Archive for July, 2009

Seeking: Summer Maxi Dress

Lizzi can't believe I wore stuff like this when I was her age.

Lizzi can't believe I wore stuff like this when I was her age.

(Erika/Mom) In one of our old photo albums there is a picture of me wearing what I considered at the time to be a way-cool maxi dress. Puffed elastic sleeves, blue-and-white ticking stripe design with little flowers all over it. Maxi dresses were really big in the 70s when I was growing up. Jessica McClintock, who now designs stunning evening wear like this
53575Fwas the queen of the maxi under her Gunne Sax label. I still have a wonderful Size 5 Gunne Sax in my trunk o’ treasures, complete with lace-up bodice and fine muslin detail. Of course Lizzi took one look at the intro photo and then gave me that mom-you-can’t-be-serious stare that only 12-year-olds can master.

I’ve always had a thing for dresses that flowed, wearing them to hilariously inappropriate places like football games and UCLA sorority rush. This season, I’m glad to see that maxis are back, and they are proving that long can be comfortable and casual.

When we were in France a few weeks ago Lizzi and I started looking for something I would feel pretty in. For one reason or another we weren’t successful in Paris (usually because the ones I liked were too pricey–serious disconnect between dollar and euro right now) but when we got to the wonderful little town of St. Paul in southern France I found my prize.

My new French maxi dress!

My new French maxi dress!

Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Don’t look too closely at my sandals, chipped toes, or really bad purse. As my mother always says, I don’t want to look TOO perfect. I hope maxis stick around for awhile cuz I’m liking this trend.

(Lizzi/Daughter) I’ve been having quite a difficult time finding a maxi dress for myself. But, in the meantime, I’m loving the ones that won’t fit me until they go out of style. 

I do love maxi dresses with patterns, but for some reason, I’m more drawn to solid maxi dresses. Mom’s is great, but solids are easier to dress up or down. 

green maxi dressThis maxi dress from Victoria’s Secret is one of my favorites. I really like the halter top and it comes in a variety of really awesome colors and patterns. 

red pattern maxi dressThis is my favorite of the two patterns.

grey maxi dressI know, this looks a bit like something you would sleep in, but seriously, with the right accessories, it can be awesome. When I saw this, I liked it because it was simple and looked beyond comfortable and a maxi dress is all about looking feminine, but comfortable. Well, at least that’s my take on it. James Perse is one of my favorite comfort designers and even though he is a bit pricey, his clothes are definitely worth it. 

Maxi dresses aren’t great for fall and winter, so please do us all a favor and wear them in spring and summer. Sandals and flip flops are great for casual wear:

nicole richie in a maxi dressAnd, if it’s cold, throw on a denim jacket or cardigan.

But, if you want to dress it up a little, flats are the perfect thing:


Remember to add a little color!

Remember to add a little color!


Paris Fashion Part 2


(Lizzi/Daughter) Why, hello there. Or should I say bonjour! Mom and I got a few photos of fashionable Parisians to let you get the feel of how people dress in Paris. 

To start, we got this photo on the streets of Paris, actually at a gay music parade. Obviously, this couple wasn’t a part of it.


hmm... are overalls coming back?

hmm... are overalls coming back?

When I saw this outfit, I remember, I liked it immediately. For a while now, I haven’t really been big on overalls, but these were cute! I started tapping on mom’s shoulder frantically and we raced up to her and snapped a quick picture on Mom’s Blackberry. 

Not only did I see overalls on her, I saw them on other people, too. Also, on one of my favorite websites, Polyvore, I’ve found a small trend of using overalls.

polyvore set with overallsWalking on Sunshine! by Bonnie–>

Next, we spotted these two girls in comfy casual but chic outfits while watching three break dancers on the street.

paris fashion comfy casualActually, Mom spotted these two. I love the blouse on the girl on the right and the long black cardigan on the girl on the left. 

So, I looked around and found these beauties:

dkny wrap cardiganDKNY Cashmere-blend wrap cardigan for $195 from

ruffle blouse Metallic Box Silk Top for $19.80 from

Pair both with a pair of black skinny jeans and either black flats or black pumps and you’re ready to go.

Paris Fashion Part 1

whaaa...? no wifi? they promised!

whaaa...? no wifi? they promised!

(Erika/Mom) Elizabeth and I had grand plans. We were going to POST from the road. Yes indeedy, we were going to take our blog across the Atlantic and share our wonderful discoveries and observations of Parisian, Cote d’Azurian, and Venetian fashion in real time, on my sleek 17-inch Macbook Pro. I should know from long experience with the fickleness that is Europe, to never expect things to turn out the way you want. I can brag because I lived in France for one year. Spontaneity? Je ne crois pas. You have to plan grocery runs. Clerks at the post office do one thing really well; they will NOT take a package if they are in charge of airmail letter stamps. Flying by the seat of one’s pants is obviously not a French expression. So trying to secure the wifi to which we were entitled by the U.S. Constitution didn’t hold any water in Paris. We were “merde out of luck.” Pardon my French.

So we made the best of things. We kept our eyes open and our imaginations on high speed. We did not lament the lack of wifi access for long because there was so much to see and do. I not only got to see my beloved France again, I got to see it through the enthralled, fresh eyes of my children.

The photo above is our first apartment in the 3eme arrondissement. We are still experiencing jet lag, but itching to hit the rues and avenues. My aunt Phyllis promises to lead us to some of the great shops and Elizabeth of course wants to make sure she rubs elbows with the greatest couturiers of all times.

Dior and Valentino and Chanel...oh my! Walking down the greatest avenue of fashion design.

Dior and Valentino and Chanel...oh my! Walking down the greatest avenue of fashion design.

Elizabeth and I were glad we brought some pretty scarves with us. They’re easy to pack and dress up an outfit without compromising comfort. We even picked up a fun one that says Paris all over it, from a vendor in front of Versailles. We saw a lot of trends that surprised us, and some that we hope to jump on with our own wardrobes. Coming up are some more posts on specific looks and trends, with blurry examples from Paris, Lake Como, and Venice. It’s hard taking pictures of moving targets! We hope that you’ll enjoy the journey.