Hats Off!

Can we talk about hats?  Like as a fashion statement.  I like a hat.  I really really do.  I envy those airport paparazzi shots of Hollywood starlets looking all cool after a trans-Atlantic flight sporting a jaunty hat and sunglasses.  It looks good.  I treasure the image of my grandparents out for the day circa 1964 in camel hair overcoats and matching fedoras.  Its a pretty bad ass silhouette.

But I just can’t do it.

I own hats.  I think I even look good in a hat.  But I can’t.  I feel like a douche.  Maybe if I moved to Europe, I could reinvent myself and incorporate the hat into my daily street style rotation?  Is that it?  Would that work ok?  Otherwise, I’m the lady with the hats in the closet collecting dust.

Shorty #1 and I have some fun shopping.

Shorty #1 and I go shopping.

Maybe I should have been born into royalty, then I would feel more free to express my hat love more openly.  Good for you Katy Cambridge, you lucked out to marry into a hat wearing family.  Go for it sister.  Expand your horizons beyond that little fascinator and rock out a wide-brim why don’t you?  I know people judge you for what you wear but you can actually pull that shit off.

The truth is that a hat is a pain in the ass.  They are a nightmare to pack (I’m looking at you Mr. taking up half an overhead storage bin with your Tilley Endurable).  They make my forehead itch.  And seriously, when we’re inside and need to take the hat off – HAT HAIR.  WTF!  Any minuscule amount of fashion props we’re getting for rocking a great hat goes immediately out the window when you’re sporting a crushed blow out.

So, I guess I’ll just save you my precious for a day at the beach.  The rest of you are getting donated to the School for Johnny Depp impersonators.

Ode to a Boot

Roses are red

My boots are black

I love my Fryes

More than my flats

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I was messing around online and stumbled across this post on Vogue.com and it made me think about just how much I love my Frye Harness motorcycle boots.  I picked them up 9 years ago in the heat of August at a Nordstrom annual summer sale.  They are a little battered and beaten but still comfortable as hell.  The scuffs and scrapes only add character to these beauties.  They look great with jeans, with a little dress, anything goes.  Really, what’s not to love…

…Except that they are heavy as hell.  I wore them when I was pregnant and nearly went into labor.  I remember stopping in the mall and sitting on a bench with contractions.  I went home, took the boots off and laid down and the contractions went away – so you can be a slave to fashion even in your third trimester.

The truth is that Frye makes great boots.  They are solid and they hold up well to the shit-kicking I put them through including several rainy Pacific Northwest winters.  They are not cheap, but when you factor in how many seasons you can pull out of them, the amortized rate makes them a bargain.

In addition to the Harness, that I love so much – Frye make other super cute styles.  I have a pair of the Melissa Button riding boots that I bought almost 5 years ago.  I still wear them every fall/ winter.  They never go out of style.  Unlike the Harness, I have had to have them re-soled, but that was worth every penny as they are still in great shape.  The more you wear a pair of Fryes, the more comfortable they get.  The more beat up they are, the cooler they look.

Trust me – they’re worth the money.  And they didn’t pay me a dime (or a boot) to say so!

The Hairy Eyeball

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The hairy eyeball.  Its happened to all of us.  That moment when you catch someone staring at you – the up and down.   My Mom calls it “unzipping”.  My reaction is to always go negative – they must think my outfit is stupid, they notice the chipped nail polish, the zit on my chin, the peanut butter finger prints around my knees, the bad hair day.  Or worse, the way I’m handling my kids, the food in my grocery cart, the difficult business call I am taking on my cell.  I always go negative and assume the worst.

The truth is however, if its me doing the staring its generally positive – a cute haircut, nice outfit or impressive feat of juggling that has caught my attention.  I notice myself doing the staring and feel remorse.  Its at those moments I wish it was socially acceptable to yell at strangers:

“Hey – I love your hair!  Who cuts it for you?  Did you need a flat iron to get that look?”

“OMG those shoes are fantastic.  They look amazing with those pants.  I wish I could pull that off.  Good for you.”

“You are amazing.  You’re carrying your toddler on your shoulders, juggling bags and groceries and are heading home to start cooking dinner.  You are my hero and you deserve a medal!”

I fantasize sometimes when driving the car or pushing the shopping cart that I can hurl these compliments on the unsuspecting women passing by.  Social conventions prevent me from doing so, but next time you see me staring you can be assured that I think you’re awesome!

Come on Vogue…

The Cannes Red Carpet - that's my back.

The Cannes Red Carpet – that’s my back.

I’m really lucky.  In my line of work I get to attend some great events.  Fancy do’s with beautiful people and spare no expense excess.  It can be a lot of fun – but I always face the same problem (get ready – this is one of those problems that falls in the “My diamond shoes are too tight” category).  I never know what to wear.

The Red Carpet at the Cannes Film Festival.  The black-tie Kennedy Centre Honors.  Fancy cocktail party outside the Louvre in Paris.  Really, what do I care.  The paparazzi aren’t photographing me.  But nevertheless, I’m a woman and I care about fashion and how I look.  So how on earth do I handle caviar styles with a mac and cheese budget?   All these events are populated by well-heeled attendees who are particularly well-heeled in their Christian Laboutins and couture.  I on the other hand will be wearing something from the Spring 2000 line of The Gap (Black Magic strikes again?) and accessories courtesy of Joe Fresh.

For the record, I always buy my accessories at the local Superstore with the Joe Fresh capsule shop.  Here’s how it goes:

“I love that necklace.”

“Oh this old thing.  I picked it up while buying avocados and diapers.”

Classy, right?  Super fancy.  But its actually ok.  I would love a beautiful couture dress, don’t get me wrong.  But the reality is, I don’t live in the champagne and caviar world.  I just visit it occasionally.

However, on my last business trip to Paris I was given a treat – a beautiful dress from Lanvin.  I couldn’t believe the generosity and was truly touched by the gesture.  This dress is a beaut!  A pretty colour with the perfect drape.  Perhaps I could get used to a little high fashion in my wardrobe after all.

A selfie of the new dress...

A selfie of the new dress…

A little something from Lanvin

A little something from Lanvin

 

I’ve Got a Crush on You

I have a crush.  I admit it.  A complete and total, school-girl like infatuation.  I can’t stop thinking about it, I can’t stop dreaming about it, I can’t stop lusting…

I am in love with a jacket.

Not just ANY jacket.  A blazer to be precise.  A Smythe blazer.  Its SO bad ass!  Its black and cut in all the right places.  The peaked collar gives a little polish while the cut-outs and padded shoulders give it just the right amount of edge.

Either of these Smythe beauties will do fine.

Either of these Smythe beauties will do fine.

I want it… and I can’t have it.

I’m cheap.  I like a sale (remember Black Magic Woman?).  The Smythes are beautiful but ringing in around $600, I just can’t do it.  Childcare bills, swimming lessons, summer camp are all taking precedence over me being united with the object of my obsession.

I love you, you beautiful work of tailoring.  Maybe someday we will be together.