Levi’s Wedgie jeans
Everlane heavy wool cardigan | really old, gift from Everlane to review
James Perse casual tee
Repetto Michael Loafers | bought on sale + extra % off at the Dreslyn a little while ago
admonish leather tote
I wore this outfit earlier this week (as you may have already seen on Instagram) and felt it was a pretty good nod to The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman, a wonderful book I bought and devoured over the weekend (thanks Catherine for the recommendation!). And now, I have a REAL book to read in the event of a zombie apocalypse 😉
I loved the book and reading all the profiles of “modern gentlewomen.” It’s interesting to read how women find their style, and what they seem to gravitate to at different ages. As you know, I haven’t quite figured it all out yet, and wonder if I ever will, but after reading this book, I see I have quite a few things in common with the “new Garconne,” and have become more comfortable playing around a little more with the look, despite my less-than-gamine body type.
I suppose if anything really defines my style it’s practicality: I dress for what I am doing that day, and for the weather, and never add anything frivolous (and yes, color is somewhat frivolous to me). But I do appreciate elegance and luxury, like these Repetto loafers, which are so very decadent (if you have ever worn Repetto you know what I’m talking about), which I think is a trait of the modern gentlewoman.
In fact, the One Thing that really stood out for me in the book was this quote from Laurance Dacade:
The most important thing for me is to have comfort in your shoes. It’s something very sensual. I never wear socks in winter, for example, because I need to feel the leather inside the shoes. You feel the luxury, the shape, everything you don’t see is just as important.
This statement more than anything else really resonated with me, and characterizes my style, I think. I appreciate quality and luxury but not the noise or bling. Subtle chic is what I go for and I like to FEEL the quality and FEEL comfortable in my clothes/shoes. In college, when I wore nothing but Birkenstocks I also wore an ugly oversized baggy tee that said “life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes.” Me, in a nutshell. Maybe without the ugly tee though.
Anyway, I highly recommend this book, it’s a quick “read” and enjoyable to look at. I hinted with the author about a second one on Instagram, with more profiles, so we’ll see. I’d love to see her address different body types in gentlewoman style. It seems to “fit” a very specific (boyish, tall) body type “best” but I don’t think that should stop anyone else from trying it out if they love it!
And speaking of the “new Garconne” have you seen Everlane’s new penny loafers?? Tempting…but I’ve not had very good luck with Everlane’s shoes at all. I do love the look very much though, they’re sort of a “modern” version of a classic. But then again, I love the classic Weejun too…
I think I’d enjoy that book too! Found it on Amazon from a reseller and ordered it. I’m glad you mentioned it again because I meant to order it earlier when you last wrote about it and forgot. This outfit looks great on you. I feel the same. I like practical, comfortable classics with little adornment but that feel luxurious in terms of fit and fabric. I also like gentleman inspired pieces but I’m not the body type typically associated either. Apparently, according to style experts, I’m only supposed to run around in wrap dresses and nude heels but that is not my style (anymore). The gentlewoman look is very French I think (like Ines?). I started watching a YouTube channel, ILoveParis, that is pretty much just video of people on the streets of Paris and I realized not everyone is tall and thin with an A cup. These are not the fashion show young set either, it’s regular citizens going about their day. I find those videos very inspiring and validating that a short curvy middle aged chick can embrace a similar style. I have bad luck with Everlane shoes too (& pants) so I don’t order those items anymore. Beautifully made but never fits me properly. Anyway, looking forward to reading the book!
Aahh one more thing I wanted to share. I did order Everlane’s new Cashmere Square Crew and I love it so much. I don’t think you’ve reviewed this one but do you and many of your readers like Everlane. I’ve always been bummed I didn’t get the cropped cashmere when available and when I checked the measurements on this one, it is also on the shorter side. It has a fitted shoulder/skinny arm and then a wonderful drape on the boxy body (some boxy items don’t work well with my chest but this one looks very flattering). I got an XS (5’1″) and the sleeves and body length are perfect. I like that the bottom is not a fitted band like other sweaters, very comfy. It’s their same midweight cashmere they have on other pieces.
I love this outfit too and it’s because your comfort and pleasure are showing in your smile and body language. I can tell and I’m sure you can, when someone is comfortable in their skin and in their clothing and shoes. Eileen Fisher said at that workshop I went to, It’s Not What You Wear But How You Wear It’, that when she was giving a graduation speech in 8th grade, she bombed because her dress was so uncomfortable. I was really androgynous until I was about 27. For years when my hair was short, people would say, thank you young man, when I held the door for them. I grew up wearing my brothers’ hand me downs and liked it. Now I’ve settled into this American girl garconne I think. Mixing borrowed from the boys with more feminine pieces, jewelry, and accessories. I’ve never liked bling or bows either. Comfort in the feet has been ingrained in me since I grew up in a shoe store, my dad had three. Teachers do spend on good comfy shoes!
Like Yves Saint Laurent said, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” 🙂 g
What size shirt do you usually wear? I was considering the square crewneck, but wasn’t sure about M or L. I usually wear a size 12 in tops, but with Everlane’s square blue striped poplin shirt I ordered down to a 10.
I’m thrilled you loved the book, Grechen! And you highlighted my favorite quote, too. I have large feet (size 10), and I’ve spent too many years trying to wear beautiful shoes that didn’t feel comfortable. I’m done with that. I went to a local comfort shoe store and found a brand that suits my feet well, Gabor. They make some really lovely styles that are pricey, but worth the investment because I wear them all the time, until they fall apart years later. I’ve recently ordered two pairs of Gabor suede loafers in two different colors because they feel so wonderful and I will get lots of wear from them. I love the idea of comfortable shoes being sensual. It makes perfect sense, because your feet carry you all day long. Why shouldn’t we get to enjoy that?
Tania, thank you for posting about ILoveParis. I checked it out and it’s exactly the type of thing I’ve been looking for. I’m always searching for pictures of regular French women, but the street style photos are always of models.
Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 says
I bought and re-sold my Everlane modern loafers (outgrew the 8.5 during my first pregnancy) and ordered a pair of 9.5(!) Modern Point loafers from Poshmark. They STILL feel small and narrow (I’m an 8.5-9 now) and I’m on the fence, but like the softer leather and love the burgundy color. I like the look of the penny, but my feet hurt just to think of them.
I’ll be 39 in July and am also a tee, flannel, and Birks girl. I dress up more, but still have my green Arizonas from 1992. Do you know Aurora Shoe Co? Had and loved their Middle English loafers in high school and have been so tempted to get those or the Mary-Janes. (I wore holes in the high school pair, they were so comfortable.)
Grechen, you look great here. It’s yet another one of your outfits where every item looks super simple but upon closer inspection every detail is perfect. I also like your other recent outfits where you wear a bag, cardigan, and shoes like this but instead of the jeans you have on a skinny skirt or skinny dress.
I will totally have to check out this book! I have learned a lot about dressing for the life I have, which is mostly pretty casual and laid-back. Nicole at Writes Like a Girl just did a post on her style word of the year, and it’s “Lifestyle.” As a blogger, I always feel pressure to be styled and glamorous and edgy and “photo-worthy” but I have to step back and remember THAT’S NOT ME. It’s not who I am, it’s not how I dress, and that’s totally okay. You always inspire me to be the best me that I can. So grateful for your awesome inspiration!
I bought the book! I haven’t skimmed through it yet, but since there is absolutely NOTHING on TV tonight, I’ll read my book. I don’t have the body type anymore….I did when I was young (16-21-ish) but I didn’t have any taste then! 😉 I see The New Garconne as more of a style inspiration…heaven knows I don’t take anything literally….which means it can work for anyone that wants to emulate the style.
Cute outfit, G! And I love the loafers!!!
What do you mean that you don’t have good luck with Everlanes shoes? I am interested in ordering the modern loafer – did yours not hold up?
Grechen Reiter says
the fit has always been off a little for me – i’ve not kept any of my everlane shoes for that reason. they’re just not as comfortable as i’d expect them to be…i know many others have great luck with everlane’s shoes though, and they wear them all the time!