Bye Bye Baby

Question of the day, Style Spotters… have you ever had remorse for anything you gave away or sold?

Recently, I separated from my car of 17 years. It served me extremely well but after blowing the head gasket (I really don’t know what it does except it’s an expensive repair) and likely needing a new engine, I decided it was time to give up repairing it. I watched it being loaded onto a tow truck and after saying sayonara it went onto its new owner (who by the way got a great car for a very cheap price). I really should not complain or have remorse, I got a great sports car in its place, and it’s red if you must know! But the memories… family outings, carpool to schools, trips from here to there. It’s like a journal or photo album, a family record. Well, I guess I just need to jump into my new car and head out, the start of a new chapter.

Please feel free to share car stories, but this was more an entree to clothes, shoes or accessories that you may have parted with and that were an extension of you. Let’s hear. Perhaps someone can help you get reconnected!


The Feeling of Freedom

The feeling of freedom… a cross body bag. 

It feels awesome to have both hands free. I had been using a handbag for several seasons, like many of you, which hung from my forearm. Give the cross body a try. With the onslaught of structured long-strapped bags, I’m sure you’ll love the feeling of freedom.

Autumn is here and summer a memory (though today is 70 degrees).  Fashion Week is over and the designers and professionals are espousing for spring. But let’s enjoy fall and reminisce for a moment about the happy memories of summer before we think about spring.

Where have you, my Style Spotters, vacationed (at home or afar) this past summer? What fabulous styles have you seen, items have you purchased for yourself or have received as a gift?

Do tell!

It’s All a Matter of Mindset

During my recent trip to New York, I had a conversation with a good friend. She knows I’d never spring thousands (or many hundreds for that matter) on a handbag, but she was making an analogy between herself and her partner.  She was just saying everyone has their thing. He likes spending on the house, she likes spending on bags and shoes and I like spending on value. We’re all happy.

The panache of a designer label diminishes its appeal to me when everyone sports a similar bag. In Manhattan, Louis Vuitton’s were plentiful. I recently sold a Louis Vuitton cosmetic bag which was large enough to use as an evening bag. I bought it decades ago but I just could not bring myself to wear it public. I also have a Chanel Patent handbag (Pochette) staring me down in my closet. No, I did not buy it myself. Anyone interested – ha! These types of bags make a statement. I guess just one that I cannot make.

As a loyal Style Spotter, you know it doesn’t have to be expensive to look great. I had many compliments on an orange handbag that I bought in Israel (after my trip to Paris). I purchased it in Tel Aviv at Londoners on Shenkin Street. It cost about $70. It is made of composite materials (supposedly including leather) but it looks just like leather or as good as orange leather can look.

Like I said, style can look great at any price, and it’s all a matter of mindset.

Style Spotter, what’s your mindset?

Makeup Guru and Such

A while back I discussed sun protection. Now for makeup. To be honest, while I was in Paris I was enamored with all the pharmacies that stock extensive collections of products. I was dazzled but overwhelmed partly because I could not translate the labeling. The cosmetics floor in Le Bon Marche was beautiful. I did not even meander through Printemps’ or Galleries Lafayette’s cosmetic floors. Frankly, my trip was short and I could not devote the hours to play there. (I view buying cosmetics like I do jewelry as a happy playful experience.) So if you have the time, language skill or hunting for something in particular ENJOY yourself. The women in Paris look great. I assume there is some magic potion which is the proverbial fountain of youth.

There are many French brands we are not familiar with here in the United States. So, Style Spotters, what have you discovered in Paris? Please share what you have found be it makeup, skin care, hair care or daresay anti-aging.

Here is another resource. Just recently I happened onto the website of Lisa Eldridge. Ms. Eldridge is a world renowned British makeup artist. Her website is extensive with tutorials and specific suggestions on products. I viewed a few of the tutorials and will go back for more. Check out her work and enjoy.

Barneys, Bendel and Beyond

George Washington Bridge

I had the pleasure of being in Manhattan recently and went into a few of my favorite stores. I was with a friend and her first stop was T.J. Maxx at 57th Street. As you walk in the entrance you are smack into the handbag department. They had a decent selection of handbags though none cried out to me, but what was evident was that you could buy a more exciting handbag in Paris for the same price. Granted you need to be in Paris but for the same $300, you have a great bag that has not been seen by your friends or colleagues.

Next stop was Barneys. I had a $175 gift card to spend or expire, but try finding anything for $175. Well after almost 2 hours of looking and trying, I managed to select a T by Alexander Wang top. It’s utilitarian and I am sure I will wear it frequently, but I never would have purchased this top if I did not have the gift card. I recently purchased a red cashmere sweater for $30 at Nordstrom Rack and that was truly value for money.

Oh, let me not wander off my subject. So Barneys had many lovely handbags from Bottega Veneta to Louboutin. The Louboutin was priced around $1200 and was quite a good-looking structured bag. Other bags were made of beautiful supple leathers, but I stick to my premise, a great bag can be found for a reasonable price.

Next stop was Henri Bendel. As you enter the store you are in their fashion jewelry department. Perhaps their selection is the rage, but doubtful any of it would pass the test of time (more than a year or two) or become an heirloom for you to pass along to your (future) granddaughter. Handbags also stand prominently on the first floor, and they had a nice mix. There were a few items around $400-500 and then up.
Afterwards we wandered around a bustling Manhattan crowded with visitors from around the world. The energy was high and an enjoyable day was had.

Thanks for reading The Style Spotter.

Fun In The Sun!

Granted, the lazy hazy days of summer are behind us but that does not mean to let down your guard on sun protection.

For the first time this year I noticed the sunspots on my arms. With very fair skin, I am careful not to stay in the sun, but I assume my skin was cooked as a result of my daily walks or driving in my car. I do not find dark tanned skin particularly attractive (sorry). Think of your future; it definitely catches up. One day you are 20 and the next 60. You’re young at 60 so why not have beautiful, healthy skin and it starts in your youth. So you 20+ somethings take care. Same said for you 80+ somethings.

Everyone can benefit from SPF coverage any time of the year. I use several products and they keep my skin from being burned. If your makeup does not include SPF, take note. I am particular about products that I use. Besides recommendations and reviewing feedback, everything must be fragrance free and non-greasy.

For my face – Cosmedix Reflect SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen. It has a spritzer dispenser. I don’t spray directly on my face. I spray my hand and then apply.

Mineral Face Powder to set foundation – Colorescience Pro Sunforgettable Sun Protection SPF 30 Mineral Powder. It comes in a few shades. It is also available in SPF 50 and with a brush applicator. I received a free sample to try and I really like it.

For my body – SkinCeuticals Sports UV Defense SPF 45

So take heed – whether you are walking in Central Park or

Luxembourg Gardens (above), heading to work in San Francisco or viewing the collection at Musée de l’Orangerie, or perhaps even hiking in the Grand Canyon or on the grounds of Normandy– protect yourself.

Style Spotters, what are some of your favorite products in the off season?

FLATS and I Don’t Mean Tires

Flats. I’ve had my share of them (that is flat tires), but the only way I like to get around town, relax around the house, run errands or get to and from work is in flats. My feet are just not happy for any stretch of time walking in heels, so I wear them when necessary to look polished.

During my recent trip to Paris I stocked up on several pair. As I said early on, there are great shoes in many price ranges and for some wonderful reason European brands fit my feet well. And for those of you desiring heels or platforms, there are plenty of options.

Boutique Minelli –

Minelli, 85 Euros

Boutique Heyraud –

Heyraud, 129 Euros

Gelati – 75 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 and 6, Rue St. Sulpice, 75006

Gelati, 225 Euros (less VAT)

Also check out J.B. Martin and Accessoire Diffusion.

Have a favorite boutique, please share.  Happy shoe shopping!