First, I must get this out of the way: apparently the term “ghillies” is also used for “Renaissance Faire” shoes (ugh) AND the name of a certain kind of three-dimensional camo outfit for hunters! Now please put those images aside and concentrate on the ghillies that are so popular at the moment: pumps or flats that lace up and/or tie at or above the ankle. The term originally refers to soft flat dancing shoes. Here are a few particularly beautiful (and in all cases practically unwearable) examples:
Sigh. Luckily now flat ghillies abound and are available in all price points. Can you guess? I love, love, love them! The flat versions are becoming quite popular – both as flats and sandals. Some of you may say these are hard to wear unless your ankles and calves are perfect – or at least skinny – but I disagree. They actually make the ankle look slimmer. I would personally avoid any versions that lace up past the mid calf but that’s just a reflection of my personal bias. Take a look at the wonderful and affordable versions I’ve identified below – and start shopping for YOUR ghillies.
I happen to love the colors purple and olive together. Hence it was a no-brainer when I found this cashmere flowered Equipment sweater on sale earlier this year; of course I would wear it first with these joggers and my purple cardigan, right? In any case, I think this ensemble worked out very well. Joggers are probably on the way out but I love them for a dressy pants look. They also make any heel look smashing.
Sometimes the clean line of a one-color ensemble as you see here is just the ticket. However I couldn’t just leave it there; I was compelled to add this lace-y belt from ASOS.
I haven’t told you about my belt collection – organized by width and color. One can only acquire a belt collection over many years I think. And if I were collecting today – well, I wouldn’t be collecting today because interesting leather belts have gotten way too expensive. The belt I’m wearing today is faux of course, but Ithink it makes the outfit sing.
First of all, we are talking capes here – NOT ponchos or ruanas. For some reason they all seem to get lumped together, maybe because there is some degree of practical difficulty in wearing all of them. Back to CAPES though: a cape has an opening that fastens in the front and has slits on the seams for one’s arms. For me they represent a style challenge. They’re everywhere, people:
Evening dresses with build-in capes! Where are her arms??
Jumpsuits with attached capes! What an ordeal to go to the restroom!
Why, you might ask, do I find them so vexing? I’ll walk you through my pros and cons.
Warmer than no coat at all
Often made of lovely wintery fabrics
Reminiscent of fairy tale royalty or Red Riding Hood
Useful to wear over bulky jackets and sweaters
BARELY warmer than no coat at all
Make it hard to carry a handbag crossbody or even on your shoulder
Fashion for fashion’s sake – kinda like 6 inch heels
OK, OK I’m a curmudgeon. Capes just seem like impractical winter outerwear to me. I CAN see the point of ponchos and ruanas – both are typically more flexible and warmer than a cape design.
There COULD be a few cute capes around – and I’m quite sure not everyone agrees with my personal assessment…
OK, after this post I promise to move away from the topic of long sweaters and GRAY. I received this sweater for Christmas (that is I found it on sale and asked my husband to buy it for me) and I love everything about it – tightly woven fabric that won’t stretch, BRILLIANT colors, a slimming silhouette, and it will go with everything in my closet. These would be my criteria for almost any item of apparel, as I think about it. I love the feeling when I try on a new online purchase and I know instantly that I have a winner. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does…
It was hard work finding the right 3/4 length vest. It couldn’t be too bulky or hot or I’d never wear it, but camel can be a tricky color. It looks great with black or white, but it’s not a color I like with bright colors especially. So, after owning it for three months, I now can see potential outfits that will work. You’ll see it more over the next few months!
We HAVE to confess. We each have an item of clothing with which we are, perhaps, unnaturally obsessed. Our obsessions do not mean that we wear these items more than others. But, somehow, whenever we acquire something new to wear, we rush to see if it “goes” with our wardrobe obsessions.
We don’t claim to know why we feel this way, but maybe you can figure it out when you read our stories.
Jeanne: Several years ago I bought this incredibly cute, inexpensive skirt from GAP (similar). Sort of a pencil skirt with a base layer that I can only describe as gray sweatshirt material overlaid with olive green/khaki lace. So odd/unusual, right? Talk about a combo that was hard to combine with other items: gray and khaki? A khaki color that changed with the light? Yet it was from this weird combo of colors that my obsession grew. Every time I bought something even remotely connected to olive/khaki or gray, I judged its worthiness based on whether it would go with this skirt. Olive turtleneck tunic – check, olive print blouse – check, camo pullover – check. I cannot tell you how many things I tried to pair with this skirt. The number of times I actually wear the skirt is secondary to the number of times I THINK about this skirt.
Kate: Mom bought a sweater coat at Anthropologie two years ago on sale – gray, red, and white mixed together with an uneven hem (here’s another striped option). There was a reason this sweater was on sale: a great pattern, but hard to easily mix with anything besides black pants and a pair of jeans. Last year she got tired of trying to make up ensembles with this sweater and she passed it along to me. Now I obsess about what will “go” with this sweater just like Mom does with her skirt!
Maybe we are – mother and daughter – simply too fastidious about things like this. Jeanne admits to worrying about matching the colors in her clothes, and Kate is a contemporary young woman who enjoys mixing up colors. But even she recognizes this obsession in herself!
What do YOU think? Are you obsessed with certain items in your wardrobe like we are? Below are some items that would in all likelihood trigger a similar obsession for us all!
As I said in my post on Friday, I am becoming a fan of gray and its many shades and fabrications. I loved how this outfit came together. In truth, until this year I’d been relying on a series of classic charcoal gray tapered trousers to represent “gray” in my closet. This year, I consigned those classics and found these Topshop joggers – so much more fun and interesting to style. Our generation grew up hearing about the “classics” that every woman should have in her wardrobe. Well, I say forget that notion and have fun with your clothes. You only live once!
Shop my picks:
See a few more of my favorite Stella Carakasi pieces:
My favorite feature in this ensemble is the shorter dress/tunic with the longer duster. It is so much fun to play with combining different lengths, especially this year when a plethora of long, short and hi-low tops and sweaters are around. I also don’t ordinarily think of gray as one of “my colors”, but I do love combining different textures of gray in one outfit like I’ve done here.