Those are the times when you feel like just curling up with your favorite purse and shutting out the world. But you ride it out, do what you can, postpone or cancel what you can’t and when you start to feel like yourself again, it’s time to celebrate with a little help from your friends and a shopping spree.
Linda and Earline always know what I need when I am not at my best – some lavender linen spray to calm and soothe, a bottle of my favorite champagne Veuve Clicquot to toast my return to good health and when I am almost there, a lovely ladies lunch to get me over the finish line. How lucky can a gal get!
Now, about that shopping spree!
Maison Marcellé, my favorite Haddonfield Boutique (see In my Own Backyard – Maison Marcellé), was celebrating its first birthday last month, and I was invited to join the festivities. Well, I definitely couldn’t miss that!
Proprietor Andréa, who has become a special friend, certainly knows how to dress for a party,
And how to keep the champagne flowing. Earline and I had a fabulous time, and I bought some great accessories, a sweet, pink sweater, which I wore to lunch with my friends (see above), and a really interesting jacket….
As soon as I put on this Asian-inspired, silk jacket I knew it was coming home with me. The intricate detailing on the banding at the waist and on the sleeves alone made me fall in love with it, and the color is perfect with my hair and skin tones. Andréa loved it so much on me that she insisted on taking my picture right then and there, which she posted on Maison Marcellé’s FB and Instagram sites. I will definitely be wearing this to the opera. The beauty of it is that I can wear it over a full-length evening gown (such as my red beaded silk), over a short, cocktail dress or over a pair of skinny jeans and high heels. I was definitely digging my way out of that nasty hole I’d fallen into and starting to enjoy the view.
A few days later I headed to Talbots to catch a sale and redeem the balance of a Gift Certificate my husband had given me for my birthday. My feelings about Talbots wax and wane. Lately, it seems they have been sizing down (or is it up?). They no longer carry size “0” petites, except occasionally on line, and I seem to swim in their size “2” petites these days. Their tops are too long, the sleeves are too long and they seem rather shapeless, and they no longer carry much in the way of dressy dresses.
However, I did manage to snag some cute pieces. Here are three of my favorites.
This casual, all-in-one piece is in a beautiful color, feels soft and comfy (cotton/cashmere mix) and the sleeves were not too long.
This quilted jacket with red striped epaulets has a brightly colored lining which shows to advantage when I roll up the cuffs, which I need to do because the sleeves are too long. I’ve already gotten a lot of wear out of it.
This cream-and-black three-quarter tweed duster was my favorite purchase. I live in these things. I have them in various colors, weights and textures. I prefer them when I am driving rather than a heavy winter coat. Just wrap a scarf around them and that’s all I need.
During the opera season, we park under the Met. Because the parking lot is open to the outside, in winter it can be a very chilly walk from the car to the theater, but if you wear a winter coat, you have to wait in an interminable line to check it before and retrieve it after the performance, and it's too bulky to take to your seat. So, I leave the coat behind in the car, put on my duster, wrap a warm scarf around me and hustle to the theater. The duster folds neatly beside me on the seat and the scarf gets tucked into my handbag. I always take a handbag large enough to accommodate everything I need – scarf, opera glasses and half a sandwich for the longer operas, particularly if it’s Wagner. You can get pretty peckish at a Wagner opera.
And there you have it, the perfect example of adapting your wardrobe to your lifestyle, which is something I used to stress with my clients during wardrobe consultations.
But that still left me with the problem of finding some dressy/cocktail dresses for the opera. Frankly, I was getting tired of recycling the ones I have, even though I’m really good at creative pairings, which go a long way to freshening up an existing wardrobe.
Last week I was passing White House Black Market at the Cherry Hill Mall and saw a big sign that they now carry “petites” in the store. Well, I definitely had to check that out. I knew they had more color offerings beyond black and white, but the last time I checked, they only offered petite sizes on line. I’m definitely a “hands on” (How does the fabric feel?), “try on” (How does it fit? How does it drape?) kinda girl, so ordering clothes on line is not something I’m comfortable doing unless it’s an item I’ve already tried on and want in another color.
So, in I went to check out the dress situation. To my delight, they carry “0” petites! Hallelujah!! I bought a day dress in black, gray and white, which can be dressed up or down and two cocktail dresses for the opera.
This sophisticated peplum dress in a wine color they call “port” is actually much prettier in person, and the color is brighter. A fancy gold or rhinestone necklace can amp up the wattage of this dress considerably. Can’t wait to wear it!!
This charming little black dress with lace overlay is just so feminine. In fact, the version of it I bought is even prettier. Mine has dark red, almost purple, flowers on the overlay. It comes with a matching black, grosgrain ribbon sash, but I bought a dark purple leather belt to wear with it that picks up the color of the flowers. The only accessories this dress needs are a great pair of chandelier earrings and a sparkly bracelet.
Well, I guess I’ve finally climbed out of that dark hole with a little help from my friends and a shopping spree, and I definitely like the view much better from up here.