Retro

This week I’ve had retro TV on the brain, thanks to two things in particular: Disney’s new show WandaVision, and the quirky-fun Fall 2021 fashion show, Coach Forever Season Two. I find it fascinating that entities as different as Marvel Studios and Coach Leatherware captured the same sort of zeitgeist at the same time, with retro television projects that feel somehow fresh and thoroughly nostalgic at the same time.

WandaVision, if you haven’t watched it (yet?), is a Marvel series about Avengers Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff and Vision living a perfect suburban life in Westview, NJ. It picks up directly after the events of the movie Avengers: Endgame. Each episode features sitcom conventions of a different decade, mimicking shows like I Love Lucy, Bewitched, and Full House to fantastic effect. The sense of familiarity and nostalgia make for a clever, intriguing way to explore fresh storytelling, and to provide a foil for the growing sense of unease that things are not quite what they seem.

Coach, under the stewardship of Stuart Vevers, has run with similar themes of retro nostalgia with their 2021 collection. Continuing the “Coach Forever” theme from Spring/Summer 2021, their CoachTV presentation of the Fall 2021 collection, “Coach Forever Season Two,” combines a quirky fashion show presentation of video vignettes with old-school home shopping channel-style segments, music videos, and TV show bits in a fun and fresh way. “Shaft” reference? Check! Early aughts teen movie riff? Check! Beautiful clothes and handbags? Check check check! It felt like a complete world despite being less than 12 minutes of content, with a cohesive design story and an aesthetic that felt deeply heritage Coach with a twist. Juergen Teller and Stuart Vevers are again a great match here.

So what do these similar-but-different evocations of retro nostalgia tell us? With the uncertainties of the past year still looming large, creating something fresh that also has a reassuring familiarity is a brilliant way to go. People crave security in times of uncertainty. Fashion and TV are not only indulgences, but also highly evocative cultural touchstones, so what better way to tie it all together? Wanda and Vision’s sartorial choices tell us everything we need to know in an instant about the era of each episode. We feel a deep sense of familiarity watching their banter and mannerisms, even though we are watching something brand new. We want new ways to escape, but we also want comfort, and WandaVision manages to deliver exactly that. And Vevers, with his deliberate use of designs and motifs from not only decades of Coach archives, but his own collections from the past few years, is deftly and boldly addressing our current moment without saying a word. People are buying less right now, and that’s okay! Pull out your sweater from three, four, six years ago and enjoy it! Wear vintage and look fab! His aesthetic for the collection is both comfortingly retro and of-the-next-moment, and he shows us how to do it, too. Not only that, but he encourages us to have fun with our clothes, which is oh-so-welcome in an industry that sometimes takes itself a touch too seriously. I think we can all use a bit of comfort and fun these days, no?

Bonus: What every WandaVision theme song has in common — so fascinating!

Five fun things: treat yo’ self edition

Thanks to COVID-19 and perpetual working-from-home-in-sweats days, it’s been a hot minute since we talked about, well, wearing real clothes. Nordstrom Rack is having their Clear the Rack sale this weekend, though, so I decided perhaps enough was enough. (Not a sponsored post, I just love a deal.) Here are a few excellently-priced pieces to get the ideas flowing if you, too, think maybe real clothes on occasion might be a fun change of pace. I’m not talking about too high a bar — just some easy pieces that might be a tiny step up from a sweatshirt. And if you decide to wear any or all of these with sweatpants? Zero judgement here! Lunar New Year or Valentine’s Day make fine excuses reasons to treat yourself.

This sweet short-sleeved sweater looks as easy as a tee, but with just a little something extra. I went with the “marled oreo” grey, but this oatmeal-ish olive is just as cute.

Also super easy: this striped crewneck sweater has a classic shape, and the heathered stripes give just enough visual interest. Also, stripes, so I had to!

For a nice little Valentine for yourself, you could definitely do worse than this ridiculously well-priced diamond eternity band. It would be lovey balanced out with a chunky, slightly tough-girl curb chain bracelet like this one.

I’ve been dying over these ultra-cool loafers by Freda Salvador for ages, so imagine my delight at finding them on sale! Slip on and go, but you know, in a stylish look-how-I-great-I-look-with-zero real effort kind of way.

Casual Friday: Voter Edition

Today my sartorial choices are skewing slightly fall-ish and decidedly voter-ish.

A printed dress is still easier than easy for pandemic staying-at-home working and lounging — while still looking polished if you venture out.

This snappy tote and black and white I Am A Voter strap make for a stylish and comfortable way to schlep your ballot to the nearest polling station or post office.

Don’t forget to wear your mask when you go! Stripes with a heart are as cheery as can be.

Pink ankle socks paired with a classic flat loafer are a fun nod to fall while still being comfy to wear, just in case there is a line at the voting booth.

A beautiful pen makes filling out your mail-in ballot a pleasure. Plus it is refillable, so you can use it for years to come.

This terracotta-meets-poppy nail polish feels perfect for early autumn — and the name Yes, I Can(yon) is just the inspiration we need to carry us through this election.

For voting resources, visit I Will Vote.com. Let’s make our voices heard!

Casual Friday – WFH edition

Why yes, it is awfully difficult to tell what day it is anymore.  Friday?  It is?  Oh good!

Not that I have ever been hugely willing to sacrifice comfort for fashion, but working from home for six weeks has brought on a whole new level of expectations.  Tight waistband digging in?  No thanks!  Shoes that require anything more than nudging my feet forward to put them on?  Nah.  That being said, I do still have video chat meetings to attend and fellow Target shoppers to stay 6 feet away from, and there is no rule that says comfy can’t also be pretty.  Besides, I feel so much better when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror on my bazillionth trip to the kitchen for quarantine snacks more water if I wear an “outfit.”   It feels like a nice little treat for myself to wear something I’ve chosen, rather than whatever sweatpants are closest to my hand when I get out of bed (although there are also certainly those days, too!).

Here are the makings for a hugely comfy, very casual work-from-home Friday:

This sweet onyx heart necklace would make me smile every time I put it on.

A cozy sweatshirt with nice clean lines will last you forever.

This soft cheetah skirt feels (but doesn’t look) like pajamas.

Copper Birkenstocks for comfort with a touch of glam.

This Oscar Wilde candle by Paddywax is just as good during a workday as it is while you unwind in the evenings.  You know, when you have moved from your table to your couch.

A pair of nicely marked-down rose gold headphones (cute!) with excellent noise-cancellation (essential!) for all of those Zoom meetings.

A beautiful handblown glass pitcher and a pair of Deco-ish tumblers to keep you hydrated at your desk.  Also perfect for post-work margaritas to ease you into the weekend.

I ❤️ For Days

fordays_striped_tee

Sustainable, zero waste, closed loop — plus stylish and oh-so-comfy?  Please meet For Days, a clothing company I love for their excellent basics as much as their vision and ethos.

For Days offers a line up of tees, tanks, sweats, pants, and dresses that are all 100% recyclable, made in a closed-loop system, recycled with a waterless chemical-free process, shipped in recycled and recyclable packaging, and 100% of their transportation is carbon-neutral.  Oh, and their clothes?  They are fantastic.

Have you ever been on the hunt for the perfect tee?  Soft and easy, fitted but not too tight, good drape but not see-through?  For Days has a great selection of fits, and you can try several of them at the same time to see what works for you.  I found my tee holy grail in their Daily Crew, and my husband is wearing his Light Crew tees on repeat — they are just that comfortable.

Wear them so much you’ve worn them out?  Or suddenly hate the color you’ve chosen after wearing it incessantly?  No problem!  Send back your worn out tees to be recycled, and you get a discounted swap price on your replacement.  Planning a serious closet clean-out while stuck at home?  They have a solution for that, too!  Fill their Take Back Bag with clean old clothing (of any brand) to be recycled, and you get the swap price on new items you choose to purchase.

fordays_how-it-works

As if that wasn’t enough amazingness for one company, they are making masks under their For Healthier Days initiative.  You can buy 5 for yourself and donate 5, buy 5 for a loved one and donate 5, or just donate 10 outright for only $25.

fordays_masks

I feel good every time I wear my For Days tee shirts.  They are soft and I always feel like I look good.  Doing good while I look good shouldn’t be quite so revolutionary, but I love this company for  it, and I hope you do, too!

Tiny but mighty

Easy neutrals to ease into spring, including the sweetest little mini bag and cheetah mules to give a little zhuzh to classic stripes, denim, and pearls?  Yes, please!

I thought I would be the last person on Earth to buy into the mini bag trend, but I am obsessed with my new Coach Originals half moon coin case.  It’s 4 inches wide!  Tiny but mighty!  A few cards and my ID, keys, lip balm, and then I slip my phone in my pocket.  Perfectly light and easy, it’s both on-trend and a true classic.

striped linen sweater  denim jacket  skinny jeans  cheetah mules  mini crossbody  pearl hoop earrings

Five (+1) great plaid coats

universal_standard_margan_coat

Fall has finally arrived in earnest here, which means I finally got to wear my new plaid coat today.  It drapes nicely, is lined beautifully, and fits like a dream — the kind of piece I can dress up or down and wear for years!  It feels like this year’s crop of plaids is more playful than ever (and I do love a classic pattern done in fun colorways), so here are five more I have been eyeing.  Enjoy, and stay warm!

duffle coat  double-breasted  oversized  swing coat  sherpa

Bouclé all day

Delightfully crisp mornings have finally arrived in southern California, and I’m embracing the change wholeheartedly with a comfy-yet-polished Friday outfit.  Mustard-y ochre is having a bit of a moment, and this a super-affordable little bouclé number had me at “hello.”  Paired with the perfect drapey tee, some modern earrings, and luxe velvet mules, it is the ideal way to welcome autumn — and the weekend!

bouclé jacket  pearl earrings  velvet loafers  dark denim  drapey tee

You guys! It’s here! A+

Stop the presses, everyone!  Anthropologie has finally expanded their size range to include both petites AND larger sizes.  Their new A+nthropologie items go up through a size 26W, and I could not be happier.  Over 120 new items, including dresses, tees, jeans, blouses… I am thrilled.  The only caveat is that their expanded line is only available in select stores and online, but I am hopeful that Anthro will expand availability in the near future.  In the meantime, I love that they have a great assortment of pants especially — tops can be easier to find, but a good pair of pants can be hard to track down, as can a well-cut dress.

I have to say, I am so pleased with the styling of this collection.  The models look wonderfully confident in their own skin, and they are seamlessly integrated into catalog photographs and ad space.  The clothes can easily be found by size, but they have not been shuffled off to a sad corner to exist in a silo — pieces are integrated well into the existing product line-up.  Bravo, Anthro.  It is encouraging to be seen and included.  A few of my favorites, below:

buttoned top  slim jeans  patterned tee  gingham dress  relaxed chinos  pocket joggers

Chilly!

I know we have it better than most of the country, but here in southern California we’ve been getting our first “real” winter in quite some time.  We had snow in Los Angeles yesterday!  It’s been cold enough that I have ice on my windshield when I leave for work each morning, so you can bet I’ve been bundling up more than usual.  Here are a few pieces I’ve had in heavy rotation lately: a cozy sweater, wool coat, comfy boots and denim, and a little yellow bag from MCM to brighten these chilly days.  Happy weekend!

cashmere sweater  wool coat (similar)  ankle boots  jeans  mini crossbody

 

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