Spring Layers

Outfit details: Max Mara tunic, Equipment blouse, Reiss trousers, Chanel shoes, Balenciaga bag, Hermés bangle

I'm digging deep into the closet to wear lighter clothes but in layers to keep me warm enough. I decided to pull out this Max Mara tunic which I love both for the bright color and the pleating at the collar. I layered the tunic over an animal print Equipment blouse.


Color-blocked and Grid Print

Outfit details: Max Mara top, Reiss trousers, Kate Spade coat (similar version here for $198), Chanel shoes, Chanel boy bag, Hermés bangles, Louis Vuitton overnight bag, Samsonite spinner suitcase

This was me last weekend on my way to Charleston. I love, love, love this Max Mara peplum top with the color-blocked sleeves. I bought a skirt that I'm dying to wear with it but alas it's still too cold for that. Then I realized that totally by chance, the color of this top pairs exactly with the color of these Reiss trousers from last year. Since I knew Charleston was rainy and chilly, I pulled out this black and white grid print jacket from Kate Spade (last year but darling version from Ann Taylor here).


Charleston Getaway :: The Shopping

O'2nd removable collar jacket

O'2nd white lace blouse

Rebecca Taylor lace tunic

I'm just back from a jaunt to Charleston and despite the cold and rain, it was a great trip!  Who doesn't love a few days of eating the food of James Beard award winning chefs and doing a bit of shopping?

First we popped into The Trunk Show which is a consignment shop that has quite a selection of Chanel. I'm generally not one to sort through racks of clothes to find what I want but The Trunk Show had several racks chock full of Chanel. I've been wanting a classic bouclé jacket and there were a few there but none that met all of my requirements. I also thought some items were overpriced. There was a lovely blush pink classic flap bag that they were asking $4000 for which surprised me given the fact that while in good condition, it definitely had some wear and I can get a brand new Chanel bag for that price. Nevertheless, the shop is definitely worth checking out.

My other two favorite shops are on King Street which is downtown Charleston's main shopping drag. The first is RTW and has a beautiful selection of high end designers from Brunello Cucinelli to Lanvin and Cedric Charlier. 

Lastly is Hampden Clothing which was my favorite. They have a nicely curated selection of designers you know like Clover Canyon, Kenzo, Carven and Rebecca Taylor and those that to me were less well known like O'2nd. In my photos above, I bought the blazer and the white top which are both by O'2nd (sorry the pics don't really do them justice). I wanted to buy the Chartreuse lace top by Rebecca Taylor but they didn't have my size. I did find it on the Rebecca Taylor website and ordered it. The gals at Hampden Clothing were super helpful and FYI their items are available online with free shipping and returns. 

Charleston is very much a college town so there are also lots of shops, both chains and locally owned, that cater to the collelgiate crowd. But the shops I noted above I thought were fabulous and well worth checking out if you are visiting.


Ambitious in Orange

Outfit details: L'Agence blouse, Reiss trousers, Zara blazer, Prada shoes, Balenciaga bag, Hermés bangles, Lee Angel necklace

I wore this mostly monochromatic orange look on a day last week when it was still pretty cold. It was certainly too cold for this getup with my bare ankles and cutoout shoes.  Even if I was cold, wearing the bright colors made me happy.


Lessons Learned :: Topshop

As part of my online browsing and shopping, I came across this pink leather moto jacket for what was a relatively reasonable price for a leather coat. I added it to my virtual shopping cart and let it sit there for a few days. I eventually pulled the trigger and ordered the coat.

A couple days later, I got an email saying that I owed $100 in import duties.  Hmmm, the Topshop website doesn't make it clear that there would be additional charges.  When I called Topshop to ask about this, they stated that the charges are random and they have no control over them.  While I understand that, I don't understand why their website doesn't make it clear that there is a possibility of this happening.  I contacted the company that assesses the import charges to ask if they would be refunded should I decide to return what I ordered.  I considered paying the import charges but since the import charges are non-refundable, I didn't pay them and refused the package.  At this point, the package is on its way back to Topshop and they'll eventually refund me for what I ordered.

The lesson for me is that the next time I consider ordering from Topshop or any other online shop that is not located in the US, I'll do some detailed research before I place an order. In this instance, I didn't want to take the chance of losing $100 if the coat didn't fit.