if we're treating ourselves really well, a coffee shop. Also, the occasional ferry. And the car, the car, the car. As much as we hate it, we almost always hear the full two hours of All Things Considered every weekday as we drive around in the car.
So a fashion collection on which we could rely would have to protect our feet and make them fashionable. I've got a pair of black Manolo pumps that Liz Weigel gave me that work for a lot of stuff as long as it isn't raining, but when I was running around North Kitsap today checking out horses boarding facilities, I was in a pair of Dansko clogs. None of the businesses I'm researching offers footwear, and I'm sure they've got a really good reason for that, but I know none of the shoes they show their collections in would work for my life.
The second issue a home fashion collection would have to address is how cold we are. Summer collections are now posted at Worth, Carlisle, Etcetera and Per Se, but we won't be ready for summer clothes for six months, and there are some years I never put the sweaters away. Our ongoing challenge is how to stay warm and look cute. And for me it's not a matter of having a cotton cardigan to put over a sundress. I need layers!
I would love the idea of making a living and helping North Kitsap dress up, but until there's a collection that combines fashionable, legacy-apparel with our beloved Carhartt's lifestyle, how successful would it be?
(*Oh, and here's the note about Doncaster: Why are they selling their clothes online? What consultant wants to compete with that?)
Top down:
Red, cropped Anthropologie cardigan; black, long-sleeved-teeshirt-like sweater from Ban Repub; black lace tee of unknown origin; black Lulu Lemon pants; pink suede Land's End flats.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Good Life!

Here is our handsome Jack and beloved Stormy, kickin' it homeschool style.
The photographer (and mother) wore: rubber boots, Carhartt's, not one but TWO grey, long-sleeved, Banana Republic tees, the fave old-school brown fuzzy sweater.