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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Frock Philosophy Year End

 I've been looking at my frock situation with a curious eye after last week's extreme closet purge.  What criteria am I applying to clothing these days?  What is it exactly that is deciding which frocks exit and which ones remain?

Fabric

As you know I am very picky about fabric.  If an item has some sort of lining that feels slippery, off it goes.  If the fabric itself is full of man-made fibres it's not going to breathe properly and I won't be able to stand wearing it.  It's almost like fabric claustrophobia.
My favourite fabrics are silk, silk interlock (a jersey which is slightly stretchy and doesn't wrinkle), cotton, linen and cashmere.  I've been editing out any items that don't fit into my fabric criteria as I just don't end up wearing them... this is why my wardrobe has become quite a bit smaller!
I have added a couple of things in this year and surprisingly these items are from Tory Burch.
Tory Burch does some of her frocks in that gorgeous silk interlock, this fabric might be my favourite (at least for a dress) and I just discovered it this year.  (I believe Diane Von Furstenberg designs some of her dresses in this fabric as well.)

Tory Burch dress in silk interlock jersey.
Manolo Blahnik dark brown slingback pumps.
 I bought the patterned dress above just before Christmas when it finally went to sale.  I love the art deco inspired print and the subtle colour palette.  I am moving away from prints with the exception of very bold botanicals or leopard prints... it's just what my eye is lighting on these days.
The silk jersey is a dream to wear, it is so comfortable and luxurious on the skin.

MrBP bought me a leopard print brown and navy Tory Burch dress this past summer which I also partner with those Manolo's... this dress is constructed of rayon so it isn't as comfortable.
 I'll continue to wear it as I love the print and the fit but I do require a slip underneath to avoid that "chew my arm off" feeling.

I gave most of my older dresses away in my recent Frocktastic Purge but I did keep two in black.
Ancient JCrew shift dress in wool with silk lining.
Made in the USA
This ancient shift dress is so comfortable, and for $35 on ebay it was the Deal Of The Year.  I had it tailored to fit perfectly and I wear it all the time.
Leopard print silk taffeta jacket by Red Valentino.
 I like it with my leopard print jacket.
 The Salvatore Ferragamo black pumps were another good buy this year though there was no deal.  I find them to be the perfect black dress shoe however so the cost-per-wear on them is already looking pretty good.
The other dress that "made the cut" was another ebay find, this time a silk frock by Miu Miu.  This dress was made in Italy and has a full and flouncy skirt that comes to the knee.  I almost always wear it with my black cropped Brora cardigan.
Detail of the black silk Miu Miu dress.

Black cropped Brora cardigan and those Salvatore Ferragamo pumps.

 At this point I could justify adding in a couple of more frocks, and if I'm looking for more of that luscious Tory Burch silk interlock jersey I have a couple of options during the current sale (with an extra 25% discount with free express shipping to Canada).
Odila Dress

Rossella Dress
 Colour Story

I've finally figured out that I grow tired of a colour story after approximately 3 months.  All fall and early winter I was wearing shades of brown with corresponding accessories and I am so tired of that colour palette.  I've put my brown things away along with some of the purples and golds... just now I am attracted to black and navy.
"Hopper" boots from La Canadienne
This could have something to do with the fact that my new winter boots are in a sturdy black suede with full black shearling lining.
Brora beret in french navy and black.
Brora cashmere stole in black.
 Of course it can't be a coincidence that my Christmas present from MrBP also fits this theme!
Brora Navy Alpaca Coat

The navy alpaca is super-warm and perfect for the cold we'll be facing for the next 3 months.  
Brora did one of their beautiful Liberty cotton linings.
 The coat has a neat, tailored fit, my regular size fit me perfectly though in the online reviews I noticed many women were sizing up.  I have a narrow shoulder span which accounts for the size 8 fitting so well.
Look at the cozy alpaca.
 I'm planning another closet edit this week.  As you may know I keep the items I currently wear in my small bedroom cupboard while the rest is stored in my storage closet.  This system works really well for me as I can see everything at any given time.  It will also allow me to be ruthless with the next edit as I have everything hanging up in that storage closet just now.
My last edit of 25 items included emptying out two drawers of clothes I had referred to as "the archives"... or should I say "archives of a hoarder"?  No more storing things away for use at some later date, if something isn't being worn now or anytime during the upcoming four seasons it should really go to a better home... before it dates itself completely and is no use to anyone.
Would you like me to photograph my next edit with notes on criteria, fit and colour story?  Planning any edits yourself?
xoxDani


61 comments:

  1. Yes please do share! I will edit definitely once I have my things...I love the cut of that alpaca coat. But is it warm enough for the Canadian cold?? I just keep thinking north face...

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    1. Naomi when you get to those boxes it is going to be quite something, are you getting excited? How much longer? Are your builders on break just now?
      Oh yes it's plenty warm with a sweater and wool tights and boots. The key to surviving Canada is a good boot which is why I buy those spensive La Canadienne, so warm. Also a hat is absolutely key. No North Face for me, not even when I ski, this won't surprise you: I can't stand technical fabrics!

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    2. few more weeks?? your guess is as good as mine but I am itching to edit like you! PS i have a few pics for you on my latest post - you might like it ;)

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    3. Naomi you've outdone yourself this time! Thanks so much for visiting Brora and somehow managing to meet Victoria Stapleton?! How did you do this, it's incredible... maybe the Glitter Juice has given you magical properties? Kidding I know you wouldn't drink Glitter Juice, but Wendy might...!
      Thanks so much Naomi.

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    4. I did nothing but show up and click. But isn't it cool that Victoria herself knew who you were!
      But it was rather good timing if I say so myself :) So glad you enjoyed it x PS Yes Wendy would be very game for some glitter juice hehe

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    5. Naomi, Well you did more than show up, your shining personality draws people in! I was a guest blogger for Brora's 20th year this past spring, Victoria vets everything that goes through her company and she clearly has a steel trap memory... one of the reasons Brora delivers such quality is their tight profit margin, they are privately owned (by Victoria) and so don't answer to shareholders etc. Very rare in our consumer culture and one of the reasons I am a Brora cheerleader.
      Yes we MUST get Wendy glitter juice, it has to be the drink of unicorns? Especially when combined with St. Germaine!

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    6. Dani - perhaps you might want to contact Brora and let them know when you will be in London next year! It would be an amazing opportunity to meet Victoria Stapleton!

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  2. Thanks for the inspiration--I admire your resolve! I don't think I am going to be quite so bold as you in my edits but this year I must adopt (at a minimum!) a "one in, one out" philosophy, as even my generous closet space is over-full. I also need to work on my vow to add only top-quality items and skip cheapy impulse items and JC final sale junk. I was better about that plan last year than ever before, but I still require improvement.

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  3. Oh, and I love seeing your color stories and edited selections. And if you have any affirmations, additional criteria, or reminders you use in setting your editing objectives I'd love to hear about those!

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    1. Hexicon will do, it will be fun to share and maybe strengthen my resolve as well. I'll be applying my criteria but I also have to consider if I will wear the thing, one item I'm struggling with is my Ischia dress from JCrew, it has a silk lining which is so deluxe but I never wear it anymore, so if I hang on to that dress I'm acting like a frock-hoarder, which is no longer allowed!
      Anyway it's lovely for me to think and write about this stuff, a real stress-reliever and a productive feeling... so thanks for joining me!

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  4. Oh yes pictures please. I am in the process of a major closet edit too. It invigorates me to see spaces between the hangers. Your new coat must be so soft...alpaca is like wearing a whisper of wool.
    I bought some new to me Amalfi pumps in black patent leather with grosgrain ribbon bows like those Ferragamo's they are so comfy to wear and fit like they were made for me! I scooped them for much less than the $450 retail price.

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    1. Hostess those shoes sound perfect, a classic pump will see you through anything, and good for you getting the deal! Mine were $425 at Holt Renfrew, ouch! But I do love them.
      The alpaca is soft and plush, Brora really knows their fabrics.

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  5. Oh so much gorgeousness! I do love Manolo's, I sold 8 pairs of Louboutin's last year, Manolo is my man, so much more comfy, whatever the height. I haven't heard of silk interlock through I love the comfort of DVF dresses so might, just might know what you mean.
    I am dying, dying to buy a fancy frock, I have a navy one burning a hole in my brain, will send a pic once my email gets sorted BUT, I have nowhere to where it to so I know it's silly - its that whole, wished for life against my real life.

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  6. Oh and I don't need edits I need adds!

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    1. Tabs you do need adds so get the navy frock! It's not often your eye lights on a dress so this must be a good one. I can't wait to see, send pic immediately! Are you still locked out of your email? I've almost done that twice in the last week because I changed all my passwords, I have such a time remembering them, I must have 8 or 9 different ones between email and banking, eesh.
      Those Manolo's are really comfortable despite the pointed toe, slingback, stiletto heel... really they look like torture chambers but are very wearable, it's amazing!

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    2. Oh and Tabs that's the key with a DVF frock, she uses that silk interlock, maybe have a look at her line for some of your additions this year, I always think a solid colour wrap dress is a good investment.

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    3. Dani, I can get in through my work email so will track down yours and email it through that, it's not even expensive, I just know there's lots of dull things around the house that could be done with the money, but I want it and am so bored my dresses. It's a cheap navy version of the Pearl Lowe dress but in my size!

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    4. I had a few and sold them all years ago but I'm a few sizes smaller now.

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    5. My mail is mopphilosopher@gmail.com!
      Oh the Pearl Lowe dress, I've kept that one of course, I need to take a picture of it again it's so lovely, maybe when I'm a couple weeks away from the cognac filled chocs I ate this week!

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    6. Enough with the tire-kicking Tabs, pull the trigger on the navy dress, pour yourself in, mirror-snap in that sultry left-foot-forward trademark pose, and post! Easy as pie....and I now know to mute my praise

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  7. I'm working on some wardrobe re-vamping myself. I've lost 17# this year and many items have already been donated, but more needs to go. I'm still on a weight loss journey so I anticipate more purging over the next 6 months as I work towards my goal. I am also going into a part-time office job at a small law firm next year so my daily uniform of jeans, sweaters and boots will no longer dominate my closet. DH gifted me a beautiful navy Trina Turk blazer for x-mas that work back to a pair of her navy trousers that I adore. I have a few other pieces that will work and can't wait to start wearting my dressier shoes. Navy is becoming my go to basic. As always, I'm looking forward to seeing your next color story. My x-mas gift to self was this J Crew dress,http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Navigation/Sale/AllProducts/PRDOVR~03804/ENE~1+2+3+22+4294967294+20+225~450~~0~90~~~~~~~/03804.jsp?isSaleItem=true&isFromSearch=true&srcCode=AFFI00001&siteId=Hy3bqNL2jtQ-aUDz0%2AkA2Iwynu2dFi7m3g. It is a bit short, but really works with tights and booties and was purchased during the last promo for a great price.
    I agree that the silk jersey is a perfect fabric. My DVF wrap is made of that fabric and it never fails me, though now it wraps around a lot further than it did when I bought it :-)
    Thank you for sharing your wardrobe journey - I'm looking forward to where you will take us.

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    1. Ah Julie, it is that fabric, I've always loved it but didn't know its name.

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    2. Julie congrats on the new job and your weight loss goals being realized... what a great way to start the New Year. You'll be able to dress up which I'm guessing you'll enjoy, and I agree navy is a great foundation colour, your Trina Turk pieces sound like good core basics.
      Thanks for reading my posts all about clothes, I love the comments and the sharing, it's so good to have friends to talk to. :) Okay off to look at your present to self!

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    3. Julie I love that dress! It has a great tailored look to it, is it navy? The fabric looks lovely.

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    4. Hi Dani-Yes, the dress is navy and lined in a dark camel. It is really quite special in cashmere. It reminds me of some Vince dresses I've been tempted by in the past, but never purchased due to the high price. I love cashmere and think this will be a 3 season dress for me.

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    5. Julie in your climate for sure it will be, how gorgeous, these are the things we buy that make us happy to get dressed and get going in the morning!

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  8. I love your coat. Of course I am drawn to anything clean lined and navy. Prints just never do it for me. Will be going through the closet once Em leaves. I do tend to save my bags (I really do not have many) because 1) I use the same one over and over and then change it out 2) I do want to give some to Em one day (like the Channel…nope, not using it…I tried). Decorations are down. Now it's time to clean and rearrange the art, accessories, etc. I find my eye delights seeing my "stuff" in different venues.

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    1. BB - can't use mine either, will try harder this year and then decide on the fate of the ol 2:55 bags.

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    2. The Tory Burch dress looks so elegant and refined on you. I'm glad that you finally got the Brora Alpaca coat. It suits you perfectly. I would love to buy it as well if it makes it to sale, but not sure how it will work at my height (plus my really broad shoulders like a line backer). I"d be afraid that if I sized up the coat would be big every where else. I love my Brora plaid wool coat from last year. It is a rather boxy fit that works and I get so many complements on it. I'd love to have a solid color Brora coat that is a bit more fitted as well.

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    3. BB well you tried and it definitely is an heirloom bag, save it for Em even if she says she doesn't like it now... that will change one day.
      I love this time of year for editing things around the house too, once the Christmas dec is down it feels like a blank slate.
      I am very attracted to these art deco type prints, might be my Hermes bangle influence!

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    4. AmW the Brora coat will be a tricky fit. When I opened it Christmas morning the shoulders looked so small, I have a very small shoulder span so it fits perfectly but just, with a sweater. Sizing up too much would put off the proportions as you point out... I know the coat you bought last year it was a beauty! I bet you're wearing it all the time!
      And thank you, I really like that TB dress.

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  9. Loving the Tory dress, Dani, and admiring your resolve. I did a coat and dress purge a few years back, but it's getting to be time for another. It's not something I enjoy, but it's necessary.

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    1. Fred you have to make it fun, maybe drinking a nice glass of wine will help! Also calming music. I hope you're having a good Christmas break!

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  10. Gorgeous coat Dani! I have a Fleurette/Loro Piana navy cashmere coat coming soon from Ebay, hope it's a good find! Please share the edits!

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    1. LR that sounds gorgeous, LP fabrics are so beautiful! Okay will share. :)

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  11. Love your things Dani! I need to keep rethinking, and am also refusing purchases right now, as I need to fit back into my regular size. sigh. What I still find frustrating myself are the errors. It makes me crazy. Things I think I need and then never keep I also need a good storage cupboard like you have for those "in between" things that are not summer nor winter, but which are taking up room... Definitely want the pics of the purge!!!

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    1. Wendy is there a spot in your house for a storage closet? Sounds like a job for Barry. It is really nice to just have things in current rotation in the bedroom closet, of course my closet is so small and I have to share it with MrBP so no choice there, but I have realized the foolishness of storage drawers for me personally. Out of sight out of mind! Hoarding!
      I think you've had some spectacular closet edits this year. The "actual needs" is a tricky one, especially when we are inundated stuff and ads all the time.

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  12. Oh, that coat. I'd been eying it, too, but really I don't need one right now.

    Those are wonderful shoes, too, the kind you take to the cobbler to repair.

    You have such gorgeous clothes, do you really not miss them??

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    1. Lane nope I don't, I'm not attached to things I don't use, I don't like extra stuff around either it makes me nutty. The things I love to wear I really love but I have to get past owning a dress or something for the look of it, if it doesn't feel good I never ever wear it and then it's such a waste, someone else could enjoy it!

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  13. I would love to see pictures and notes on your next closet edit!

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    1. Keilexandra oh good thanks for the encouragement!

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  14. Hi Dani - congrats on getting the Brora coat, you were really pining for that one! I would love to see your closet edits as well. I would love to find some La Canadienne boots on sale, perhaps when we go to Ottawa, there are a couple of shops I know that carry them.

    I don't take the Christmas stuff down until 6 January, but I agree that it's lovely to have a blank slate and then perhaps put back less. I'm going to try the Apartment Therapy January Cure (although I'll miss the first few days through being away) - hopefully that will encourage me to do more household purging. Happy New Year when it comes!

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    1. Patricia boy was I ever pining! La Canadienne do have online sales occasionally but the sizes sell out very quickly online... your best bet is to find a store. I had a dark grey pair that I gave to my daughter, these black ones replaced them. What is this Cure? I'll look it up and find out what you're up to, sounds intriguing.
      Happy New Year to you as well!

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    2. For La Canadienne boots on sale, I highly recommend the website 6pm.com (if available to you in Canada). I bought a pair from there for 65% off and I'm eyeing another pair for 70% off for payday. :)

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    3. Hi Dottie, thanks for the tip, but unfortunately they don't ship to Canada. Boo!

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  15. You inspired me--just spent two hours in the closet upstairs and have bagged about 40 garments, six pairs of shoes, and a dozen or so scarves and belts. This round of editing was the low-hanging fruit; the next cull will involve some hard choices. A few things I have learned: 1) I must not buy any more pastels; 2) though I have many tweed jackets, I happily wear them all; and 3) I will get my money's worth from anything in black cashmere. Looking forward to more editing tips!

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    1. Hexicon that's incredible! In only two hours, good job. Low-hanging fruit, crack me up. I know what you mean. And look you've already got some hard criteria set for yourself. I agree wholeheartedly on the black cashmere by the way!

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  16. I'm so happy you got that coat - it had your name all over it! You've been a good influence on me with the Sales Dani. I will write a post about it, but I've not bought all the usual impulse buys of pretty dresses and shoes I don't need. I kept thinking about your purges and closet organisation and it's kept me on track.
    I have written before that I love the Tory Burch cut, and her fabrics are lovely. I think the dresses you're looking at would work beautifully in your wardrobe xx

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    1. Heidi the coat has hardly left my side since Christmas morning, Brora has produced an item of extreme beauty there. Interesting too that my 18yo daughter is a huge fan and many of my items have migrated to her cupboard, Brora does not leave this house!
      I do like the Tory dresses and some of the fabrics, I had a negative experience with a skirt suit of hers a few years ago but when she sticks to a natural fibre I think the result is pretty great.
      Thanks for those kind words. Once we have a criteria in mind for clothes (fit, fabric and actual use) it's much easier to shop the sales because we aren't buying willy-nilly-magpie, it can be difficult to grasp "rules" for those of us who are visually centred... I'd love to read your post on this!

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  17. Your whole NYE dress project prompted me to peruse the Tory Burch collections and was pleasantly surprised (my Estella has never been a fan). Is this the Dagny dress you mentioned and if so TB would be wise to rename it the 'Dani' dress as it looks sensational on you. I think the way those fibres hug your fab figure will soon have MrBP's breathing labored. The Brora Alpaca from MrBP is a homerun. Everything you've assembled here is fab!

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    1. GSL I owe you an email! This is the Dagny dress, it's not on the site anymore as far as I could tell. Maybe Estella had a bad experience with Tory Burch? Me too. The key is to stick to her natural fibres and avoid the overly bugle-beaded stuff.
      The Brora coat was a wonderful gift from MrBP who knows these things.. it has become "my precious", yes you have to say that with a Gollum accent! Thanks GSL.

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    2. I did look high & low for the Dagny on TB site and was nowhere to be found. I only associated TB with that "bugle-beaded stuff" as you so aptly call it and those new collections look wonderful.
      I will need to hear your Gollum accent. The only impersonation I do is a Hannibel Lector which used to give nightmares to guys who had spent all day hunting Al Queda affiliated insurgents...and I NEVER used the "chianti & fava bean" line as every schmuck works that easy angle.

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  18. ....oh that little Miu Miu full & flouncey number is gonna be a big hit!

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    1. GSL I'm actually pretty good at Gollum but I've had a LOT of practice. Hannibal Lector NO that will give me nightmares for weeks, to tell the truth I couldn't even watch that movie. See even those Green Beret guys had nightmares, I'm in good company.
      Yes that Miu Miu is a hit, easy to move in, simple shape yet effective in the wearing!

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  19. Love your closet edits!!! So much to look at here - I also love silk jersey, but it's hard to find, so few brands use it. I had a silk jersey top from J. Crew from about 10 years ago, and I wore it until it sprouted holes at the seams, that's how much I loved it. So sad they don't make that sort of thing anymore!! Glad to see you got the Brora alpaca coat, it is perfect on you!

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  20. Oh, I so admire your refined closet! I just jump back and forth from colour to colour obsession, and there is absolutely no order in the chaos! Obviously I must enjoy that just a teensy bit, but that does not dim my admiration for your colour stories and beautiful selections. The Tory Burch dress looks divine, and I love, love, love your new black and blue tones!

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  21. Beautiful pieces you have kept. I love every one of them and they fit you really well. I started to edit my closet a bit more than a year ago, but I am not as far as you are. I still have some work to do to catch up as I still keep pieces that I am not really wearing. Where I have made the biggest progress is with the shoes, I went from nearly 90 pairs to less than 30 covering all seasons all occasion. And I know more will leave the house. I love your La Canadienne boots! They are splendid. I still have colors but they now work much better all together. Yes, please more photos, I need inspiration.

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  22. Drooling over some of your dresses! I am also mildly obsessed w/ silk jersey. Some others who make (correction, made) it are Banana Republic (older dresses, have to stalk eBay for these, but worth it!) and Lilly Pulitzer, also older items. It's worth the trouble when you find an LP silk jersey for $20 on eBay! Woo. I love your Mui Mui the most. That full skirt is to die for!

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  23. The Brora coat is perfect on you Dani, such a wonderful gift! I admire your ability to go with a new color story from time to time. I'm always wearing the same colors and sometimes think it is too predictable but those are the colors I love and they love me back so I suppose it's best that way. "Go with your strengths" kind of thing.

    Fabric is so important and I love jersey dresses. I can't wait to get back into my favorite dresses next year. I am feeling so terribly fat it just seems ridiculous now.

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  24. Silk jersey is a wonder fabric. I have several DVFs in this fabric and they look great despite being 4-5 years old. They travel well and they are comfortable in any season. I never even thought to look at Tory Burch for silk jersey.

    The dress is so pretty, Dani. I love the Blahniks! I had a pair and they were too tight and ended up at consignment. I would love this whole outfit on you.

    Your editing eye is excellent. Please do give us more of the closet editing process. I think if you had a nickel for every woman you've influenced, you'd be in Paris right now!

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  25. You have such impeccable taste.

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