Monday, October 11, 2010

Shopping, Saving, Savoring

By now you have probably realized my sartorial selections lean toward the sober. I've tried touches of frou-frou and bold color over the years, but they're just not me. I feel self-conscious and twitchy when too much is going on, on me. 

Because of my past, I have some amazing designer pieces in my closet that, when my conscientious weight watching regime is in place, I can and do still wear. That being said, it's been a while since I've bought anything spectacular from a major createur. (I leave the big ticket purchases to Cherie who has the lifestyle to go with them.)

However, one of my favorite boutiques in all of Paris, because it fits perfectly into my classic aesthetic, offers wear-forever items with prices, while not bargain, are not top designer either and in my opinion one could easily wear almost anything from Compagnie Française de L'Orient et de la Chine to any occasion where every other woman was dressed in a label.

These are real, honest-to-goodness investment pieces, wearable at every age forever. As with any investment in vestments one plays with them by adding her special accessories, or mixing them up to make them our own. A 25-year-old might -- or might not -- wear them differently than a 60- year-old. But the point is, they could both wear them, save them and savor them.

My rather pathetic pictures I hope give you an idea about the premise I'm setting forth here. The clothes have blended the best elements from Europe -- the designers are French -- and Asia the origin of the fabrics -- light wools, cottons, silk crepe, cotton brocades, and satin. The workmanship is designer perfect.

These are some of the best buys for the rest of one's life wearability:

1.) The large trousers -- pictured in both shots. They come in evening fabrics, one must own a pair of red or black satin for example (I have both) or light wools, crepe (I have a pair in gray crepe which look fabulous with a long charcoal gray cashmere sweater and lots of gray pearls) and cotton in the summer.

2.) The tunics. Perfection. What can I say? They come in a variety of colors giving one the choice to have an unbroken line with the trousers or mix them up with other bottoms.

3.) Jackets. One caveat on the jackets: they're slightly too boxy for my taste. They need a dressmaker's touch to bring them in closer to the body.

4.) The kimonos come in several lengths and make for wonderfully floaty and unexpected jacket/cardigan alternatives.

5.) Duchesse are you listening? The pants are super long. Being slightly over 5'10" I was thrilled and amazed. Those of you on the petite side, not to worry. The pants are cut so simply that they are easily shortened without throwing off the balance.

6.) This year someone got the camel and gray message to the designers. There is a stunning full length wool coat in camel, plus a great jacket which echos the one in Cherie's post last Thursday from Chloe.

7.) Simple, silk blouses cut like ample T-shirts are great wear with anything closet staples.

Et voila. On the outside -- or probable -- chance you can't see the matching outfit. The tunic and trousers are in pearl gray. The same look exists in several other colors including a pretty French blue, a darker gray, ivory, ruby and black of course. 

Ed. Note: I took these pictures to  convince a friend to shop here instead of buying lots of inexpensive "stuff" that would ultimately not pass the test of time and make her unhappy. These pix were a cost-per-wear amortization argument, not originally intended to be part of a post, but then I realized you might enjoy the argument, if not the "art."


Deja Pseu said...

Oh yes, those are lovely. I'll try to visit there on next year's Paris trip.

la Brocanteuse said...

Hello Tish, Love the silver grey in the first if I was not so busy with my upcoming Brocante preparations, I would be joining my Husband on a trip to Paris tomorrow. you can imagine how I am sulking right now! Xo Colette ~ps Hubby in Paris for a week to attend SIAL- really sulking.

LPC said...

Beautiful. I would absolutely follow your advice.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Just last week I performed the arduous, but fun, task of switching my closets... putting away the linen trousers and bringing forth the wool. I was impressed with the fact that the clothes I truly love are the ones I spent the most on, and in addition, they are the ones that still look fabulous many years later! Investment dressing has its perks!

Rubiatonta said...

Sigh. Your post makes me want to sneak off to Paris and fondle fabric... If only I didn't have a class to teach tomorrow morning!

Anonymous said...

Here's a question: I personally and subdued, prefer little ornamentation, and prefer to let the quality of the garment speak; however, those of my girlfriends (50+) who display cleavage and lots of bling, get all the attention. Has anyone else had this experience, and, more importantly, should I even care?

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Since I live in Paris I'm wondering what's the address of this charming place?;-)

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

A great boutique with knowledgeable staff and fabulous clothing are worth their weight in gold!
I hope that your friend is able to take your advice as it is plain to see that they mannequins are brimming with beautiful ensembles.
The only time that I bought an entire outfit from the garments to the shoes, shrug and necklace was for my son's wedding and the sale clerk's know how was invaluable...the price point was somewhat staggering...should I ever have a red carpet event I would run back to the shope for more!
You could be a personal shopper!

Anonymous said...

Lovely advice.
?#1. Does the volume over volume
overwhelm a small frame? I
guess not since these
are going on small women in
France. Still to the eye..

?#2 Is there a maker with
garments available in the US
of similar quality and

Duchesse said...

This is exactly my taste, and similar to the US designer, Kiss of the Wolf. (A reference to the designer's last name):

Anonymous, check this designer, or Asiatica,

Small frames can wear these clothes if the patterns are graded correctly- the clothes will have ease without being "swimmy"; at a shop of this calibre, I would expect it.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest, these are the best choices for anyone who wants to accentuate the beauty within them. They are streamlined and classic and I LOVE THE MUTED COLORS! Hey, if you have time, come on down; I linked a reference to BREAKFAST IN BED to you dear one.

Bonne nuit ma belle, Anita

Villette said...

I've just found this in an interview with the divine Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister: 'Ms [surely that should be Madame?] Lagarde is renowned for her self-control. She gets up at 6am every day for yoga, and does not drink, smoke or eat meat.'
Which is how, it seems, one becomes a perfect femme d'un certain age...

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