Tuesday 23rd January 2018
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Princess week


As a kid, my friend Kiki had the best birthday gambit going. Her parents, who’d divorced when she was quite young, felt so guilty about the fact that she would never observe the big day with both of them at the same time that they created something called Princess Week, wherein the entire seven days leading up to her birthday were so awash with Kiki-centric activities she’d never have a moment to feel sad about what she wasn’t getting. There were many gifts, of course, and there was staying up late, and two birthday cakes instead of just one, and she was the envy of all her friends. When we met, in our late twenties, Kiki told me about Princess Week and I insisted it was something we needed to resurrect immediately, and so we did, in kind of a jokey way, for a very many years. We did one another’s bidding, self-gifted lavishly (frequently purchasing items that on any of the other 51 weeks on the year we would reject as well beyond our means), and ate nutritionally unbalanced meals. It was a lark, and it kept birthdays light during years when they were just beginning to feel heavy.

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Then I got married, Kiki became a mom, and Princess Week went away. But yesterday—after a weekend spent in a serious funk about turning 50—I have decided that Princess Week is back on. For the next seven days, it’s going to be all about french toast with bacon, new Jerome Dreyfuss bags, esoteric spa treatments, and whatever else feels right. And I’m thinking I’ll use Princess Week here as an excuse to indulge my nostalgic side and revisit some favorite themes: like for instance leopard prints, which were my gateway drug to serious hardcore print obsession and therefore form a sort of foundation for so much of what we do here. This sweater has got as classic a leopard print as you could ask for, and I, for one, am extremely close to buying it. 

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The burnout effect on this scarf is not only pretty much the coolest, it also keeps the print on the subdued side.

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These sunglasses read almost like they’re tortoiseshell, but you’ll know they’re something far more rad.

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Yes, these jeans are way too young for me. But they’re also just the type of not entirely well-advised purchase Princess Week was made for. 

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A handy pouch for your whatnots.

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My key rule to wearing leopard—since it can skew so cheap if the execution is bad—is to stick with pretty classic shapes. This coat is just precisely what I’m talking about.

Posted on February 24th, 2014 40 Comments

40 Responses

  1. Tucson Diva says:

    OMG — the leopard coat. O Shopping Goddess, could you track down a less expensive version of this fabulous print in a classic cut? Before I clicked through to the site where it is sold, I had promised myself I would buy it if it was less than $300. Any ideas?

    And enough with the birthday funk. You are gorgeous, your new ‘do is great, and you are on a whirlwind of fun new things including apartment, dog, snowstorms, etc. Add to all this the wisdom of your accumulated experiences that just makes each one richer. What more could you ask for?

    Celebrate how good things are, and if you want to be in a blue sort of way, dedicate that blue time to something cool like working with women out of prison who are transitioning into the workforce again, and volunteer as a stylist for the YWCA or whatever group in your area assists with getting women back on their feet. There is so much you can offer and share, and the world is indeed your oyster.

    Happy birthday!

  2. Meegan says:

    May you reign supreme!

  3. Patty says:

    50! No worries! Go for those leopard jeans. You don’t live in Iowa City. You live in New York City! The 50’s are truly a great decade. I loved ’em.

  4. Vicki says:

    They say that 50 is the new 20! Hopefully, with less drama and more self-confidence!

    I LOVE the sunglasses. I might have to go back to wearing contact lenses just so I can have a pair.

  5. Charlotte says:

    I love Princess Week… And what I have learnt in life is no one can love you as much as you can, so go for it!
    I agree with the other girls, you look really great. The hairs good you have your life sorted, you live in NYC .. You have it pretty close to perfect at 50, so congratulations.
    Enjoy princess week, I am sure we all look forward to hearing what you do and purchase.

  6. Flying Mermaid says:

    I’ve always been a tremendous fan of leopard print and see no reason to quit simply because 50 is in my rear view. Deer lose their spots as they age, we gain ours. Get ready for random splotches to appear, any and everywhere. Maybe we need to love leopard print even more as we age — embrace those spots!

  7. Viajera says:

    Happy Princess Week!!!

    My faves are the sweater and the scarf. IIRC, you had a post a while back about a Zara? leopard coat that was priced to move. It was fluffy! I went to the store and had fun stroking it. (As for this version, I don’t understand the appeal of 3/4 sleeves, but I know a lot of other people do like them.)

  8. c.w. says:

    The idea of Princess Week is WONDERFUL! Stealing it!

    And 50 is nuthin. Really and truly. If you have your health and a really good haircut that about covers it all.

    Go print crazy and have fun and wear whatever you want to wear.

    Love all the leopard print items!

  9. Dianne says:

    Please don’t feel bad about 50. Its not as bad as you think. (I will be 52 in a month). Enjoy Princess Week but why stop at a week? Next year have a Princess Month!

  10. Noelle says:

    Bring in da Funk??? Nah, party on Kim!! Happiest of birthdays to you. You bring a lot of sly fun to many of your peers and beyond – a gift that keeps on giving.
    As for the leopard jeans, I don’t get being too old for those. Go for it.

    Enjoy and cherish yourself.

    With much affection and appreciation,

  11. Tamara says:

    Count me in for princess week! 50 in June!

  12. Caroline says:

    If I could justify it in anyway,I would buy that coat.
    It’s all kinds of fabulous..!
    Like the other stuff too but that coat just slays me..

  13. Judes says:

    I’m right behind you in April. I wanted to be on the Amalfi Coast, because turning 50 in Italy seemed like more fun than Brooklyn, but that ain’t happening. Princess week WILL be happening though.

  14. Beth Ellen says:

    50 is freedom! I am now 51 and feel braver than I ever have in my life. I love every piece in this post, and would also love that leopard jacket at a more budget friendly price!

  15. Kate says:

    Princess Week sounds delightful. I always buy myself a nice birthday present and often make my own cake – pie! Please tell us about the meals and spa treatments too.

  16. Turner says:

    I love everything about this.

  17. Jools says:

    I’ve been dreading this bday-I just turned sixty. I loved my fifties! So I’ve adjusted and accepted…there will be further decrepitude….When I tried to buy a senior admission to the museum yesterday the cute young guy said no way- you are too youthful.:) 🙂
    Princess week is a wonderful name for what I usually do quietly. So thank you for making it official. I’ve bought myself some nice little luxuries. (Plaid scarf, comme des garçons black cardi -70 off!) And this week a facial is definitely in order. We are truly blessed to be able to treat ourselves and enjoy good health.
    A good haircut,a good scarf and a gel manicure. Happy birthday and thank you for your fun blog.

  18. Michelle says:


    Happy almost birthday! You make 50 look good – sophisticated and sexy. I used to think 50 sounded old. That was before I hit my 40s. Thanks for all you share on here with us: the clothes, the culture, the wisdom. You rock!

  19. Anne says:

    I’ve so enjoyed reading your blog from the beginning, and I too am turning 50 this year. I’m a Leo who typically celebrates her birthday month, but this one’s hitting me hard. My head tells me I’m 30, but the calendar says no. I’ve been negotiating the “mutton dressed as lamb” dilemma’s in fashion choices and hoping I’m landing on the right side. Love your sartorial choices, their eccentricities, and all the pattern. Go for the jeans, celebrate in style.

  20. Julia G says:

    Princess Week! ALL IN.

  21. sarah says:

    Happy birthweek! I turned 50 last month, woot. No big deal. Kind of empowering, actually. Btw, in your honor, I just ordered that coat. I haven’t seen it in person, but it looks so very perfect.

  22. sarah says:

    p.s., I have those jeans sitting in my closet. They are castoffs from my daughter, which feels so weird, but I keep thinking that they’ll look really cool with a white tee or blouse and flat leather sandals this spring. Maybe?

  23. Barbara says:

    Love it. Might have to steal this for my 50th, but don’t want to wait. Perhaps tonight will begin Barbara’s Princess 8.28 Weeks. (I sure hope Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger don’t show up.)

  24. Martina says:

    I was given a surprise birthday party for my 50th…it was awesome. I danced all night, sang karaoke, hugged all my loved ones and felt the love flowing back. It set the tone for my fifties!

  25. Mary Alice says:

    50 was kind of weird, but I’m about to turn 55 and I am feeling pretty darn good about things. Our version of 50’s is so different from our mothers……I say, ignore the numbers and just do whatever feels right!
    BTW, that leopard pouch from J.Crew is awesome. It’s cute enough to use as a little going out clutch. Very luxe.

  26. May the Princesses’ reigns be everlasting!

  27. y.k. says:

    you’re cool & smart & good looking,
    you’ve had professional success,
    you doubtless will have even more.
    lots of people really like you.
    so everything is not only ok -it’s really good.
    happy birthday!
    xo, fellow 1964 GOACG

  28. liz says:

    Love the coat and jeamn. I’m about a year behind you but I could so rock those jeans.

  29. Maggie says:

    You go, Princess!

  30. Katie says:

    Yay for Princess Week! When a friend and I turned 10, a few days apart, we celebrated with a Princess Party. We’ve been talking for years about having another one, but living far apart has made it difficult. This year we turn 50 so I’m going to suggest just the two of us getting together for a Princess Weekend. And thanks to your clothing suggestions I know just what to wear. (Well, maybe not all that leopard at the same time.) Happy Birthday and have a fabulous week!

  31. jacqueline says:

    Happy Princess Week! I hope you treat yourself and get out of the funk. Love the scarf and coat best. But I agree with the others that think you should go with the jeans. You can pull them off!

  32. I think you need one of everything. LOVE love love the idea of Princess Week. I used to work with a fabulous fun guy that celebrated his birthday for the entire month. Lunch out every day with someone different, dinners out every weeks, TOTALLY knew how to do it up right. Unfortunately he was gay as were his friends, and this was the 80s. All gone now but they certainly celebrated right while they could. You do the same.

  33. daisyj says:

    There is a thing called “creme brûlée french toast” that a friend of mine makes–It’s basically french toast that you cook upside-down in a layer of sugar and butter, so it gets a sweet crust on top. I recommend it highly, particularly with the Black Forest bacon from Trader Joe’s.

  34. Meg says:

    I love Princess week. In my 20s my best friend and I shared ” birthday week” which started with hers and ended on mine. Cannot say that I remember anything other than fun, partying and great friends. Happy 50th….

  35. Dana says:

    Happy Birthday! You’ve been a source of inspiration for me since your Sassy days and I use your quote about how you dressed in 6th grade will be your style as an adult many, many times. Enjoy princess week.

  36. Suz says:

    Happy birthday! And I love and am stealing this concept. Enjoy your week.