I grew up in New England where you wore Lilly in the summer--maybe because it reminds you of family vacations to places where it's warm all year round. You would break out your sun dress printed with monkeys drinking piña coladas and your husband would wear four-paneled Brooks Brothers "Fun" pants. You were on vacation, and this is how you signaled to the world that you knew how to enjoy yourselves.
But my people did not live where it's warm all year round. We deal with serious amounts of winter weather. The verb "to summer" only has currency in places where summer is a brief respite in an otherwise chilly climate. And therefore, I have an atavistic love of cotton turtlenecks worn under wool sweaters, plaid, camel hair coats, duffle coats--basically, the whole L. L. Bean-cum-Brooks Brothers vibe.
I try to fight it. I try to be Prep With an Edge, as blackbird puts it. But as soon as it gets near Christmas, all bets are off. I pull out my Christmas socks, jewelry, and scarves. I go mad for plaid. I even start trolling the internet for the Winter Wonderland prep wear of my childhood. Does L. L. Bean still make Norwegian sweaters? Where are the Tyrolean jackets and Fair Isle sweaters d'antan? Mostly gone.
Which is maybe just as well. I went to a holiday boutique recently in Lake Forest, Illinois, which is the epicenter of preppiness in these parts. And I ordered myself a pair of these.
|Needlepoint loafers by By Paige|
|Beachcomber Corduroys at Castaway Clothing|
And if I had, I probably would have worn the loafers with the cords. No, really.
But then I noticed the cords were bootcut. Pffft! I might have standard boring preppy taste in preppy holiday attire, but I draw the line at buying a pair of bootcut cords, because hello? Out of style. OK, I realize I'm being ridiculously inconsistent.
Anyway, today's outfit was an attempt on my part to show you my new boots, which meant wearing a skirt. And I picked out one that is plaid, and warm and cozy, because this morning, it got below freezing for the first time this season. And then--well, I tried to rein in this Christmas-crazed tradition-loving northeast prep part of my personality, I really did. You can let me know whether you think I succeeded.
|Fuzzy black watch plaid skirt, Talbot's last season (similar), navy cotton Bailey cardigan, Vineyard Vines, gray scoop neck t-shirt, Gap, gray wool blend tights, Vermont Country Store, black nappa boots, Arlington by Stuart Weitzman|
|Here's how Talbot's styled the skirt last year.|
|See how fuzzy?|
|Gold pendant and eBayed Hermes bangle. Hey, at least I'm not wearing pearls.|
|Here's a back view of the boots--sorry about the graininess. I was trying to show the elastic.|
|For outside, I added my Brooks Brothers leather trench and some Nordic glittens (what J. Crew calls fingerless glove/mittens) I found these in Lake Forest, which means they're preppy.|
|It's not every day you see a Chanel bag combined with mittens!|
I've come to the conclusion that if I think I've escaped my roots? I'm sadly mistaken.