Matt and I went on a very brief (36 hour) vacation to Florida last weekend to visit his family. It was glorious. There was sun, surf, sand... and warmth.
Given the short duration of the trip and my singular desire to sit in the sun and read a book, my suitcase contained very few things: a bathing suit, a pair of J.Crew chinos (neon peach), a few J.Crew vintage V-neck T's, my new checkerboard Vans, and my favorite chambray shirt: the J.Crew Keeper Chambray Shirt, $78 (now on sale for $68!). In fact, I wore my Keeper Chambray shirt with distressed jeans and my checkerboard Vans on the flight down and then rewore it unbuttoned over the V-necks and chinos while in sunny Florida (don't judge the vacation rewear). And it was perfection.
The chambray shirt is a seasonless staple. It conjures up images of sunny summer days (perhaps because it is so relaxed and somehow reminds me of childhood and my first GapKids chambray shirt), but it also fits right in with a fall, winter or spring wardrobe. It can be dressed up, dressed down and worn with pretty much anything. Simply put, it's the perfect shirt, and if you don't already own one, you need to get your hands on one immediately.
There are many wonderful chambray shirts out there, but I'm partial to the J.Crew Keeper. The weight and color are perfect, it fits great, is well priced -- and J.Crew is having one of its epic sales right now (25% off everything or 30% off everything if you use your J.Crew Card) so it's even more well priced than usual.
Where to Buy
J.Crew Keeper Chambray Shirt, normally $78, on sale for $68, plus an additional 25%-30% off with code HEYSPRING (no card) or CARDLOVE (with card) until 3/28.
How to Style
I know this is a grand statement, but you can wear your chambray shirt with pretty much anything. It's the shirt version of a pair of jeans (and, if you're wondering, I am a Canadian tuxedo fan). Below is a little snapshot of how I wore my shirt last weekend and some ideas for how to ease into spring: with the weather still cool, you can of course wear it with jeans, boots and layers. The great thing about our unfortunate weather (because why not look on the bright side?) is that you can feel perfectly comfortable wearing fall, winter or spring clothes and colors right now. I could wear the Keeper with a jewel-toned tweed skirt and boots, black jeans and flats or with distressed boyfriend jeans and Vans, and all three looks would seem completely appropriate.
I've been eying the slip-on sneaker for some time. And recently, it's become a family affair.
If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed that my mom and I have gotten a little pin happy with the chic sneaker pins. After learning how to use Pinterest in January, my mother has become a master pinner, and now she can run Pinterest circles around me. (Seriously. You should follow her. She has 3,600 pins -- and counting! -- and they're all fabulous.) Last week, we started a shared board called "Happy Feet" and we have been pinning madly (or dare I say happily?) to it ever since.
Even my dad has gotten in on the sneaker action. Without any prompting, he sent me a link to an article from PureWow about slip-on sneakers and their benefits as commuting shoes.
In fact, slip-on sneakers offer a number of pretty great benefits. They look awesome. They feel awesome. And they don't have to be tied. Win, win, and win.
Many of you know that I've been mildly frustrated by having to wear the same extra loud, doctor-recommended orange sneakers and a cane to literally every event I've attended since being released into the post-surgery wild. I am three months into what I am told is a six month recovery, and at a certain point last week, I decided I simply couldn't take the orange sneakers anymore. I needed something quieter for work. Something that didn't scream, IAMWEARINGSNEAKERSWITHTHISSUIT. Something that didn't have laces (I am oh so tired of tying my shoes). But something that my doctor would approve of.
Enter the black-on-black Vans slip-on sneaker.
Slip ons are available at all sorts of price points, from designer to non-designer, from Valentino to Vince to Vans. I'm sure Valentino makes a winning slip-on sneaker, but I'm not about to spend hundreds of dollars on a sneaker. I happen to believe that Vans are classic for a reason (and they are also very wallet friendly), and so I recently zoned in on those as the potential candidate for my first non-orange sneaker footwear option. Reviews stating things like "handcrafted by God himself" had me sold.
Last weekend, I hobbled my way over to Bloomingdales (where judgment of my cane/sneaker look occurred and I was rudely ignored by, like, 15 associates who all universally refused to make eye contact with me: big mistake, huge! Clearly these people don't understand the buying power of a female who hasn't been able to purchase shoes for a year!). I moved on to Urban Outfitters, where I felt much more comfortable (you've got to love a no judgment, self-serve environment at times) and found what I was looking for: the black-on-black Vans classic slip-on sneaker, $45.00. In all black, they look almost like a loafer (they look super cute with cropped pants and jeans) and can blend into office wear so that it is not so readily apparent that I am wearing a sneaker with a suit (unfortunately, I'm not Ellen, so pulling the look off takes a bit of finesse for me).
I tried the shoes on and... whoa. As it turns out, skaters know a thing or two about foot comfort (no wonder they seem so laid back!). I mean, seriously, I think the shoes actually were handcrafted by God himself. They run wide in the toe box, which is just the loveliest thing ever for a gal like moi, and they're super padded both on the bottom and in the seam that goes around your foot/ankle. I walked around for a while in the store, trying to contain the amount of joy that was surging through me as I realized with each step that these shoes actually might work, these shoes could be my ticket to relative normalcy.
Needless to say, I bought my first pair of post-surgery shoes. After getting doctor approval, I wore them to work and felt decidedly zippier -- a pep to my step, if you will -- even while carrying a cane.
A few days later, I returned to Urban Outfitters and picked up a pair of black and white checkerboard slip-ons. You know, for the weekends. Luckily, these shoes come in like a gazillion colors and are probably the cheapest pair of shoes I've bought since elementary school, so I feel pretty excited about the prospect of purchasing multiples of this shoe.
Get them, your feet will thank you. And feet deserve your love.
Where To Buy
Urban Outfitters, Van's Classic Slip-On Men's Sneaker, $45
Vans, Solid Colors Slip-On, $45
(They come in lots of other colors too!! This is just the tip of the iceberg!)
How To Style
I've included some of my favorite slip-on sneaker looks below. For work, I'll wear the black-on-black with my usual suits and such, and for play I'll have a little more fun with some of the other colors (like the checkerboard) with cuffed boyfriend jeans or skinny ankle jeans. What are your faves?
Happy keeping your feet happy!
I don't know about you, but this week has felt particularly long. And during weeks like that, I tend to forget to appreciate life quite as much as I should. It is so easy sometimes to get wrapped up in being busy and to forget to be grateful for the present. Just a little reminder to be grateful for today... everyday. Happiness is being grateful for the now.
Happy Friday! Happy weekend!
Let There Be Light!
Daylight Savings Time seemed to come inexplicably early this year (perhaps it was the snow on the ground or the fact that I'm still wearing a winter coat that threw me off?), but I'm not one to complain about a little more light at the end of the day. Matt and I spent the majority of our Sunday binge-watching True Detective on HBO Go, and at 6pm, I looked out the window to see that IT WAS STILL LIGHT OUT. OMG. It's cold, but it's light. I will take it. Warmth must follow, right? It simply must.
But back to light.
Light is very important for our well-being. And when it is not readily available to us, we can create it in spaces. I made this little watercolor when I was taking an interior rendering course at Parsons and we were instructed to paint something using only grey tones. For my inspiration, I had torn out a page from Elle Décor (back in 2008, when there was no Pinterest) of a kitchen in the Hamptons by Emma Jane Pilkington (it is the home of Emma and Chris Cuomo, all of which is drool-worthy), and I loved it because there was so much light, like the outdoors were just flooding into the interior space.
I remember the instructor noting that the painting seemed unfinished and that I must not have had enough time (which was true), but I actually like that it's not finished. It's a bit sketchier that way and more about capturing the light rather than the detailing on those rattan bags.
I could have at any point in the last 6 years chosen to "finish" it, but I've decided not to (partly because of laziness and partly because I don't want to "ruin" a good thing).
The painting sat around in our apartment since that class -- on a desk, on a dresser -- and this year it finally found its way onto a wall in our bathroom. Our bathroom has only one tiny window and one fluorescent light, and adding this little painting (it's 9x12") felt almost as if we'd added a window to the space!
See below for the before and after.
It's not a huge change, but it makes me happy. It sits opposite the mirror (with the single fluorescent light), and when you look in the mirror now, you get a burst of Hamptons light coming at you instead of just that single source of bad lighting. And somehow that little grey tone painting draws on the lovely purple wallpaper that our previous owners left behind. Happy accidents!
Happy Monday and Happy DST! Enjoy the extra light!
I am an artist/designer and former financial professional with a background in comparative literature, business and design. I live in New York with my overworked lawyer husband and my two boys Michael and Theo and spend much of my free time dreaming about how to enhance the aesthetics of our little world. I am endlessly inspired and always in search of something new. This is a blog about my search, my inspiration and things I just really, really like or want.