I ended up returning the Kate Spade Cobble Hill Carson bag. I'm still on
the fence and may go back and get it at a later date. Mainly I dislike
gift cards because I feel that I have to spend it as quickly as
possible. This is pretty irrational, but I can't help myself. So I got a
small Diptyque candle and will take a few more weeks to decide whether I
really want that bag.
It's been a little over 5 years since I bought my Barbour Bedale. It only get better with age. I wear it three out of four seasons, and re-wax it at least once a year. The cotton fabric is very delicate, so you have to be vigilant. I went a bit too long one year, and tiny holes started forming, but I think with care it will last me at least 5 more years before I seriously consider a replacement. With a warm liner and thick wool sweater, I am comfortable in temps as low as 5-10 F. The only thing I would think about changing is the length, but overall, I have been so pleased with my coat.
Regarding sizing, this is the men's version, which I chose because I wanted the option of a zip-in liner. It's a size 34, which is plenty roomy without the liner. It's tight around the hips with liner and sweater, but I don't mind looking like a puffball.
Here I am with the liner and sweater. You will definitely need a thick sweater because otherwise your arms will freeze in anything colder than 45 F.
This is me without the liner, but with the sweater. I usually skip the liner when it's between 50 and 70.
You probably know that I'm not an accessory or shoe person. I like coats, sweaters, and button-down shirts. Shoes never seem to fit right, and I'm wobbly in heels. Leather bags are usually too heavy, especially after I stuff them. I have a cognac colored Henry Cuir tote that works well during spring and summer, and my custom Rennes bag is perfect for casual outings and work, but most of the time I use canvas market bags for all of my books and stacks of paper. I also have a Duluth Scout Pack, which has become increasingly useful when out with the kids. But a part of me has been hankering for a more grown-up leather bag.
Now that the boys are getting older and need less gear during outings (they can haul stuff in their own backpacks!) I'm ready for something a little more polished but still practical. We finally hired a babysitter, so that means we actually go out once in awhile. The other day I was at Holt Renfrew because I had received a gift card. I figured I might as well get a bag. The best I could do within my price range was this Kate Spade Cobble Hill Carson bag in black. I think the size is about right, the leather is soft (maybe too soft?) and I like the secure zippered pouch and easy access--but the logo is bothering me.
I'll probably keep the bag because my options are limited to Holt Renfrew's offerings. Still, it got me thinking: If you were in the market for a simple mid-sized cross-body bag in the $200-350 range, what would you get? Something that is lightweight, soft but sturdy, and user friendly.
I love my Virginia Johnson camel print shawl. It's my favorite traveling accessory, and I wear it in the office year round. The shop is having a sale right now, on $97.50 for the merino wool shawls. I definitely want to order one for my mom, but I can't decide.
Remember the Rachel Comey Indium Pants that I blogged about months ago? They're now half off. Still too much for me considering they're silk and I haven't had the chance to try them on for fit.
I also saw a colleague wearing pristine condition No. 6 black ankle clog boots, and it made me sad because mine are in such disrepair. Not only are the stitching and staples loose, but the wood at the toe is beaten up from clomping up too many stairs. Maybe it can be fixed, but I'm worried this is it for my boots. A silly part of me wants to order a new pair even though mine didn't last very long. I know there are other clog ankle boots out there, but I like the narrower ankle opening on these the best. I wonder if there are any other options for me? The platform sole is great for puddles and small amounts of slush and snow.
Ewanika is a Toronto-based women's line. I often pass by the shop while driving up Bathurst but have never found the time to visit. This past weekend I finally went, and it was well worth the effort. Beautifully crafted clothing in gorgeous fabrics and muted hues. The shop also carries complementary brands like Hope and MM6. I tried on the Hilary dress, which is made from the softest and most forgiving double-knit wool. Even at 40% off, it's still a bit much for me. Nonetheless, I rarely have such transformative moments in the dressing room where the dress not only fits well but also makes you feel more polished and sophisticated. I didn't go into academia just so I could dress the part, but this kind of dress is exactly what I imagine my dream self wearing as a professor. Oh, if only that dream weren't so elusive!
Look at the back on this FWK pea coat, and its rounded shawl collar. And the hand-warming pockets are genius. That's my favorite feature of the Barbour Bedale coat, so I'm always on the lookout for similar features on coats. I also think the Loeffler Randall black dot flats would be so much fun to wear to lecture.
I hope those of you braving the arctic winds are finding ways to stay warm right now. Thanks to the huge windows in my office, I need to stay wrapped up in my Virginia Johnson wool shawl while finishing up my syllabi and working on article edits.