Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Letter From The Blogger

I have been doing lots of wardrobe cleaning during the past week. My 10-year old daughter has been a perfect helper as she is ruthless about things that look so stupid. But more often than not, I run my fingers over the stacks of jeans in my wardrobe, and I feel happy to see them again, like reuniting with friends after the long expat exeat in summer. I am looking forward to wearing the Gucci loafers I showed on the blog yesterday. I am also thrilled to bring out my tweed blazer from Soong Tailors, which for two years has been a classic favorite, but now in its third year of life will morph into a trendy Fall 2015 must-have.

Nina Ricci velvet sandals from a few years ago

I don't think I will buy a whole lot this Fall season. If I want to be on trend I can be - I have scores of wide leg jeans and bohemian blouses. I have scores of shoes with tall thick heels. And I have stunning velvet sandals with long laces that tie around the legs. Some seasons it feels more fun to make do with what you already have - and as my style icon Amanda Brooks has said, you end up being much more creative when you have limited resources.

My holiday in England was an eye-opener - I wore two pairs of jeans, two jackets, three T-shirts and a white blouse for a full month, and felt quite happy doing so. A popular de-clutter book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Japanese author Marie Kondo, has taken New York by storm, and women everywhere are tidying up their wardrobes and their lives and raving about the experience on social media and youtube.

And then there are other considerations. My husband has been working incredibly hard lately, and ever so often while leading my expat-lady-life in Hong Kong I think I mustn't spend his hard earned money so recklessly, because I know he dreams of an early retirement one day, one where he makes goat's cheese and chimichurri for a living. And even if he could sell his very delicious condiments at the wonderful Daylesford Organic Farmshop, I highly doubt the profits from organic chimichurri sales are going to afford us much of a lifestyle. And how many shoes does the wife of a chimichurri maker need anyway? I am not entirely serious of course, but I find myself in a content state of mind this season, knowing that more is not always merrier, and that I already have a lot of beautiful clothes to rely on for Fall.

I Love Your Style is my favorite style book ever

I read Amanda's new book over summer, Always Pack A Party Dress, and what I love most about her style advice is that she frequently refers to old beloved pieces of clothing, things she bought years ago, or things she may have inherited from her mother. At one point she describes buying a Chanel bag on Ebay, and finding out she has been duped by the seller because the bag is not authentic. She loves its style, however, and the bag ends up becoming an unexpected firm favorite. Amanda is as posh an American as can be, but she is not a snob, and it's her lack of pretension that makes her such an interesting dresser.

It's fun to read the Fall fashion updates in the magazines, but some of the advice is positively infantile. This list is from August US Harper's Bazaar. Throw out all your nude lip glosses, girls, because it appears they are very much out of favor. And can someone please tell me what are sneaker mules, so that I don't accidentally purchase some. I suppose it's all a bit of tongue-in-cheek, but at the same time condescending enough that it has made me stop buying these kinds of magazines.

The magazine that has pleasantly surprised me month after month is Porter, published by my favorite shopping site Net-à-Porter. In the beginning I doubted this venture and suspected the magazine would just be a shiny prospectus for Net-à-Porter's own wares. It is partly that, but mostly it's just a book full of beautifully photographed clothes, with interesting articles about women who achieved their substance through their own inspiring hard work.

I look forward to reporting on my Fall wardrobe challenges as the days get shorter and the weather grows colder. Thank you lovely readers for reading.

XX Dianne

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