Summer Light And Happiness...
Summer light and happiness...

Sunshine Ensembles, Part 6

Blues for a blue-sky day: Issey Miyake teal blue trousers, Anne Fontaine teal blue cardigan, with red Longchamp Pliage and espadrilles

Blues for a blue-sky day: Issey Miyake teal blue trousers, Anne Fontaine teal blue cardigan, with red Longchamp Pliage and espadrilles

 

A sleeveless linen button-down top is the perfect tomboy touch for an easy day's walking about.

A sleeveless linen button-down top is the perfect tomboy touch for an easy day’s walking about.

 

Another look at the red toile!

Another look at the red toile!

 

Summer, of course, is rushing forward—as we all know now that September is upon us.  That doesn’t mean warm weather is disappearing.  Absolutely not!  So it’s important to keep cool minds about how to make that happen comfortably.

Someone dear mentioned in the comments that I never seem in a rut about my clothing.  If only that were true.  But the kind of rut I can easily fall into is a beloved one: Pleats + simple top (think tomboy or yoga) + ballerinas + a few easy but striking accessories.  It’s become a uniform, and yet I don’t feel like it’s a confining one as I have other “uniforms” in the past, such as skinny jeans, which I enjoyed for a time, and yet they did constrain me so to a singular silhouette.

Issey Miyake gray trousers, EF crepe top, and ballerinas

Issey Miyake gray trousers, EF crepe top, and ballerinas

 

It's always good to mix up the neutrals: Ebene Picotin with caramel chèvre lining, graphite CdC bracelet and other silver

It’s always good to mix up the neutrals: Ebene Picotin with caramel chèvre lining, graphite CdC bracelet and other silver

 

This version of the uniform was a life-saver on a scorcher of a day this past month.  Indeed, the top was most of all.  This crepe tank top is a pre-owned find.  Made by Eileen Fisher, it is of the best quality, and though I found it on eBay, it might be the best-filling tank top I’ve ever owned.  How fortunate.  I love its quiet simplicity so much, I have to hand wash it mid-week so to keep wearing it before laundry day.  It’s one of those “hero pieces” that don’t announce themselves as such until they appear in the wardrobe.

But it’s the recent addition of these gray Issey Miyake trousers that seem to have transformed my wardrobe.  How did I ever live without them?  A few weeks back, Issey Miyake had their (hopefully) yearly sample sale, and these are one of the sublime finds I left with.  They are an unusual type of gray with taupe undertones, maybe even a touch of green.  It makes them a match for just about everything, including browns.  And look at the larger sewn pleats at the side.  It’s this sort of detailing that makes Issey Miyake stand out as a designer.  He’s able to take already pleated fabric and shape it architecturally or as if tailored through the cut of a seam, a left-unsewn edge, or the introduction of a strategic pleat.  With the sewn pleat on both sides of these trousers, for instance, the wide leg pant takes a different tone than my other ones, and the “echo” of a tailored refined trouser is all it takes to elevate them beyond casualness.

A bit of white makes any summer day that much more radiant.

A bit of white makes any summer day that much more radiant.

 

A bit of lace with Cynthia Rowley, a bit of gold with the horn pendant and Kelly hardware, and a little tomboy dash with natural linen...

A bit of lace with Cynthia Rowley, a bit of gold with the horn pendant and Kelly hardware, and a little tomboy dash with natural linen…

 

Last, the fabulousness of the red floral lace midi-skirt by Cynthia Rowley led me quickly to adding both a white and a black version.  Yes.  All three.

If the past years of experimentation and alterations have taught me anything, it’s to latch onto the things that serve one well.  After quickly falling for the skirt’s shape, comfort, and balance of femininity and casualness, I knew it would take great effort to find something similar in the future.  It’s not often that I stumble upon a skirt that I can just throw on with almost anything yet feel lovely in all the same.

A sartorial aesthetic I’m increasingly taken with these days is the contrast between a conventionally feminine garment and a conventionally masculine one.  A tomboy touch keeps a look streamlined no matter the frill or lace or flowers of the rest.  Not that a completely, even over the top, feminine ensemble is discouraged—absolutely not.  I have those as well.  But … is there anything more fantastically feminine than tying a masculine-styled skirt at the waist à la Audrey Hepburn?  Perhaps.  But I can’t think of any of them at the moment.  🙂

How are you enjoying the final weeks of summer?

 

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Another great post to showcase your creative style!! You are such an enabler. Regardless of the tomboy, masculine touch, your femininity still radiates! Hope all is well

  2. Oh, this was a joy to look at with coffee on a Sunday morning. I like these ensembles and your musings about them very much. Yippee for three of these beautiful CR skirts! The light ensemble is so elegant and chic. I also like the ivory Longchamps on the stand. Do you have the things you carry in your purse in one organizer as to change quickly?
    I am enjoying the current cooler days in EF pants bought at the Nordstrom sale. They are black, wide and cropped and feel so comfortable and easy. I’ve been wearing them with low gladiator sandals, Birkenstocks and Espadrille. As a side note, I found my first H mousseline and am thrilled. It was a great find, with a little bit of risk and anxiety involved but in the end turned out to be a wonderful deal.

    1. Thanks, Tanja.

      I don’t use an organizer normally, though I have a couple fitted specifically for my Kelly bags. I tend to keep most of the small things in a cosmetic bag, then grabbed the handful of stuff I carry and transfer it over. My system is laborious, especially as I put away any bag used before I go to sleep—but I figure that’s the price I’m willing to pay to enjoy my beautiful bags every day.

      EF cropped wide pants are the most effortless pieces in the world! I wore them for ages. I only stopped because cat hair sticks to them like crazy.

      Congratulations on your beautiful mousseline—it’s the perfect choice for you.

  3. Lovely looks all but especially the last image. It conveys a sense of ease and self assuredness. For me summer dresses are a joy as it seems skirts have been for you. This year I focused on finding shift dresses of linen and polished cotton with a good fit. So many out there are boxy or overwhelm my frame but I was lucky and found three from different designers : black, navy, and white. I love to throw one on and then focus on the accessories.

    I love this time of year and try to enjoy my summer things as long as possible. I’m not even peeking at fall fashion and even took a pass this year on the September Issue. However, I recently tried on a new Alamo poncho in the most beautiful deep navy , almost black, with black leather trim and ties. Oh my – it is so quietly perfect it’s making me very pleased I waited to add a second.

    Enjoy these last beautiful August days and thanks for this post!

    1. Oh you temptress, Helane. I hear you speak of this navy/black Alamo, and my heart went pitter-patter. Did you get it? Did you get it? Because as soon as you wrote of its existence, I tracked one down! It’s the perfect poncho for fall and winter.

      1. Hahaha! Yep, I did. So what if it was a 90 degree day! I’m in love with its utter simplicity. I hope you have a chance to try one on.

  4. Love the tension between the masculine and feminine elements–totally works on you–well, you do it so flawlessly, is perhaps more accurate. Those IM pants are a great find, and congrats on your triumvirate of CR skirts! (and thank you for the Sunday post!)

    1. Issey Miyake Pleats Please sizes by length. They are typically the same cut width-wise, just longer depending on the number. I’m a “3”. As for care, they’ve been mostly effortless. Just toss into the washing machine, then hang to dry. Unfortunately someone stained my new gray pair that I love so much, so those are at the dry cleaner; they’ve tried once without getting rid of the stain, so they’re doing it again. So I strongly advice not dumping meat and cheese oil on them!

  5. Long-time reader, first time commenter. What lovely ensembles! My favourite is the outfit in the first picture, your silver pieces really stand out.
    Many thanks for your inspirational blog,
    Ana

  6. I love how simple yet elegant your outfits are. Those pleated pants are amazing and instantly elevate an outfit. They would look horrible on my short self though, haha. It’s great when you find something that fits you well, especially when that means you get to sleep a little longer in the morning because you know you’ll look good anyway 🙂

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