vendredi 21 août 2015

For your eyes only

Here are some of the first looks for late summer - early fall that caught my eyes in a few Paris stores (but most are available worldwide!).

Don't think I ever saw that much color and prints for the colder season. It's a welcome change, allowing to transition without drastically joining the dark side just yet! I have vague ideas of how I want to update my style and some of the looks displayed on mannequins sparked/confirmed known interests: 
  • for instance I'd really like to add a few red /rust based easy to wear items like a blouse or a knit, 
  • flat versatile footwear - like loafers and oxfords to wear not only with pants but with longer skirts/dresses, 
  • I'd also like to incorporate more graphic patterrns in my closet - dots, checks, houndstooth along with classic stripes. 

In Monoprix:

I'm not sure if I can pull off large, red and polka dots pants but they're funky! I'd wear them with a cosy grey knit and slip-ons as accessorized on the mannequin. 

The silhouette just behind in cropped jeans and white tee is far more basic but shots of red are always effective to inject some energy in a look.

The draped diamond printed knee length dress with golden oxfords is a brilliant idea! 

Stopped in my tracks for these silhouettes. 

The checked cardigan below could work well as a substitute for the classic beige trench. It's rather distinctive but the navy base would make it simple to coordinate: for the office with grey pants and boots or on a day-off with cropped jeans and loafers. 

Black and white, long black skirt and oxfords: what a lovely 90's throwback. I'd wear that total look as pictured, maybe add a black leather jacket and voilà. 

Grey, white and camel: still a winning combination!

 in Zara:

First hesitations coming up: camel or bordeaux? Both? None? Haha! This cocoon coat made my eyes go wide with envy early August but since then I saw so many other good coats, it's going to be -like every fall winter - a battle of will to limit my outerwear purchases!! 

in H&M:

I applaud the H&M creative team for trying to sell us their yellow clothes... It's a bit too flashy for my taste but the idea of associating vibrant with darker colors/houndstooth is noteworthy.

I've always loved jumpsuits despite their unpractical aspects. This one below is neutral (unlike the yellow above) enough to be dressed up or down, worn with loafers and a big cardi it would look so chic! 

I've noticed that the cropped flare jeans (here with the striped top and fake suede coat) is now mainstream with H&M offering a couple. I've tried one after seeing that post on Garance Doré and I'm still not sure if it's a good look on me, anyway in case of doubt I drop the idea. What do you think about that "new" cut? Have you tried it on? Bought one? The way it's styled here is not too bad either... 

Aside from these jeans, the wrapped kimono inspired black and blue Isabel Marant-ish jacket in the front caught my attention. It'd be a cool coverup piece for those late summer chilly mornings and evenings.

What have you seen in stores that you liked? Or do you plan to extend summer as long as you can and wait till the inevitable weather changes to put your head in the fashion game?  

vendredi 14 août 2015

Last days of summer

Countdown to fall is already starting even if it's still summer for another month!

Here are a couple of pictures that struck me lately, showing women dressed fashionably but you also get the sense that the goal is not to show off at all costs the stylist's ability at mix and match. It's not about pushing forward the model or the items she's wearing but a combination of both. That balance is quite rare to find in most fashion images for obvious marketing/advertising or (supposedly) artistic purposes and I find it disheartening.  

Anyway back to subject. What compelled me to save and share these images is that the looks are dressed down/ casual but also womanly, elegant and definitely not sloppy.
Yes, it's summer, it's hot, sunny (if you're lucky that is!) however don't want to forfeit style and "decorum" especially when in the city. I'd happily live in flip flops and shorts and not give a damn about it if not living in an urban environment. That's not the case so I liked how these two images show a few ideas that can easily be duplicated:

  • Yes to a total look with loose airy clothes (no volume on top but slim below or vice-versa rule applied here) but the falsely nonchalant tucked/untuked styling trick avoids the shapeless, tent like issue.
  • the gradation of chambray - darker and lighter - and hints of white is a subtle interpretation of the usual white and blue summer colors duo. 
  • The oversized blouse unbutonned revealing a bit of shoulder and underneath tank top is both mannish and sexy. 

(Eileen Fischer)

  • café au lait tank top is equally a statement especially on darker skin, 
  • wearing a pencil midi skirt that is not too thight and reaches below the knee adds a bit of retro glamour especially teamed with a hairstyle reminiscent of the 1920's, 
  • but the trendy bucket bag clearly dates the look to summer 2015.
  • Here again the colours are muted, earthy, sandy tones dominating and a white skirt with graphic accents simply brings the whole look to a new level of chic.
  • I like how in both pictures, jewelry and accessories are almost absent. It's been one of my habits this summer keeping baubles to a strict minimum - even more than usual that is, so just earrings and that's about it! 

T NY magazine

Just the kind of quiet elegance that I long for.

dimanche 2 août 2015

Monday to Friday

When putting together how I'll dress for work, I usually take in consideration:

- the weather forecast,

- the schedule for the day: clients coming over, going to Court, office lunch, after work meetings... 

- my mood and what's influencing me: I'm often drawn to ensembles without any superfluous details but I don't want to feel bored either so I'll try to inject an interesting detail (color, print, cut, an accessory, etc. something with personal meaning that pleases my senses.   

The goal is to feel at ease while looking a bit more"polished" than usual...

The environment is business casual at the law office I work in, there are no strict rules to follow and in the summertime when rendez-vous are scarce, a little "laisser-aller" is allowed.

Overall my professional attire consists of items I usually wear when not working but paired in a different manner. Say a loose tshirt but with tailored pants, an african printed skirt with a button down shirt, etc.

I'll try to make every clothes I own appropriate for work in order to avoid having clothes labelled only for certain days. It also decreases the frustration of having "nothing proper" to wear 5 days a week when in fact my drawers and closets are full!

Only items crossed out for workwear - much to my chagrin - are sneakers / Birkenstock, my beat-up Isabel Marant boots and very casual jeans (from time to time, especially in fall-winter I'll cave and wear a dark blue/black one).

Even if the dynamic and process are steady year-round, when it's hot I tend to let myself go more to the casual side. What's your take on workwear fashion in the summer? What are you struggling with?

Here's a recap of  what I wore from last monday to friday to the office.

Monday: I wanted to wear something smart to start the week because we had clients meetings at the office. As always it had to be practical as well because the weather was cool and wet. I really like how that jacket is conservative but fun just because of stripes.

striped blazer : Uniqlo/ top : Marks and Spencer / pants: Zara / pointy ballet flats: Jonak / bag: Céline

Tuesday: Despite temperatures remaining cool, no more drizzle so open toes sandals are back. There was no real "plan" for the day's outfit, I just wanted something that'd keep me warm enough with a summery vibe so I relied on one of my favorite palette mix of white, light blue and grey.  

coat and scarf: Zara / top: H&M / pants : Gap / wedge sandals: APC / bag : Céline

I was supposed to meet a friend after work so I wanted a look that would be office appropriate but also funkier for a few drinks in any hip Paris spot. 
Mixing prints doesn't come to me naturally however putting a plain black jacket with the black and white printed blouse felt too austere so I "dared" putting stripes and dots together.

Striped blazer: Uniqlo / blouse + pants: H&M / sandals: Dries van Noten / Bag: Céline

Thursday: It was one of those morning when it's so so hard getting out of bed and you just wish it was already the week-end. Good thing I had already picked up my outfit the night before! I hesitated a bit going to work in that ensemble because I felt it was a bit too casual with the linen tshirt and chino pants but it would have been a case of "change and be late" so I decided to stick with it.        

linen blazer: Uniqlo / tshirt + pants: H&M / sandals: APC / bag bought in Cotonou

Friday: Can you tell it's Friday? Haha! I just didn't know what to wear. Seriously tried 2 outfits before giving up and picking this one. At that point it was a case of "just put something on - anything and go!!". I actually took the pic in the evening back from work...

bomber: H&M - tshirt: Isabel Marant Etoile - pants: Forever 21 - sandals: APC - bag: Céline 

Hope everyone had a good week and is ready for the one to come - especially for those of us not on vacations!

samedi 25 juillet 2015

Africa's inside me

"Africa's inside me 
Taking back her child
She's giving me my pride and setting me free"*

Even if I'm half west-indian (my mother is from Martinique), living in Benin, West Africa has been a rooting experience that will stay with me forever and it is one of my homes.

I'm very thankful that I got to spend most of my teenage years in Benin because despite all the growing pains that every single teenager experiences, I was over all surrounded by kindness and the belief that I was able. It's such an important gift to be amongst people whom you can look up to and whom in return lift you up. 

I'm writing about that because that's the feeling I get everytime I step off the plane in Cotonou, I'm uplifted, filled with optimism and confidence. Sadly this summer - thanks to crazy expensive tickets inversely proportionnal to my budget- I won't be able to go and get my much needed boost. 

So instead I'm relying on the next best thing for me, fashion! It's all about indigo blue, blood orange, batik and wax prints and somehow I'm less timid, standing taller and prouder when I'm wearing clothes from the motherland...

Dress by Mrs Clotilde Tomety in Benin / tote bag: Céline / sandals: Birkenstock "Madrid"

shirt: Nash Prints It - pinstriped pants (I know, you can't see the stripes with my crappy phone pic but I swear they are there!): Uniqlo - sandals : APC  classic wedges.

linen tshirt: H&M - skirt: Openya - bag: Abaco - sandals: APC 

trench coat: Tcharakoura - striped tshirt: Isabel Marant Etoile - sandals: Birkenstock "Gizeh"- bag: Céline

lundi 13 juillet 2015

Heat wave heroes

Here is part of the equipment I used to survive the tropical heat wave (up to 39 °C.../ 102.2°F)  that hit us a few days ago in - usually mild at best in July - Paris :

These 2 very simple dresses that I grabbed at H&M, both under 20 euros, classic shapes, made of cotton :
  • Sleeveless shirtdress, back is longer than front, tailored enough to be office-friendly. 
  • Loose fit white cotton dress with a crisscross of  dark grey stripes

H&M dresses

Also heat approved:
  • APC "Amy" and Birkenstock "Madrid" sandals with adjustable straps, perfect to accommodate swelling feet!
  • Straw hat to protect my hair/head from the (drying) hot sun, 
  • paper fan to get a bit of ventilation as air-conditioning is sadly not widespread in the city...   

APC "Amy" sandals & Birkenstock "Madrid" mules - straw hat and paper fan.

mardi 7 juillet 2015


Here's a recap of what I wore in June. All the looks are off-duty.

I knew that the APC sandals were my favorite shoes of the moment and seeing how I wore them practically every day this past month confims that they were one of my best investment this season. 

At second glance, I'm noticing that old favorites are still in the game. There's not a single "everything is new in that outfit" pic.

Blue is the reigning color though I'm trying to be more diverse in my range (orangey base mainly along with the classic kaki greens) and to add more prints like the Nashprintsit shirt or the trench. 

Pic 1:
linen striped tshirt: Isabel Marant Etoile - white cords : Gap - sandals: APC - bag : AAKS
Pic 2:
linen jacket : Uniqlo - linen tshirt: Isabel Marant - pants: H&M - sandals: APC- bag from Cotonou, Bénin - scarf : Zara
Pic 3:
linen cardigan : Gap - linen tshirt: H&M - pants: Zara - bag Abaco - sandals from Cotonou.
Pic 4:
linen jacket: Monoprix - shirt: Nashprintsit - jeans: Uniqlo - sandals : APC - bags from Cotonou

Pic 1:
top: Dries van Noten - pants : Isabel Marant - sandals: Birkenstock - bag: Abaco
Pic 2:
cardigan, vest, skirt: H&M - sandals : APC - leather bag: Abaco - shopping bag from Cotonou
Pic 3:
blouse: Isabel Marant Etoile - pants : Zara - sandals: Isabel Marant - leather bag: Abaco - shopping bag from Cotonou
Pic 4:
linen tshirt: H&M - pants made in Cotonou - sandals: Isabel Marant - bag: Céline

Pic 1:
linen jacket: Uniqlo - tshirt: H&M - pants : Zara- bag: Abaco - sandals : APC
Pic 2:
bomber jacket: H&M - blouse from a store on rue Mouffetard Paris - jeans: Uniqlo - sandals: Birkenstock - bag : Céline
Pic 3:
cotton sweater: H&M - jeans: Current Elliott - sandals: APC - bag : Woodin - scarf: Zara
Pic 4:
blouse, pants : H&M - bag: AAKS

Pic 1:
top: Zara - jeans: Current Elliott - sandals: APC - bag: Woodin
Pic 2:
linen tshirt: H&M - jeans: Current Elliott - sandals : APC - bags from Cotonou
Pic 3:
top, sandals: Dries van Noten - dress worn as skirt: Mango - bag: Balenciaga
Pic 4:
dress, bag made in Cotonou - sandals: APC
Pic 5:
dress : Comptoir des Cotonniers - sandals: APC - bag from Cotonou

samedi 4 juillet 2015


Woo oooh!!! Major score!!

Crossed one of the oldest element of my wishlist: the Play Comme des Garçons striped t-shirt.

Just couldn't believe my luck when browsing one of my favorite consignment store, Violette et Léonie's eshop, I spotted it in my size, dropped it in the cart, paid then next day stopped by the actual store to inspect it from every angle, tried it on before contentedly confirming my purchase. 

It's one of those items that is very popular - it seems like every trendy fashion blogger has one non? Haha! Just joined the club! - but very expensive (in my opinion) for basically the added value of a cute logo on a striped tee. 

Still it didn't stop me from crushing hard on it and I spent many years toying with the idea of buying this item but never willing in the end to spend so much cash for it. 

Already tagged at a decent second hand price and further reduced for sales to 66 euros, suddenly owning it could be reality. 

Voilà! So far, best and only - oh yeah I returned the bermuda...- sales purchase. 

By the way am I the only one a bit let down by the sales at the moment?  Have you found anything?

They only started last week in France, the weather gods [I'm finishing reading "American Gods"  by Neil Gaiman and his deity/mythology concept just keep bumping in my mind. It's really great by the way if you're into subtle fantasy with existential brainstorming] have granted us sunshine and heat (a bit too much dare I say) and thought it would be the right occasion to add a skirt and maybe a dress. But actually what's on discount is rarely my cup of tea and when I find something suitable for the season and to my tastes, it is obviously not on sales. Story of my life. Ok, maybe I'm exagerating a bit there... Haha!