Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Style Question Wednesday: A Spring in Your Step Yet?

Oh Foreveruary!  You seem to hang around a long time for being such a short month...  But in a little more than a week it will be:


Now for some of you - Kathy, Blue Booby, Fabulous Florida Mommy my British Columbian buddies, Tabs: I am talking to you - March means Spring.   Real Spring.  As in, there might be flowers and buds on the trees...


But where I live, it is going to look like this till sometime in April and will be cool till mid-May:


Oh it's pretty all right.  It was especially pretty in December.  Kind of nice in January.  Even February I can live with.  By the end of March?  Stick a fork in me, I am done.

Mostly what I miss is wearing shoes outside.  Even rubber boots would be nice. 

 


So I think I have established that it will still be cold out here, and likely still snowy, when Spring arrives in all its glory on March 20th, 8:03 a.m. ADT and yes, I will have my face pressed up against the window to see her arrive. 

But here is my question of the week (really, a number of questions!):
  1. When do YOU start switching over into spring-like clothing? 
  2. Do you wait till the snow is gone? 
  3. Do you wait for the exact day that spring arrives? 
  4. Maybe you don't have a seasonal wardrobe per se?  How do you folks in the warmer climates make the transition?
  5. When do you switch to a lighter purse?  Lined linen trousers?
For me, I am ready to stop wearing my heavy woollens by the end of March, regardless of the weather outside.  I will be just so tired of heavy layers.  I will try and transition some of my heavier spring items (such as my morse code jacket seen in the picture below, which I was wearing in September):


But there is always the conundrum of the bare leg.  By the time I want to start wearing my spring dresses, in April, it is still freezing.  I resort to nude fishnet tights.  By May I go bare-legged, but there is still frost at night often until the long weekend in May!

As a bit of an aside - one of the spreads in this month's Vogue showed black pantyhose paired with white shoes.  I gasped out loud!  Time to get your affairs in order folks, this is the sartorial equivalent of the apocalypse in my eyes!  I remember the days of women doing this well.  It was scary then, and it would be scary now.  Just saying.  But perhaps I am getting old-fashioned?

As an aside, I came across the fact that J Crew is testing an instore Very Personal Stylist App in its Columbus Circle and Santa Fe shops.  My apologies is Alexis already mentioned this on the JCA site.

I am intrigued, not because I like a good app (though I do) but for the other future apps:

  • Fix the Grammatical Errors For Us app
  • Choose the Sequin-Stripe-Chambray FOR YOU PERSONALLY app
  • The "Skype with Mickey directly" app for ease of returns
  • The "try to guess which obscure item from the 2010 summer collection will suddenly popback" app
Any other apps you would like to see?

Well happy wednesday all!  Stay Safe Out There!

56 comments:

  1. Oh you look stunning there.
    Well there's a saying here, "ne'er shed a cloot till May is oot" meaning keep wrapped up till the end of May, of course we all do the minute we think it's spring then end up freezing and going back to our winter warmers.
    Oh I'd like that grammar app, my English is appalling at times.

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    1. Well I love that saying! I think Scotland must be a lot like here. Of course, all the teens shed their cloots in April and never don them again, no matter how cold it is - they all think hey are living in LA in a fashion shoot, so who can blame them!

      Agree on grammar app - my autocorrector is typically quite useless!

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  2. How about a 'suggest new superlatives for the CFS' app?

    What a timely post--I was surprised to see beautiful daffodils blooming in a neighbor's yard on my walk today. However, our high tomorrow is 40F (boo!). I'm in the SE US, and our weather is crazily unpredictable. In a three day span recently we had a high of 74F and then a low of 17F. I'm a bit jealous of your snow, but not the cold.

    Our old rules say after Easter anything goes as far as bare legs, summer shoes, etc, but really most are fairly flexible these days. When it got into the 70s this month you could spot flip flops and sandals on some.

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    1. I like the new superlatives - I am personally tired "our must-have ______ - the staff liked it so much they bought it in every colour!"

      Well don't be too jealous of the snow - we are apparently getting another 25 cm today, or about 10"! Easter makes sense to me. Here it is the Queen's birthday weekend the third weekend in May - it is the official launch of gardening season (but don't put the tomatoes in if there is an early June moon!)and bare legs.

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  3. I live in the Heidelberg area,which is the "warmest" part of germany,so i think we should be done with the snow for this year.That doesnt mean that spring is here,i think it will be another 4 weeks at least till it is getting a little warmer.
    Yesterday morning i heard birds chirp for the first time this year,so thats a good sign:)
    All lot of my things can be worn year round like the tippi sweater,because it is never really hot here even in the summer.
    Often it is grey ,cool and rainy so since moving here i stocked up on jackets and sweaters. I miss the humid heat from Atlanta.
    My husband is currently looking/interviewing for jobs to bring us back to the US.


    Thanks for the offer to take a pic of the joe fresh bracelet,i cant wait to see it!

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    1. Hi Ina - I should be in that store tomorrow so will flip the picture off to you!

      Oh the happiest day of the year for me is when the birds are chirping! I have had my poor little chickadees and nuthatches at the bird feeder all summer, but to hear all the rest when they are back is wonderful!!

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  4. There is a subtle change already. Coats are replaced with jackets, boots with loafers/ballet shoes, cords with chinos, etc. I agree by Easter it is fair game to bring out the bare legs even if we have a cold snap. But you do keep a blanket, coat and mittens in your car especially if attending a kids spring sporting event that may last til the sun goes down. BTW, you look lovely. You are glowing.

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    1. Oh that is an interesting practise! We keep the same things here, but in case we end up in a snowbank!

      Thanks for the nice compliment - the picture was taken early September last year - I can see a huge difference as I had just had some weeks in France - I think France makes you look healthy!

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  5. Mid-April, it can still be chilly, but it is what I consider the start of spring, when the trees start to blossom. That's my cue! I'll wear inappropriately spring-like clothing before that when we get a warm snap, though. We do not usually have much snow on the ground but it is usually wet so I have to be careful with suede/leather shoes. They are possible at times in the winter, but in general not a good choice unless you are carrying them along. Please sign me up for the Obscure Pop-back From 2010 App lol! You know I love a good pop-back!

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    1. HA! You get first dibs!

      Oh can't wait for no boot weather - you almost feel giddy when that happens!

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  6. KEYS TO THE SPRINGDOM Morning WMM, keep your nose above the snow drifts! Adding to the app-list with a "Blogger Picks" list curated by JCA's. After Jenna's Picks, Kate's Picks over at Ann Taylor on now, how about a collection of non-celeb selects/ outfits that we can wear to IRL offices etc. Oh and I'd also like a Reality Check app. re. fabric, lining, real shirt, dress and skirt length/ model height, non-photoshopped colour swatches etc.

    I'll be breaking out a few lighter items by mid-March, mostly to cure ennui and prevent spring fever buying. First sandals are a HUGE day for me, even if means slightly blue endings. Based on the slush heaps I think it will be at least 6-8 wks. before we are out of boots and into shoes long-term here. Bring it!

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    1. Thanks GF! I like the blogger picks list app - good idea! - they are obviously not listening now or we would have reviews, wish lists, measurements. Mid-March is when I start getting the regular salon pedis again, so my feet are not gnarly by the time sandal weather is upon us! Sandal Day should be a national holiday!

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  7. I don't use too many APP's so I can't think what's missing.

    The Persephone months are just ended ( 2/15); suddenly, it seems lighter and more birds are singing despite the piles of snow everywhere. I have 4 days in Atlanta this week and NO idea what to pack ( trench coat or lighter wool? Wool skirt or cotton? No possiblity of bare legs-- black stockings??? OK, need an APP for this). I just don't know how we deal with skirts in April/May here when it is NOT warm.

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    1. Lane, the hubs was just in ATL recently for quick work, think it was around -1 F, but blokes definitely have it easier.
      I would tend to go with the lighter, superfine wools (like the JC 120s suiting if that provides a reference) and maybe the trench with a cardigan or blazer if you can wear that comfortably underneath. Are trousers an option?
      Not much help, but maybe ask DBP as she goes to ATL regularly, has family there.

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    2. Oh Lane - you are making me happy - we are about 6 hours apart geographically, so can only be a matter of time before the birds are singing - do you habe much snow there in Maine? GF's ideas are good - have not been to Altanta, so haven't a clue!

      And yes, dresses and skirts in April and May in our climates are not good since the stylists have told us no more nude pantyhose! :-)

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    3. Ye can do trousers, but have to dress for 2 events as well, cocktail attire.

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  8. I haven't lived here long enough to know when to expect spring. Last year we had a mild winter, a two week cold snap, and then pouf, spring.

    Right now I could swear spring is in the air, at least yesterday it was - the sun was even out. But today is grey, cold, wet, and a bit snowy. I'm really ready for spring.

    When I lived in Montreal, I'd go through a week or so phase in early March when I'd get excited for spring. Then there would be a big storm and I'd have to remind myself that there would be snow on the ground until April. I went through that every year. Hope springs eternal.

    I keep catching myself randomly daydreaming about my other shoes! I think spring will be rainy here, it usually is. So as excited as I am to ditch the boots, I think I'll be stuck with them for a while yet. Blah!

    I don't have a "transition" plan. Sometimes I just get way too sick of my winter items and figure out ways to be warm enough with my other clothes. I wear skirts and tights year round.

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    1. Do you go for more coloured tights in the spring Abby?

      I hear you about the delusion factor! There is always some sunny day here in early March and the temperature goes up to 15C and we sit on the back steps with a glass of wine and say "it is here!" and then it snows later in the week. It's even worse when that happens in April around easter...

      Funny, I was digging out a pair of shoes to send to Miss GF and there they were - my summer shoes! I almost wept with happiness and then tore myself away sadly...

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    2. The delusion factor, well-put. I guess that's part of what makes us Canadian? The fact that April is really still winter, or can be, is just the worst.

      When I moved to NYC from Montreal, and spring arrived for real in early March, I was completely shocked. I truly kept thinking, and I still think that even over here "wait, it's spring? But we haven't really earned it!"

      Tights - I will have to get back to you in the spring, I haven't got much of a routine. I don't own wool ones, so there's no obvious transition to make. I'm really moody about tights in terms of comfort. Lately I have been wearing black cotton leggings instead of tights, because I want to wear cotton. I have a pair of grey cropped lulu leggings that I like to wear with a dress and flats in the spring. I've been day-dreaming about those too.

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    3. That's what I am looking for for spring - a couple more pair of comfortable cotton leggings especially if I am home and can really dial up the comfort factor!

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    4. Oh Abby, you reminded me of when I used to have to go to NYC for work around St. Patrick's Day. I would pull out a light coat. And then coming back to Toronto or Ottawa was always such a whump bump. Of course, it's all relative, since if you are in parts of AB and BC the ice doesn't go out of the lakes until June. And WMM, I am starting one of those change.org type petitions for National Sandal Day (men no socks!!!)

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    5. I just noticed your tags, Wendy! Hysterical.

      GF - yes, always painful to come home again when others are luxuriating in spring. And, yes, "down south" as some say (my friend from Sault Ste Marie said that, anyway), we do have it better than parts of AB, etc!

      I lived in California for a little while, and honestly didn't love the weird no-seasons thing (oh sure, there are seasons, but barely). I did find, though, that it spoiled me a bit and now winter has become even more difficult. It's not the cold that really gets me, it's the grey.

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    6. I think St. Paddys in NYC would be a ball. I was there once on Labour Day and got quite a kick out of watching all the unions go by and the Brotherhood of the Royal Water Buffaloes go by!

      I miss going south in winter - we used to go to FLorida all the time. Sigh... only a matter of time and will do so again!

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  9. In LA, although we do have winter, I don't really transition much between seasons. As it gets warmer here, I wear lighter coats, or just a sweater, and that's about it. I don't even change colors much. Real Summer is different and then I do struggle more with what to wear. Lighter wash jeans for sure, more boyfriend cut jeans, rather than tight skinnies. I'm not a real sandal fan though. Although I love Summer, it's the season I like dressing for the least.

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    1. Kathy - can you wear jeans in souther Cal in the high summer? It is usually to hot and humid to do so here. What a thought - not having to have 3 distinct wardrobes! It must be delightful!

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  10. Oh WMM, what will we do when you go back to work? You have been making me smile every morning.(Although I have a week off now, and time to read and reply!) I love spring clothes but am trying to make use of the winter pieces I haven't worn yet, mostly because I was saving them for a better occasion. So now, I pull them all out and wear them indiscriminately. We usually have some good storms from now until the end of March, so I doubt I will be putting away my coat. I saw the spreads in Vogue and Bazaar. Colored tights with white shoes always remind me of Minnie mouse and Daisy Duck. The new apps seem fun, but could certainly use the features you and Alexis pointed out. However, I like to think I can get dressed myself, without a manual.

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    1. Knityarns - you have me for awhile yet! actually this blog is really inspiring me to get back to writing, so I don't think I could give you all up anyhow!!!

      Love the Minnie MOuse and Daisy Duck comment!!!

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  11. We haven't had much of a winter here in the Washington, DC area -- it is quite cold but no snow and generally quite sunny. Once the temperature rises above 60 degrees F, I will discard jacquard and black tights for bare legs and lighter fabrics. It's funny that you mention white shoes with black tights -- I have one outfit that I do this with and I think it works quite well, but it took some wrestling to convince myself it was OK to walk out the door that way. I wear that with a black dress suit with a short jacket, and I pair with a white bow belt and a white bubble necklace (and the black tights/white shoes). Something about the combination works but I would definitely be leery about trying it one with other things.

    Long time lurker here, btw, really enjoy your blog.

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    1. Michelle - thank you for your lovely comment!

      Okay - Miss Nosy Parker - maybe you are a lot younger than me? I think when trends come back around and you've already done them once or twice maybe it is harder to do them again??? I am getting so old I am surprised that I am not seein the flapper look come back again! Oh wait it is! Never mind!

      Your outfit sounds cute and you likely wear it with panache! I think anything worn with panache is absolutely AOK. It is when folks like me "wonder" if they are turned out okay that it all falls apart..When I sashay forth in all my glory, regardless of whatever it is, I feel like a million bucks and oh so stylish!

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    2. Haha, yes I am younger but still in my mid-30s so there are plenty of things I am aged out of. I have a 19 year old living with us, and this is demonstrated to me daily!

      I do know what you mean though about trends making their reappearance -- I was *shocked* when denim shirts (excuse me, "chambray") made their way back on the scene yet I find that I have eventually joined the party. They really are pretty neutral ....

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    3. Well you may have talked me into the dark hose, light shoes!

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  12. I am loving my winter things but there will come a point when I won't be able to bear it one more second! And it will still be too cold to wear spring items. At that time I am guessing I'll be wearing my EF riding pants and the unavoidable sweater, maybe I'll go crazy and bring out my JCrew gray tweed topcoat, which is much lighter than my long Brora tweeds I am wearing constantly this winter.
    As I continue to pare down I've been thinking about the amount of clothes that we need to have when we really truly have 4 seasons, and we still do though spring is often quite short. I mean we need serious winter clothing here, yet it is still stinking hot in summer, and we have spring and fall to contend with. Really we could get by with less in a more temperate climate.

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    1. Dani, you're so right. I lived in SF for a while and all of my winter gear ended up in my childhood closet. You really do need more in a true four seasons place. Maybe not as much as we all sometimes imagine, but definitely there are some items that you need. And they're usually bulky, too!

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    2. You are right on, Dani! I think it definitely costs more and i know in spring I like a bit more "colour" and am trying to convince myself that the way is scarves, not more coats. Having said that, I am LUSTING, LUSTING I tell you, for your Brora coat...

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    3. Dani, definitely gets me that good coats, boots, investment sweaters etc. are pricey. I had much more variety and spent a lot less on clothes overall when I lived somewhere hot. On the other hand, the clothes themselves didn't last as long (more cotton vs. wool, sun fade with drying outside, more washing...) It is nice to be able to collect key pieces.

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  13. Even though we do not have 4 distinct seasons, the majority of Floridians still adjust their wardrobe choices to reflect the small changes that do occur. During the fall and winter, there is a lot of dark colored clothing in heavier weights, sweaters, jackets, no shorts, no swimsuits, no white, and lots of boots. Once the weather starts to warm up in March there is a transition to more spring-like colors, lighter weight fabrics, and lots of sandals. Unfortunately, we did not get much of a winter this year, but I will not break out my spring clothing until next month, although I have been wearing sandals already. I quite envy your snow and change of seasons. Hopefully if all goes well with our eventual move, we will get to experience it for ourselves. Although I did tell my husband that it will be odd for me to wear closed-toe shoes for a good part of the year when I have grown up wearing sandals or going barefoot most of my life. :)

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    1. BAREFOOT IN THE PARK FFM, having grown up "down south" the shoes and tights were absolutely the hardest thing. Including adapting to more formal workplaces, where close-toes, versus dressy sandals are mandatory. I really do my happy dance the first time I can return to at least peep toes. Also takes a bit more time to get out the door (boots, scarf, gloves, coat, brolly...) - amplified by kids.

      BUT I am pretty sure you will grow to appreciate more layers and looks. I find it easier to reinvent, invest in a piece, make it work in multiple seasons when more jackets, cardis, vests etc. are an option at least.

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    2. Hi FFM - I find my feet seem twice as wide by summer's end, what with running around in my sandals and bare feet! I think you will like 4 seasons, but I bet the first winter will be a shock! Today we have had snow, rain, freezing rain and sleet! Quite the fun time!

      It surprises me that warm weatheer folks really wait till March to do their transitioning - that is so interesting to know! GF is right re: the layering - we are experts!

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    3. GF: Yes, layering is one of my favorite things to do when it comes to creating outfits, and one of the things I am most looking forward to when moving to a colder climate. :)

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    4. WMM: You will occasionally see someone in shorts or 'summer' clothes during the winter months, but they are usually tourist or snowbirds, and not someone who lives here year round. Also, in the 'Resort' destinations on the coast (sometimes at Disney World, too) there will be people who may wear linen, swimsuits, and bright colors, but that is because they are vacationing from a much colder climate. However, people who grew up here, or live here year round adhere to seasons (for the most part), and do not even put on a swimsuit until April or May.

      I actually did live up north during one winter in my early 20's. I was living on Long Island during the North American blizzard of 2003, and experienced firsthand how brutal the cold and snow can be.

      Btw, you mentioned that your BC buddies will see spring before you do. Are the temps there much milder than where you are?

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    5. Oh along the lower coast in British Columbia, those lucky dogs will have flowers in late March. I lived on Vancouver Island one year and though it was rainy and cool, it was so much more milder than I was used to!

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    6. That's good to know! As I've mentioned to you before, that is one of the places we are considering relocating to. :)

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    7. Oh you would love it there!!!

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    8. FFM, it does rain quite a bit on Lower Mainland (like English weather) versus snow (which is a mtns. thing). But it's a gorgeous, outdoorsy place with lots to love, especially for families. Quite similar to whatever you might read about it's neighbour WA state.

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    9. GF, are you located in this area? If so, why haven't we met yet? :D

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  15. Greeting from Victoria Wendy and I have snow envy. For ever drop of snow we receive rain and let me say I'm talking sideways rain. If FFM relocates to B.C. it's a wonderful play land for her boys but she needs to invest heavily into Gortex.
    Today I went for a walk along the ocean and the sweet cherry blossoms had opened up.
    As far as clothing after Easter it's open season . Mind you last June set rain records.

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    1. Oh Marsha, realized Easter was early this year - I will really be in a state!

      Oh cherry blossoms! How wonderful! And yes to goretex! Everything seems damp and the slugs were the size of baseballs to me!

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  16. It is totally random here in NYC, in March it can snow one day and be 70 degrees the next one. Funny that some readers feel that we have an early spring here, while coming from Southern Europe I think that it is quite the opposite, you have real spring in March in Italy meaning that you can really take your coats to the dry-cleaner and wear lighter jackets or just a sweater. It is true that two years ago we had 90 degrees in April for a week but then it got cold again. I generally don't put the winter clothes away until well into May, I would say until Memorial Day.
    I am with you Wendy, I absolutely hate that transitional time when it is still to cold to go barelegs but wearing tights is a torture, especially black ones (thanks for the nude fishnet suggestion, I might try that!)

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    1. I forgot to mention that the App thing is too funny. I think I am going to sign up for Skype with Mickey and the Popback roulette! I suggest Test your fabric knowledge, like a True or False type of test where you have to answer questions like "The pink silk-cotton skirt has silk lining: True or False". Not sure what the price would be though. A year of free alterations?

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    2. I KNEW Italy was where I should live!

      Well I am hoping for no snow from march 3rd to 7th in NYC! I like nude fishnets, but they are not as warm as opaque tights. But then I am always cold! I bet you are too after Miami!

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  17. I hope the worst of the winter is behind us... Usually around end of March I cannot stand my winter clothes anymore but that's usually too early. So I cope by banishing browns and tweeds, wearing some more lightweight skirts with tights, switch boots for closed toe pumps and wear lighter coats and colorful scarves. On those cold sunny days in late March/early April, some clothes just feel oppressive...

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    1. I thought your lovely green outfit was a lovely transition piece, AJC!

      It is a difficult time for dressing for sure!

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  18. POPBACK ROULETTE - which gives new meaning to "Les Jeux sont fait..." couldn't let the day end without saying thanks for that

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    1. You made me laugh out loud, mon amie!

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  19. Ah, seasons. I miss them! They often have no rhyme or reason for me since I travel quite a bit so I am always finding myself in a different climate. but this morning, as I found myself in traveling again, I realized I have no winter clothes. When I lived in the bitter cold of Boston, I was always under layered and now that I spend a fair bit of my time in California, I find that I'm freezing. Maybe some woolens are in order?
    On a different note, your outfit is gorgeous. gorgeous, I tell you. My favorite I've seen on you. This rest thing really suits you!

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