I used to only get L.L. Bean and Fossil catalogs around holiday time, but I’ve been impressed with their spring and summer mailings that have arrived the last few months. And while Fossil overhauled its mostly classic accessories image a few years ago by integrating fun new colors in leather goods and new American sportswear staples, L.L. Bean Signature’s very recent collections have truly surprised me.
Summer’s a natural season to look to crisp, classic looks that battle heat and humidity, and dresses, shorts, sandals, and blouses from these two outfitters are reasonably priced for their quality and reputation (particularly L.L. Bean). So get over your hipster or trendsetting ego and stock up on some of these season-spanning looks:
Fossil Willow Skirt
Fossil Rachel Dress
L.L. Bean Signature Desert Bootie
L.L. Bean Signature Ruffle Tie-Neck top
Mr. Larkin designs
On probably the last gorgeous day Houston will see until mid-October (if that), I hit up the fashion market, The FIND, at Boheme. It was the perfect venue, too: designers and their booths snaked around the cafe and bar’s back yard and patio area, drinking cocktails in the sun and chatting with customers and curious parties from inside. Here’s the best of what I found, and who I’ll be featuring in the coming months:
Photo Source: ForwardForward.com
For the past three or four years, maxi dresses have populated the pages in spring and summer fashion magazines and websites, and along with midis, they’ve virtually beaten out anything short for this season’s warmer months. But I’m still not sold, at least not completely.
For one, I’m relatively petite. A maxi dress has to fit perfectly: close to the body without being too tight in all the wrong places, and not so long as to drag on the ground and look sloppy. And since I’m so particular about fit, that means shopping online for maxis is out of the question, at least until I’ve found a brand I really like and trust.
Secondly, I’m a mini fan. The shorter the better, at least within reason, when it comes to shorts, skirts and dresses. Minis make me look taller and leaner, and it’s my go-to silhouette.
But I just found the perfect compromise: Helmut Lang’s asymmetrical skirt — a sexy but dress-up or dress-down piece that’s sold in black, taupe or white, depending on the retailer. I’m a little late to the game — most smalls are sold out or on back-order, but the long length is liberated with the dramatic slit up the side. Worn with wedges or booties and a cotton tee or tank, the dramatic skirt is casually reinvented.
Photo Source: llbean.com
Yesterday afternoon I flipped through my L.L. Bean catalog, looking for the one spring/summer item I turn to each year (I usually only order from L.L. Bean around Christmastime) — their boat and tote bag. So many colors, such a classic American look, and hey, such a reasonable price! In fact, “the same price since 2001” was written in the catalog next to the bags, and I had to give myself a minute to appreciate the cost control.
Can you think of anything sold retail that’s still the same price it was a decade ago? I’ve recently been lamenting the major amp up in cost of J.Crew’s chino shorts, which are now going for $42.50 ($45 for the longer styles). I can guarantee my mother didn’t spend $90 on two pairs of summer shorts back when I was in high school.
As much as I pick out my perfect L.L.Bean boat and tote bag each year — color, size, open- or zip-top, and monogram — I never buy one because I never go to the beach or even picnic. At least it’ll (hopefully) be the same price next year…
I’ll admit it: I’m an “inside the loop” snob. Mostly out of laziness, I stick around inside 610, and ever since moving out of the Galleria and Highland Village bubble and into Midtown, I’m even less likely to venture outside either Houston loop unless it’s for work.
But since the impressive, large-scale remodel of the Beltway at I-10, City Centre has been tempting me to make the trafficked trek “out yonder.” And Elaine Turner has just opened another Palm Springs-themed boutique in the shopping and dining plaza, and will host a Grand Opening party and charity event tomorrow evening, Wednesday, March 30, from 5-8p.m.
Eddie V’s seafood will cater the event, and custom Elainer Turner pillows will be available for purchase for $75. For each pillow sold, a second pillow will be donated to Dec My Room, a nonprofit group that decorates the hospital rooms of children staying 3 weeks or longer.
My current favorite at elaineturner.com
I can’t make it — my pretty pink camera just broke so I wouldn’t be able to take any pictures anyway — but I’m planning to tour the store in the next few weeks when I have a replacement. And that’s when my bank account (hopefully) starts to recover, because nobody makes me yearn for a glammed-up, poolside summer evening like Elaine Turner. (Except maybe DVD nights of The O.C., but shhh).
When you go: Elaine Turner City Centre is located at 800 Town & Country Blvd, 77024
Aha! After previewing the new WhoWhatWear book for you guys a couple of weeks ago — and not having any info. about release dates or pricing — the book is finally out, as are details about grabbing a copy of your own. The book is officially retailing for $18.95 but is on sale now at Amazon.com for $12.89. I mentioned before that readers will get clues for picking out outfits for different occasions — there are 50 event and wardrobe ideas in all.
The WhoWhatWear girls are also going on a limited book tour in Newport Beach, New York and Chicago.
Photo Source: WhoWhatWear.com
Addicting fashion ideas site and brilliant collage designer WhoWhatWear will soon release its second book behind its debut into publishing, Who What Wear: Celebrity and Runway Styling for Real Life. Co-founders Katherine Power and Heather Kerr’s new project, titled What To Wear, Where, features a foreward by Nicole Richie but has less of a celebrity tilt than the first book and the site’s bread-and-butter posts. In a magazine’s feature-style layout, you’ll get tips on what to wear to everyday events, like first dates, job interviews, fashion-type events, and even out to run errands. A sensible how-to guide as much as an inspiring coffee table book, it looks like a great gift for birthdays, graduations, and just because.
Still waiting on a release date, but I’m keeping an eye on this one!