Friday, October 28, 2011

Ralph Lauren's Best Campaign

In 1988, Ralph Lauren ran my favorite of his campaigns in The New York Times Magazine. The clothes,  the models chosen, even many of the hair styles (more than the lifestyle depicted) were so right. Here are some images I scanned in from my tattered copy.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My J. McLaughlin Favorites, Fall/Winter 2011

My fall and winter schedule has been filling up with meetings and events in New York that fall somewhere between khakis and boat shoes on the dock and formal fundraisers at the Hayden Planetarium. So I recently went to J.McLaughlin’s with a couple of specific goals in mind.

Pants were a priority as I have had a terrifically difficult time finding ones that fit, flatter and that are comfortable, as well as a notch (or two) up from my usual khakis.  I also needed a holiday cocktail party ensemble.

While I had known their downtown store for slightly over twenty years, their new Westport Store is so much more accessible. And, oh yes, parking!

It is hard to believe this building was transformed from a car-wash.  

Before getting down to business, I checked out the Men's collections.

Festive Socks

A Little Taxidermy 

The first thing that caught my eye was the Palomino Cardigan in the Off White.  Made of Italian Merino Wool it was as soft as it was thick.  And it was truly comfortable.

Then I tried on the Stockbridge Stretch Corduroys in Oyster.  These are made of 97% Cotton with 3% spandex.

I didn't want to take the sweater off.
I like a little stretch in any less casual pants.  It makes moving in them easier, as well as finding a more flattering fit.  These had a 31 inch inseam which was perfect for me.

Then I discovered the Palomino Cardigan also came in Camel.  It was hard to say which I like more.

The next pants I tried were the Slim Fit Bi-Stretch Dixie in Cape Hatteras Sand.   And again, the fit was exactly what I was looking for.   The J. McLaughlin sizing was consistent across styles and both had a flattering silhouette.  They are slim-legged, not the low-waisted, wide-legged, boot-cut styles which have been everywhere.
The Slim-Fit Dixies are somewhat less dressy, as you can see here with the back pockets.
These also came in corduroy, which too fit great.  Here, the 14-wale in Taupe.

Next, I had to find something for a specific holiday cocktail party.   As it will be in the city in the evening,  I turned to Black.  I found the Stockbridge Stretch Corduroys.   That was easy.

A somewhat simple white blouse was supposed to be next.  But I got distracted by this Blue and White Gingham Whitney Blouse.  I was just so taken by the colors and patterns.

The ladies at J. McLaughlin were right - I needed a size smaller.
This Whitney Blouse in White would be a good layering piece.

But the final cocktail party flourish came when I tried on this Kara Print Quilted Vest, with its equestrian vibe.   It was certainly more vibrant than anything I normally wear,  but I was feeling bold.

My cocktail party ensemble was complete. My goals had been met (although the right shoes will come later). I was also able to see everything here in less than 45 minutes, thanks to Jodi's acumen and good humor, which I also really appreciated.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Blankets from Swans Island

Blankets and throws from Swans Island are expensive.  They are expensive not for the reasons many lesser products are expensive today:
  • The CEO of the leveraged buy-out shell company lives in an expensive New York apartment and has friends on the board. 
  • They need huge markups to pay for marketing and PR to keep stories out of the press that the products are outsourced to sweat shops in China.
  • Sharp-elbowed, competitive housewives will eagerly overpay for them to show off as a posh brand to frenemies in an attempt to appear sophisticated and get a leg up in their status arms race.