white things and grilled cheese

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how about this white and black outdoor seating arrangement?
we visited Restoration Hardware Tampa yesterday, this is upstairs outside on their 4th floor

It’s Monday and we heard it’s snowing again up northeast and we’re wondering what to write on the blog that might inspire, so we’re going with some year-round classic basics, white things, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

making grilled cheese in cast iron with cast iron press wearing white denim, sliver tank, camisole straps are okay, it’s a good one
good olive oil and balsamic are always on hand….and butter is love
white denim, silver tank, black scarf, simple makeup, rooftop at The Canopy at the Birchwood, downtown St. Pete’s

We love white denim twelve months a year, and grilled cheese. Here we added spinach to get those greens in and sliced figs to a simple green salad. We always love a tank; white, black, or even silver.

grilled cheese on sour dough, mixed greens with figs
new votives I picked up at Restoration Hardware outlet

White flowers are also are go-to. Husband and daughter are convinced these ruffled tulips are past their prime yet I’m holding on. Wrinkles and imperfection have got to be okay.

white tank, same white denim, tweed duster


white on white and sorry some of these images are huge, remember cottage industry here and can’t figure out how to resize, eye roll…


White denim and tweed from Carlisle | Per Se, heading back to work trunk show later this week.

Every day dress, white things and grilled cheese, our favorites. xoxo

a pinstriped dress

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my current day after day dress | Carlisle / Per Se

If I could I might spend forever living in the Italian countryside wearing only clothes by Brunello Cucinelli, cooking and eating pasta with family and dear friends all the while drinking Brunello di Montalcino.

I do love bill collins

For now (or the month of March) I’ll live and be in Saint Petersburg FL, work and plan for upcoming trunk show, cook and eat pasta, maybe drink a beer, and perhaps gift my husband with a cashmere sweater or two, because I always borrow. Husband’s cashmere sweaters from Cucinelli are always the best.

Brunello Cucinelli Dress

Every day dress and a great pinstriped dress. xoxo

some simple things

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Alfresco pasture-raised Vital Farms eggs, Italian washed linen napkins
farmers market fresh flowers in brown paper
farmers market haul from Saturday morning
no salad spinner yet, hand washed the greens and wrapped them in dish towels to store in the fridge
vegetables, up close and personal. our goal is to incorporate them in all meals, 3 times a day
sometimes a chocolate croissant wins ūüôā

Even when we’re home away from home we keep our routine pretty much the same. Eggs, the best we can get our hands on, fresh flowers, farmers market vegetables, white denim and a black tank. These are some of our tried and true.

these jeans are pretty see through so I cut front pockets out and sewed the seam closed
I also hemmed them just above the ankle, showing a slash of skin

Simple style notes: white denim is best with a seasonal refresh. Sure, we can wear last year”s pair, it simply feels better when they are new. Last years white’s can do the dog walk and the garden tour. The pair you see here I cut the front pockets out and stitched the seam closed. It’s a cleaner look, especially if you don’t like to distract the eye with funny pocket linings that you can invariably see when wearing white denim.

Happy Monday, some simple things, and every day dress. xoxo

really bad dinner

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always candles, always flowers

Snowed in and thinking about food, and clothes, obviously. We’re in spring trunk show mode and traffic is light, especially when everything is closed for three days and counting. Kind of love snow days, time is at a standstill.

Thinking too about the blog, and what I need to do to inspire myself. Yesterday got myself up, dressed, made the bed, packed up some ice for the drink bin and grabbed fresh flowers off the kitchen counter, headed downtown for client meetings, and with the snow falling the cancellations rolled in. Headed home, and all I could do was double denim, blue jeans and a blue shirt, and contemplate what could be had for lunch.

Sautéing the cabbage which I sliced to make like wide egg noodles, did not work
steaming the ‘farm raised’ yet ‘organic’ salmon, I totally know better
forgot to grab fresh dill, so parsley in a pinch
the only thing we ate was the salad, yet there was plenty of wine
Friday night lights

Last Friday night, in an effort to be new year healthy, picked up four salmon fillets and a head of green cabbage on the way home from the studio, having had worked with new spring clothes all day. Salmon and cabbage? Kind of spring like; and even though the cooking, technique, plating, and presentation were on point, it was a really bad dinner. The thing is it’s just not spring yet, and not even close to being spring like. So, while I might be dressing myself and my women in new spring clothes for the season ahead, the food correlation is just simply a no-go. It was a dinner for three, and not one of us could get through it. Instead, we tucked into the wine. Started with white, because you know white with fish, ha-ha. Took a look out the window, snow blustering all around, and poured some red. Ate some of the cabbage and simply pushed the farm raised pink stuff around the plate. I should and do definitely know better: do not buy farm raised fish, but I did. So, no dinner and over served on the wine. Went to bed hungry and spinning. It was for sure a really bad dinner.

what we should have had, two nights in a row

Having made meatballs and sauce the day before served that up for lunch the next afternoon. That was the dinner we were looking for on a cold snowy night, live and learn. When you get it right it should go on repeat? We can do meatballs and sauce two nights in a row, especially and particularly in January.

vegetable stock mise en place, usually use Spanish onions, red was what I had
mise en place for hearty Minestrone, no canned tomatoes on hand, only crushed, soup was excellent
soup, sandwich, white, could have grilled the bread and cheese a little longer, I was anxious

Still trying to do healthy, yet wanting warmth, and comfort. Simmered up a double batch of vegetable stock, some for a hearty minestrone soup, and some for the freezer. A bowl of soup, combined with a grilled cheese sandwich, butter is still love, be still my January heart. See you later bland, pink fish.

As for spring clothes, we put in our order: a tailored single-breasted glen plaid blazer, for denim in all configurations, dark, distressed, white. Added the matching glen plaid trouser, not for a pant suit look but maybe, simply for having a nice trouser in the wardrobe. Try as I do denim can’t take you everywhere and felt a grown-up trouser for spring 19 was a must have. Also did a white blazer dress in a beautiful crepe with princess seaming, a bit of an asymmetric hem, to be worn as a dress, and as a coat. A black ballet inspired tee, semi-fitted, extended cap shoulder, because again, try as I do sometimes a tank is simply feeling a little too exposed. Added a beautiful navy unlined crewneck cardigan, with six silver buttons, a little fringe detail, tonal stitching, and long, cuffed sleeves, it’s stunning. For underneath a white pique blouse with silk chiffon trim, very classic and luxurious, hidden button front and long sleeves with deep cuffs and two rows of buttons. Of course, there is denim, a new pair of white, always need to refresh those to look best, a cool textured jacquard pair done in a black and navy texture, and a color block one with a cool fringed hem. Yeah, three pair of jeans yet that’s what we wear. To top it all off added a little iridescent jacket in a jet black and navy Moir√© cotton, with silk habotai hem and cuffs. All great pieces can’t wait to get them, hopefully UPS is snow-proof.¬†

color version is on the Instagram, great Sarah Flint boots

As for the blog, they say write what you know, so food and clothes. Not for all, I know. If you like what we’ve got, thanks for hanging around. My in-house photographer grew up and went to college so the clothing shots have been lacking, only so far I can push the husband, and selfies feel a little weird. Speaking of selfies, here’s one in the studio, while snow swirls all around. A few DM’s about the taupe suede boots: they are Sarah Flint, a direct to consumer brand. Sarah makes great footwear using some of the same production sites as Hermes, Louboutin, and Blahnik, and counts the likes of Meghan Markle, Lady Gaga, Jane Fonda and Cindy Crawford as fans. I’m trying a little six month ambassador thing with them, and in return they’ve given me a code for clients and friends, RCOLLINS50, to use at checkout for $50 off your first pair. I do like her shoes and boots, have three pair now.

That’s all for now, I’ve broken the ice and re-fed the blog. Off to take an afternoon bath, time stands still on snow days, and then back to work on wardrobing women in new spring things. Really bad dinner, see you later. xoxo

same gig, new line

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watercress and endive salad, fettuccine with shrimp. notice the motive ring? separate post coming soon… 
dishing it out, merci
yeah, no KETO, sorry
totally missing her…

Spent the weekend cooking, shocker, and getting two college girls back to school, and setting up new clothes.

Cooking and clothes, same gig, new line.

Sure, change, not easy. Loved having them home, yet they need to go.

all about a v-neck
folded knits…
leather pants and spring sweater on a Sunday afternoon in January, thinking this piece needs a swimsuit and a yacht, hahah
Miriam, thank you.

Kind of like work, you’ll never know until you try. Carlisle, here we come. In town until February 11th.

Short post, it’s Monday. xoxo

the long run

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Never a huge jewelry person, I wear a few special pieces round the clock and only on occasion change it up. Dear husband has gifted practically the entire lot to mark time and special occasions. Only once did I buy precious earrings, and that was when I thought I lost one of the diamond studs I wore daily for twenty plus years. Didn’t have the heart to confess the missing stone, so bought a small pair of hoops to fill the holes for several months, and then found the missing earring under a chair in the bedroom while vacuuming. Passed that small pair of diamond hoops onto fourth daughter when she started her first semester of college this past fall.

While raising a half dozen babies changing earrings for the day never really crossed my mind, and who really had the time or the energy. Factor in taking something small off of value and the risk of losing or misplacing it simply hugely escalated, it was a very busy time.

Engagement ring, wedding band, watch, simple earrings, and a stunning diamond ring husband gifted me when he turned fifty are my tattoos of choice – they are the daily forever look. While in NYC for thirtieth wedding anniversary, that’s a big one, purposely walked arm in arm into Cartier on Fifth Avenue to peruse the goods. We were celebrating love, so the Love Bracelet was my desire. Dear husband likes to fulfill desire, so a white gold Love Bracelet with four small diamonds marked our three decades of marriage.

In turn, we gifted our oldest daughter the yellow gold version for Christmas last year. She was newly engaged, and we wanted to commemorate this special time in her life with something lasting, and that she could wear on her wedding day. I knew the classic look would complement any dress she chose, and we wanted to bless her pledge to love and marriage, and inspire her in going for the long run.

This piece of jewelry, designed in 1969, has a locking mechanism and requires the small included screwdriver to wear and remove the bracelet. The playful permanence of wearing this speaks to my heart, and of our commitment to love and family.

The long run is not easy, like our tenets of every day dress; making the bed, protein at breakfast, putting on good clothes and maybe some makeup, walking or exercise or anything that moves your body, work that feels meaningful, making some dinner, and most importantly spending time with those you love, it requires consistent effort and attention. In our world it’s this daily effort and attention that yields the far biggest reward, a rich life of family togetherness.

Like that bracelet, our family feels secure, sure there is struggle and tears and vulnerability and change, yet the circle continues with goodness, and joy.

And now, I digress: personally, I am fully and deeply committed to husband and family and passionate about feeding those I love. Professionally, and also personally as there is for sure crossover, I help dress many beautiful women. For eighteen years, since the birth of our youngest daughter, I’ve been aligned with Worth New York, and it’s been a good, long run. Not married to the company, and after much thought and reflection, I’ve chosen in this new year to venture out try something new; a new challenge, a new line, a new look, a new company.

Yesterday, my colleague and I met in our studio and outlined our launch. These first strides are unsteady, and a little uncertain. Carlisle, thank you for the opportunity. We’re digging in, and giving it a solid good go. Let’s see how we do.

Every day dress, the long run.

all photos: Sarah Bridgeman

winter capsule

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Our team is rounding in the fall winter 18 fashion season while feverishly prepping to enjoy all holiday gatherings and the ringing in of the new year. Everyone is on the go go – shopping, cleaning, cooking, baking, decorating, travel, getting kids home from school, work work work. Doing all this stuff requires clothing (optional?), and sometimes it’s best to keep it tight. 

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that can be worn over and over.  The term capsule wardrobe was coined by Susie Faux, owner of the London boutique ‘Wardrobe’, in the 1970’s. Donna Karan popularized it here in the 80’s by releasing a capsule collection of seven interchangeable work-wear pieces. While not shiny or colorful, the concept works.  You can always mix in a few trend pieces. 

black turtleneck, black skinny trouser
Worth New York

black silk blouse with tie, black silk skirt
Worth New York
ultra luxurious black suede dress, feel free to layer a blouse, tee, or bodysuit underneath
thank you Michelle of Black White + Kuhl  

You know we love black, so here are a few of our current picks for this busy, challenging, and most wonderful time of the year, eye roll. 

silk blouse with tie as belt
silk skirt woth graphic tee
and now for some fun add a sequin mini t-shirt dress, wink wink

out for a while

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To cap off summer shenanigans, thank goodness as it’s been a long one, husband and I did a two-day getaway at The Red Horse Inn before hitting Greenville SC for Furman University family weekend.

we stopped at a small Amish store and bought ham off the bone, hot pepper cheese, a jar of mustard and mayonnaise and a loaf of bread

Hiking the foothills of the Blue Ride Mountains and making grilled ham and cheese sandwiches in the petite cabin kitchen were the activities, perfect. The new terrace of the main house was a great spot for a glass of wine or two.

denim shirt with wide legged navy pant

new season square toe lace up boot, a season or so ago bag

Yeah, we’ve been out for a while, and looking to get back in. Two life changes, a marriage and somewhat of an empty nest after sending youngest of six off to Providence College this fall and just gotta say the tank feels low. Things that got us going like writing, and cooking, and even dressing haven’t had the same pull. That’s a problem, as we named this site every day dress, not only to talk about clothes, but more about the idea of getting up, showing up, taking risks and putting yourself out there, and to perhaps help inspire a few women to do maybe a little of the same.

Simply putting this post up on this first day of October feels awkward, as we’ve fallen off the habit, kind of like the first day of school or the first day back at the gym after a too long hiatus. We know we like it, and that it’s good for us, it’s just that we’re out of the routine.

In talking with a client today she reminded me that research suggests it takes thirty days of regularly doing ‘a thing’ to make ‘a habit’. So here we are, with an awkward feeling post, hoping to get back to regularly writing, cooking, dressing.

All I can say is every day dress. xoxo

 

thirty one

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Woke up this morning, had some coffee, hit the gym, and made the bed. Thirty one years ago today and almost all of those days in between I’ve followed pretty much the same routine, although that specific day I married the man of my dreams, the love of my life.

I knew at first sight that he was the one, he thought I was way too young. Kind of positioned myself so he would notice. Notice he did: a bride at twenty-two, a mom at twenty-three; we’re still here, still loving.

Good habits and aligned values have helped us endure. Family first, lots of exercise, shared meals.

taller than my man, and wore Azzedine Ala√Įa for church ceremony

We created our wedding day and have created every day since. Even then I loved clothes, and made the wedding dress, and the dresses for five bridesmaids, and two flower girls. Sewing my clothing was a self-taught skill, a hobby, and a necessity back then. Crazy girl, yet crazy kind of got me here today, thankful. Still love clothes, yet finding I need less, and want better. Even so I’m often most comfortable in husbands shirt, rolled sleeves, and worn in blue jeans.

Sure we still love to dress up, and celebrate. We celebrated large for oldest daughter’s wedding a month or so ago, and felt it fitting to share photos of that day, on this day, as both days celebrate love.

Thirty one and more, and every day dress. xoxo

all photos | Sarah Bridgeman

Yes, I wrote this post on our¬†thirty-first wedding anniversary day, yesterday. Sarah Bridgeman, our daughter’s wedding photographer, compiled over 1,700 photos for us,¬†each one seemingly better than the last. As you can imagine it takes hours to sort through, and wanted to post some of her images here, as to us they are just so magical. We hope you too can feel the love. Thank you, Sarah.¬†

the very best blur

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Two weeks ago Saturday oldest daughter was married and it was a very best day and the very best blur. Of course we have crystal clear memories, yet honestly it was all so magical and all so fast, kind of like all best days, leaving an indelible and permanent feeling of euphoria on the mind and in the soul.

Yes, it was a very best day: two families and the gods and the stars aligned. A singular new little family of two was formed, and our two respective families and friends grew exponentially.  Love all around.

To get to that day and place required each and everyone of us put forth our very best efforts. The team was immense, intimately intertwined, and planning started the very next breath after the giddy engagement, November 5th. If my math is right, it was exactly 40 weeks of planning and preparation, equal to what goes into a birth, which are my other best days, each one internally tattooed.

Proper ceremony was in the city, and beautiful reception in the country. Husband and I moved  ourselves into our summer house the last week of June and gardened our hearts out until the very morning of August 11th, it was heaven on earth.

Today is Monday and there are new beginnings happening all around us. Fifth child starting her collegiate sophomore year and sixth and youngest beginning her first. Oldest son soon to celebrate his third decade, and newlyweds moving from NYC to Boston next weekend.

Thankful for life, and all of its idiosyncrasies. Wishing everyone their very best blurs.

xoxo

professional photos | Sarah Bridgeman @ sarahbridgemanphoto.com

all others | iPhone