The Borrowed Closet

When I was younger, I always wanted a sister. I imagined a playmate that would share my enthusiasm for dolls and dress-up and all things girly that my brothers vehemently eschewed. I imagined a confidante who would stay up late with me in a neighboring bed sharing giggles and gossip. And I imagined somebody who I could fight with over a shared wardrobe, just like sisters always seemed to do on television. Alas, ’twas not to be.

By the time I was in high school, however, I realized I didn’t really need a sister.

I had my mom instead.

I know that parents who try to be friends with their children rather than authority figures is kind of a cultural flashpoint, but my mama really has always unequivocally been both my mother (I definitely did not call her by her first name) and my best friend. And now that I’m an adult and can understand so much more of who she is as a person, I feel even closer to her and depend upon her advice and wisdom that much more.

One of the great side benefits of having such an awesome mom is that there is a lot of overlap in our aesthetics and sense of style, and she’s always happy to let me raid her closet.

This weekend Yubo was out of town for work so the kids and I spent most of the weekend at my parents’ house, and my mama was kind enough to let me borrow this chic Carolina Herrera coat, her favorite Marni purse, and this black cashmere turtleneck. I feel really lucky to be able to wear such nice things, most of which would be out of my reach otherwise, and I know my mama likes to see me wearing her clothes. That’s the nice thing about borrowing from your mom rather than your sister. My mama never resents me for borrowing her clothes, and – at least on TV – sisters seem to get mad about that sort of thing.

My poor dad, on the other hand, always goes a little bug-eyed when he sees me making off with something of my mom’s. I think he worries I won’t come back with it, but I really always do!

Anyway, I wore this outfit to work today and then to pick up the children from school. It was really cold in the morning and looked like it was going to rain, but by the time I left work it was hot and sunny. I was kind of dying in the jacket and turtleneck while taking these pictures.

At work today I taught my students how to respond to other people’s ideas in a persuasive essay and how to transition from other people’s ideas to your own and from one topic to another. I created a handout on responding and then wrote a sample paragraph on health care reform. They were asked to break apart the paragraph, identifying transition words and phrases and labeling different parts of the paragraph (i.e. topic sentence, analysis, counter-argument, etc.). Then they were given time to work on their own essays (while hopefully practicing some of these transitioning skills). I was really kind of proud of the whole lesson, and from the questions I was getting while the students were working on their papers, I felt like they were getting what I was trying to teach them.

So that was fun!

I find that I really, really enjoy teaching. I guess even though I always wanted to teach in some capacity, I didn’t really know if I would like it or be good at it. It’s nice to finally be doing something that feels like it fits.

Coat: Carolina Herrera navy wool and cashmere peacoat (from my mama’s closet)
Top: Neiman Marcus black cashmere turtleneck (from my mama’s closet)
Vest: Moyna lace vest from Anthropologie (old)
Jeans: Pilcro skinny jeans from Anthropologie (old)
Shoes: Modcloth wedges
Purse: Marni (from my mama’s closet)
Accessories: pearl necklace (gift from grandmother), dogeared heart necklace
Nail Polish: essie licorice and deborah lippmann shake your groove thing
Lipstick: Cle de Peau Lipstick 16 and Chanel Gossimer Wild Rose (119)

Weather Confusion

It feels as if LA can’t decide whether it wants it to be winter – cold and blustery with rainclouds perpetually threatening – or spring. The flowering trees and bushes in front of our house are in full, triumphant bloom. This weekend and yesterday were balmy in the high 70s. Today, however, was cold. (But, you know, LA-cold, which is, um, in the 50s? Don’t laugh. I’m an Angeleno. It’s my right to complain when the weather dips below 65 degrees.)

So, anyway, this is all to say that even though I was wearing a coat and a scarf today, I was very cold. I really don’t like being cold! This is the whole reason why I can’t move away from Los Angeles, and then it has to go play this dirty weather trick on me.


Enough about the weather, yes? This is what I wore to work today to conference with students. This skirt I’m wearing is pretty awesome. I love the little white leather circles that are sewn in layers on the skirt panel. It feels fun and feathery (alliteration!). And I was so excited that all I needed for work today was a folder full of essays and a purse. Usually I’m dragging several folders, a few books, maybe my laptop, various school supplies, plus all of the stuff that always goes in my purse.

After work, I went to pick up my boys at school.

I’ve set up a new points/rewards system for my eldest son so he was all eager to get home and start his homework. It was rather entertaining.

Basically, he gets a point (indicated on a calendar by a sticker) for fulfilling various responsibilities; homework and piano practice are the main ones, but he can also get points for reading a book or doing extra math worksheets or being caught doing something particularly good. I thought about adding points for doing chores such as setting the table or cleaning up his toys or making his bed, but he’s still at the age where he’s really eager to help around the house so I figured if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

The points he earns can be exchanged for limited amounts of “screen time” (TV or games on the ipad) or other small rewards. He seems pretty motivated.

Most days I have to do quite a bit of cajoling to get him to start on his homework and practice piano, but today he had done everything within an hour of getting home. An hour after that, he had done 4 pages of a math workbook and read a book. I had to insist that he stop and go play.

Coat: Burberry (also worn here)
Shirt: Mikkat Market (also worn here and here)
Skirt: Zara white leather skirt
Tights: J.Crew
Shoes: Modcloth
Bag: Modcloth
Accessories: Esprit outlet scarf (old), silver bow hair clip (gift from my mama), Herkimer diamond earrings from Principessa (gift from Yubo), Dogeared heart necklace
Nail Polish: essie licorice and deborah lippmann shake your groove thing
Lipstick: NARS Jungle Red lip liner and Red Lizard lipstick

Vintage Swing Coat

Hey there! I haven’t posted all week and it’s been even longer since I posted an outfit, but I was sick. And my kids were sick. And then my kids were sick again.

It’s been ugly.

Anyway, I’m breaking the blog silence with a bang. A bright pink one, to be specific.

I bought this vintage 1960s swing coat off ebay for a song a couple of years ago at the height of my Mad Men obsession. It’s beautiful and so delightfully pink.

I used to have a really hard time buying clothing online. You know how things can look great on the rack, but you try it on and it looks atrocious? Obviously when you buy clothes online, you can’t try it on, which is a conundrum supposedly solved by generous return policies. Unfortunately, I’m horrible at returning things. (I’m weird and feel really guilty when I return things. It’s dumb, but I can’t help it.)

Vintage clothes are even harder since it’s often hard to really know the condition of the piece from pictures. When I saw this coat, however, I just had to believe that it would be perfect.

And it was.

Just so you know, I have (quite happily, except in regards to my checking account) mostly overcome these hurdles to online fashion consumption. Sigh.

When I wear this coat, I feel instantly glamorous. The color, the weight, the length, the cut – everything about this coat is just lovely and fun.

Seriously, is it not gorgeous?

I felt a little like Superman/Clark Kent in this outfit. Or maybe Wonder Woman/Diana Prince would be a more appropriate analogy? My coat is like a cape – it’s big, bright, nostalgic, and out-of-place in the best way possible. When I remove it, I look and feel completely different. I blend in again, but in a I’m-wearing-leather-so-I-still-kick-ass kind of way.

Coat: vintage (from ebay)
Shirt: Anthropologie (old)
Sweater: J.Crew
Shorts: Q40 glam leather shorts
Tights: J.Crew
Shoes: J.Crew
Bag: fieldguided canvas bag
Accessories: Forever 21 bracelets and Dogeared heart necklace
Nail Polish: essie licorice

Lovely Lace

Yesterday evening we had dinner with family at Yubo’s aunt’s house. This is what I wore.

The trench coat was a gift from my mama. It’s warm and cozy and edged with beautiful crocheted lace.

The lace-inspired chandelier earrings were a gift from my grandmother to wear on my wedding day. Whenever I wear them, I think of her and of that beautiful day.

The ruffle-edged gloves were a Christmas gift from my friend Katherine.

Underneath I wore this white lace shift from Anthropologie, with a black ribbon tied around my waist with a bow. I’m one of those odd people that keeps pretty ribbon and wrapping paper from gifts, but see how useful it is sometimes?

I love how delicate and proper I feel when I wear this dress.

Or not.

Coat: Burberry (gift from my mama)
Dress: Anthropologie
Purse: vintage (ebay)
Gloves: no label (gift)
Shoes: J.Crew
Hosiery: Calvin Klein
Accessories: earrings (gift), found black ribbon

Black and Blush

This Marni bag belongs to my mama. I borrowed it before the holidays and haven’t yet returned it. I’m hoping she’ll forget about her pretty little bag and it’ll remain in my possession indefinitely.

Actually, a lot of my favorite pieces are either hand-me-downs or borrowed items from my mama’s closet. My mama is wonderful and so generous and has the best taste, and I’m so lucky she likes to share.

I don’t wear a lot of prints, but I loved this swan print shirt from ASOS. The swans are sort of art deco-ish. And the color – I’m totally obsessed with everything blush right now.

I don’t wear this coat very often, probably because it’s rarely cold enough in LA to justify a long coat. I’ve had it for years though and it was my first real grown-up coat. You can’t really tell from the picture, but it’s a toggle coat that has an extra set of pockets cut higher on the coat so that when you put your hands in, it looks like you’re wearing hand muffs. They make me happy.

The pants are from my friend Katherine’s shop Mikkat Market. All the clothes in her shop are so chic, and these wide-leg pants are on sale right now.

that little ring was a gift from Yubo (my husband’s blog name) on Christmas the year after our first child was born. Like my wedding rings, I wear it always.


Shirt: ASOS swan print shirt
Pants: Mikkat Market wide leg pants
Coat: United Colors of Benetton (old)
Shoes: J. Crew
Bag: Marni (borrowed)
Accessories: Forever 21 bracelets and necklace, Anthropologie earrings, oli + me whisper ring
Nail Polish: essie turquoise and caicos and deborah lippmann Shake Your Groove Thing