Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spring Skirts and French Apologies

I’ve been on a little spring break since Easter.  Not the kind of spring break where you get drunk on cheap wine and run around naked on the beach with people you wouldn’t be caught dead with fully dressed and sober.  That’s for students who have many more springs ahead of them that they can afford to waste. 

No, at my age, each sip of spring is precious, and I can’t afford to waste a drop.  Wait…..did I just say “at my age?”  OMG, I swore I would never say that, and I’ve been saying it more and more lately.  Yikes!

O.K., this is NOT where I was headed with this.  I wanted to talk about spring skirts – I’ll get to that.  

But, first, I want to apologize for neglecting my Blog and you, my dear readers, during my little spring hiatus, which reminds me of a conversation I had with a French friend recently on the subject of apologies. 

He:  “Why do Americans always feel the need to apologize even when it’s not their fault?” 

Me:  “Why do the French never apologize even when it is?” 

He (with a tiny French smile, is there any other kind?):   “Touché!”

Americans are very good at apologies and the French are not.  In fact, there really isn’t even an equivalent word for it, as such, in French and for good reason – they almost never do it.  Saying “you’re sorry” in French is a more complicated affair than in English, where a simple “I’m sorry” often does the trick, whether sincere or not. 

All of this is my French-American way of saying I’m sorry for neglecting you (American), but I was busy having fun (dinners, operas, exhibits, good books), so eh voilà (French) ....although .…I’m sorry I didn’t take the time to share it all with you (American) ….but then, au fond I’m a very private person (French), and it could really be TMI, but .…then again .…you might have enjoyed it, so I am sorry (American).  You see how treacherous it can be to navigate bilingual waters?  Sometimes you have no idea on which shore you’ll end up. 

In any case, pour revenir à nos moutons (to get back to our sheep/subject at hand, as they say in French), let’s get back to spring. 

It was 38˚F in New York City this weekend, but my dogwood tree is in full bloom, so I don’t care what the thermometer says.  Spring has sprung.  Besides, I’m already seeing spring colors pop up here and there amidst a sea of New York black, the urban uniform. 

Exhibit A -- The other night, this colorful young lady was spotted at the Met.  When it comes to pulling out all the stops with style, she’s done it.  The sleek silhouette of this two-piece dress with dramatic kimono sleeves would be beautiful in a neutral, but the bright orange, graphic print is guaranteed to brighten any operagoer’s day, even if the soprano dies at the end, which they tend to do. 

The over-sized, envelope clutch matches the neutral trim on the front of the jacket.  With a print this large, a tiny purse would be all wrong.  The skirt length is just perfect, hitting right above the ankle, which highlights the fabulous choice of hot pink shoes.  Who says orange and hot pink can’t go together?  Her bright pink lipstick complements her shoes, and she has wisely opted for a classic, unfussy chignon. 

All in all, I think she deserves a standing ovation for this beautifully executed ensemble. 

Of course, not everyone is comfortable covered in such a bold color, even in spring.  That’s where a brightly colored skirt with a neutral top can put a spring in your step without having to step out of your comfort zone.  Every woman should have at least two or three great spring skirts in her closet.  They are so versatile, so essential, so guaranteed to make you and everyone around you smile every time you wear them.  Here are three, reasonably-priced beauties of the season. 

This floral, A-line skirt from Zara in 100% cotton hits below the knee, which is a flattering length on almost any woman, and the print looks as if it walked right out of an English garden.  If, like me, you don’t have a green thumb, you can always wear your spring garden – much less work and no watering required.

I love the drapey feel and warm print with touch of cool gray on this mid-calf skirt from Zara.  The model is wearing a gray sweatshirt with it, but you could easily add a neutral silk top and a statement necklace in bright coral for a dressy affair.  

Or how about this cute little A-line skirt in a graphic black-and-white daisy design from Talbots?  It says spring in a quiet, oh-so-lady-like way and you can pair it with almost anything, including a top with a small, preferably horizontal, stripe for maximum interest.  Try it.  You’ll see it works.  Large prints with small stripes are a great way to mix patterns. 
If you happen to be going to the opera or the theater on a beautiful spring day, I’ve put together the perfect outfit for a Saturday matinee performance at the Met. 

For Details on this outfit, click HERE.

I paired this bright spring skirt from Net-a-Porter with a neutral top, but this top, while neutral in color, is beaded, which adds a touch of glam.  The denim coat gives an edge of street chic, the Vivienne Westwood slingbacks are fun and flirty and the Karl Lagerfeld kitty clutch is pure whimsy. 

So, put on your prettiest spring skirt and you’ll spread a little sunshine everywhere you go.  


  1. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Oh, those bilingual waters I'm floating in all the time and thus I fully understand your text here above!
    Yes, that lady was absolutely dressed perfect and as for hot pink with orange, it takes me right back to India where you see such, for the western world 'clashing colors', all the time! It looks great and lifts up our spirit.
    The gray sweat shirt I love and also Talbots daisy skirt...
    Sending you hugs and going right back to scanning old photos. This week I will reach over half of it. Yay!

    1. Dearest Mariette,

      I had a very strong feeling that the combination of hot pink and orange would appeal to your global fashion instincts. I, too, have a sweet spot for that grey sweat shirt. The contrast with the ultra-feminine skirt is delicious, n'est-ce pas?

      The only thing to do in bilingual waters is -- keep swimming.

      Good luck w/your scanning project. It's quite an undertaking, but I know you are more than up to it.

      Big bisous, ma chère amie,


  2. Her outfit with the pink shoes are perfection!! Quite simply lovely. I don't wear florals but see them as very pretty in many. I may try a floral shoe this spring. Let's talk next week my friend.

    1. I think a floral shoe for spring would be just wonderful, Jennifer. Please take a picture and post.

      Next week would be a good time for a catch-up chat, in between opera weekends.

      Talk soon.

      xoxo, M-T


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