Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Back in the saddle!

After a dismal holiday shopping season, Lisa and I decided to change things up and made a shopping appointment with Claudine Eaton Lewis at Saks in Boston.  (For local readers, you might know Claudine as she worked at J. McLaughlin for years in Wellesley. We were so happy to reconnect with her at Saks.)  Claudine was the one who hooked me up with the fabulous gown for the black tie event, and I was so impressed with her choice and styling that I wanted to see what else she could do.  Of course, Lisa HAD to join in!  While I can dress others pretty easily, I continue to scratch my head and wonder what I should be wearing.  Kind of like a wedding planner who never gets married.  

Anyway, Lisa and I were a little anxious; after all, we have a lot of clothing already and have some specific needs.  We also like to be a little surprised.  I sent Claudine this email before the appointment:

"Wanted to get a list of things to you for our shopping appointment...  What I really want are 2-3 outfits for walking around London/shopping in Boston/ladies lunch out.  I don't need dresses or skirts, just functional and fashionable everyday outfits - so I can grab and go and look great!  Might want to look at a spring outerwear option too - I have the classic trench, but might want something more updated.  I'm a little obsessed with complete looks rather than a piece here or there that end up sitting in my closet.

Brands I love:  Vince, Theory, Rebecca Taylor, some Marc by Marc Jacobs, Weekend Max Mara, 3.1 Philip Lim, rag & bone…but am open to try - just trying to give you a sense of what's in my closet."

I am so happy to say that Claudine filled some voids in my closet (especially for that transitional hell we call 'spring' in New England) and sprinkled in some surprises.

First item that both Lisa and I had to get:  Givenchy floral ballet flats.  Floral prints and patterns are everywhere this spring.  While we like to be current, I can't really see Lisa or myself sporting a floral dress or pants.  Not in our wheelhouse.  Claudine suggested these as a nod to the trend, while allowing us to stay true to our classic, neutral looks.  It was love at first sight.  And, they are so completely comfortable.

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She told us to pair them with ANYTHING.  Black cropped jeans and a white blouse.  Jeans and a white blouse.  Take your basics and update with a floral shoe.  

I am always in DIRE need of layering for the spring.  Claudine totally nailed it with a Vince silk blouse (layered over a black tank) with a Theory cardigan layered over it (or not!).  I can wear this over black jeans or pants, white jeans or pants, cropped or long, denim jeans, the blouse only tucked into dressier pants with heels - all things I have in my closet already!  Oh, and with my new ballet flats!  Just saying.
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Lisa and I also fell in love with this totally soft and comfortable Helmut Lang asymmetrical stretch knit jacket.  Totally easy to wear, open and zipped, and again, over all the basic bottoms we have.
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I know, you might be thinking "that's a lot of black".  For transition, I've decided that trying to make lighter colors work is a little back-breaking.  I think the floral flats will really 'lighten' up the palette.  In full disclosure, I also picked up an Alexander McQueen scarf (as did Lisa), a crisp white blouse, and an oxford blue blouse (also an item to have for Spring 2014) - all will be work-horse items in my closet!

Lisa hit a home run in Saks!  Seemed that everything she put on was magical.  If you recall, Lisa was really into ivory fisherman knit sweaters this winter. She wanted a linen/cotton/silk version of it for spring and fell in love with this ivory Helmut Lang sweater.
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Lisa also picked up this beaded, silk 3.1 Philip Lim top that looked stunning on her!  She can wear it now with black leather pants and into the spring over white pants with sandals.  This was another Claudine pick that surprised Lisa - she said she would have never picked it up off the rack.
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So many things to look at!  There's even more!  We highly recommend seeing Claudine for your shopping needs.  Not only did she 'get' what we wanted and our personal styles, but she's a lot of fun and completely honest.  As in, 'that's horrible, take it off!' honest.  Gotta love a girl who's got your back! ~ JH

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