Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Edith & Moi, Playing In Our Closets

Are we having fun or what?

As you know Edith and I shopped the soldes until the dust-riddled bits we were pulling out of the bottom of the bins were downright embarrassing. We did some real time shopping, but mostly we played virtual dress-up by window browsing and magazine dreaming, choosing ensembles and accessories we could definitely envision in our lives if we sold our houses. (In Edith's case she has four, which gives her a slight edge.)

But she's French and Frenchwomen love a bargain and in lieu of a markdown or a discount strategy, they like nothing better than tricking-up what they find in their closets.

That's the approach I suggested we take for the next month or so. The rules: not a cent spent, not one centime leaves our designer bags. Everything we'll be wearing in these posts we possess, many of the things we forgot we owned. In my case after the recent reorganization of my closet according to color: black, black, black, black, charcoal and finally navy this was no easy task. Many individuals who are perhaps unfortunate enough not to have as much black as I do, do not realize how many different hues, tints and tones of black that exist. Just try mixing black on black sometime; you'll see what I mean. 

But I digress, suffice it to say I have more black jackets -- all different mind you -- than I realized and even with the light on I couldn't see what I was doing. After rigging up a sort of spot thingie I did some culling and came out with the shawl-collared Christian Dior (pre-Galliano obviously) tuxedo jacket I turn to when in doubt. It's coupled with a stretchy lace top from Banana Republic (I also have one in ivory), my black gab skirt, black satin heels, my gorgeous -- given to me by My-Reason-For-Living-In-France -- Chanel brooch and pearls, pearls, pearls.

My casual outfit is an Equipment silk shirt, a heavy knit cardigan I've had forever, my black pants, an old red suede belt and tassel-tie Chanel moccasins. 

Oooops, almost forgot to remind you: For our exercise I will always wear the same skirt and trousers. Edith will do her own thing.

She pulled out a Valentino LBD with a huge flower all of a piece with the dress in the same silk crepe that appears to be growing out of the material. It is sublime. To punk it up she added lacy tights and her bottines.

Going casual she teamed "an ancient" YSL jacket, belted (very important), with black jeans, tucked into her boots and her black cashmere turtleneck.

Note: Everywhere now, into spring and perhaps beyond: when in doubt add a belt.

(As always, the drawings are by Edith.)


Semi Expat said...

Wonderful drawings as ever and fabulous outfits you have both put together.... love your YSL jacket and banana republic top outfit and Edith's dress with the flower on the front... just divine..X

Morgane said...

is it you the one who draw ? whaouh fabulous outfits and drawing ! I'm so in black that when i'm in gray it hurts the sight!

ps: you are tagged in my blog ! au boulot !

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

The sleek and almost simple lines are what I looking for these days! AND!....accessories as elegant as pearls or on the other end of the spectrum, CHUNKY burnished gold with rhinestones. Looks good with black!

Have a great day, Tish!


Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart said...

You must have so much fun, Letitia! the looks are very clean and elegant. and with all that Chanel YSL etc. you must be knockouts. Tres tres amusant. comme toujours.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I totally agree with Jeanne-Aelia. You and Edith must be knockouts in these fabulous outfits. I especially like the red tassel shoes.

I too have found blacks do not match other blacks. It can be frustrating.

I think it's essential to organize your closet by color. Guess it comes from my days in retailing, but it is a great help when you're pulling together an outfit.

Bonjour Madame said...

Look at those outfits! I love the black ones so much with the fantastic accessories. And all this in your own closets...wonderful¡

BigLittleWolf said...

Love the YSL. Love the belted look. But I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go! (Except feeding Latvians and driving to the high school... jeans, little boots, a few layers of sweaters and hoodies. Yawn.)

Can I come play in your closet???

Jacqueline said...

Well Tish,
As you know, you don't have to convince me about black. When you open my wardrobe door it's as black as the ace of spades, with the odd piece of grey, navy, brown and aubergine !!!!
I always say that, if you look at the models in their own clothes and the people who go to fashion shows, it is a sea of black because they all know that it looks the best.
I love your ensenbles. Very chic. XXXX

Marsi said...

Hello, me again, coming up for air.

As a fellow black devotee, my favorite outfits are both of the black ones. So insanely chic! I have a huge, black silk flower like Edith's but have never worn it because I've felt a little nuts wearing it on the side, but now I'm going to have to try it in the center. What a revelation.

What always fascinates me about these closet adventures is how many wonderful designer pieces you both have squirreled away from past seasons (sometimes long-past seasons). You'd be so hard pressed to find an American woman with designer pieces in her wardrobe, other than accessories. I really like that about French women ... and aspire to it myself.

So true about the multiple hues of black ....


hostess of the humble bungalow said...

OOH LAH LAH, pearls, pearls and yet MORE pearls, and Chanel with everything...shades of black on black and designer bags, you make me swoon!

LPC said...

Yes, I always think, today I am wearing, black, black, black, and a little denim for comic relief. But I have to tell you. I cannot do this belted thing. I required belt loops. Belting without loops causes floating belt and it is too annoying and I am just too sturdy at heart. Love the drawings as always.

Deja Pseu said...

These ensembles are so chic! Love the black shawl-collared jacket especially...another "black-aholic" here. Belts are tricky for me, may sit that one out.

The pale observer said...

Great drawings! Bravo on the bravery to add a belt. I can never do it!

James said...

I know very little about fashion, but I enjoy your words and picture so much.

Kim said...

It appears that OUR color is black..every one of us commenting today. After all it is the absorption of all color so no wonder we have such a difficult time matching our "color". I have to have a spot light in my tiny closet plus I have to "feel" my clothes to decide which one to wear since they are all black :-)

knitpurl said...

Belts have arrived, saw an array at my local H&M that were tempting...more pounds to loose so they are a purchase; but then they'll be gone and we'll be on to something else.

Thought "BigLittleWolf"'s comments to be so funny and so true for a lot of us. Agree with Marsi's comment about not finding much or any designer clothes in an American woman's closet. Now shoes are another matter.

Edith does have a huge edge with all those homes. Edith, you must like green too since Tish's black slacks were green on my screen. xo

Frenchy chick said...

Fun fun fun. I love clothes. You are now on my blog list too. Sorry. pour le retard. J'etais a cote de mes pompes.LOL
gros bisous!

*Chic Provence* said...

I want to be there with you and Edith!! you have so much fun and we get the benefit!

Black it is in my closet too, I have it in every possible shape, fabric, incarnation, and I wear it to death! even in the summer I love black linen

great drawings and post!

xxx ...Kit

Duchesse said...

Oh! This will be fun!

Awhile ago I posted on a friend who visited- luggage was lost for 6 days. We're the same size, so she bought lingerie and then shopped my closet. I was amazed at how differently she put my things together, with her fresh eye.

And I call my closet "The Black Hole".

EntertainingMom said...

I have trouble with the belted look sometimes. I'm 5'4" -- short-waisted, long(ish) legs with large bust that seemed never to go away after nursing my last child nearly 5 years ago. Some belts work others don't. I have a favorite black sweater I do wear belted though. Only I have lost the tie, silly me. I decided to use a brooch instead... I pulled the sweater off to the side a bit and secured it with the pin. A brand new sweater was born! And, I like the look so much more this way!

Pearls and black are a favorite combination of mine. The brooch was pearl and the sweater was black. I love finding new clothes without spending any money!!

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