Saturday, April 17, 2010

The ten things meme--beautified

I'm stealing this from my stylish friend blackbird, who got it from Kim. I'm skewing it more beauty-and-style, to fit in with the nature of this blog:

  1. My mother tells me I was her prettiest and most delicate-looking baby. What. the. hell. happened.
  2. I was born in Boston and lived in Massachusetts until I moved to Chicago 23 years ago. I found Chicagoans almost impossibly glamorous. To those of you who scoff (reasoning that Chicago, after all, is in the midwest) I answer: you obviously haven't been to New England. Whenever I fly into Boston, I'm struck by how L. L. Bean everyone looks. One of my favorite all-time makeover movies, Now Voyager, illustrates my point. See Bette Davis as the repressed Bostonian spinster transformed into a much-less-repressed spinster ... with fabulous clothes. (My love for makeover movies has both depth and breadth and obviously deserves a post of its own.)
  3. The Italians are the best-dressed people on the face of the earth. They have access to the finest fabrics and craftsmen, and their color sense is beyond reproach. I'll never forget a Sunday morning in Venice, watching the Venetian ladies walk home from mass with their thin-soled elegant shoes and cashmere stoles thrown just so over their shoulders. Sorry, Parisians.
  4. I would love to live on an island. Luckily, I do, every summer. It's in New Hampshire, and when I'm there, I am astonishingly fashion-forward. I enjoy that.
  5. I used to think that once our children moved out of the house, we'd sell our small house in the suburbs and move to the city full time. Now I imagine us buying a larger house and installing each child in a separate wing. Sort of like Dallas or Dynasty, except without the intrigue, rivalries, trophy wives, and shoulder pads. After all, if our kids can't make it on their own--if they end up total slackers--I might as well get some extra closet space.
  6. Here's why this is an issue: I just discovered--as they casually alluded to it over dinner one night--that both my kids have absolute pitch, meaning (to you musicians out there) that if you ask them to sing a G, they can. Which means they both might end up as musicians. I'm OK with it. But if they go rock 'n' roll, I'm going to have to rethink my wardrobe. Sharon Osbourne will be my new mentor. I'm envisioning wearing a lot more leather than I currently do. (Which is none, except for shoes.)
  7. Speaking of shoes, as much as I urge everyone to sort through their wardrobes and cull what doesn't work anymore, I'm always worried that I'm giving stuff to the thrift shop just as it's about to be revived. Are severely pointy-toed shoes coming back in? Or do Saks and Neimans continue to stock the same old Jimmy Choo and Manolo styles to confuse me? This puzzles me.
  8. For a while there about five years ago, Lilly Pulitzer and I were likethis. We aren't any more, but I still have tons of Lilly in my (inadequate, too small, dark, old-fashioned) closets. I really should donate it to the thrift shop, but it cheers me up to open the closet door and see a kaleidoscope.
  9. I can't even tell you how much I hate being a size 16. On the other hand, I can't imagine how much money I'd spend on clothes if I were a six 6.
  10. Not surprisingly, one of my greatest pleasures is taking my size 2 daughter out shopping. I love teaching her about what's appropriate for her age and way of life--but I love buying her a Betsy Johnson short ball skirt because of the way she jumps and spins when she tries it on.

Photographs courtesy of 1. a fellow image thief 2. a dead link 3. Loro Piana stole courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman 4. galfred 5. 6. Mamapop 7. Saks 8. Simplified Bee 9. Reader's Digest 10. Betsey


  1. So very entertaining and enjoyable.

    Thank you for being so different from all that's out there.

    If I could just find an award about "uniquely different and satisfying."

    Let me go alookin'

    Love your posts. Very much.

  2. Oh luvverly! Living on an island in the summer is très cool. There's nothing like an island to relax you. I'm kind of pi**ed off that you used a copyrighted photo of my own house though. (I must get the groundsmen to trim the hydrangeas...) Have a super Sunday!

  3. Michigan is almost like an island in the summer. Water is never far away, but I am most fond of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. I am a size 14, and you know what? I'm pretty damn slim. We are gorgeous Poppy, and we have all the curves a man can appreciate.

  4. Great post Poppy.

    2. I love a great makeover on film. My first one and the most influential was the makeover scene in the Telefilm Sooner or Later:

    The lines of the makeup artist in that scene were (and still are) a part of my e-mail signature.

    7. That Jimmy Choo is a classic and [Gollum voice] I wants it, the precious[/Gollum voice]
    As the book "The Fashionista Files" by Karen Robinovitz and Melissa De La Cruz says, The Fashionista shoe has a pointy toe and a 4 inch heel no matter what the round toe Mafia says. Pointy forever!

    8. What? You're not a Lilly addict anymore? [cries]

    9. I'm bigger on top than on bottom, a 20-22 top and 14 bottom. Damn these peasant shoulders and torso. I'd kill to be a size 6.

  5. We should talk sizes. I can't tell you how much I hate being the size I am when I should be two sizes smaller.

  6. I've moved on from Lilly P. myself. Every spring and summer, I would buy at least one or two capri pants and matching tops.

  7. Okay so I only opened a google account so that I could leave comments on your blog. Love everything about it...from the girly flower background to your excellent advice. You put words to things that I vaguely realised but were hovering somewhere at the back of my consciousness. Keep blogging.

  8. Loved this Blog! I am a Bette Davis freak and have seen Now Voyager about 20 times. Luh-OVE when Bette finally tells off her battle ax Mother, finds her mojo and takes a Luh-vah!!! Divine.

    Vanessa is correct! That last of JC and MB's "Carolyn" will be around for-evah! I always adore nude shoes with color. Learned that years ago, when I spotted Jackie O wearing them to Caroline's wedding with a granny smith green silk ensemble.

    Keep up the great work! Tried to link you to my Blog and it says it wont show your content...WTF Dahling??? Any clues???


  9. Empress: Thank yew, thank yew; you're a beautiful audience. I'll be here all week!

    Rosina: How do you keep the crabgrass out of that gorgeous lawn!

    MAW: We are indeed bad mama jamas! "Got all the curves that men like."

    Veronica: I thought of you when I wrote that. I really do loves me some makeover films. Moonstruck, Clueless, Now Voyager, Funny Face. As for the Lilly ... who am I kidding? I'd probably start wearing it again IF IT FIT!

    bird: Pfft! If you were two sizes smaller, you'd be invisible.

    Shalini: Hey there! Yeah, I miss wearing capri pants and cute matching polos. I can't wait for real capris to be out there again, instead of cropped pants. I can't get my eye adjusted to pants that are deliberately too short, and they look too short to me unless they're cut just right.

    Paola: You're welcome--you and your bella figura.

    Hazel: SMOOCH. Just ... SMOOCH.

  10. First -- excellent post. As always (even though I never comment).

    Second, if you ever DO decide to give up those Lilly Pulitzer clothes, please call me first. I have not yet grown out of it (and probably won't for YEEEARS). You know, if you don't mind. I'll owe you a fancy cocktail or 5.

  11. Great list - I always love to know more.

  12. Poppy, what are the ten things? I googled it and still don't have a clue.

  13. Poppy, your such a hoot. Truly a warped sense of humor. Love it.

    Always Bumby

  14. The Danes are my favorites in terms of style; they're far less serious than the Italians or the French, plus they look great on their bikes.

  15. Hilarious!
    Regarding the New England/Chicago thing -- when I was teaching in Chicago, a Smith recruiter whom I know pretty well came to my school for an event. I was wearing a black sweater with cream trim and a sparkly brooch (came w/ the sweater, from Lord & Taylor, about 5 years ago). The recruiter said, "I love your outfit -- I wish we could dress like that in Northampton" -- and I knew exactly what she meant. I always tell my hometown friends that western Mass. looks like everyone fell out of an L.L. Bean catalog.

  16. You are absolutely right about Italians and Chicagoans! This was such a fun post to read.

  17. new to your blog....

    I wish I had half the style sense you do. :) I am much to casual. I can dress up...or dress for that matter...but I tend to buy more classsic pieces that will last. I need to spruce it up everyonce in a while, though.

    I admit...I am virtually unaware of trends. I think I secretly protest them. :)


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.