Winter weary wardrobe reflections

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
A wintry scene on 49th Street in NYC.

A wintry scene on 49th Street in NYC.

I’ve spent the last month in the Northeast, where winter just will not quit. Snow and temperatures in the teens welcomed me at my first stop, New York City. Throughout Fashion Week I stayed bundled up in a full length mink coat I inherited from my mother twenty nine years ago. I’ve donned this coat only a few times during nearly three decades because of my combined reservations about owning fur and wearing an item that seems over the top for my personal style. Admittedly, however, this godsend of a garment saved me during three bitterly cold presidential inaugurations and several record breaking Washington, DC winters.

Who would have imagined I’d be blogging about winter clothes in March instead of colorful spring dresses? My thoughts keep turning to the boring subject of weather. Just yesterday, freezing rain followed by a snowstorm turned our back door steps into a ski slope. Fashion fills my mind only as it relates to staying warm. Because my thin frame provides little protection from the elements, I dress myself daily in giant wool scarves, thermal underwear, and thick knit pants, even when I don’t intend to leave the house. A desperate attempt to stave off my frosty environs has also led me to make some uncharacteristic style choices. Please keep this revelation a secret: I’ve found some comfort in fleece.

Fur unfurled at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Monday, February 10th, 2014

I am currently in New York City for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. This mega style extravaganza at Lincoln Center features the lines of 69 iconic as well as emerging designers. Snow and freezing temperatures here cast a perfect backdrop for the unveiling of fashions for fall and winter 2014. Judging from the abundance of fur on the runway in the form of oversized jackets, scarves, capes, and vests, it is clear that Mother Nature acted as the creative muse for designers from the likes of BCBG to Herve Leger. Menswear inspired coats adorned with fur and leather embellishments, also made a strong showing this week. If climate change continues to deal us brutally cold winters, you can be sure that clothes that keep us warm and dry will dominate future fashion weeks throughout the world.

Wherever I looked this week, I saw fur, both faux and real. I also wrapped myself up in fur for my long walks around the city. Here are a few pics of fur wearing folks.

nyfwfurgroup

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Ushering in orchid

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Radiant orchid gets top billing as the color of the year. If you are having trouble visualizing this shade belonging to the purple family, it is a tad darker and rosier than lavender. According to The Pantone Color Institute’s Executive Director, radiant orchid “emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

The list of those who love purple is long and includes followers like free – spirited folks and ethereal, romantic types. Thanks to the popular poem, “When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple”, wearing purple is now emblematic of a fearless attitude toward aging. Perhaps purple’s connection with spirituality also accounts for its enduring popularity.

I’m eager to get on the radiant purple band wagon for several reasons. First of all, I can see it against core colors like navy, black, grey, green and brown. One of the guests at a party I went to in celebration of King’s Day looked gorgeous in a radiant orchid sweater set with black leggings. The color illuminated her large brown eyes and brunette hair. Although orchid may not wear well on everyone, chances are most people can find a shade of purple that flatters them. I also look forward to seeing print tops and scarves formed from accent colors like yellow, deep purple and teal. Since my husband and I just bought a house in Greenville, SC, I can’t wait to add an orchid print throw pillow to our grey couch or paint an occasional table in orchid.

If you’re timid about donning this year’s “it” color, then I suggest you test the waters by accessorizing with orchid. Now that much of the country is engulfed in arctic like weather, a bit of orchid may be what we need to keep our spirits lifted as we trudge through snow, feeling the sting of icy wind against our faces.

I wish you a Happy 2014, and may radiant orchid comfort you and keep you healthy this year.

Ushering in orchid