Guest Post: A Touch of Whimsy

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Laura and I have a tendency to email each other with photos of anything that strikes our fancy. The list gets kind of long but thankfully, we have a relatively healthy dose of self restraint in us to whittle it down to a manageable number. Laura needs little introduction seeing that she was quite a hit the last time she posted here. So take it away, Laura....!


I think it was the year I turned 28 or 29 that I decided to focus on building a grown-up wardrobe of classics that would work for years to come. It’s been about 10 years now and I can honestly say I’ve done pretty well with this. Let’s see...investment trench coat, check. Repetto ballet flats, check. Striped Breton tops, check. A capsule collection of “forever” handbags, check. A good denim and knitwear wardrobe, a leather moto jacket, a few quality blazers, a couple of delectable jewelry treasures...... Well, you get the idea. 

I love what I’ve chosen. Really. These pieces have held up amazingly well and seem to take on the subtle changes I’ve made to my overall look throughout the years with brilliance. They just fit right in. So why did I poke my head into my closet a few months ago, head tilted, nose wrinkled, and feel that something was just....missing?


Photo credit: Oceana's Sea Change. Van Cleef & Arpels Lucky Alhambra Butterfly Ring & Earclips Ensemble


It hit me one day when I was ignoring the laundry and innocently perusing the Van Cleef and Arpels website. I stumbled across this Alhambra turquoise butterfly ring. Bad idea.



Photo credit: Think Is Cool


Then, I just happened to walk by a Prada window display similar to this one while in New York last spring.



Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats Photo credit: VaVaVoom



And this shot of Alexa Chung in a red showstopper dress and Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats has been seriously haunting me.

Now, what do a turquoise butterfly, Flame-covered Prada finery and black flats with cat faces on them have in common?  Whimsy. Playfulness. Umm....fun?  Exactly what was missing from my closet. For me, it’s not about overly cutesy stuff or Carrie Bradshaw tutus or head-to-toe irreverence or outlandish Lady Gaga costumes. It’s that little spark of unexpected. That sprinkle of insouciance added to an otherwise simple, classic look. And it’s not always about spending a bundle to get there.  Wardrobe whimsy can be had on a budget as long as the pieces are well thought out, of good quality and used sparingly. 

Here are a few goodies I’ve recently mixed into my Classics Hall of Fame:




This J.Crew Heartthrob blouse was affordable and adds a smile to a date night outfit. Sometimes, I hide it under a black pullover or blazer and let just a bit of the collar or cuff poke out. They’re also doing a heart sweater right now and I have it on order - grab it now if you want it. These babies sell out!


Jennifer Meyer Arrow Pendant Necklace


My husband surprised me with this dainty Jennifer Meyer gold arrow charm. I find that this tiny amount of edge keeps a black turtleneck or Equipment silk blouse from looking too, well, buttoned up!



Marc by Marc Jacobs navy finch dress



When I saw this Marc by Marc Jacobs navy finch dress online, I all but raced over to my friendly neighborhood department store to swoop it up. I love the feel and fit and you can’t even tell that I’m sporting little birds unless you’re right up close.



Photo credit: Cartier


And what about some things still on my whimsy wish list? Well, buried deep within the hollowed caverns of my dreams lies this piece. The Cartier gold Panthere ring. It’s fierce, it’s fabulous. I can picture it now - dark denim, my new Rag and Bone black blazer with leather lapels (cough, timeless) worn over a long, thin, loose white tee. And this Panthere ring perched upon my right hand. Now that is what I call fun.

How about you? Do you like to work in a little whimsy from time to time?

25 comments:

  1. Gosh, I completely agree with everything in this post!You describe the something missing perfectly. I too have a classic closet and yet felt a little flat about it so have been trying to add unexpected elements here and there.

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  2. Great post! My touches of whimsy always come from jewelry - usually a great piece of statement jewelry, sometimes my Chanel costume pearls or my own handmade Lanvin-style black grosgrain and cultured pearls necklace. Mawi also make great costume jewelry, including a fabulous panther pendant which I picked up years ago and wear often.

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  3. You have been hiding your beauty under a bushel.
    I'm clearing out my wardrobe before the big trip tomorrow, although I don't have an " american' size wardrobe I still have way too much that i don't wear and I hate that, so I'm being ruthless tonight. And also, why do I buy clothes that are too small for me? Hmm? That is ending now.

    The only thing I really covet is an Hermes Kelly - I want.

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    1. Thank you so much! I will always recommend an Hermes Kelly. Probably my favorite bag of all time!

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  4. As a big proponent of the whimsy, I've actually noticed my wardrobe has become less whimsical in the past years and more classic. Of course, I think age and practicality have a lot to do with it. I still like to mix in fun pieces now and again because it let's me bring out the silly side of my personality and not forget that I'm really just a big kid at heart!

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  5. I have lusted after that same Cartier panther ring for years and years! I love the solid gold version, I think it'd feel so nice and cool on your hand. If you get it do share!

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  6. Will do! I visit it often whenever I happen to find myself in Cartier. :)

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  7. I have that J.Crew blouse and love it. So cute. I don't have any of Jennifer Meyer's jewelry but always admire it when I see it. Teir

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    1. Glad you found one! They sold out in a flash.

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  8. i love her picks!!! especially that VCA piece omgosh gorgeous!!!

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  9. Love whimsical touches to an outfit. As long as it's done well, it doesn't feel off! Such a cute post!
    xo,
    nancy

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  10. Hi Laura! You look great. I love your inspiration pieces! And I totally regret not buying that J Crew heart blouse when it was in the stores...

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  11. the last paragraph is killer- such a visual- you seriously have impeccable taste. xO!
    www.thehautecookie.com

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  12. I have been eyeing the Charlotte Olympia cat shoes too...they are too adorable!

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  13. Me again! Just letting you know I'm hosting a giveaway at my blog today for Sedwick Studios, hope you enter! http://www.underlockandkeyblog.com/2012/08/sedwick-studio-giveaway.html

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  14. Excellent post and pretty picture!

    Whimsy and insouciance are the necessary spice to life. I would say that there my bit of whimsy as well. I collect vintage and rare Chanel necklaces, which are fun statement pieces. My parents have been collecting and having pieces made for me since I was a baby- so special and those pieces ad a touch of fun to any outfit.

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  15. Hi Laura! Great to see you again here! ITA with you on this blog post. You look adorable and, funnily, the blue skirt you have on (that you didn't mention), is what really drew my eye. The waist detail is what elevates it from a basic skirt IMO. Classic investment pieces ARE the core of a great wardrobe but, unless you add fun and "whimsy" (great word!), it can make it all seem rather dull. The pieces that you chose here add the personality. LOVE the MJ dress and oh that ring......!!!!!! Be still my heart.

    For me, I tend to keep clothing simple and handbags are always understated and classic. I like to add the pizzaz with shoes, jackets and jewelry. An Isabel Marant embroidered silk baseball jacket and the Ann Demuelemeester lace up sandal boots are two of my fav examples. They are not classic by any means but really punch up an outfit.

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    1. I'm going to make a big stink if you don't send me a pic of that baseball jacket....just sayin'

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  16. Alexa always looks so effortlessly put together and I love how she does ballet flats with beautiful dinner dresses. I'd love to do that more :)

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  17. Does an owl print tee count? Or a teal silk blouse with grey pussy cats count? But I know what you mean, classic is nice but sometimes it's nice to let go a little and "indulge" a whimsy. Yay for "whimsys!". Excellent post.

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    1. Yes and yes! And you can tuck that owl tee under a tailored blazer and add boyfriend or skinny jeans!

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  18. love how alexa dressed down with those super cute flats! i'd love a pair, hopefully it comes in tan ;)

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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    1. Black, red and there was apple green floating around...:)

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  19. I LOVE it! I need to edit my closet as I feel that I have too much 'fun' stuff and not enough 'grown up' things. The VCA earrings are beautiful - I think I need to add THOSE to my collection for sure!

    xo, sam

    **Style of Sam**

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