Les Invalides

I have stayed in the 7th Arrondissement in Paris for four of my seven trips.  It’s my favorite spot in Paris (and now after his second visit, my husband’s too).  The summer evening light by Les Invalides was just perfect (at 9 pm!).  I pulled out some old favorites for the trip with my white denim skirt, popover and Antonello Tedde clutch.  I added some new espadrilles I picked up that were actually comfortable to change into after walking 8- 12 miles a day.  There are not many stripes I can resist.

ACS_0467

Shirt (similar here)

White Denim Skirt (similar here, here and here)

Clutch (similar here and here)

Shoes (similar here and here)

Sunglasses

Happy Styling!

XO,

JAE

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Worth the Wait

“How much further is it?  It seems like we have gone in a circle.” sighs my husband as we walk.

I glance down at my phone and realize I asked for driving directions, not walking directions.  We have, in fact, made almost a complete circle.  Before he sees the metro station where we originally started  I say “Let me refresh the GPS.”

“How much further?” my son asks.

“Let’s stop for a minute and get a cold drink.” We duck into a cafe and order two iced teas and an Orangina.

As we cool off I say “It’s really close and I promise not to take too long.  I just really want to see it.”

“OK.”

“We can catch the metro back to the hotel without a transfer.  We will be back in no time.”

We set out again.  This time I am careful to click the walking icon.  We walk for a few minutes and I spot it on the corner.  There is a line to get in and a cute set up with water and coffee.  My husband spots the line and sighs loudly.  Luckily it only takes a few minutes.  My boys sit in the shoe area until a man comes over and invites them to go downstairs.  I look around and notice the line for the fitting room is long as is the check out.

A few minutes later I get a text from my husband “Take your time.  We have snacks.  There is a movie down here.” Whoever came up with the idea to have a “Cinema” in the basement was a genius.  Most of my shopping on this trip has been solo in the late afternoon when my boys have their required siesta, but now I don’t feel pressured and rushed.

I look at the blouses and spot one I love.  I ask for my size.  A few agonizing minutes later the sales lady returns. I caress it and I go to brace the dressing room line.  It is now much shorter.  I try it on. We are a match.  I happen to be wearing white denim; the blouse’s length and ecru color are perfect.

I text my husband to make sure they are still OK.  I get in line and debate whether or not to add a couple of clutches as well.  Just as I get to the cashier, my husband and son emerge from “the cinema” downstairs.

The lace top (which is now sold out – I have linked a few great options below) was worth the walk and the wait.  I was thrilled to check out Sezane at L’Appartement in Paris. My husband and son enjoyed their rest in the cinema. It was the perfect spot on our last day in Paris after logging well over 100k steps

For a recent lunch in La Jolla, I styled the top with white denim, my Ark bag, sunglasses and denim slides.

sezane-cultgaia-jcrew-saintlaurent

Lace top (similar here, here, here, here and here)

Denim Mules

Sunglasses

White Denim

Cult Gaia Ark bag in Large (also here).

Happy Styling!

XO,

JAE

Mani Monday – Allez les Bleus Edition

We could not help it. Like everyone else, we got caught up in World Cup fever while in Paris. When France won the excitement was contagious.  My son had to have a jersey.  In typical French fashion, there is no shortage of style in the logo wear.   I was tempted by this striped shirt  and this t-shirt with the crest.  I picked up a jacket (above) in Paris that I have been wearing non-stop to and from Pilates or for walks.  I continue my support with the coq gaulois crest on this week’s mani.  I can not wait for the semi-final game against Belgium tomorrow.  Allez les Bleus!

The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.  The color is “Surrounded by Studs” by Essie Gel Couture.

Items in the photos include:

Nike Jacket (similar here)

Hermes Sandals (similar here)

Captain Tee (so soft!)

Polka Dot Heart Long Sleeve Tee

Striped Tee

Navy Raffia Mule

Ruffled Neck Gingham Shirt

Striped Tee

Striped Pouch

Denim Weave Shirt

Amour Tee

Polka-Dot Slide

Star Silk Tee

Tote

Geometric Silk Top

FFF Soccer Ball (considering this as decor for my son’s bookshelves)

Woven Cross-body (also here)

Happy Monday!

XO,

JAE

It’s Finished…

The sales person at Le Bon Marche sighs as I try them on again.  It’s 7:45 pm and the store closes at 8:00 pm.  My birthday is tomorrow.  They are extravagant, but I do love them.  I am not 100% sure about the comfort and after the pair I bought in Amsterdam last week gave me blisters,  I am a little hesitant

“Shall I wrap them up?” she says with thinly veiled annoyance.

“What time do you open tomorrow?  It’s my birthday.”  I say with a smile.

“10 am.” she says as she sets the box down and gestures to put them in the box.

“Ok.  I am going to think about them and I will come back tomorrow.”  I say as I take them off and hand them to her.

She just stares at me like I am a crazy person, boxes them up and walks away.

The next morning I wake up with the sun and my first thought is of the shoes. They are perfect and will go with everything.  Prada mules with rainbow bands.  It is my 36th birthday.  I head out for coffee and a croissant at Cafe de l’Esplanade.  I enjoy the view of Les Invalides while keeping an eye on my watch.  At 9:15 am I pay my bill and head over to Le Bon Marche.  I arrive at 9:45 and wait for the doors to open.  I can’t stop thinking about the shoes.

The doors open and I head straight for the third floor.  I find the display shoe and pick it up.  I look for a sales person.

Finally one greets me “Bonjour, Mademoiselle.”

“Bonjour, I would like these in a 39.”  I say with a smile.

She smiles and goes to get them.  The wait goes on and on and seems to take an hour.  She returns with a scowl on her face and she is empty handed.

“I am sorry.  We don’t have it.  It is finished.” she says.

“But, I just saw it last night at closing.  Are you sure?” I plead.

“It is finished.  I am sorry.” she says again.

Defeated, I leave the store.  I walk aimlessly on Boulevard Saint-Germain.  How could I be so cautious and let them slip through my fingers.  I must have them.  I jump on the metro and head to Prada on Rue Saint-Honore.

I head into the store and look around and don’t see them anywhere.

“Bonjour, Mademoiselle. ”

“Bonjour.  I am looking for the sandal with the colored straps.”

“Ah yes, we only have a 35 left.  Very popular.”

After I returned to the states I continued to try to find them.  InStyle magazine featured them a few months later, but they were no where to be found.  I still think about them from time to time.

prada-vintage

Fourteen years later, I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday in Paris, again.  This time with my husband and son.  I was very determined not to hear “It’s finished” while still being cautious about my purchases.  I did not buy that many little things, but I did go for a couple of bigger things like the shoes below and a handbag (coming soon).

I had my eye on this Veronica Beard blouse (below) before I left.  I was saving all my shopping for Paris, so I held off.  Imagine my delight when I learned it was on sale and still available in my size upon my return home.  I styled it with denim, a striped clutch, my new sandals and my sunglasses (which were perfect in Paris as I could leave them on going in and on the metro and still read signs and be chief navigator for my family).

hermes-saintlaurent-veronicabeard-clarev

Blouse (also here )

Striped Clutch

Sunglasses

Denim

Hermes Sandals (similar here, here and here)

Happy Styling!

XO,

JAE

Bricks and Patterns

More is more when it comes to patterns and textures.  My Antonello Tedde clutch just got a workout on my recent trip to Paris.  It was the perfect evening bag (and I love that it has a strap when you want to jump on the metro or snap a photo).  I styled it below with another workhorse from my vacation in Paris,  my seersucker blazer.  It added the perfect polish to my t-shirts, white denim and kicks while running around museums and sightseeing.

Check out the full selection of Antonello Tedde at 24 Sevres the online site for Le Bon Marche.  I visited several times including my first afternoon on no sleep while my husband and son rested.

lebonmarche-rivegauche-paris-leftbank

Here is a look I wore stateside just before my trip.

saintlaurent-antonellotedde-agjeans-jcrew

Blazer (similar here and here)

Top (similar here)

Sunglasses

Clutch (similar here and here)

Denim (also here)

Shoes (similar here and here)

Happy Styling!

XO,

JAE

Mani Monday – Tipsy French Edition

Bonjour!  I woke up this morning at 3:30 am with thoughts of my fresh croissant and cafe creme.  Instead I made myself an iced black coffee and had some overnight oats with hemp, flax and chia.  Back to reality.  The nine days in Paris to celebrate my birthday were glorious.   It was my son’s first trip out of the United States, so we hit all the usual spots. I loved seeing them all again through his eyes.  We stayed in the same neighborhood where I spent ten days in the mid-90s.  I kept flashing back to pre-marriage and mommy memories as my family  made new memories.

In preparation for the trip I got a gel mani with a tipsy french tips.  My mani paired nicely with my aperitif of choice, kir and all things Paris.  The gel held up well as you can see in the photos (some were taken more than a week after the mani).

I may hold on to this mani for a few more days as I reminisce and ease back into my California life. I will miss the walking and the endless light of the summer long days.

Adieu.  Until next time…

The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.

Items in the photos include:

Clare V Tote

Moynat Gabrielle Bag

Happy Monday!

XO,

JAE

Mani Monday – Wear Red and Attack Edition

“I am sorry Mademoiselle, it is not ready for you.” says the gentlemen at Bruce and Scott  in the 8th arrondissement.

“You said Tuesday, my flight is tomorrow.” I reply in my slowest and clearest English.

“Can you return before your flight?” he responds.

“No, my flight to San Francisco is in the morning.” I say as calmly as possible as I curse myself for not finding the suit earlier in my 10 day solo trip to Paris.

“Let me see what I can arrange today for you.  You looked so lovely in the suit.”

“Merci.  It was just a few alterations at the waist and the length.”

I rush off to gather my other purchases and will return in a few hours.

I had boldly decided to use the bulk of the airline miles I had earned traveling back and forth to New York and Chicago for my first employer, a consulting firm. I was the National Recruiting Manager.  The trip was in September after a busy summer managing the summer associates from the various MBA programs.  I grabbed one seat in first class with my miles right after Labor day.  The trip fit my schedule perfectly before the onslaught of campus recruiting in the fall.

I had ended up staying in a gorgeous apartment that belonged to the American mother of one of the summer associates.  I had called her after staying in a hotel on the Champs Elysees as she was weekending in Portugal at the time.  I was having trouble with the phone card system for a pay phone and an American actor passed me on the street.  I knew he would speak English, so I asked for help.  I reached her on the phone and made arrangements to move to her apartment in the 7th on the third day of my ten day trip.  I climbed many stairs with my luggage and enjoyed the fitness challenge.

On my last evening my host was able to clear her schedule, so I could take her to dinner.

“So what did you buy?”, she asked.

“A red suit for work.”  I proudly replied

“From where?”, she asked

“Bruce and Scott”

“That does not even sound French.”

“Well I love it and it was a great price.  There was a small issue with the tailor’s schedule, but I picked it up in time.”

Back home in San Francisco,  I was wearing designer clothes that I could not really afford.  I always believed you need to dress for the job you want.  On this trip I focused on things you could only get in France on a limited budget.  I tallied my receipts each night and organized them, so I could file for the refund on the VAT at the airport.  My purchases did require that I buy a large suitcase for the return trip.

I could  not wait to wear the red suit.  I flew home in the jacket with jeans and some new shoes I bought on the trip.  Whenever I was a sleep deprived, had a stressful meeting, or I had to stand up in front of the room and facilitate a big decision, I put on the suit to bolster my confidence.   It had magic powers.

When I was invited to “Wear Red and Attack”, a Chanel lipstick pop up event last week, I jumped on it. (If you would like to see moreof the event check out my highlights on instagram ).  Memories of Paris came flooding back.  I am still figuring out how to wear a red lip, but I tried the rouge allure ink in luxuriant and the double intensite in daring red was a runner up (I wear the double intensite all the time in light rose).

This weekend I reached into the back of my closet to find my red suit and was so happy it had not been lost in a closet purge.  I bravely tried it on and presented it to my fashion court, which includes my eight year old son, my husband and puggle, Cupcake.  Since the suit was expertly tailored to my 27 year old waist, I can’t zip it, or tuck a shirt or wear a belt as I had done then.  But I did get it on and the jacket might make it back into the rotation.   I will spare my readers a photo of me in it currently.   My fashion court was honest and mostly kind.  My son was quick to point out that the jacket fit better than the skirt.  My husband was impressed that it fit as well as it did.  It was thrilled to see it again, no matter how it fit.

This week’s mani is classic red with no art.  The color is “Rock the Runway” by Essie Gel Couture.  The manicure is by Olive & June.

Denim Jacket also here

Leopard Pumps (similar here and here)

Leopard Rain Boots (similar here) – I also like them in matte camo here

Happy Monday!

XO,

JAE

 

Leaving Paris

“Monsieur and Madame, your car is here.”  My heart sinks it is fifteen minutes early and I just don’t want to leave.  “Are you ready?” , my husband asks.  “No” I reply sadly.  I soak in the last seconds of our charming hotel lobby.  The Hotel Thoumieux did not disappoint in any way.  “I’ll help get the bags down.  Take a minute.”  I take a last photo of the lobby with its’ perfect leopard print accents and I reluctantly head down the stairs to the car.  We ride silently to Charles De Gaulle as I continue to breathe in Paris.  Right before we arrive, I get organized.  I have a big job to do, filing my VAT paperwork.

“Does this really work?” my husband asks.  “Yes, just wait.  You will see a lot of credits on our credit card.”  As I wait my turn I watch a couple rifling through their luggage madly to present their proof of purchases.  My heart beat hastens.  I know I organized everything with the purchases at the top, but it still makes me nervous.  I go up to the window and hand over my documents.  “Where are you traveling to?”  “Los Angeles”.  My twelve forms are stamped and now I must place each in an envelope and mail them.  I am moving at a fast speed, all efficiency.  My husband snaps a photo.  We can now check in and we are on our way home.  I am distracted by my mental calculations of my refunds for a few moments and forget how sad I am to leave.

It has been three years since our last trip to Paris and I think about it all the time.  Facebook has been serving up daily memories.  I don’t have our next trip planned, yet.  In the meantime, I continue to enjoy these fun travel based t-shirts from J. Crew.  I styled this one with denim, a cashmere cardigan and my new favorite shoes.

jcrew-flatlay

T-Shirt

Cashmere Cardigan

Denim

Shoes

Happy Shopping!

XO,

JAE

Dreaming of Paris

As my son and I research our trip to London in 2017, I am scheming how we can get to Paris for a few days, too.  As Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea.”

Like Audrey, I also believe in pink.  I styled my  pink Velvet Blazer, with my Paris T-shirt, pink Jane sunglasses, glitter heels and a pink (monogrammed) wallet all from J. Crew.   I added a pink Hermes scarf in keeping with the Paris theme and AG Jeans.

jcrew-paris-agjeans

J. Crew Blazer

J. Crew Paris Tee

Hermes Scarf (similar here ) or the J. Crew Paris Scarf

J. Crew Jane Sunglasses (on sale!)

J. Crew Shoes (on sale!)

J. Crew Small Zip Wallet

AG Prima Jeans in Navy

Happy Shopping!

XO,

JAE

Leopard Landing

This is a coat that I dreamed of as a little girl.  I always loved leopard print from the time I can remember.  It had an air of glamour and at times it was a little over the top.  Now I incorporate it into a lot in the way of shoes, belts and blouses.  When I saw this coat I fell in love.  I am styling it in a very neutral way with a black cashmere sweater from J. Crew,  J. Crew black toothpick jeans, a Goyard Saigon bag, Armand Ventilo shoes I picked up in Paris two years ago (I have linked three other options below) and my J. Crew Jane Sunglasses in pink for a pop of color.

jcrew-goyard-alice+olivia-leopard

jcrew-goyard-alice+olivia-leopard

 

Alice + Olivia “Montana” Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat

J. Crew Jane Sunglasses in Pink

J. Crew Cashmere Tippi Sweater  available in wool or this cashmere long sleeve (on sale!)

J. Crew Toothpick Jeans in Black

Armand Ventilo Shoes similar here, here and here

Goyard Saigon Bag

Happy Shopping!

XO,

JAE