Fall Oxfords and other cozy things

I’m starting to get excited about cozy fall clothes, and I have scarves, clog boots, suede ankle boots, floppy felt hats, chunky cardigans with a belt, and skinny cords on my mind.

It is still warm here in NYC, so to start dipping my toe into fall wear I’ve dug out my black oxfords. I got these at the Buffalo Exchange a few years ago when I was in search of some menswear inspired shoes but never liked them that much since I felt very frumpy when I wore them with socks. Now I think the trick is to wear when it is still warm out with a pop of ankles and a girly blouse. Menswear but still feminine.

What are you excited about for the fall?

Photo from my Instagram feed. Find me at “thebagblog”

Preppy Hybrid

I have never been a hug fan of all thing preppy until recently. Probably due to the fact that I never really hung out with the prepsters growing up, as I was more of a black t shirts and alternative/heavy metal grunge type back in the day. But as I get older and try to wear more timeless clothes, and shop less “fast fashion” I am finding much to like in simple, preppy items that I constantly love and rewear season after season. Of course I do feel the need to “de-prep” my outfits a bit by throwing on some studded bracelets, heavy wood necklace or red orange lipstick, so maybe it is more of a “preppy hybrid”.

 Preppy Things I already own that I love

1. Sperry Denim/Patent Top siders: I purchased these on sale a few years ago and they have quickly become my go to daily shoes. I am always partial to slip on shoes, but for me the denim fabric combined with blue patent leather is a great update to a familiar shoe.

2. LL Bean French Sailor’s shirt (also written about here)

3. LL Bean Lobster Flip Flops: Just love. Was afraid these were too pink when they arrived in the mail, since I was expecting the straps to be more red, but after one wearing I loved them. Easy to throw in the wash when the straps get a little dirty.

4. LL Bean duck boots: Perfect for running around NYC in the rain laced up over a pair of skinny jeans. I got this pair on Ebay and they are labeled “MOM” on the bottom which is kind of funny.

 

5. White Jeans: Are white jeans preppy? I am going with yes. I got this pair of white Citizens of Humanity at m.a.e. right here in Park Slope.

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My preppy wish list

1. Sperry Top Sider in classic brown

2. Sperry Boat Shoe Boots: Saw a pair of these in a consignment store but sadly they were a half a size too small and I have been unable to locate online. They were basically a Sperry top sider bottom with a top like a pair of duck boots. Anybody know how to find these shoes?

3. Vera Bradley Large Duffle in Chanticleer: I LOVE the chickens! I really only like the retired Vera Bradley patterns, which is fine since I just look on Ebay.

4. Another LL Bean boat and tote: Thinking of getting a small open top bag with navy blue trim.

7. Low Rise Duck Boots: Back to Ebay to find the perfect pair. (I am trying to be animal friendly and buy leather goods second hand.)

8. LL Bean French Sailor’s Shirt again: It will be twice as nice to have two! This one will be the cream/navy color combo.

9. Navy blazer with gold buttons: Love the shrunken schoolboy blazer from JCrew.

 

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Preppy Blogs I am enjoying
The Daily Prep
Classy Girls Wear Pearls
The College Prepster

The Bag Blog on Tumblr

I admit I really don’t understand Tumblr, but I am trying to learn and figure out the best way to use for TBB.

Since posts on this page do tend to frequently veer off topic from exclusively bags I decided to set up a Tumblr for just bag only posts and photos. You can follow me at dailybagblog.tumblr.com. (I used a nifty site ifttt.com to get all my Instagram photos with a #dailybag hashtag to automatically upload. So easy!)

What are some great Tumblrs out there that I should be following? How do you use Tumblr?

When in doubt, wear stripes

Alternate title: “All I Needed to Know about Fashion I Learned From My Cat (and/or sailors)”

I’ve been doing a little experiment recently. Every time I was feeling confused/conflicted about what to wear I would throw on one of my many striped shirts. Turns out stripes are perfect for every occasion. Camping, backyard BBQs, baseball games, office wear, after work drinks, you name it. Stripes can be dressed down with denim cut offs and still feel crisp and clean, or dressed up with a blazer and/or pencil skirt yet still feel comfortable. The perfect short cut to feeling good about your outfit in every circumstance!

My current “A-List” of striped shirts (and bag). L to R clockwise:

1. Madewell baseball t-shirt: I just bought this last night and already love it! On sale for $13.
2. Baggu striped Duck Bag: From the Gap. The perfect weekend bag with a fun pop of pink/orange.
3. LL Bean French Sailor’s Shirt: I originally purchased this just to throw something extra into my online cart for a LL Bean order so I could get free shipping. When it first arrived in the mail I was disappointed that it was more of a thicker material, instead of a t-shirt weight. However after one wearing all was forgotten and this became my #1 All Time A list striped shirt. I love it. And at $29.99 it is crazy affordable. Planning my next color combo to order…maybe “Plum Wine/Bright Navy”.
4. Gap Hot Pink/Navy: Great (unexpected) color combination! I grabbed this from the Gap sale rack last winter/early spring. Long sleeves are great for layering under a sweater. The shirt also has a cute boat neck with buttons. Very fitted, so slighty different from more boxy striped shirts.
5. Zara Striped Shirt with gold zipper: A little different with a round roll neck, and gold zipper on my left shoulder. A heavier material more similar to the LL Bean shirt. A large and boxy fit, so works best thrown over other layers.
6. JCrew Striped Painters Tee (similar): Also fitted, with three quarter sleeves. Great under a blazer for work.
7. Rodarte for Target Striped shirt (not pictured –oops!): Thin tee shirt material, longer sleeves. Sadly the white is started to darken from many washings.

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Stripe shirt outtake picture. Decided these were no longer “A list” so left them out of the above photo, but I still like them.

The inspiration for my stripes: my adorable striped cat Cady!

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Some blog posts about stripes that I have enjoyed recently:
The Working Closet: Mighty Closet: a collection of striped shirts that I can get behind
Les Anti-Moderns: Foundations: The breton stripe shirt: Ms. Sophie writes a through review of breton shirts, including the classic St. James.

Bensimons for the Brooklyn summer

I first read about Besimons in a post on Cup of Jo at the exact time I was on the look out for some new summer slip on shoes to replace my beloved Tom’s which sadly developed a hole by the toe after almost a year of constant wearing. Instantly I placed an order on Shopbop for a gray and tan pair in my size and a half size up since most reviews said they ran small. Although the shoes were cute to my surprise even the half size up was too small and I had to send both back. And as much as I liked the idea of wearing the “French girl’s Converse” all over Brooklyn all sumer, at almost $60 they seemed a little pricey for the quality.

Of course once I sent the shoes back I started seeing Bensimons on the feet of every cute girl around town, and I really needed some new summer slip ons. I did think of purchasing a second pair of Tom’s but really decided I wanted something new.

Then a few weeks ago I got lucky on Ebay! A pair of slightly used slate grey slip on Bensimons popped up and I scored them for a cool $27.  This time I went for a size 10 (41) which is a full size up from my normal 9. The shoes were gently worn, but there was a slightly loose piece of rubbery lining that had ripped open, but I just snipped off with some small scissors. Once quick run through the washer in a mesh bag and my Bensimons were good as new!

Photos above from Instagram. Follow me at “thebagblog”.

Instagramming

The Bag Blog is now on Instagram! Search for me under thebagblog if you are interested in filtered photos of cats, bags & Brooklyn!

What’s in my bag?

1. JCrew leopard scarf. At a recent JCrew sale I picked up this scarf and a hot pink one for about $20 each. Great for the summer when I spend most of my time on a freezing subway car or cold office.

2. Baggu reusable tote from the No. 6 + BAGGU collection

3. NARS lipgloss in Orgasm. Simply the best, especially for the summer.

4. NARS The Multiple in Riviera. I couple never really get into The Multiple since it I pretty much just use it for cheeks, but hoping if I carry it with me I will start using it.

5. Silver reflective aviator sunglass. Perfect for summer. Purchased at a Brooklyn post office (say what?) two summers ago for about $10.

6. Coach wallet. Gift from about 10 years ago. Still looks brand new.

7. NEW Cole Haan leather wristlet to hold subway pass and earbuds. Nice light gold with a shimmer. TJMaxx $24.99

8. Laura Mercier pressed powder for cover up. Really need to get a new on the go cover up system since this one is too matte, but determined to use this one up first.

9. Glasses. Yes I had LASIK 5 years ago (LOVE) but sadly due to age  I now need computer/TV/reading glasses. But these are fun nerdy retro glasses and deserve their own post.

10. Granola bar. When I get hungry I get cranky.

11. Baggu pouch for nail clippers, comb, toothpaste, etc.

12. Kindle. Love to download The New Yorker every Monday morning.

13. Chapstick and Dior gloss (free with Sephora points)

14. Zip up Coach Wallet. Another gift, I use this one to organize coupons, store cards and checks I need to cash.

And the Bag: Stripped JCrew tote from about 3 summers ago. The perfect canvas tote.

Let’s Talk about Clogs

I’ve always had a soft spot for clogs. I think I like the combination of wood, leather, history, practicality, and the fact that they can combine cute and comfortable, all while looking a little old school. In the early 2000’s back in my Boston days I was all about clunky clogs from Troentorp. I had a pair of Picasso clogs  that I wore until they were literally falling apart.

But then after moving to NYC I forgot about clogs and started wearing heels or ballet flats instead. Until a couple years ago when clogs started to show up all over the streets of NYC. These were different clogs though, a little sleeker and thinner with (maybe!) a bit of a sexy vibe. Then clog boots started showing up on the feet of lovelies such as Michelle Williams, and SJP, as well as pretty much any cute girl walking around downtown.

I of course wanted to jump right on this new/old bandwagon, but found myself hesitating at the price point. I purchased all my old clogs in Boston off Ebay, so the idea of spending $300-$500 for one pair of shoes was a little scary. Plus in the back of my head I was worried it was more of a fad. So I waited.

Sweedish Hasbeens Wedge heels with mint jeans from Old Navy

During Summer of 2010 I was able to order a pair of Sweedish Hasbeens Wedge heel sandals with black straps through a 50% off Lucky Breaks sale, and I was smitten from day one. They fit right off the bat, and were comfortable from day one. Two years in these are still a great pair of shoes, though I do need to do some cleaning to get them back to looking their best.

Now here we are a full THREE years later since I started thinking about clogs again and I still want clog boots. Had I purchased them at full price three years ago I would still be wearing them today and enjoying a very low cost per wear. So even though it is June I am finally on the hunt for my fall/winter clogs boots.

The No. 6 store in Nolita at 6 Centre Market Place, NYC

No. 6 lead the pack with custom made clogs out of their Nolita store and I headed there first. I was surprised to not be thrilled by these shoes when I tried on a pair of aviator boots (#2) and some mules. The mules were cute but I could tell I would walk out of them, and the boots weren’t as sleek as I was expecting and I could feel the zippered side rubbing painfully into my feet. I’m still open to this brand since I have heard so many good reviews, but wondering if they are right for my feet.

Next up: the Sweedish Hasbeens Jodhpur boots. Since I already have the wedge heels I know that I like this brand. In the pictures they look a little sleeker & streamlined than the No. 6 boots. On my to do list: find a store in NYC that sells these boots so I can try on in person.

Cozy fall boots: Here I come! Have you purchased any clog boots?

 

 

 

Steven Alan Reverse Seam Shirt

1. Shirt: Steven Alan (purchased second hand on ebay) 2. Jean: Paige (sale at Saks) 3. Bag: Baggu (purchased from the Gap) 4. Leather studded bracelets: JCrew (gift) & Madewell (sale) 5. Sandals: Birkenstocks 6. Toenail polis: Essie Lollipop 7: Sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Button down shirts have never really worked for me since the fit always look boxy on me, and I can’t wear fabrics that wrinkle since I refuse to iron my clothes. But after reading many excellent reviews of Steven Alan reverse seam shirts I decided to give one a try, and luckily spotted a second hand one on Ebay for a fraction of the price.

I love all the little details like the twisted placket and reverse seam on the sides, the soft cotton, and best of all it is made in the USA. It is a great shirt for wearing around on the weekends when you want to feel comfortable but a little crisp. I do feel that the length is a little short for us tall girls, and I would love to have another 2-3 includes to hit more below the hips. Not sure if I can say that I would ever pay full price, but for a used shirt on ebay I feel I got my moneys worth.

(I had also planned for this to be a great everyday shirt to wear to my casual office until I saw this 30 Rock episode. Now it is strictly weekends only!)