Pants, Pants, Pants

There is no easy answer, is there? Where do you get the Perfect Pants . . . . that are not jeans . . . that ARE Office-Worthy . . . that you can also wear out for drinks? That fit you! Time for a Pants-Renovation for most us.

My friend Amy inspired me to write this post; she went on a Black-Tapered-Pants hunt this afternoon. Amy had found that all of her black pants were too flared, not tapered enough, and just didn’t go with the current silhouette for flats, boots, and pumps. I say Go Amy! for getting out there to get some flattering, tapered pants that she will wear a zillion different places.

What We Are Looking For in a Pant

Tapered to hit at the ankle bone. Not so skinny that you feel like you have on tights. The tapered, ankle-pant is a dream with healed booties or pumps. They look great with wedges too, but the former two are my faves.

JCrew has the twill  Dannie Pant. 89.50 –but it goes on sale often.

J Crew Dani Pant

J Crew Dani Pant

 

JCrew also has the capri, bi-stretch wool Campbell Pant.$118.00.  It also goes on sale often.

J Crew Campbell Pant

Theory has the Belisa Neo Twill Pant.  $255.00. Theory is the Big Girl Pants of Pants; the quality is excellent and they wear for years.

Theory Belisa Pant

Theory Belisa Pant

Cropped Skinny Jean Outfits

Cropped Skinny Jean Outfits


Just Right Skinny Jeans- The Transition Process

Skinny Cropped Jeans

Skinny jeans? Aren’t they ONLY for Those People with gorgeous, long, fatless legs? No!

We can all wear them, but I was skeptical of skinnies at first since I am not a Skinny Jean Poster Child; I have some oomph to my legs and some muscle too. There are now Skinny Jeans- or Skinnies- as the fashion crowd calls them– for all in a good variety of cuts and lengths. **I’m a fan of the Cropped Skinny.  See below.

1st- What Are You?

Are you a Stick-Legged person (my life-long envy)? What about a Sturdy Girl (that’s me!)? Or are you Curvy Legs? We are all beautiful! Determine which girl you are before you try on skinnies and see the guide below.

Stick Legs

You sure have it easy with Skinnies since you have no constraints with leg-hugging jeans. Long, thin legs with minimal bulk are exactly what Skinnies were designed for. You legs have the very best silouette, so wear what you’d like. You might have a couple of challenges:

  • make sure the legs fit you tight enough to not expand into baggy pants
  • Lots of lycra, or stretch will give you the best butt-to-thin-thighs transition and fit

Brands for you: Citizens of Humanity, 7 for all Mankind, and any of them!

Sturdy Girl

I’m one of you- or us! Skinnies can be a bit of challenge, but you just need to know which brands make a wider thigh. Oddly, the longer Skinnies don’t work too well for us because they stick to our calf muscles. The Cropped Skinny is for you because the calf and ankle are cut wider. The Crop also shows your trim ankles. Showcase some great shoes or booties with the Crops.

Brands for you: Paige Premium Denim, AG Jeans, Joe Jeans, Lucky Jeans

Curvy Legs

You girls can showcase such great tops, plunging neck-lines, and a trim waist. Just like your Sturdy Girl sisters, you have some challenges with the Skinnies. Good news now is that there are Skinnies that are great on you and you should be wearing them.

You and Sturdies have the toughest transitional issues moving in to Skinnies because you perceive yourselves in jeans incorrectly. Skinnies that fit well and taper to the ankle flatter everyone IF the correct top is worn. And that’s another chapter, but I can say here that the toppers to Skinnies need to go to the hip and have some floaty drape. A blouse or work shirt should taper in to your waist and then go to the hip. This balances your derriere atop the sleek Skinies

 Brands for you: Joes’ Jeans, Paige Premium Denim, Lucky Jeans

Everyone can wear Skinnies! Check back to see my photo-collages of Just Right Skinny Jeans for each body type

I Want a Breezy Top Now!

 Drapey Top

It’s 97 degrees with 90 percent humidity in the southeastern US. All outdoor activity needs to be completed by 10 Am and I’ve already changed clothes twice by noon. The west Texan in me chants “It’s hotter than an egging fryin’ up on the side ‘a highway I-10 in Van Horn, Texas.”  Hotter.

So . . . .when venturing outside I want to wear shorts, sandals, and . . . . a light, sleeveless, floaty top that feels like nothing.

The sleeveless blouses and tees out now are long,and this almost-hip length is flattering for all. My current faves are on modcloth.com. See more pics on Follow Catherine’s board Breezy Summer Tops on Pinterest.

If you’re going for a Tank Top, make sure it’s Not Tight. Any more of your body here is too much.  Again, there are so many out there with the wide, floaty bottom to choose from.

 tank top

Sizzling Sneakers

Sneakers by Stylemarm You put on a slip-on shoe in a cool hue that glides onto your foot easily! Stand up, your back straightens, you grow an inch taller, and you feel like you could run a 10K.  And your feet love you.  Your back and posture do too.  And, you’re so hip that it hurts because you’re wearing the New Sneaker. Take advantage Now ladies, of the way-on-trend slip on SNEAKER for fall and winter. I couldn’t be more thrilled; I’ve been a Vans-Lover ever since my first checkerboard pair in 1981. The new sneakers scream travel and commute-friendly so we’ve all got to load up.

What to Wear the New Sneakers With

Pants

  • Cigarette leg or skinny jeans, vegan leather leggings, or .leather leggings
  • Cropped dark wash, black, grey or tinted denim pants
  • The new Soft Pants. Most have a drawstring waist and gathered ankles.
  • Wide-legged, palazzo style pants in black, grey, navy, or even winter white, cream or white.

Skirts

  • The swingy skater skirt– black or dark tights as the weather cools or as desired
  • A fitted maxi skirt

Dresses

  • A fitted, rouched knit mini dress
  • A fitted, rouched knit maxi dress

How I am Going to Wear the Sneakers

Since I have too-muscular calves I need to minimize those and really watch my clothing + shoe proportions. The New Sneakers are far more flattering that the pointy white Keds I tried to like a couple of decades ago.

  • I’ll wear the New Sneakers with
  • cigarette-leg dark denim and black and grey denim pants
  • The New Soft Pants- especially my blacka and grey Lululemon pairs.
  • With the new Skater Skirt in black or a dark color with super-opaque black tights that will make my calves disappear

Sizzling Sneaker Ouftts

Sizzling Sneaker Ouftts


Santa Fe Hotels- Two

 

  • Las Posada de Santa Fe
    Las Posada de Santa Fe
  • Las Posadas de Santa Fe
    Las Posadas de Santa Fe
  • Las Posadas Santa Fe
    Las Posadas Santa Fe

We stayed in Santa Fe a couple of times this summer and I’ll begin with our latest trip– a business gathering at Las Posadas de Santa Fe.

Las Posadas de Santa Fe

The physical property and location of Las Posadas de Santa Fe just can’t be any better. Las Posadas is a rambling extension of rooms and casitas that is historic; I grew up staying here every Christmas in the ’70s and ’80s when it was unabashedly shabby chic. Las Posadas displays a quality art collection in the lobby and the public, indoor settings and this is unique in Santa Fe where so much mediocre to bad art is now pervasive. I do love that there is a special line for “Curator” on the room phones. The landscaping is gorgeous and just a few blocks from the plaza adds an A Plus for Convenience Factor. But, see below for some truth and relevant details for a stay there. See stylemarm.com for more Santa Fe travel information & for other destinations too.

The Room Report

This is where Las Posadas just doesn’t hit the mark. My husband and I were initially put into a downstairs room under boisterous, noisy guests; we later saw them with their two large dogs. We asked to move and we were graciously accommodated so we switched to an upstairs room.

Room High Fives
1. The king sized bed was superb. The bedding and the pillows were excellent.
2. Many large sized bath towels were provided; they were of the best, heavy, cotton variety.
3. Two high quality terry-cloth bathrobes were provided.
4. The flat screen TV was the most up to date and functioned perfectly.

Room Low Fives
1. Our first room had no chest of drawers to put clothes; be sure to ask for one.

2. Our second room had only one sink in the bathroom.

Service High Fives
1. We were graciously accommodated about our request to change rooms.
2. The Valets and their services are the best thing about Las Posadas; tip them beyond well.

Service Low Fives
1. The Room Service manner and delivery on phone orders was among the worst I have experienced. Coffee can’t be delivered until 6:45 AM; a big deal for those of us headed to business meetings or outdoor excursions. And, one morning at 6:50 AM I asked for coffee and I was told to “just use the mugs that are in your room.” Well, I never! A surprisingly long exchange about the provision of coffee cups ensued.

2. Housekeeping is just not where it needs to be and they are woefully understaffed. The beautiful courtyards were blighted by bags of soiled laundry and used room service trays. What a shame. And, our room wasn’t touched or made up until the late afternoon for 2 days; not very appealing for siesta time.

Spa

1. The check-in person was excellent; definitely meeting the expectations of a luxury spa.
2. The massages were excellent.
3. The dressing area in the Ladies’ Lounge was very nice.
4. The steam room was in need of tile freshening and more steam in general.
5. The disposable combs were really for infants’ hair; not even usable.
6. The blow dryers were adequate; important.

Restaurants

1. The renowned Staab House served a superb dinner for our groups private dinner. Service, wine, and food were all Five Star.

2. The casual restaurant seemed to be in disarray the late morning I went for a cappuccino. Both the hostess and the server seemed flustered. The outdoor setting was beautiful and the red and white seat cushions added a nice zip.

I would go back to Las Posadas, and I’d like to given my personal history there, but I would absolutely ask some pointed questions about service. My hope is that these kinks are ironed out soon.

Ba-Dah- Beads! Terrific Turquoise

 

  • IMG_1655
  • IMG_1654
  • IMG_1656

Don’t you love turquoise? I’m gaga about turquoise everything; the study in our house is even painted turquoise. It’s just a stone, accessory,and a  color that I never get tired of. I started collecting turquoise jewelry on family road trips through New Mexico and Colorado during my childhood and I’ve never stopped.  But, I’ve gotten in to creating my own turquoise jewelry lately.

Bead Stores

I could spend too-many-to-count consecutive days in a bead store, gazing at the beads and colors while imaging designs for necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. The bead stores tend to have really great, low prices on both natural turquoise and synthetic turquoise. By that I mean a range of about $15.00 for a string of smallish beads to $200.00 for beads the size of eggs.

I went to Gloriana’s Fine Crafts, (55 West Marcy Street) the established decades old bead store near the plaza, during this trip to Santa Fe.

Create Your Own Necklace

  1. Here is what you do:
  2. Ask about the types of turquoise beads at the store and to see all of them.
  3. Choose what you fall in love with; then check out the price.
  4. Check out any pendants and other interesting beads
  5. Look at filler beads in silver or a gold color to put in between your turquoise beads unless you want a more rustic look
  6. Select a clasp
  7. Set up the entire necklace on a flat surface to see it
  8. Measure exactly how low you want the necklace to fall
  9. Ask about the price for the store to string the necklace for you. $20.00 -$30.00 is reasonable.

Summer Days in SoHo

  • Bireeria- Eataly New York
    Bireeria- Eataly New York
  • Vesuvio Park New York City
    Vesuvio Park New York City
  • Vesuvio Park New York City
    Vesuvio Park New York City
  • Vesuvio Park New York City
    Vesuvio Park New York City
  • Elizabeth Street Garden
    Elizabeth Street Garden
  • Elizabeth Street Garden
    Elizabeth Street Garden
  • Truck SoHo New York
    Truck SoHo New York
  • SoHo New York
    SoHo New York
  • Kinky Boots Broadway
    Kinky Boots Broadway

 

I went to New York to visit my summer-interning daughter last week in mid-July. Since she and droves of summer interns live downtown, my sister-in-law from Dallas and I chose the Trump Soho. It was pretty close to her at the NYU dorms, and the rate was decent- below $400.00. **This is New York currency, which is two-three-four times as much as something normally priced. Take a deep breath and move on.

The Trump Soho is hip-fancy, clean, safe, and it has a great fitness center that offers free apples and water bottles. On the corner of Spring and Varick streets, cabs and Uber cars are easy to come by. I was annoyed to have to pay $14.95 per 24 hours for WiFi, but this is New York. If you book directly with the Trump Soho you get free WiFi.  Live and learn.

Thursday Afternoon and Night

Thursday night we went to a big Moms-in-New York-Visiting-Their-Interns party at Birreria, the rooftop bar and restaurant on top of Eataly, the biggest compendium of Italian food, coffees, and kitchen stuff I had ever seen. The view was wonderful on a breezy, clear night. The food and wine were adequate. The interns smiled with their young  skin and perfect teeth, but they still looked tired. A couple of them slumped back to the office.

Friday

On Friday my daughter was at work at a European Leather Goods brand/firm that Shall Not Be Named (Think Devil Wears Prada all of the way)- my sister-in-law and I went back to our roots- Madison Avenue uptown for boutique shopping. My sister in law swooped up a couple of  50% off cashmere capes Manrico Cashmere at 922 Madison.I scored a couple of dresses and some shooties (booties with peep toes) for 40% off of the sale price at Rebecca Taylor at 980 Madison and 8th street.

We celebrated our success with lunch at the Mark in the similarly named hotel on 77th street; sparkling rosé and all. My intern couldn’t make it; she was held a Friday hostage to stiletto-stomping magazine assistant-editors and an archaic French (oopsie!) cataloguing system for samples. She came uptown to meet us, but then we went back downtown. She and I went to Le Pain Cotidienne near her dorm for coffee and something chocolate. Dinner reservations were for 9:00 pm.

I walked back to the hotel through SoHo. The evening light was perfect for staring at stuff that I hadn’t seen yet and for photos.  I especially loved the Vesuvio Park with its raquet ball courts and its small swimming pool filled with horse-playing kids.  And there was a healthy pink rose garden too.  A couple sat on a bench flirting, and an elderly lady sat with her black labrador retriever on the other bench. This was a break in the action and a place of peace for these New Yorkers. I wondered what the rest of the night held for them.

Friday night we went to dinner at Nobu 57 at 40 West 57th street.; my sister in law is a sushi-ologist. She knows all about the sushi universe so I just let her order. The cocktails were out of this world- mine was a spicy margarita heavy on the tequila- thank you very much, or mil gracias. The other two got Vodka-somethings that they liked.  The sushi, which involved a major variety of flat slices of fish to the familiar sushi rolls was outstanding.  Should have been; Nobu is not shy about charging for it.

Next was the SoHo Grand bar.  Wow was that fun! A DJ mixed R and B for the middle-aged, but there was still a young vibe appealing to Interns. We had a vodka cocktail and people watched. A couple in their early 80′s sat next to us drinking, having desert, and debating. I want to be Them someday.

Saturday

On Saturday I got up with the sun, got some coffee across the street at Starbuck’s, and then went on a short, but instructive SoHo run. I love going for a jog while I’m traveling. I get to know where I am, and I get a much better feel for the place. I ran uptown on Spring Street  until the Bouwery, then I turned left to get to Prince Street. The Elizabeth Green Park had some arresting, interesting statuary behind its chain link fence. A bright yellow bus painted a la Keith Haring made the dirty street happy. I headed straight back down Prince to the hotel.

Great Things About SoHo
  • The trees evenly distributed on the sidewalks
  • The old buildings with fire escapes zig zagging down their walls
  • The variety of brick and painted buildings
  • Bakeries
  • Italian Restaurants with outdoor seating
  • French restaurants with outdoor seating
  • One of a kind stores and boutiques
  • Shop keepers leaning outside the front door of the one of a kind stores and boutiques
Challenging Things About SoHo
  • It’s small
  • Street and sidewalk grime and filth
  • A few imbalanced peeps meandering the sidewalks
  • Every shop a major retail brand store

What was SoHo like before it became an outdoor, urban mall of brand-name stores? Each street has them stacked door to door- Rag and Bone to Phillip Lim to Georgetown Cupcake to Ivanka on Mercer Street. And Patagonia to Room and Board on Wooster Street. People must have lived there before jeans and leather did. Where did they go?

That day we lingered at lunch at the gorgeous and girly BG’s at Bergdorf’s (more fizzy rosé) so we didn’t get to the SoHo stores. Well, I walked in to Agent Provocateur and was profoundly disappointed with the wares. Not an exciting, lacy ensemble in the black-walled place. Harumph.

Saturday night was Theatre Night so I had to get a Starbuck’s oatmeal cookie and green tea lemonade before we set out for the Great White Way. We saw the divine Kinky Boots, which I could probably see ten times and never get tired of. It had everything: a great story, show stopping numbers, a superb ensemble, and incredible costumes. But don’t go if you’re not down with acceptance and overcoming Victorian sexual taboos. Or if you have pretty firm gender-specific clothing beliefs Kinky Boots is probably not your thing.

We ate dinner so unbelievably late at the chic DBistro a couple of blocks from the theatre and ghastly Times Square. (Why are there mosh pits of people in Times Square?  Who would want to go there?) The wait staff was nodding off in to their trays, but the food was excellent. My intern’s Plus One met us for dinner. They left us after dinner to meet up with their crowd. Must have been midnight! Who doesn’t want to be in Night Repair cream with a mouth guard on in a clean, turned down bed?  Well, not the Interns; they’d rather be standing around intern-thronged bars doing shots.

 Sunday

Sunday was departure day. I didn’t sleep much because I had too much tonic with my vodka and I stayed up reading too long. I was out of the hotel by 9:30, at La Guardia by 10:00 on a slow, Sunday morning. Aloha Soho.

Useful Links

Uber. Don’t leave home without this transportation App. Cabs are tough to come by in the late afternoon and UberX cars can be the same cost. Download it for free on to your smart phone, load a credit card onto it and you’re set.

SoHo Map. Soho Map.

More SoHo Hotels:  The SoHo GrandThe Mercer, The Thompson, The Crosby,

 

Santa Fe Day 3- Nambe Lake

  • Aspens on Trail
    Aspens on Trail
  • Aspens on Trail
    Aspens on Trail
  • Nambe Lake
    Nambe Lake
  • Nambe Lake
    Nambe Lake
  • Nambe Lake
    Nambe Lake
  • Waterfall on Trail
    Waterfall on Trail
  • La Choza in Santa Fe
    La Choza in Santa Fe
Nambe Lake Trail Photo Album The High Desert

Santa Fe is in the desert. Santa Fe is in the mountains. Santa Fe = High Desert. People have a tough time getting the geological zone—- High Desert. They hear desert and it all goes to Sahara-sand dunes and  the Arizona saguaro cactus. The High Desert is a grassy, mountainous terrain with some cactus varieties, conifer trees and wild flowers that is above 2,000 elevation. Santa Fe’s elevation is about 7,000 feet.

Santa Fe, New Mexico is a high desert town that lies directly beneath the significant Sangre de Cristo mountains. The Santa Fe Ski area is roughly 16 miles from the Plaza, at the end of an ascending, winding road. Several hiking trails lie between town and the ski area.

We looked at our new 50 Hike in Northern New Mexico book by Kai Hushchke and we were in an alpine mood so we chose a ski basin trail, The Nambe Lake trail. It was labeled as strenuous. 4 hours. After the fact it was an ass-kicker and clocked in at 3 hours, 47 minutes.

Nambe Lake

We drove on Hyde Park Road to the Santa F Ski Basin to get to the trail head, marked as The Winsor Trail. There were plenty of people on the trails and most brought their well-behaved former rescue dogs. We started out on the Winsor Trail, but after several minutes we looked at our book’s trail map and realized that we were headed in the wrong direction. So, we headed back and re-oriented ourselves to take the Ravens Ridge Trail junction.

The Nambe Lake trail builds in to a steep vertical over 5.6 miles. The upward grade is constant after the Ravens Ridge Trail junction so were felt winded at our brisk pace. Both T and I believe in the quicker-pace -gets-you-there quicker-so-you-can-turn-around-and- head-back approach.  To the tail-gate.  There were a couple of switch backs, and then we hiked along a vigorous creek until we got to the small alpine lake. There were a few patches of sliding rocks, but nothing too hectic. The trail became a 40 degree incline; this was work. Upon sight of the lake the trail mercifully flattened out. Big breathe exhale.

Nambe Lake lies in a cradle of rocks at the foot of Deception Peak, elevation 12,280. It is only 1.5 miles from the ski area, but I’ve never seen it while skiing Santa Fe.

We perched on a large rock beside the lake to gulp water and nosh on Lara Bars. Hikers and dogs skirted the lake and a few dogs swam in it. Being near the top of a mountain at the high alpine level feels like being part of the blue, western sky. Everything below on the trail and in the wide vistas is part of “down there.”

Clouds started to float together, so we headed back down the trail. Always leave a high alpine area by 2 pm. The afternoon thunder showers move in predictably at 3 pm every day and they bring dangerous lightening with them. Going down was much easier, but . . . sigher . . .rougher on the knees and ankles. T and I usually discuss eating options on a return-hike and the conversation was all about hearty New Mexican food. Green chile. Green chile chicken enchiladas. Carne adovada. Chile rellenos. And cold Mexican beer.

We were out of our hiking boots and into our flip flops quicker than the afternoon’s lightening. We agreed on La Choza for dinner.

Travel Marm Photo Gallery
Useful Links

Sangre de Cristo mountains

Santa Fe Ski Area

Nambe Lake Trail- Trails.com

La Choza- New Mexican Food Restaurant