Thursday, January 18, 2018

Trending Thursday

Thank god it's almost Friday and this deep freeze is going to end, at least temporarily.  It's Thursday and that means it's almost Friday!  So what's going on?  Lots of stuff is going on....

The Sail to Sable Warehouse Sale

There are some incredible bargains right now at the STS Warehouse sale. Clothing is 60 percent off and there are still some great selections like this lovely coat. Use the code Warehouse2018.  Shop the sale here.

Danielle Rollins Clothing Line
I love Danielle Robbins' style and have followed her decorating projects for years.  She has a great clothing line (readvexpensive) but it's fun to see what she comes up with. If nothing else, she's a great inspiration for women entrepreneurers.  See her website here.

Tory Burch Sandals
It's so hard to think about wearing sandals when it's five degrees but I love these sandals from Tory Burch.

The Playoffs
It's playoff weekend in the NFL and if the games this weekend are as good as the ones last Sunday, well, it'll be a treat. You have to pull for Minnesota after they upset New Orleans with that hail Mary play with one second left on the clock. Wow!  That one will go into the record books.  Sunday - stitch and watch football!

The Aussie Open
The first major of the season started this week and there have been so many upsets it's hard to keep track. The US women are not faring well so far, and we all miss Serena Williams but it's a great tournament and I watch every evening after dinner.

Is J Crew Done?
I keep hearing about stores closing everywhere, their web site has slashed prices to the bone.  Layoffs?  What's going on?  It's so sad to watch this brand implode, I was such a fan for so long.  Maybe a reboot?  Let's hope so. There are some great bargains out there still like these Liberty pajamas.

Plaid Top
I love this plaid top and it's been reduced so much, it is worth trying it.  Wear it with black jeans or velvet for the holidays next year.  We all love a bargain!

Palm Beach Vibe
I love the Palm Beach look and at this time of the year it's so refreshing - bright colors, trellis, pink, sandals, green grass and the bright sun!

Have a sunny day whereever you might be!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Riding Coat Dilemma - To Tweed or Not?

The riding coat dilemma recently popped up - what coats are appropriate for the show ring?  Can you wear the lovely tweed coats you often see in fox hunting photos from England?  The answer really depends on where you show and at what level.  Also, most horse shows are not held in cold weather and it would be uncomfortable to wear heavy wool during warm weather. 

Those lovely tweed coats are worn during "cubbing season" - the "pre fox hunting season" that falls typically between Labor Day and Thanksgiving here in the US.  This is the informal fox hunting season when you and your mount are getting in shape and preparing for the more formal fox hunting season.  You won't see the pink coats (the red ones) until the winter.

Here in the US, in our horse shows, you don't see tweed coats much in the show ring unless you are showing at a very "informal" show, maybe a local show.  We have a show in Virginia locally run by a Ruritan Club and it would be appropriate to wear a tweed coat there but it's also held in August so it would be dreadfully warm to wear tweed.

But riding coats have come a long way in the last ten years.  There are so many options, price points, materials, that it has become mind boggling to me.  I wear only one brand, Grand Prix, mostly due to fit and sizing.  I have older wool Grand Prix coats that I wear when I show in cold weather.  In warm weather the newer techno-fabrics coats come out.

 Here are some options for horse shows:

RJ Classics is a good brand, a basic show coat that can be worn for years.  This is a "hunter" coat to be worn in the hunter or jumper ring.  Classic styling, good for equitation classes.  

Another good option, well-priced, basic coat from Ariat.  Hunter, jumper or equitation ring.

A fancier, more expensive, maybe more trendy model, this one is suited for the jumper ring due to color and extra bling that is not a welcome sight in the staid world of hunters.

Another coat for the jumper world (due to color).  You would not see a stock tie in the hunter ring either.

Another value-priced hunter coat for the show or equitation ring:

So this great old photo of Jackie Kennedy riding in her tweed at a horse show in Virginia, likely would not happen today with one exception.

This photo of Ellie Wood Baxter riding at Upperville in her tweed is recent (in the last 10-15 years).  There is an invitational class there (you have to be invited to ride in it) and tweed is accepted!  I believe Ellie was in her early 90's when this photo was taken.   She is an amazing woman and sadly no longer rides (due to her eyesight).

It's lovely to see tweed on a horse.  But it's for fox hunting.  Hope you have tweedy day!  Stay warm and safe out there.  We have snow in Virginia.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Custom Needlepoint Handbags

I made the trek yesterday to one of my favorite spots, Chuck Pinnell custom leather in Crozet, Virginia.  Chuck is a master craftsman (Martha Stewart is a big fan) and he made riding chaps for Jackie Kennedy, Kelly Klein and others.  I've blogged about Chuck's work before (see an earlier post here).  This trip was made to drop off two belts. What I discovered yesterday was a fabulous custom needlepoint handbag that Chuck showed me.  Pictures don't do this lovely creation justice.  It was beyond beautiful.  

The leather is a bright blue, very substantial with navy trim. This is a small bag, a perfect size to hold a wallet, a phone, a few cosmetics and keys.  The customer had selected a lovely fabric to line the inside of the bag and there is a zipper pocket and the Pinnell logo.  The crasftsmanship is superb.

I think you could select a number of canvases to work into a bag like this.  You could also make the bag bigger if you wanted one that you could use every day.  But this bag is indeed an heirloom.

Chuck showed me two other bag styles that you could work into a needlepoint piece:

I'd take the center piece and make a needlepoint insert for each side.  He can also make these bags larger or smaller and the colors of leather he has in his shop - it would amaze you.  Here are some possible ideas for an insert:


The possibilities are endless.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Divine Porthault

If I ever hit the lottery, I am going straight to New York and embellish my home with Porthault, as in the French linen company.  Maybe a trip to Paris would be a better idea......

The standard by which all should be judged (read very expensive) proprietor of linens, sheets, towels, bathrobes, and accessories is more than just a linen company.  Porthault is passed down, generation to generation (yes, it lasts that long) and becomes an heirloom if you are lucky enough to own it.

If you are a fan, you may want to add this newly published book to your collection:

Sunday, January 14, 2018

New Country House Near Charlottesvile

I fell in love with this newly built home near Charlottesville, Virginia which sits on about 5 acres in an area of million dollar homes with a large conservation easement.  You can see the listing here.


Friday, January 12, 2018

J Crew and J. Drake Collaborations' Horse Print Blouses

I've had my eye on this J Crew blouse, a horse print, one of their collaborations with J. Drake.  The J. Drake pieces I have purchased have all been very good quality. This adorable blouse can be worn so many ways:

- with black jeans and flats for a casual look;
- with white jeans and black Jack Rogers sandals for a summery look;

- with black velvet pants or jeans, black flats and pearls for a more dressed up look;
- with a black pencil skirt, black pumps, statement earrings and an aqua cardigan for an office look.

If you prefer silk, then you might like this one.

This blouse is going to be more difficult to style.  The color is great but it won't work for everyone.  I like this with jeans like in the photo above.  I'd add a smart gold necklace or a short string of pearls.  

I'd consider pairing this blouse with white jeans and brown sandals for a great spring to fall look.....

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