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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Cheers to the long weekend!

I am soaking up the last days of summer with family time, beach time, barbecues and yes, I think some bubbles are in order.  This summer was really fun.  My son shares my love of travel and we were great travel partners. We are working on our list for next summer as well as vacations this year.  My husband was able to join us on several trips.

France is definitely on the list.  My husband and I went to Paris two years ago on our first trip (that was more than one night) away from our son.  We had an amazing time.  I wrote about that trip and my inspiration for the blog in It all started in Paris with these shoes….  In the meantime, I am loving these Destination Art T-Shirts from J.Crew.  The Paris one goes so well with pink and my new Pink Jane sunglasses.

I toast to the last week of summer with a bottle of Veuve in the cutest insulated bag. 

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J. Crew “Paris” Destination Art T-Shirt

J. Crew Cashmere Sweater in Neon Hibiscus (on sale!)

J. Crew Paisley Gemma Flats

J. Crew Jane Sunglasses

J. Crew Lookout High Rise Jeans similar here (on sale ) and here

Cheers to the last week of summer!

XO,

JAE

I’ll take Paris and the Vineyard

We thoroughly enjoyed our week on Martha’s Vineyard with our East Coast family.  My son and niece are both only children, so it is great for them to have cousin time.  We dominated both Monopoly games, but really need to work on our Ticket to Ride skills.  The Martha’s Vineyard Airport is so charming.  My husband and our luggage returned to Los Angeles, while my son and I stopped in Boston for three nights.  Tune in tomorrow for a post on that leg of the trip.  Until next year MVY…

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J. Crew Hat (on sale!)

J. Crew T-Shirt

J. Crew Sunglasses

J. Crew New Balance Kicks

J. Crew Jeans (similar here and here)

J. Crew Cardigan (similar here and on sale!)

Happy Shopping!

XO,

JAE

Wanderlust abroad and at home

Venice Beach or Paris?  These photos remind me of Paris and give me wanderlust, but also remind me that there is so much to explore in my own backyard. My mother is a very talented photographer and a wiz on her iPhone (at least with editing photos, we are working on the rest). We did several outfit shoots in Venice when she visited last weekend. There are so many great walls and doors (especially the doors in Monday’s post). These photos really do remind me of Paris where The Navy Leopard was born (more about that in this post).  I love the iron gate and cool bike rack. As I dream about my next trip, I will continue to explore the local sights.

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J. Crew Shirt

J. Crew Hat

J. Crew Shoes (on sale plus 60% off!)

J. Crew Jeans (similar here)

Parker Thatch Veronica Tote

Happy Shopping!

XO,

JAE

It all started in Paris with these shoes…

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The purchase of these Adidas by Stella McCartney navy leopard shoes was the seed for this blog.  I bought them on our first trip out of the country and away from our son in the fall of 2014.  We went to Paris for my sixth time and my husband’s first trip there. They replaced the walking shoes I had brought that turned out to be less comfortable than I anticipated.   Additionally, you can’t just wear any old pair of shoes in Paris.

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Climbing up to Sacre-Coeur
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Sacre Couer
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Goofing off in the 6th Arrondissement

At the time I thought about all the adventures I would have in my navy leopard shoes and that it would be a fun name for a blog.  Almost two years later,  The Navy Leopard was born.

The shoes are very comfortable and are one of my favorite pairs.  They are sold out, but here is a similar style that I think would mix just as well with other patterns and solids.

Here’s to planting seeds!

XO,

JAE