I'm becoming ever quieter in my clothing.
Perhaps it reflects a time of life. "Fun" clothes might get a try-on but don't make it to the cash register. I leave riotous colours and pattern-mixing to those who wear them joyfully.
Subtle colours–whether light or dark– endure; intensity tires. But not all neutrals are pretty. Grey, everywhere this spring, can illuminate or drain.
Below, clothes I would (and in one case, did) buy. Above, pants and shell from Yeohlee's Spring '10 collection.
Donna Karan leather envelope jacket in whisper grey, $2,895 from Bergdorf Goodman. Palest grey washes out the face less than white.
J. Crew sepia Unagi tweed pencil skirt, $115. This rich shade is superb with black, navy, ecru, palest grey, and very hard to find.
Call it sepia, vicuna, cuivre, I adore this colour.
Happy Birthday, Dame Westwood!
Vivienne Westwood, who turned 69 this month, designs some of the smartest clothes around for the money, mostly in navy and black.
For example: Vivienne Westwood navy wool-blend wide legged pants. It's the double inverted pleat down the front of the wide leg that suffuses me with pleasure. $445 from Net-a-porter.
I chose J. Crew's linen "sweatshirt" in mushroom, $70. The brown, which has a hint of red undertone, to wear with a black jersey skirt and multiple strands of pink, copper and green-gold pearls.
Lafayette 148 Mandarin Collar Jacket (price, $498 from their web site) in iridescent olive, a non-obvious neutral, a colour with depth and life.
Also available in plus sizes, and a matching skirt to make a suit.
Blue and white, skies and clouds. Vivienne Westwood again: an asymmetric blue-striped cotton dress, $445 from Net-a-porter.
The exceptions: Asian and Indian
I can embrace colour and pattern, but like it best in ethnic expressions. Warm-weather holiday clothing is where colour comes naturally, patterns drop in for cocktails.
For a summer dinner party, I'd wear Diane von Furstenberg's Indian-influenced tunic, price, $200 from Net-a-porter.
Where did my unaccountable passion for Asian prints, like this Citron Santa Monica kimono jacket come from? Go figure.
A well-balanced border print: the way for the pattern-shy to add interest.
The shawl, to replace a jacket for the coming months. So easy to tuck into a bag for travel. Shown, ivory and turquoise handloomed cotton ikat shawl, $25 from eBay seller fromsilkroad.
Last week's New York Times Style section reported that North American women are shopping again, celebrating the first signs of economic relief with big prints and colour. Whether nurtured by hot pink or navy, I'm all for a collective lift of mood!
I bought one of those Thai silk scarfs, in a soft blue-violet. Whooo, wild!