Archive for the 'women's clothing' Category

I Love My…. Bensimon Sneakers: A Little Bit of France at Home in Brooklyn

Bensimon sneakers

From France, with love.

It’s no secret that Bensimon sneakers are a popular accessory — but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the French tennis shoes anyway. I adored my purpley-taupe slip-ons last summer, but I walk a ton with the kids and they wore out quickly.

So when we were in France in July, I was happy to see that this year’s version has a much sturdier sole. (And they were less expensive than they are at home. Score!)

I picked up the dark-plum pair of canvas lace-ups above. Wearing them in the sunshine this morning, I felt a teeny bit better about being back home. (But just a teeny bit.)

They come in every color under the sun, including many neutrals, but the brights are really grabbing me. You can buy them online from Bensimon USA ($55) or snag a pair locally at Eric Shoes on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope.

Bensimon Collection

photo via Style Society

(photo via Style Society, which, by the way, has a fun post on color blocking the Parisian way.)



Willing Spring to Come

Despite the gloomy gray skies and intense news day, I’m looking forward to real, life-affirming spring weather — willing it to (finally!) come to New York City and settle in for real.

Helping fuel my bright outlook….

Calypso St. Barth comes to Target:


Sleeveless pink tunic, $40, Target. Yes, please.

After a prolonged period of lust, these blue espadrilles have found a home in my closet:

marais USA espadrilles

Marais USA espadrille wedge in nautical blue, $105, the Shoe Market in Williamsburg.

This shot of poppy red would look good on my shoulder (and yours, too):

boden leather trim tote

Boden leather trim tote in poppy, $88.

Smorgasburg, an all-food version (!!!) of the Brooklyn Flea, opens in Williamsburg on May 21:

Smorgasburg Brooklyn Flea


OK, sun — come find me!

Currently Obsessed with…. Bloch Ballet Flats

Bloch ballet flats

Happy feet: Bloch ballet flats, from Soula in Brooklyn, $125

It may not feel like it yet, but it’s spring — which means I’m looking forward to putting away the boots and moving on to flats and bare ankles. (Can sandals be far behind?)

I’m all for a cheap shoe fix at Target or on our annual shopping pilgrimage to Austin, but you get what you pay for, and this spring I decided to splurge on a pair of flats I don’t just like, I love.

I seem to go through a pair of black flats every year, but I’m hoping these Bloch ballet flats (above) will take me farther. The Australian shoemaker has been around since 1932 and made its name producing real ballet slippers and pointe shoes, but eventually added in footwear for ladies, girls, and toddlers. Find them in Brooklyn at Soula or browse their catalogues online.

The black flats I bought were soft and supple, with a flexible soul and reinforced heel — and they were INSTANTLY comfortable.


Other spring shoe obsessions:

The Espadrille Wedge from Marais USA

Colorful Bensimon Sneakers from Basic French (you can spot them in chic shops in Brooklyn, too.)

New line of footwear from fab tee company Splendid


Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em? Leggings for Moms

black leggings

photo via

I’ve been thinking about age a lot recently, and I blame Nora Ephron. While we were visiting the grandparents over the holidays, I made the mistake of picking up I Feel Bad About My Neck, her book of essays on aging. In the title piece, she shares what a plastic surgeon once told her: It’s a medical certainty that a woman’s neck begins to go at age 43. That’s when the sagging starts. Unavoidable.

Want to guess how old I am? Jasper keeps forgetting, but Magnolia has it down pat and will tell you and anyone else who will listen — “Mommy is 43!” (At least this mommy is; I’ve got a couple years on Chrissy.)

Anyway, I’m over 40, and now my neck is going….

Other things I’ve been thinking about when it comes to age and what’s “appropriate”: Hair length, hem length, and LEGGINGS. I do not look like any of the women above when I wear them, but I have some and I LOVE them. And if I looked like Katie Holmes in them, I would wear them with a cute pair of ballet flats ALL THE TIME. (Yes, Katie is a freak for being married to Tom, but I generally like her tailored look.)

katie holmes in leggings

photo via INFdaily

So, here are my thoughts on hair and hems:

hair — I’m growing it out! After thoughtful discussion with my hairdresser, we decided I’m not too ancient for long hair. Yippeeee! I’m practicing with my new curling iron (there are tricks to getting it right, people!) and trying to channel Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love.

hemlines — No shorter than just above the knee, thank you, for ME. If you’re over 40 and can rock the mid-thigh look, good for you. But, personally, I kind of think you have to look like Sienna Miller to pull that one off.

The jury’s out on leggings, though…. I wear them, but with a cloudy conscience. I love the comfort and clean look, but I don’t weigh 110 pounds. I have THIGHS. And that is apparent.

What do you think? Are leggings OK for over-40 moms or should most of us regular-looking gals “just say no?”

Leggings — love ’em or leave ’em?

All I Want for Christmas Is…. Good Gift Ideas for Moms (OK, Me.)

le massage, scene de hammam

le massage, scene de hammam (dalbera on Flickr)

I read a list this week I’ve been loving on Apartment Therapy: 5 Affordable Basics to Invest in for the New Year. I must be really simpatico with the author, Laure Joliet, because I feel like I could have written it myself. The basics that spoke to me, too?

Good linens.

A cast iron skillet.

Something that smells good.

The second one I’ve got (and I love.) The first I need more of. And the last I can never get enough of.

So, with that in mind…. Here are a few things on my Christmas wish list. You can bet that if I want them, other moms do, too.

Note photo above: Le Massage, Scene de Hammam, from the Musee des Augustins in Toulouse.

A massage — Almost more than anything else, stressed moms want to relax. And of course get more sleep. You may not be able to help with the sleep, but the gift of a massage will most definitely be appreciated. Bonus: it takes up zero space and doesn’t need to be put away after enjoying it. In Brooklyn, d’mai urban spa is a good bet for a pampering massage or facial.

kai perfume oil

kai perfume oil, $45

kai perfume oil — I discovered this addictive white-flower scent at By George in Austin years ago and have been wearing it ever since. Buy it locally at Diana Kane or Kiwi in Park Slope. P.S. — I get compliments on it all the time.

Sunbird sheet set

Sunbird sheet set, Anthropologie, $148 for a queen set

Pretty cotton sheets — I toyed with the idea of combing Overstock, Target, or Macy’s for the perfect new sheets, as the Apartment Therapy article suggests (they also link to some super luxe options). But in the end, all roads lead back to Anthropologie. This Sunbird sheet set is cheery and would look nice with the dusky lavender on the bedroom walls.

viva zapata! bags

4-pocket carryall tote from Viva Zapata! bags, $128

A bright, stylish bag — As previously noted, the search for the perfect urban mommy bag is never-ending. One of the styles from Viva Zapata! could be this year’s serious contender (and there’s a local Brooklyn connection, too, which I like.)

velour lounge pants

velour lounge pants, Gap Body, $30

Lounge pants — At the end of the day, I like to lose what I’ve been wearing and slip into something more comfortable. (Don’t we all?) My current lounge pants are, well, falling apart. Time for an update!

Free babysitting — This one won’t cost you a dime, but it’ll be priceless to the mom recipient. Seems like a minor thing — just an offer to come stay with the kids for a couple of hours so parents can have a date night or a hardworking mom can run out for a haircut — and really, it’s huge. Here’s the news, people: almost no one volunteers to do it. If you do, the gratitude will be big-time. And most sincere.

diptyque mini trio

diptyque mini-candle trio, $84 (yes, I said $84)

diptyque candles — Splurge-y, but worth it. The famed French candle-maker seems to be into colored versions this year, and I prefer the plain clear glass — so I’m opting for this trio of mini-candles in different scents.

velvet dress

Larina Crochet Dress, velvet, $120

A dress I could spend all summer in — When I first moved to New York, about a bazillion years ago, I loved having distinct seasons. That is long over. I hate winter. Haaaate it! I’m already fantasizing about next summer, which means I’m thinking about what I might be wearing. I like being able to reach for something I know I’ll like without even having to think about it — I could see this velvet brand dress paired with long earrings and red sandals, and me appreciating it as a cool, loose, no-brainer option on warm days.

For more great gift ideas for NYC mamas, read Chrissy’s Christmas list.

What’s on your list? Maybe I’d like to add it to mine….

(top photo by dalbera on flickr)

Currently Obsessed with…. Viva Zapata! Bags

Viva Zapata! bags

You know, the trouble with holiday shopping is you find so many things you want FOR YOURSELF. Yesterday, I was out gift-scouting in some of my favorite shops on Park Slope’s 5th Avenue, and I found these adorable bags in Flirt. I covet.

Viva Zapata! bags

They’re Viva Zapata! (one of the designers is Brooklyn-based), and they’re made of vintage naugahyde from the seats of the colorful city buses in Buenos Aires. How cool is that?

While I still love my Franco Sarto Crossbody from last Christmas, the search for the perfect urban mommy bag just never ends. One of these could really help a girl out. (Hint, hint.)

Viva Zapata! bags

Find them at Flirt, Lily, the holiday markets at Grand Central or Union Square, or at other stores listed on their site in NYC and points beyond. Price: about $70 – $130, depending on size and style.

Also obsessed with:

Baked Fontina

Rings by DanaMade

Dresses and More from Wanderlust

Tuesday Randomness: Cafe duCharme, Cherry Patter + More

Two Lovers in Brooklyn

Two Lovers, a new vintage/resale shop on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn.

Tuesday morning started with a wardrobe meltdown which, after some drama and raised voices (mine), actually ended well (thanks for the support, honey!). Then school drop-off. Then random things with interesting names….

Continue reading ‘Tuesday Randomness: Cafe duCharme, Cherry Patter + More’

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