Fashion Finders! I must confess that the selections out in stores
this month are rather bland and pretty uniformed, with many stores
putting out their labeled variation of similar items. But I do love
a challenge, the thrill of the fight, rising up to the challenge of
the seemingly insurmountable!…sorry. Anyway, I put my eye of the
tiger into hyper search mode, and from that hyper search, have
enlisted a few good items for your perusal. So, check them out.
that everyone has parodied those TV ads with the super-void models,
the Gap's new print ad campaign shows happier models posed in
various not-so-mellow-yellow states of winter-frolicking fun, but in
a studio background void of scenery or color. Color is instead
concentrated on their plain clothes, which I fear fail to give them
life, and instead proves that even color can be exploited.
I bypassed all the v-necks and bubble vests, and discovered that
they are offering a few pretty good coats, including this
waist-length leather jacket in antiqued black leather. It looks a
little bit beat up, making it seem like you've just been in a bit of
a rumble, Outsiders style! Do it for Johnny, Ponyboy!
we have a revamped wool Navy pea coat, in navy of course. It stops
at mid thigh, is made of 73%-recycled wool (which is a rather
refreshing thing to find on a label, let alone a label at the GAP),
22% nylon, and 5% "other," which kind of raises a few
questions, but we'll let it slide. Anyway, it fits well, is
heavy-duty enough to use when it gets super cold, and costs $118.00.
Also comes in gray.
last outerwear Gap pick is this two-tone wool/nylon short coat with
a hood. The outer part is charcoal gray, the inner part light gray,
which shows on the hood when you're not wearing it. It's a pretty
boxy cut, allowing for layer build up in the colder months. $59.50.
have a cotton white-collared shirt with buttons that end halfway
down the front. I think this shirt also has good layering potential
for the colder days. Plus there are nifty strings to tie at the
cuffs, and who can resist nifty strings? $38.00.
black, boot cut pants have been a part of the same silhouette
template we've all known and worn for the last 4 or 5 years. Enter
these weird, sort of 80's looking faded brown, boot cut stretch
cotton pants, which I think are a nice departure, and look
interesting with a lot of the greens out this season. $48.00. (They
are also available in two kinds of grays: charcoal or light gray,
and also beige, the other established "new blacks.")
Exchange is a store that I personally have never frequented, but
thanks to that sophisticated Armani touch, I found it to offer
slightly tamed versions of the latest trends, just enough to keep
them "up to date."
first item, a Merino wool turtleneck sweater, is very soft, very
light and very thin in pale gray-blue. It's got delicate snowflake
shaped holes at the collar, the bottom edges, and the sleeves.
is a gray wool hat with a cutout patterned rim. I noticed that
these cutouts are found on many wool items in a variety of the
stores (see BCBG suit below). They remind me of playing with
hole-punchers when I was young, trying to punch a hole into
everything in sight, but I never thought to do it on clothes!
the merino wool sweater in army green, a very nice color for
fall/winter. Somehow, this green seems less army-inspired and more
nature- inspired. Anyway, the sweater's got gray and brown stripes
that run along the v-neck collar and merge down the front. Also
comes in gray. $98.00.
sheer gray silk skirt seems like a summer/spring item, because of
its blue satin underlayer. However, the fuzzy hot pink mohair trim
that ices the hem brings a snow queen element to it, making it
winter-worthy. But be forewarned, if paired with too flashy a top I
fear this may be something the nutty aunt on Sabrina the Teenage
Witch might fancy (not that I openly admit to watching Sabrina
the Teenage Witch!). $79.00.
final item from A/X is their gray wool/nylon top with
three-quarter-length sleeves. There are also dark gray elastic
panels at the cuffs and back that graphically contrast in texture
and tonality with knitted fabric. A striking specimen of a top if I
ever saw one. $59.00.
are so many T-shirts out at Banana Republic. I could count T-shirts
instead of sheep on sleepless nights! One stone T-shirt, two stone
T-shirts, three stone T-shirts.… However, from the herd, a couple
did manage to seduce my eye. The first is this one, which has
three-quarter-length sleeves and comes in pale yellow, pale ice
blue, pale pink, white, and black. $22.00.
And here's a
mid-calf-length skirt, on sale for $49.99. A
great late-summer-to-fall transition piece, I think. Just add thick
tights and boots. The skirt zips in the back, it's made of
cotton/lycra/spandex, and comes in gray, black, or stone.
other winner in my personal BR T-shirt contest is this long-sleeved,
crew neck T with stitching showing down the middle. Comes in a
yellow/brown heather, a reddish-brown, white, black, gray, and a pale
blue-gray, and costs $16.99.
spotted this heather-brown quilted cotton top. Now I've seen this
quilt thing not translate well into skirts, but as a top, the bulky
comfort idea works well. It's like being wrapped up in your blankie
all day. $58.00.
dedicating the last of the BR picks to a very neglected body part,
our feet. These cutie ped-socks are
made of a cashmere blend. And believe me, your feet CAN feel the
difference! Available in black, gray, and a lavender-gray. $15.00.
Taylor is continuing to offer strong user-friendly pieces including
this cashmere turtleneck sweater that is so soft and supple, you
just want to live in it. Available in black, charcoal gray, and a
very nice pale yellow-green. $98.00.
this scarf with velvet panels of gray, red, and black, or of blue,
purple, and black. Artfully done and adds beautiful texture to any
we're up to Ann Taylor's wool/nylon sweater in charcoal gray with a
boat neck. The material is rather thin and has intricate designs
incorporated into the knitting, giving the sweater a sort of
spider-spun feeling to it. $78.00.
all know, I am a fan of Ann Taylor accessories, and I couldn't pass
by this long leather bag of theirs. It's very deep, so you can feel
safe that your papers and folders won't get squished inside. It
comes in black and a lovely red. $128.00.
I found these half-moon-shaped earrings in silver. They're small,
have a clean design, but still retain an organic element. $25.00.
final stop on the hunt for the finds was at BCBG, which has gained
popularity during the last few years due to their ability to
translate the designs and luxury of ultra expensive lines into a tad
less exclusive, and perhaps more tangible interpretations.
example of which is this short wool/polyester suit. The jacket is
cut well: fitted and cropped, $182.00, and the skirt is short,
$114. A fresh looking silhouette for suits after all the knee
length, minimalist suits of the past few seasons.
this olive green wool/poly blend suit! It's got silver thread
stitched onto the lower halves of the jacket and the skirt, and
contrasts so well with the raw-edge hems. And if that's not enough,
it's also got smatterings of tiny cutout holes throughout the bodice
of the jacket. Jacket, $274, skirt, $178.
the BCBG theory of translation of high end labels into accessible
interpretations, is this pair of flat Mary Janes. After two
seasons of reworking them, BCBG now has them at the soft-ballet-shoe
stage. This slip on pair are boxier, with a squarer toe, and the
strap is closer to the toes, changing the proportion of the foot
altogether. I find this shoe much more flattering for the leg than a
lot of other flats, plus there are little red rhinestones at the
ends of the straps. What more could you want in a shoe? Available in
red or black, $110.00.
there you have them. Enjoy! Whew! Meanwhile, I will rest up for next
month's Top 5, as my eye of the tiger is weary…four stone
T-shirts, five stone T-shirts…ZZZZZZZZZZZ.