"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Frock Philosophy, Fall Edition

Tory Burch Smartphone Wristlet
Scarf from The Rose
Two long wool coats, also from The Rose, in green and brown.
Even though the weather has been warm all this last month my warm-weather clothing has been tucked away since September 1st.  I really tried to get my head around wearing my summer frocks in September but I just couldn't do it.  Old habits I guess.  Instead I assembled a very fall-looking colour story and took to wearing very basic clothing on those warm days.  (By basic I mean my pair of Goldsign jeans with a plain tee shirt and brown loafers, yes very basic!)
Here are the colours and textures I've assembled for the next few months.  Once we get into the holiday season and the colder temperatures I'll add in some heavier skirts and tights.
Harris Tweed jacket, Brora
I did have to invest in a pair of dark brown riding boots for fall.  I knew it was coming and I searched all of the end-of-season sales in June.  I found a perfect pair of Cole Haan boots for half price but in the end they never shipped, they had sold out.  So I did have to pay full price for my boots but the consolation is that they are from La Canadienne and so they will last for years.
Dark brown riding boots, La Canadienne
I'm enjoying having an alternative to my aubergine Hunter wellies.  If you've been reading my blog these last few years you've already seen them a hundred times!
Dark brown riding pants Brooks Brothers 2012.
I also purchased a plain straight skirt in a dark green wool from The Rose, as well as a pair of dark green Brooks Brothers stretch pants.  The Brooks Brothers pants have a neat fit and the fabrics are really excellent. I think they are a good value for the money (they wash and hang-dry quite brilliantly as well).
Brora jumpers are the workhorses of my wardrobe in fall and winter.  They are an investment to be sure but once you have a collection it will serve you well.   You will not have to replace them and the subtle colours will continue to please the eye.
I have a couple of dresses for everyday: one is a Brora jersey from last winter and the other is a wool Eileen Fisher dress I found on ebay a couple of years ago.  I have a light gray Brora wool stole that wears well over both frocks.
They are simple dresses, perfect for wearing on a busy morning or just simply being at home.
The long Brora cardigan I bought on sale early in the summer has proven itself already.  I wear it over everything.
Long Brora cardigan.
I've turned to my silk blouse collection on the warmer days when I'm doing something besides scrubbing and mopping.  Worn with a pair of slim pants or my Goldsign jeans it's a comfortable outfit that feels like autumn.
Silk blouse collection, JCrew on the left (2010), the rest Brora.
I have some key basics that I am rarely without these days: a scarf or stole, my dark brown LV bag and my trench coat in khaki from Brooks Brothers.  These are the basics which see me out the door.  Even if I'm just wearing my jeans and a tee shirt I still end up feeling pulled together.
On a cooler day I'll wear a wool scarf, for warmer weather my Hermes scarf, below right, is perfect.
I find myself wearing my red Kiki ballet flats from JCrew quite a bit.  They are so comfortable and great for walking.  I like them with the pale pink Hermes scarf.
The long coats in green and brown have only been worn a few times but as we get further into October I'm sure I'll get more use out of them.  They are lined in cotton and are perfect for daywear.  The pretty linings don't hurt either.
Once winter hits us in a serious way I'll bring out my two long tweed coats from Brora which are quite a bit heavier.
Of course I have two other categories in my closet: one is Black, for going out at night.  We haven't been doing much of that lately as my MrBP has been incredibly busy.  The other is Sunday Best, otherwise known as my Church Outfits.
I've pared down my coats to an all-time low and it feels good.  I have my trench coats (one khaki for fall, one navy for spring), my two fall coats and two coats for winter.  Rounding out the collection is a long black wool coat for "dressing up".   I'm thinking of doing a post on the whole thing as a former coat-addict.  Anyone interested?  I've also been thinking about handbags and the fact that I am down to three, which feels like a perfect collection.  It all seems simpler somehow!  More on that, and a few thoughts on basics, next week sometime.
Really it's more Frock Philosophy, the continuing story...!
Enjoy your day my Tooties.
xoxDani

52 comments:

  1. It is 87 today...Geez, will fall ever arrive?! Your clothing looks lovely. I really do love the color palette. Read an article in Wall Street Journal about women shopping in the men's department. What struck me was how men expect their clothes to last forever and be worn forever. Therefor, men clothiers make simple, beautiful items and women clothiers simply do not...for the most part. Brora may be a wonderful exception.

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    1. BB, 87, that's boiling! Yes we should shop like men, I agree! Brora does make clothes to last, they are not cheap but they are so well made, and in the UK. Similar quality to products from Hermes, and you don't need a whole bunch!
      I just bought my hubs a special anniversary present... a tweed jacket from Brora, the fit is amazing! He's promised to model it for the blog this week. I've been thinking it's time to talk about men's clothing, I'm going to keep your point top of mind. Thanks BB!

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    2. In the same article Jenna Lyons says she knows some women love the men's cashmere sweaters so she always wants a few "brighter" colors. Noooooo! I prefer the Crews men's palette so much more than the ladies...especially the men's pants. Have a lovely week end and will look forward to you post. BTW, I am meeting Emily in NYC next week end for her fall break...so excited I can hardly stand myself.

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    3. BB how glorious will it be to be in NY with your Emily. What a highlight, I'll be thinking of you and I hope you have a blast. Yeah, Jenna Lyons and her brighter colours...the problem is that investment pieces shouldn't speak to a moment, they need to derive from a natural palette, otherwise they become tiresome, and an expensive purchase. She should phone us for tips!

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  2. I am suffering the same malaise as Blue Booby, summer's refusal to leave. It's such fun for me to see your fall closet unfold. The colors are lovely, every piece complements the others. You have this closet thing down, Dani! You're making me want those red ballet flats too.

    I cannot remember the origin of the quote "elegance is refusal". Was it Coco Chanel? That is why your collection seems so elegant to me, Dani. You've chosen well and turned down the rest!

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    1. Thanks DF but as you know I've kissed A LOT of frogs along the way. It is nice to approach a season and buy just a couple of things... it's the place I've been trying to get to since I started the blog! Four years ago!

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  3. I would applaud a blog entry about your coat addiction. I love coats and have more than I need in our Texas winter. I would love to wear Harris Tweed or a cashmere sweater, but it just wouldn't be practical in Dallas. There are winters when I never get all of my winter clothing worn as the weather is so warm.

    We are hoping for temperatures to drop overnight. We're out at our farm and I always look forward to the first fire in the fireplace. Maybe tomorrow? Probably not--but I can hope.

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    1. Susan how beautiful will the the first fire of the season smell! Your farm is amazing and the sort of country place I dream about. I didn't know you were a coat collector as well... my excuse was living in Canada but I had to let it go... we have such limited closet space in our house and having too many things is too much upkeep with cleaning etc. Never mind the guilt I had over not wearing things that could serve someone else... okay coat-addict post coming up!
      Have a great weekend, first fire or not!

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  4. Hi Dani, I would love to see a special post on coats, we wear them for such a large part of the year. BB makes such a wonderful point about men's clothing, and Brora seems to be the way to do it as a woman. Unfortunately, I've not ordered any yet - waiting until we go to the UK next year to check the sizing, I can't abide the idea of wasting money on returning things! Once I'm sure of sizes I can shop the sales - it's the only way I could afford it.

    Have a lovely weekend - we are hoping to go to see the Hermes Festival des Metiers at the Design Exchange in Toronto tomorrow, it's the last day.

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    1. Patricia I hope you go to the Hermes exhibit, I think GetFresh was planning to go yesterday. I would have loved to but these last weeks have been crazy with MrBP working all-out, and I've had a bronchial infection it's been dreadful.
      I agree shop the sales at Brora, I have bought things full price and not regretted it but most of my pieces have come to me via sale...much more affordable and this is a big consideration with two kids in Uni (which I know you relate to!)
      Let us know about the Hermes display!

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  5. It is still 86 here today,but i dont mind.
    Despite the warm weather i love to read about your fall clothes and your coat addiction.
    I am obsessed with all things navy and my whole fall\winter wardrobe will revolve around that.

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    1. Ina my father lives in Atlanta and he moved there for the weather 20 years ago... well the golfing is always good! I adore navy and I wear lots of it in the summer, it is a perfect neutral, all the qualities of black without the drag on the complexion and mood!

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  6. Enjoying reading about your coats and tweeds. I live in NoCalif and wearing a warm wool coat only happens a few times a year for me! Now sweaters , those get worn year round here!

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    1. Hi Anon, I dream of Northern California! If I had visited when I was younger I'm sure I never would have left. Sounds like you need a good sweater-coat, maybe the perfect NoCalif item?

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  7. My darling sister has decided to spend the winter months in Florida, no more Canadian winters for her.
    She has 15 beautiful winter coats......
    Her taste is impeccable
    She has blond hair, is 4'11" size 6-8
    I have grey hair, 5'3" size - well never mind, suffice to say they do not fit me at all
    You can see where I am going - I will have to purchase a new winter coat

    I would love to see a special post on coats

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    1. Hi eleni well I hope my post will suit, your sister sounds like mine, really tiny! I am nearly 5'7" and she is 4'10" and perfectly proportioned, I always feel a cloddy amazon around her!

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  8. I love this psot and you are always such an inspiration. I still need to work on my winter wardrobe... I was in those thoughts before reading this post... I miss a couple of shirts and long sleeve tops, jumpers (I have mainly cardi) and a good pair of trousers. I love your long cardi but those do not really fit my frame. I also ended up purchasing a coat at the Rose... And I have been wearing it a lot the past days... It is so nice. The linning and details are just so beautiful.
    I was also looking for brown leather boots and find some Aigle during the summer. I bought some Hunters last year but I must say They have been disappointing compare (again) to my Aigle wellies...
    I am looking forward your Sunday best post tomorrow. It will be father's day here in Luxembourg, so we will have a family day...
    Take care
    Steph

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    1. Hi Steph funny I too haven't invested in enough jumpers, I have bought mainly cardigans for different dresses etc but for my skirt and pants the plain sweaters are the things.
      Aigle boots are gorgeous and have such a classic line... I think they are a good investment. Tomorrow is Father's Day! Well I hope it will be a happy one, I'm not sure yet what Sunday Best will hold, hopefully something good!

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  9. Hi Dani - love the colour stories and your outfits! Would love to see the coat post. It has been so warm here yet, that I just broke out my dark brown leather bomber for the first time today! I am mostly wearing sweaters, sweaters, sweaters! I wore my navy glitter kikis to a concert the other night and loved them!

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    1. Wenders what happened to our fall, it's been warm warm and now it's damp here which is not helping my chest cold, ugh I feel awful. I have stored my navy glitter kiki flats away with my summer frocks, they look so happy together! Yes I've looked at them just to cheer myself up, I'm sure that's normal... ;)

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  10. I enjoy the everlane silk shirt, a pleasant surprise addition to my wardrobe. I thought of the new light pink they just added as I saw your palette.

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    1. Mona those silk shirts look beautiful and great minds think alike... I thought that blush pink would look just right with my story here...!

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  11. Dani,
    Your scarf from The Rose looks beautiful. Since it is wool, would you mind commenting on its softness? I do really well with cashmere and silk, but haven't found a soft wool. The color is so pretty that I am tempted...

    Thank you and hope that you feel better soon.

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    1. Hadilly I find the wool scarf from The Rose very very soft. I wouldn't say I am particularly sensitive to wool though I don't really wear wool sweaters as they can be itchy. Even merino bugs me.
      I like a light, soft wool scarf, very easy to manipulate and tuck under coat collars!

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    2. Thank you so much! It is a really pretty scarf and now under consideration...

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  12. Hi Dani, beautiful colours and textures as always!
    I too love coats, which was fine when I lived in London, but my coat addiction isn't really much use her in Sydney where our winter is usually short and not very cold (lows of 10 degrees or so). I really should cull, but can't bring myself to do it. I won't need to buy any for ages, though.
    Your Brora collection is wonderful. They really are excellent quality - as you know, my v elderly grey cashmere turtle neck died this year finally after years of use.
    I will replace it next time I got back to the old country.

    Hope you're better very soon. would love a coat post and a dressing up post!

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    1. Ruth a dressing-up post would be fun too, good idea. MrBP just gave me a couple of gifts which are perfect accessories for my black section of dresses and nice coat... I'll keep a dress-up post in mind!

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  13. I would be very interested in a post about coats from a former coat-addict! I love coats and always have -- I find that a nice coat on the outside lifts every outfit and makes one very put together. I have quite a few, though mostly because they have all been of good enough quality that year after year they still hold up. Many of them are tucked away now for use when a regular coat is being cleaned or mended or when someone is visiting and needs to borrow. I do find that I do much better with winter coats than spring/autumn ones, however. I am in real need of a good trench and find that I cannot find one that really suits me almost anywhere.

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    1. Hi Monty, I finally found some good basic trench coats at Brooks Brothers... so many trench coats will have some detail which quickly dates them and the BB ones are just basic. They also have really nice bemberg linings and a zip out flannel thing for colder weather. I'm super fussy about linings.
      I'm trying to have less things generally so the coat purge was a big deal, my toughest category, being an addict and all.

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  14. Dani , love your new boots! I really like the color. Can't see the heel height,that's the killer for me,. These old feet need comfort. If you get a chance could you think of the name.Thankyouand hope you are feeling better this week.

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    1. Hi Anon, Thanks very much I have a bronchial infection now which is totally cramping my style. Those boots are the Pauline, the heel is a good 1.5". They are not suitable for a hike (I tried it) but they are fine for regular wear for the entire day. If only I could find a fashionable hiking boot!

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    2. Dani, how is the fit? Where did you purchase the boots. Just love the color but can't seem to find .

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    3. Sorry Anon I'm insane, those are the PAPILLON boot by La Canadienne:
      http://www.lacanadienneshoes.com/boots/papillon-22140.html
      I took my regular size. I wish the calf were a bit smaller but I have slim calves so I often have that problem. They are gorgeous boots.

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    4. Thanks Dani, sorry to bother you! Hope you are feeling a bit better,I know those type of infections take a while to clear up, unfortunately. It's hard to keep up with household chores when feeling lousy.

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    5. Thanks Anon and no bother! I had a better day and was able to focus on housework which sadly goes by the wayside when I am sick... wish I had some elves or something to take over...!

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  15. I always like your dress + coat looks, so I hope you didn't part with too many! I'd love to see the Brora man's tweed.

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    1. Lane my hubs is taking time off this week and has promised a photo! I kept my "evening" type coats, they don't count as they are in the party-outfit category!

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  16. I'm a coat addict and just can't part with them. We recently went to an open house and my husband said it wouldn't work because it didn't have a front closet for my stash. I believe we both have the "professor coat". Did you keep it?
    I love the fall colour story. Everything looks so cozy and good get on the boots.
    Hope your feeling better today.

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    1. Hi Marsha, do you mean the Heloise coat? Yes that went out the door... I was ruthless! Are you looking at moving house? My kid brother is moving today... up to the NWT from Tofino, he's in for a change I think! For one no more surfing.

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    2. Yes the Heloise is still here because it reminds me of the good old days at Crew. It's very hard for me to part with coats . As far as moving we saw a cottage on the water and it was in our budget but unfortunately needs work. They had just put in a new hideous kitchen and it would need gutting. Our home is beautiful but when I see a fixer upper with water view my head starts spinning.
      So N.W.T. that's a big move. Tofino is so expensive ..I don't know how the locals feed themselves. Will he be working in the food industry?

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    3. I am also seriously attracted to water so I understand. I grew up on the most beautiful part of the mighty Detroit River and I've never recovered, I miss water!
      Oh no my brother is a tech guy, he has his own business which he'll continue with, websites etc, but I believe he's planning to get into mapping, one of his interests. Really he's making the move for love... his girlfriend (another Dani!) is a wildlife biologist, she'll be doing a massive study of the caribou. Her dream job.
      I'm excited for both them and I sure hope they like it.

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  17. from one coat addict to another...yes please.

    also dani, how do you care for your fine silk blouses? i have a few that are vintage and i have no problem hand washing them but i was recently given a new one and i'm afraid to wash that one.

    so yes, coat addictions and silk washing. :)

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    1. Janet I always wash my silk blouses in the bathroom sink with a delicate detergent. Works fine. A light iron afterwards gets the soft texture back to the silk.
      Coat addict post in the works!

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  18. Those jumpers look so cozy yes, let's throw a pretty scarf on top. I am a coat collector and I wear every single one or they go off to charity the following year. Not sure what I'll find for coats this year but I will have to buy at least one.

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    1. Hi xoxo,
      Maybe this is the year for a cape!

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    2. Great idea Marsha. I have popped on the poncho a couple of evenings already, a cape is the natural next step.

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    3. xoxo this will be a great look for you... cape and awesome shoes can be worn throughout, shirt and pants will need to expand and you'll be chucking them later. I continue to be really excited and happy for you!!!

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  19. Yes, yes, yes to all those post ideas, I would love to read about it, Dani! You and Wendy are really tempting me with the Kiki PSAs :-)
    It's 88 here today but I'm not complaining. I love hot weather and absolutely hate the cold!

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    1. AB once you start with those flats.. they are really well made (and this from someone who was sworn off JC shoes) and the colours and finishes have been terrific. I love the red ones and I also have the navy glitter, they are so pretty. The black ones are my basic everyday flat just now.
      I wouldn't complain either I love the hot weather! Of course I also like winter and even winter sport, cross-country ski days anyway...!

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  20. Dani, Always inspired by your clothing! I am also a coat addict and helping with our school's coat drive helped me realize I needed to purge and share some that sat in my closet most of the year. I could probably do it again. The thing about purses and coats is they make everything look good. Then you only need good basics- like you mentioned- jeans and a nice T.I love your Harris tweed jacket, red ballets and wristlet! You also have some amazing scarves! I love that all your clothes are practical yet beautiful!

    Love to read more about how you whittled down your coats and bags.

    Have a good week! xKim

    I adore your

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  21. Love this whole post Dani, inspiring as usual! The boots look lovely and I'm sure will be a workhorse. I've found I stick to boots non-stop once it gets cold, so I'm happy with the ones I've chosen. I've pared them down, keeping the best made and most comfortable. No heels for sure! As for coats, well, you know they are my weakest spot. I've sold/donated quite a few over the last couple years, but still have a collection. That said, they do all get worn and rotated. As someone said above, they allow me to stick to basic tees, sweaters, jeans and sweatshirts, and still feel well put together, since that's pretty much all anyone sees! :) I'm thinking of investing in some cashmere knee socks, as I have one pair of trouser socks that I just love. I'm eyeing some from Garnet Hill, but might try out Brora. I just love that picture of you above in the knee socks and long Brora cardi -- it's perfection!

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