One-Bag Wonder

No matter how much I travel, and how useful they have proven in the past, I still cannot fully embrace the roller bag. I like a bag I can throw over my shoulder after stuffing it with a few changes of clothing and maybe an extra pair of shoes. I like to think that this kind of bag keeps me from over-packing, which is easy to do with a roller bag since its heft is offset by the physics of wheels. So when I decided to fly to New Mexico to visit L in her dissertation purdah a few days I knew which bag I would take. I bought this soft-sided L.L. Bean suitcase back in the 1990s and it has been around the world with me. It’s not huge, but I can comfortably carry a week’s worth of clothes — even a suit in its own button-in bag — without putting too much strain on my shoulder. The books shown are optional, but I always leave room for reading material.

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rocky mountain wear

It snowed for all of fifteen minutes this morning.  Luckily I was dressed for it. 

(Dad’s old Lakeland shearling jacket, scarf from Istanbul, P’s early-’90s L.L. Bean flannel, Seven jeans, Ugg boots, Mom’s Wilderness Experience rucksack from the 1970s)
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this time last year

It was cold in the British Library.

(Vintage Pendleton blazer, Vince cardigan, Target l/s tee, antique cameo, Melissa Rappaport turquoise necklace)
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a very merry

Posted in New Mexico, Pure Miscellany | Leave a comment


Seriously.  Can you do a pictorial at a playground and not look cheesy or cliché?  I know I can’t.  I also can’t imagine navigating the structures in those heels — proof enough for me that Kristy is dedicated to her cause.  Plus, she’s been creating killer photo spreads and writing thoughtful, provocative articles since long before this contest was a twinkle in the reflection of those wonderful Ray-Bans of hers.  Class, commitment and courage are the words that I’ve come to associate with Kristy over the eight months I’ve been reading her blog (well, that and her badass cat-on-a-leash) and I am so excited to be a part of #TEAMKRISTY because not only is she a great gal, she’s also (you saw this coming, right?) #FULLTIMEFABULOUS.

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Far From Fashion: Holiday Greetings from the Land of Enchantment

cold weather wear

On Sunday I made a last minute decision to spend the holidays at my parents’ house in New Mexico.  I packed up Tammy and we hitched a ride with my father (he was in the area on business) for a twelve-hour trip along IH-10 (El Paso, I love ya, but you’re slowing me down).   I was (well, still am, actually) very torn about leaving P for what will be our first Christmas apart in the six-and-a-half years that we’ve been dating (cue today’s round of teary-eyes) but the consensus among minds other than mine was that a change of scenery might do my stalled-out dissertation some good.  (Here’s hoping — the thing is due in London in less than a month.  A lot less.)  So here I am, hanging out in my favorite house in the world, in what are essentially glorified pajamas.  Oh, you didn’t know?  It’s cold here.  Not like, Minnesota cold, but definitely doing-its-part-to-freeze-me cold.

Seriously — I’m about to take a blogging break to go stoke the fire.  (Well, not really, because I’m probably going to bed when I finish this.  Thinner air makes you sleepier, or something?)

So anyway, I’ve got to stay warm, and I justify this outfit by telling myself that I’m just about to take Tammy for a walk and so of course need to be dressed and ready.  Right?  Heck, I may even sleep in these pants just to get a jump-start tomorrow.  Thus we conclude that laziness can in fact result in efficiency (so long as no one stands too close to me).  Hopefully P will provide the polish, so that I can continue with the putrid.

Now tell me, dear ones, do you slack off sartorially at the holidays?

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White whale matches what?

I’m not really one for wandering around large outdoor malls full of seasonal scavengers.  It is always a little too tempting to make observations that might not add to holiday cheer.  I’m much more comfortable sitting around with friends, sipping a beverage and observing the festivities.  In San Antonio, there are few places better than the Quarry for outdoor people-watching and muted asides among a group of like-minded individuals.  It isn’t London, sadly, but when given lemons, the best thing to do is make lemonade.  This shopping mecca was designed around an old cement factory, and they have integrated some of the old buildings, rail lines, and smokestacks (one of which I actually climbed back in the day!)  into the Starbucks (there are two of them), Borders, and Whole Foods that beckon to the maddening crowd.
There really isn’t winter here so I can get away with wearing the cotton Operations jacket shown in these photos.  If you read my first post about the now deceased Operations clothing line, you will recall my rhapsodizing about the fine detailing of their pieces. This jacket would be the primary evidence I would submit to prove my case.  The lining is electric blue, which complements the muted navy of the exterior nicely.  The stitching is amazing, really a revelation if you are used to suits that are fused together instead of sewn.  The cuffs are fully functional, and you will notice that one of the buttonholes is stitched in the same shade of electric blue that lines the jacket.  L speculated that the designers might have used this detail as a shortcut for those looking to match jackets, vests, and the like into one sartorial package.  We have no clue, but a test of this hypothesis with the pieces that are in the closet proved positive, with the caveat that our sample size was too small .  To really test this, of course, we would have to have more pieces, or perhaps you, gentle reader, knows the answer to this.  Were individual pieces of the Operations line kind of like Garanimals for grown-ups — only sold in Soho instead of Sears?
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