Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shall I wear my blouse untucked? Dare I ship it back?

Happy 2015! We're already three-and-a-half weeks into the start of a new year. The beginning of the year always gives me a sense of excitement because of the fresh start and possiblities. I’m even thinking it’s possible to get back to writing for my blog. It’s been my longest hiatus and it wasn’t intentional. I let work, travel and the holidays disrupt my routine. Maybe I needed a break. It’s an interesting test to see how I feel not posting to Bien Vestido. Story ideas still pop in my head daily and I’m not even looking for them. And I realize I miss having a reason to write and shoot photographs while exploring my thoughts and feelings about clothes and personal style. I constantly carry a little black Moleskine notebook and write down random ideas and inspirations for stories. Sometimes I'm not sure what I was thinking. Such as "fashion photos interspersed w/ J. Alfred Prufrock". Perhaps trousers with rolled cuffs? The point is, I have fun with all of that and I want to keep doing it. 

My current favorite top by Isabel Marant Etoile. I love the color, the print, the loose, casual quality and because of the sheer fabric it shows I still have a shape under there. 

What’s on my mind for early in the New Year? Being true to what clothing works for me.  Last November I was in Austin, TX for work and visited a gorgeous and sophisticated dress shop on South Congress called By George.  An Isabel Marant Etoile top caught my eye. It was love at first sight, the sales woman was very nice and clever and also brought me a pair of Frame Le Garcon cropped jeans to try with it. The top and jeans combined to make my favorite kind of outfit - cool, casual, flattering and easy to wear.  Not inexpensive, but affordable. And since then, it’s been my go-to outfit, the cost-per-wear (CPW) is decreasing weekly.

I’m now on their mailing list for notification when a new shipment of Isabel Marant arrives. I got an email last week and this embroidered blouse caught my eye. I immediately called and spoke with darling Bethany. She sent it to me promptly, beautifully wrapped in tissue with a friendly note.

I immediately tried it on. I tried it untucked but it was too smocky and gave me no shape. 

I tried it tucked and it was too poofy. I tried it partially untucked and it still did nothing for me. I tried and tried every which way because I wanted it to work! 

But when it's that difficult to make something work, that's the antithesis of cool and easy chic. Even from the back, it was kind of droopy. This is where photography helps me to see the truth. In a mirror I can imagine I'm seeing what I want to see. But a photo tells all. Seeing the truth, I quickly ended my love affair with this embroidered top and shipped it back to Austin. 

I called Bethany to break the news and she graciously said not to worry, another new shipment of Isabel Marant was arriving soon!


  1. But, Lesa, you didn't try it with a belt and black leggings!

  2. I did give that a thought but I was concerned that it would give me a pirate look because of the poofiness of the blouse. For a top as casual as this one, I wanted to just throw it on and have it look great without having to do too much. For the 300 clams it cost, I wanted it to work for me, not me work for it!

  3. Grateful you are posting again, Lesa. I want to hear more about 'dressing room indecision' that's on your 'in the hopper' list. ;)

  4. Thank you Debra for being a loyal reader. I feel a deep satisfaction to be posting again. I did do the dressing room indecision story:
    And that's a big topic, I could do several more stories on that. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on that.