Saturday 24th February 2018
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Archive for February, 2018

GOACA home basics: Table and floor lamps

sidnie lamp

Technically, this is a Taking Requests, because a number of you have written in asking for a post on lamps. And I’ve been meaning to get around to it, too, but am pretty certain I was avoiding it, because I am picky, picky when it comes to lighting, and feared I wouldn’t find much to clear the bar.  But in the end I did find a number of pretty good specimens, like this blue domed number from Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.

cb2 lamp

I like this dome lamp too, and it’s a better buy than the blue one.

mini task lamp

Here is the classic Task lamp, which works on just about any desk. Here is another variation I like, and here’s a cute, bright one from Paul Smith.

target task lamp

Here’s something Task lamp-ish that rings in under $25.

grasshopper table lamp

And then there’s this graceful iteration.

cigar lamp

This George Nelson Cigar lamp is another classic (sorry, but this is a category I don’t take a lot of risks in). When I lived in a brownstone, I had the cigar shape hanging from the ceiling and it was divine.

arco lamp

You really have to see the Arco floor lamp in action in people’s homes to see how genius it is (happily, you can do so here). It is something I would buy if I could buy anything I wanted, but for now I will content myself with considering this cheaper version, as well as this also cheaper version.

west elm floor lamp

More retroish than I usually go, but I like it.

nelson lamp

The George Nelson Pear Lamp is like the cigar above, but maybe a little more graceful.

globe floor lamp

A Globe lamp is nicely unobtrusive, and this one is a lot more well-priced than others I’ve seen.

studio floor lamp

This is kind of  1970s teenager’s bedroom, in the best possible way. Here is a cheaper option that is kind of different, but reminds me of it somehow.

tripod floor lamp

I don’t just inevitably love a tripod lamp—they can be clunky— but this one is quite appealing, with its skinny legs and excellent blue shade.


Catch up on my post covering items for the home office.

Posted on February 23rd, 2018 9 Comments

A really very picky jeans post

ag jeans

All I’m interested in looking at right now are jeans in dark washes, with little or no whiskering, fading, or distressing. A tiny little bit of that stuff is OK. Good even, because it gives jeans character, and can even cause a pair to be more flattering. But too much of it—and there is so so much of it out there—is way overdone. There are few things I think a person necessarily has to age out of, but super worn-in-looking jeans is for the kids, I really believe.  This pair from AG has a nice straight cut, and such a clean wash you could wear it to work, just about.

topshop jeans

This high-waisted dark-grey pair from Topshop has a lot of slouch appeal.

madewell jeans

A very all-American choice, from Madewell.

universal standard jeans

Universal Standard makes the best jeans in extended sizes, and I’m having a tough time finding others I like as well. Thoughts, ladies?

citizens jeans

These cropped jeans are nice  and neat-looking, and I like that the waist is high, but not too high.

levis grey jeans

These Levi’s are just a good kick-around-on-the-weekends option.

mother jeans

A nice inky-dark take with a step hem, from Mother.

everlane boyfriend jeans

Everlane’s boyfriend jean in pitch black is another one I’d consider for the office.



j crew jeans

This pair, from  J. Crew, has the just-right amount of whiskering—which is to say, very little.

goldsign jeans

A very excellently 70s mom option.

absolution jeans

A well-priced pair of boyfriend jeans.

transcend jeans

If you’re looking for something black and skinny, you could do worse than these.

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Nili Lotan’s boyfriend jean has a nice, trouser-ish cut.

everlane jean

Everlane’s High-Rise skinny jean has such a good dark indigo wash. They remind me of APC.

veronica beard jeans

I like Veronica Beard’s line, and so I’m curious about her jeans. These have a pleasingly saturated wash, and a not-distracting amount of whiskering.


Here’s a post I did a little while back on boyfriend jeans.


Posted on February 22nd, 2018 79 Comments

GOACA wardrobe classics: camisoles

rebecca minkoff camisole

Back around 2003 or so, you couldn’t get me out of camisoles: I owned a drawer-full of them and wore them on their own, or—more commonly—with a blazer or cardigan. Lately I’ve been thinking about them again because I’ve acquired a few sheer tops that require them, but also because I feel as though I can still, just maybe, get away with wearing them layered with blazers and sweaters the way I used to. I don’t especially like cotton camis—too clingy—and prefer something a bit silkier. It just drapes better, especially if you’re wearing it under a top. This one, from  Rebecca Minkoff, isn’t left in too many sizes, but is so cute with the embroidered stars.

mango camisole

A well-priced orange option.

equipment camisole

More stars, from Equipment.

madewell camisole

Just a really sweet floral.

soprano camisole

I like the scalloping at the neckline here.

j crew camisole

Here’s a velvet peplum cami that looks really flattering.

elle camisole

I am a big fan of the color combination here.

vince camisole

I like the skinny, skinny straps on this (marked-down) option from Vince.

floreat camisole

I don’t like too too much lace on a cami, and think this one gets it just about exactly right.cami nyc camisole

A striped cami like this would look great peeking out from under a blazer.

cami nyc camisole

The blue on blue here is just gorgeous (here is a cheaper but similar option).

organic by John Patrick camisole

Somewhere in my apartment is this Organic by John Patrick cami, which I’d be wearing nonstop if I could find it, because it’s got a beautiful bias cut. And here is another very simply-cut black choice.

anine bing camisole

I like the clean lines on this pretty blue one from Anine Bing.

anthro camisole

Like I mentioned, I’m not a big fan of cotton camis, but I’ll make an exception for this one because the embroidery is so pretty.


Here is a post on my favorite lingerie resources.


Posted on February 21st, 2018 18 Comments

A bunch of my stuff is up on the Real Real, if you’re interested

jil sander heels

I’d like to tell you otherwise, but the truth is, I make a lot of shopping mistakes.  And I hate being reminded of those mistakes, so I have not-infrequent closet purges. And while the fruits of these purges in the past always ended up at a local resale shop, this time around I decided to do business with The Real Real, an online retailer with seriously quality merch.  They make it so simple: if you live in one of the 21 cities in which they have representatives, The Real Real sends somebody to your home to pick up your stuff. It then goes on to be authenticated and priced, at which point some of it might be rejected, but they send it back to you. I have updated this post twice because things sell super-fast on the Real Real, so last I checked, all of these items were available. Still, they could very well be gone by the time you get there. Among the items up for grabs from my closet: these  Jil Sander heels, which were simply too high for me to negotiate.

joseph blazer

I bought this navy Joseph blazer in a size larger than I typically take—who can recall why, I suppose I was feeling big—and the tags are still in it and it’s pretty perfect.

johnson dress

Just a perfect cotton Ulla Johnson dress that happened to be very unflattering on me: I simply can’t pull off a big skirt.



lotan cami

Remember last spring/summer, when I was really into camo everything? This Nili Lotan tank is collateral damage.

cornejo top

Another gorgeous print on this Zero + Maria Cornejo top. And here’s a pretty special Cornejo sweater too.

wang dress

This Alexander Wang dress  reminds me of an ex, so part with it I must.

bidermann cuff

I unloaded a little bit of jewelry, notably this cute Aurelie Bidermann cuffHere and here are two other Bidermann cuffs I parted with.

prada heels

When I was at Lucky, I bought these Prada heels on a trip to Milan. They were sold out in my size, but I wanted them so much I went for a half size smaller. I even actually wore them a few times because I thought they were so cute, but it was torture, of course. And so I offer them to you.


Posted on February 20th, 2018 26 Comments

What I was packing for the trip to LA I’m now not taking

maje blouse

I was finally getting out of town and heading to LA today. Escaping this crappy, terminally grey weather we’ve been having to instead enjoy a place where the sun shines always and people live in charming bungalows with lemon trees out back. But then Saturday afternoon I started coughing a lot, and then it started to hurt when I inhaled. Saturday night I could barely sleep. So I did the responsible thing Sunday morning and went to Urgent Care just to make sure I was in the clear before flying. And the short version of this story is that the doctor said I have pneumonia, so no airplanes for me. I am desperately disappointed and annoyed, but because I know you guys like a packing story, I’m bringing you this post about what I was going to pack anyway. Which included, for whatever reason, a lot of red, starting with this blouse, which I just acquired.

xirena red shirt

Amazingly, given my affection for the color red and for striped shirts, I do not own a good red striped shirt. This one, from Xirena is pretty classic and perfect.


illesteva sunglass

A pair of bright sunglasses  is such a good lazy person’s way to make a big statement with a minimum of effort. This pair, from  J. Crew, is similar but cheaper.


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I was probably going to bring my Clare V Gosee Clutch because it packs well, and holds a lot for a bag its size.

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I know I just showed you a red Nili Lotan trouser the other day—her ultra-slouchy Paris pant—but I also really like this more streamlined pair.

zadig & voltaire scarf

I was quite enchanted by this scarf when I visited Zadig & Voltaire last week: an unstoppably good print in vivid pink and red, and as soft as my beloved Chan Luus.  But the stylish friend I was shopping with wrinkled her nose at it, so I passed on by. I might have to go back, though.

r13 boy skinny jean

I would definitely have been bringing my grey R-13 jeans, which I am currently in a quandary over: I wear them constantly and have had them for a while now, and they’re hopelessly bagged-out. I don’t need my jeans tight, but this just looks sloppy. Also they have a dot-shaped stain right on the crotch that probably nobody notices but me. It would be really nice to have a fresh pair, but they are so damn pricey. Still,  good grey jeans are hard, and I have yet to find a pair as perfect for me as these. Did you know there was a survey a while back in which they asked women which items they most dreaded shopping for, and jeans came in second (swimsuits, naturally, were first). I just love knowing that when I get a pair of R13 jeans that they’re going to fit and flatter me, and not send me into a self-loathing tailspin. Because, with denim, in the end, it’s all about fit: find a brand that works for you and stick with them. Maybe even if they cost a fortune, I’m not sure.

lotan camo trousers

If I were to have brought along a third pair of trousers, I’d have packed my Nili Lotan Jenna pants—in fact I’d actually  probably have worn them on the plane because they’re so damn comfortable. I have them in blue, which is almost sold out, but I adore this dark camo too.

pink no 6 clogs

I would obviously be bringing along some No 6 clogs—the pair I’m thinking of is grey suede and, like the above pants, almost sold out. So I’m showing you this really good pink instead.

hera wash bag

My cosmetic bags are all really trashed, so I’m showing you this Liberty of London one I’ve been stalking.

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I travel with a flotilla of hair products, because my hair always flips out when I go away if I don’t stick to my usual routine. But this Davines Oi Oil might be the most important ingredient of all. I apply it after I blow-dry but before I use the curling iron, and it somehow magically makes my dry, damaged hair look impossibly smooth. And it comes in this nifty travel size.

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I kept hearing raves about micellar water, which is supposed to be super-hydrating and cleansing, so I decided to try some Bioderma wipes, and they are so excellent at removing makeup at bedtime when I’m too  lazy to wash my face. I haven’t been using them long enough to know if they’re hydrating, but I love the way my skin feels after I use them—smooth and clean and soft.

portrait of a lady body butter

I always make certain there’s room in my carry-on for a small container of  Portrait of a Lady Body Butter. Portrait of a Lady is my scent of choice, but the perfume itself is too strong for me, so for everyday I use their Hair and Body Oil, which is fantastic and very subtle. But oil is tricky to travel with, so for that I use the Body Butter, which smells so, so good—I have had people compliment me on the scent at gas stations off the Long Island Expressway—and is, I think, more moisturizing than the oil, which is what you want for travel.





Posted on February 19th, 2018 41 Comments

16 chic grey pieces for (mostly) under $100

& other stories shirt

I love grey and think it’s impossibly chic, and deal with the fact that it tends to wash me out by making sure I’ve got a nice bold lip going, and/or that that there’s another, more flattering color closest to my face. I’ve included a few grey coats here that are not under $100, but they’re all marked down and reasonably good deals. I have a grey striped shirt like this one that I wear endlessly.

zella tee

This twist-front tee is good for stomach pooch camouflage, and also looks like the very soul of comfort (here’s a similar sweatshirt I also like).

& other stories sweater

Nobody can own too many big huggy oversized sweaters.

halogen cardigan

A three quarter sleeve cardigan is excellent for pairing with dresses.

mango embroidered blouse

This embroidered cotton blouse is nice and subtle.

j crew duffle coat

A duffle coat in grey is rather unexpected and even charming.

eileen fisher striped top

This grey-on-grey striped boatneck tee looks like a good option for throwing on when you don’t know what else to throw on.

grey levis jeans

These jeans are a very dark grey—almost black, even—but that’s how I like my grey jeans. If you have any thighs at all, it’s more flattering.

pink stitch dress

A perfect beach cover-up for those of you lucky enough to be headed somewhere warm soon.

topshop turtleneck

I like the exaggerated cuffs on this turtleneck sweater.

via spiga coat

Faux fur in grey is pretty chic, in a borderline edgy way. I’d wear it layered over a hoodie.

eberjey top

This top is Eberjey, so it might be pajamas, but I would happily wear it out of the house, as it has such a graceful, flattering neckline, and I like a dropped shoulder.

j crew topcoat

A well-cut topcoat is just a good thing to own.

bp tee

I love the cut of this slouchy tee.

camuto tunic

This tunic gives you a nice layered look without any added bulkiness.

topshop sweater

And finally: this ribbed sweater is rather quietly elegant, and not too tight, as ribbed sweaters often are.


Did you miss the post I did the other day on cute tops under $100?


Posted on February 16th, 2018 23 Comments