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Un croissant, s'il vous plait*

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Maybe it was my recent trip to France, or maybe it’s just all my current fashion obsessions converging into something logical, but I'm supremely influenced by Paris –-and more specifically, the Parisienne look -- this season. Which (in my book) includes all of the following: smudgy liner; shaggy, slightly-in-your-eyes bangs; long scarves; skinny jeans tucked into slouchy boots; flushed cheeks; trench coats; aviator sunglasses; leggings with flats; lots and lots and lots of black and gray. The women of Paris seem to have perfected the notion of slouchy glamour – clothes are fitted, but not too tight; they are stylish, but never too shiny-new or overly matchy or ultra-trendy. In Paris, one of my favorite things to do was grab a coffee and sit outside and watch the style go by (actually, it's my favorite thing to do in any city, but Paris was particularly rewarding).

The other day, I reorganized my closet and set aside all the bright vintage sundresses that have been my staple for the past few seasons (not that I'm throwing them away or anything, just giving them a little rest). Most of the pieces I'm wearing now are much more European-sober, if you'll permit me to invent that adjective (hmmm… eurosober?). Here's a list of my current wardrobe favorites:
+long skinny black-and-gray striped scarf;
+slouchy brown flat books ($3 at U.S. thrift store);
+a variety of tunic-length button-down shirts from the always amazing Soon Lee (in fact, I recently declared Sharon and Wei Loong to be "better than Topshop!");
+oversized aviator sunglasses from Mango;
+Black Karat eyeliner from the McQueen collection at MAC (dark with just a hint of gold shimmer – subtle but very cool);
+menswear vest (frequently worn over aforementioned extra-long tunics);
+ruched Topshop booties;
+billowy off-white scarf;
+skinny dark, dark jeans from the Gap;
+gold Topshop heels with braid detailing;
+black and white squirrel print Svensson scarf from Billet Doux (yep, I'm totally all about scarves right now);
+silver H&M hip-length pouch;
+slouchy Muji button-front cardigan (er… in case of freak cold spell);
+piled-on thin copper bangle bracelets;
+an oversized vintage frame bag in black patent;
+my amazing Zubair Kirmani tunics;
+leggings (yes, really! This development will soon get a post of its own.)



I'm still throwing in some colors and patterns -- and adding in a good dose of random eclecticism -- but in a more subtle way, like with bold belts and vintage scarves (as discussed). It's always a bit tricky doing fall/winter over here, as too many layers will have you sweating profusely in no time (unfortunately, "dewy" is not part of my look at the moment). What's on your must-have list right now? Please share!

{Photos from the ever-enjoyable Korean Vogue Girl.}

*Pretty much the extent of my French, but a fine phrase to master.

28 comments :

Jamie said...

Great post! I love the Parisian style as well, and I did exactly as you did when I was in Paris: sat at a cafe and absorbed all of the street style. The Parisians definitely have a special attitude about dressing that I find not many others possess.

My must have list is a lot similar to yours, actually, with a lot of scarves (I have a lovely red silk one that flows beautifully), and flat riding style boots in rich browns. I really want a good beret as well, and cloches. I've already got a lot of subdued colors, but I am trying to add pops of color, like red. Actually the last photo really sums it all up for me! Korean Vogue Girl is such an inspiration!

fashionaddict said...

Not to rain on your parade here, but just curious - did you find that look rather "one-note" after a while? I was rather enamoured by the style myself at first, but after trekking through various parts of Europe and finding that practically everyone living within 10 km of a H&M store (which is like, 7 out of 10 people in Western Europe) dressed like that, it became less inspiring.

Maybe we find it really fresh because we don't see such layered looks here?

But I can't resist giving the scarf thing a go, no matter how ridiculously warm it gets here - it definitely tops my must-have list. I also agree about the sombre "Euro" palette - it's nice to have a moodier feel after the prints-galore summer that was all over the shops.

My other staples of the moment include:
- my new wide-leg jeans from Uniqlo
- no-brand plaid shirt bought in Taipei
- vintage leather saddle-shaped purse with long shoulder strap from Amsterdam
- black tailored shorts from Mango
- white slouchy v-neck tee from Mango
- white canvas high-stop sneakers from Grams
- anything grey and knitted
- brown vintage belt from Thieves' Market

krissy said...

i love your must-have list. i'm feeling a lot of it right now too, especially leggings, short little booties (hard to find when you don't wear leather...), tunics, lotsa scarves, menswear vests, lots of black & grey.

other items i'm loving right now (forgive me if you mentioned these):

*thick charcoal grey tights (extra points if they're cable-knit)
*hand-knit cowls
*my gold locket worn with a scarf
*hand-made accessories to add a dash of colour to an outfit (think of some of the cute things on etsy esp. brooches)
*knee-high socks layered over tights
*chunky brown oxfords i thrifted years ago
*my great big brown handbag that feels so buttery-soft but is actually faux leather

ms. spinach said...

Hmmm... I definitely think it helps (me, at least) that these aren't very prevalent styles in Singapore at the moment. As I was writing out this list, it also struck me as being kind of classically downtown NYC -- but when you're far removed from the source (be in Paris or New York), it's easy to feel a lot more experimental/inventive because not many others here are dressing this way. I've only seen one other person rocking boots here this season!

It will be interested to see how my style adapts when I head back to the States for Christmas... though I'm mostly excited at the prospect of adding more layers. I've got a vintage gray tuxedo jacket that's really itching for some action.

ms. spinach said...

PS) I *love* these lists! Thanks! And keep it up!

cruststation said...

I love the images from Korean Vogue Girl, it's my new favourite (wish I could get my hands on copies). Great list, it's cool that you still follow trends of the changing season even though Singapore is forever hot and humid :) * Great list!

Anonymous said...

Votre blog est stupéfiant ! J'aime que vous faites avec la mode. (Your blog is fantastic! I love what you do with fashion.) I enjoy reading your blog and you have inspired me to start my own! Let us know when you get to the states again. ~Jennifer

riz said...

All these images from Korean Vogue are so great!! I confess to not knowing anything about the publication until encountering your blog very recently. Thanks for expanding my international views on fashion!!!

IMEDAGOZE said...

Oh yes, I got my eyes on that Muji cardigan, too. :) great list, ms. spinach!

Lola is Beauty said...

I always save up to go shopping in Paris rather than splurge in London..
Current faves are
*40s crepe blouse with bow, Stella McC tulip tuxedo skirt, navy patent oxfords with a slight heel (about an inch and my first heel wearing for ages) worn with black tights or wide APC corduroys, Black (APC) schoolgirl cardi with a brown leather belt round the waist with wide leg jeans and I'm searching for some flat black ankle boots or I might get my old biker boots out again...
Love your list though I often pop in here for a burst of sunshine colour and print when the world feels too grey!

Hid said...

dear betsy,

if i could have just one bag, it'd be the new crispy nylon bag by prada. it's in le officiel (please refer to ralph for pronunciation, hah!) and it's been flashing in my mind every five seconds. you know, in between coming up with promo mechanisms.

yeah right.

love,
hid

The Clothes Horse said...

Colors are wonderful, but there is something so sophisticated and elegant about sticking to mute tones. Sometimes its like saying "look at me, not my neon tights."

Waiting and waiting. said...

Stilllllllllll waiting to hear about your new job.

Laura said...

Great list! I also immediately packed away all my prints the moment I got back from Paris last Spring!

Laura said...

Great list! I also immediately packed away all my prints the moment I got back from Paris last Spring!

Hid said...

brenda (ex-sales) is working with pedder group now, you heard? on pedder's doing strappy high-heeled pumps in satin-ish dark metallic colours. i'm so coveting the dark blue ones, and once she can confirm a discount, i'm thinking of matching them with black opaque stockings and a trench coat in a rich, velvety hue. i just need an occasion. i'd fight the worst hail just for a reason to wear that out in singapore! *grumble

Debbo said...

Betsy!

By conincidence i picked up this month's issue of Smitten. So glad i'll have yet another dose of Fashion is Spinach apart from here!Congrats on the mag! its GREAAT!keep it up!

Cheerios!

Anna said...

What do you think of the new Kate Moss for Topshop collection? I love the flapper dresses and some of the jackets. I really hope you're going to post soon - I'm having to turn to other inferior fashion blogs, which just doesn't suit me! Thanks for the great work!

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