There's a lot of good stuff in this magazine!

I was psyched when editor Carolyn Worthington of Healthy Aging magazine asked my to write the spring fashion feature for her magazine.  It would feature the Carlisle, Per Se and Per Se White Label collections that I work with every day.  These clothes marry well with my favorite theme, travel + style. It's fashion easy to love. The biggest problem my clients are having this season? Deciding what not to buy.

What I didn't anticipate was how much I was going to enjoy the rest of the magazine once it was published.  First, Sheryl Crow is on the cover.  I'm a fan.  Then there's an article on castles including the one in Downton Abby. I'm a ridiculous fan.  There's an article about a couple who reinvented themselves, horsey style.  Plus lots of food, wine and recipes and, oh, something on tai chi...

Check out Healthy Aging here.

Hands Turned On

I'm sure you can relate to being lost in a foreign country and having trouble deciding if you’re excited, or terrified! There is a perfect T-shirt out there that shows and says just what to do–breath!  Hands Turned On has fitted Ts that say things like “Excitement Without Breath is Fear, “ “Ten Seconds To Center” and “Practice Extreme Gratitude.” These soft cotton tops come in sherbet colors and have handprints on them, which display where to put your own hands to practice self healing (or self calming) techniques. The shirts come with a nifty hangtag that guides you in performing energy healing/breathing practices that are unique to each shirt.
Renowned energy medicine healer Dr. Ann Marie Chiasson wanted to launch a product that would give customers easy access to the use of energy medicine anywhere! The shirts allow the wearer to jump into a healing practice without going to a workshop, class, healer or clinician. Besides that, they look cool, travel well, feel good on and spread a great message. The shirts are available online at the company’s website,

Keep Calm And Carry On A Scarf

Excerpt from my upcoming Travelgirl article on Style and Travel:

For function and style every journey begins with a scarf (or wrap!).

It’s always better to wrap up in cashmere than a poly airline blanket. My most adored wrap is by Jules Allen and it is Berry pink!

As for silk, perhaps it’s best to purchase a Gucci or Ferragamo scarf while in Italy or Hermes in Paris. It will become a coveted souvenir and immediate heirloom.

Fashion and beauty writer Molly Boxford suggests Echo scarves, “Once I’ve established a theme to my packing, I like to add an Echo scarf to pull together colors or looks.” Reasonably priced, they won’t gouge your trip spending stash.

I’m finding the half-scarf/half sweater numbers out this fall interesting. Wrap London does a few that look hip and cozy. Here's a sneak peak at one from their fall catalog–a great look for any field trip...

SmartWool; Happy and Warm

Practical fashion–sometimes it’s hard to come by. While staying with friends at Stratton Mt. over MLK weekend, I ran across an “outdoor” clothing brand called SmartWool. The company is over ten years old but it was new to me. Jan, my host, was wearing some SmartWool Cindy Lu Who type striped leggings and socks. They were turquoise and grey and I thought they were terrifically fun, funny and fashionable. Jan is an ubber workout maven. She does multiple triathlon races and strenuous outdoor vacations–she knows good gear. She also hails from the fashion industry and as a creative director she appreciates good design.

When I checked out their site, SmartWool says it was, “born on the simple belief: keeping feet comfortable on the slopes.” My feet are always cold. I need these socks! Apparently lots of thought, study and experimenting went in to developing “smart wool.” Wool, that is soft, cozy and warm. Anyone who has kids will know how whiny they can get wearing itchy wool. (That goes for adults too, of course.) I like the happy patterns and colors they have. The fit looked great and the testimonial, Jan’s and others said SmartWool gets the job done; You stay warm and look cool at the same time.

Momma’s Got a Brand New Vest!

Actually it’s not really new. I bought it in Verona, Italy this past October and I’ve been wearing it to death, but its not dying, in fact this little faux fur friend is staying in shape and in style.

Most of my travel colleagues where taking the prerequisite visit to Juliet’s balcony which can be found in Verona. I had already seen it, twice! So I opted to drop into Upim the Italian equivalent of Target, without so many house wares, and more fashionable fashion. That is where I grabbed my favorite fall addition that goes with everything!

We’ve had a cold snap here and the vest works well under most of my coats. Ranging from shades of cream to dark brown, it goes with brown, grey, black, tan, light pink and today I wore it with bright red cords and a charcoal turtleneck. It reminds me of Italian street chic and makes smile.

Upim (Unico Prezzo Italiano Milano) is an Italian institution with well over 300 stores. Founded in 1928 it is partly franchise owned and only exists in Italy. I had about fifteen minutes to shop and managed to get the vest, a grey knit poncho/shrug for a friend, and some batteries. The store in Verona, just around the corner from Juliet’s balcony, is cleanly designed. One a quick look on the ground floor and I instantly knew where “my stuff” could be found and I moved in for the kill. And the kill wasn’t too costly, so it didn’t “kill” me!

To me going to Italy without going to Upim, is like going to Italy without eating gelato!

Summer Cover Up, Pashmina, even now!

My daughter has been wearing a lightweight pink pashmina this summer. She loosely wraps it once around her neck framing necklaces. Worn with a tank top on top of a cami, with not-too-short shorts and sandals, it's a great look. I'm particularly fond of this outfit because it hides the multiple of straps; bra straps, cami straps, tank straps that are de regure for teens.

While in the Hamptons I saw a woman more my age (don't ask) wearing a fettuccini strap sun-dress with a very lightweight scarf. Wrapped loosely, it effortlessly made what was a bare top not too bare. The scarf was fringed and colorful.

I was the grateful recipient of a featherweight pashmina from China that has a lovely illustration of three Chinese women in traditional garb, punting. Its cantaloupe, peach, orange, sand, green and turquoise colors are mixed together in a watercolor effect that is dreamy and it too is delicately fringed. I'm wearing it a lot. The color and fabric is a winning combination with a chartreuse silk dress I have that offers a bit too much up top.

My Chinese wrap was also the starting point for packing on Friday. Its sunny colors blend well with all that is Southern California.

Plane Travel. Can it ever be glamorous again?

In earlier blogs I mentioned flying with a cashmere wrap, taking a travel tin of chocolates along with you, and sporting a functional, yet stylish carrie-on bag; all tips to make your flying experience a bit more enjoyable. Sadly, for many of us, I'm just not sure plane travel will ever really be glamorous. Lets face it, most flying is more Grey Hound than Net Jets. Kimberley Newport Mimran did tell me about one airline that is all that and serves a bag of chips, well a snack anyway. It's Porter Airlines. Self proclaimed, "flying refined," Porter Airlines does have a good formula. Their branding is cool, they are located in Toronto's City Center Airport allowing passengers immediate access to the city and they actually provide sophisticated service. The motto for this short hall airline is to "keep travel smart, uncomplicated and dignified." Sounds good to me. Kim designed Porter's uniforms and they are smart!

I picked up a few additional tips for plane and packing from Kim that I'd like to tell you about. I could have kissed her when she said, "You don't want to be wearing a sweat suit." Please, could everyone keep their sweat suits at home, even the Juicy ones. That goes for fanny packs too, even the Gucci ones. Kim says the goal is to, "Get off the airplane looking the same way you got on." For me, in summer this
usually means a comfortable dress or top and skirt. Angus Miller who is on my short list of debonair men, says he always wears a sport coat when flying because he indubitably (his word, not mine) gets better service. Perhaps we should ask Kim's husband and business partner, Joseph Mimran, founder of Club Monaco what his opinion is on what to wear in flight.
Mr. Mimran feel free to leave a comment.

Summer or winter an appropriate scarf is always good to have on board. Kim recommends lightly spraying your scarf with a favorite perfume–a comforting fragrance next to your face can take you away.

Photos, Pink Tartan. Easy choices for travel.

Make Good Choices...When Packing!

"You don't ever have to fuss with Pink Tartan." Practical, functional, design with style is Kimberley Newport Mimran's guiding principle for Pink Tartan. What does that mean for travel? Kim says, make it simple. A simple jersey knit dress can go from day to dinner. Depending on the inspiration of the destination, a flip flop for the Amalfi Coast verses a ballet flat for Barcelona, a flat sole is a must for comfortable travel.

A word about comfortable shoes (a travel shoes article is in my future), there are four brands I can recommend now that look appropriate, I wouldn't say they are all the height of style, but they work for walking: Geox, Aerosoles, Cole Haan, Delman. Delman is expensive, but very simple, smart and comfortable.

Kim explained that she, "hates a lot of stuff," getting everything into one carrie-on bag eliminates the hassle of wait time and forces you to make good choices about what you pack. "There is always your favorite piece of the moment to take with you and then there are key items in my collections that can take you everywhere." Kim told me about a skinny riding pant made of high performance technical fabric that can last at least three years that we all should own!

A white shirt is another must. I've heard this before, but her philosophy about the white shirt is a little different. She says to examine the way the shirt looks on your body. Make sure it is tailored, not boxy and that is of heavy, 100 percent cotton fabric. Like any really good men's shirt, you would dry clean this special shirt, ladies. The whole conversation plays into Kim's mantra of, "buy smart, buy better." I wonder if my Thomas Pink or Facconable shirts would pass muster with this gal from Niagara Falls...

Photos, courtesy of Pink Tartan. Top left, Kimberley Newport-Mimran. Right, Pink Taran fab cotton shirt and high tech travel pant.

What to Pack, Hamptons

I recently was hired to help one of my clients pack for Rome. We had a great time delving into her closet in search of just the right pieces to use to create several outfits that would be perfect for her Roman Holiday. As with any client, I took pictures of the outfits and created a Style Guide for her. I normally don't go to quite so much trouble for myself, but before going to the Hamptons I decided to take some picture so I could illustrate this process on my blog.

It all started with a favorite accessory that reminds me of the beach. It's a vintage necklace made of shells that has a breezy color combination, which reminds me of spring...
Using this as inspiration, I put together several outfits. I knew I'd need comfortable touring clothes as well as a dinner outfit or two. It wasn't going to be too warm so I'd need some cashmere and layers–camisoles were in order. I absolutely needed comfortable shoes and I didn't want to look like I was trying too hard so I was going for casual, but nice with a touch of wealth (and I don't mean money, I guess I mean class, but I don't like that word).
Below is what went in the bag...

The Best Way To Cheer Me, Cashmere Me.

It's no secret that a pashmina is a practical accessory. So adaptable, it creates cozy warmth for in-between weather as well as a dressy wrap for almost any occasion. Not only do they "pump up" a plain outfit, but when draped over a sofa they can also add interest, color, and pattern to the room.

Ah and for travel, pashmina's are a must. BUT consider the cashmere wrap. In my opinion, even better than a pashmina– bigger, warmer, cozier. And I know of the perfect one. Jules Allen makes a cashmere wrap in a varity of colors that is perfect for airline travel. I've got one in pink and it has been all over the place.

Wrap yourself in Jules Allen cashmere, put on a pair of cozy socks, close your eyes and if you aren't already in first class, you may think you are!

Chocolate, Don't Leave Home Without It!

One of the best things about the airlines canceling their food service is the incentive it gave passengers to travel with their own favorite snacks. Some Moms have flight "snack handling" down to an art. They know just when to break out the favorite, or never-before-tasted, treat. Usually it's just before the kid does that Gumby backslide to the cabin floor.

I've always found chocolate a great way to stave off whiny kids and adults alike. It can make travel mishaps that much more tolerable–delays, cramped seating, surly companions, even surlier flight attendants go from disaster to nuisance with a really fine piece of chocolate to enjoy. I discovered the The Chocolate Traveler a few years ago. Originally, the stylish graphic on the package attracted me and the round tin was perfect for travel. I found them while on vacation in Laguna Beach, CA. I still had a flight to "snack up" for, so I grabbed the little round tin. When I tasted a dark chocolate coffee wedge mid flight, I knew I was hooked. They're available at Trader Joe's, not with the cool graphic mind you, and through their website.

Fashionable Riding Boots

Gearing up for a trip is almost as fun as shopping for stuff while you're there.

Last summer we went to Crescent H Ranch, an all inclusive dude ranch located just west of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The only thing "dude" about this place is something you might say while relaxing on an elk horn, pony skin chair beneath a mounted buffalo head in their main dining room. "Dude, what about that moose we saw on the trail ride? Are you going to have steak or trout tonight? Did you see the big fish that dude caught?

Crescent H offered daily trail rides and to that end, I needed boots. I opted for an English paddock boot because I was hoping to wear them this winter, a la Ralph Lauren riding-fashion wear.
Most of my fellow dudes, were wearing sneakers or cowboy boots. My boots, Ariats, worked great in stirrups and dusty pastures.

These boots have also been stylish, practical and comfortable to wear this winter. They look like traditional Prada boots minus the orange loop (they have a black ones). Some might want a lug sole in their winter boot, but I wanted something in between–something to wear all day, in the cold, and still go to lunch in! Without a thick lug sole, they make a nice silhouette with a boot cut pant or a thickly cuffed jean. In short, I love them. I'm tickled by the fact that they are intended for riding but I wear them with street clothes.

Travel and Styling Gear: In Search Of A Stylish Backpack

For styling or for travel it's always great to have both hands free and the weight of your gear evenly distributed on your back. That's why trekkers, travelers, stylists, students and pretty much everyone, loves a good backpack. But a stylish one is hard to find. I ran across Stella McCartney's collection for LeSportsac and I like the backpacks and carry-on bags especially. With names like, City and Convertible Rucksack in colors like, Bark, Moss, Night and Stone, these bags will mix well with almost anything you're wearing and their gold details lend panache to what otherwise might be ordinary. I like the Canteen Bag too–a cute block shaped bag with great dimension, but we were talking backpacks.

Psst: I saw these bags on GiltGroup a designer sale site just the other day...
And they seem to be on sale at LeSportsac's site too.