Every woman should own a crisp white shirt. She should also have a few interesting tees and a basic silk or two. Here are eight budget friendly options.

White Shirts: Not All White Shirts are Created Equal

What are you wearing today?

Jeans and white top.

 

This is a look that could go a lot of different directions. You could look like Elvis. You could look like Courtney Love, or you might be channeling Sarah Michelle Gellar. Maybe you’re gardening, maybe you’re wearing silk, maybe you’re wearing off the shoulder bell sleeves from Zara that will be in style for exactly 54 seconds.

Jeans and a blouse, a skirt and a blouse, jeans and a tee… however it is that you get the job done – the trick is to get an interesting top. With that in mind, we’ve found these eight essential white tops that will keep your closet interesting.

Are you Courtney Love or a Sarah Michelle Gellar? A white shirt does nott have to be boring, here are eight great options.
When a fashion house blocks you on Instagram is it because you've done something wrong or is it something else?

I Wear Lanvin Even Though They Blocked Us On Instagram

Lanvin blocked our Midlife account on Instagram and I am befuddled by the action. With more than 3 million followers how did someone at Lanvin decide that we are the women they don’t want to hear from?

I’m not supposed to have a favorite, but I do. My favorite shoes are a pair of Lanvin Mary Janes that feature a brass chain. They are the kind of shoes that you wear when you want compliments all day long.

Maybe this Instagram photo wasn’t to their liking? 

My second, third, and fourth favorites are also Lanvin. I have slides, I have ballet slippers, I had athletic shoes but there was an unfortunate kitten event when he got locked in my closet… I have flats and I’ve bought footwear for both my husband and my son. I am a ridiculous human being. No one needs these shoes but they bring me pleasure, so I buy them. I love dressing my family nicely. I buy some of the ready to wear as well. I adore great style. I am light on fast moving trends.

Admittedly, at 47 years old I understand that I am the target demographic for few brands. I had assumed that folks will sell me clothes because I can pay for them. But never truly embrace women over 35 in their finery.

For most of my life I had acknowledged the disappearing 40+ woman as a harsh reality and chosen to ignore the phenomenon. Giggled even. And then last August I started an Instagram account with my friend Stephanie. We were both tired of the world pretending we were invisible.

We Are Midlife is the name of our website and of our Instagram account. It’s made some of our friends recoil in horror. One had a meltdown that she almost got into a photo with us. Midlife is a hard word for some folks to say.

We live in the space between Free People and Chicos.

I have no reason to buy dowdy clothes just as I have no reason to wear my teenage daughter’s clothes. Lanvin was one of those brands right in the middle.

So I wore my Lanvin shoes on Instagram. Maybe one too many times?

Lanvin blocked me. Like we just don’t exist to them anymore.

At first I was really sad, and I didn’t want to wear my shoes or my blouses. Then I remembered that it was just one person with access to one Instagram account. Maybe they were having a bad day? I tried to not take it personally.

But later when I went to go open my blue shoe boxes, and loosen the silky bows that hold them closed, I didn’t feel very good about the brand.

Why would they block our account? Are we too old? Too ugly? Too suburban? Too white? Too enthusiastic? Too American? We’re too something, we just don’t know what the something is.

It’s unlikely that we ever will know. I’ve DM’ed @LanvinOfficial from my personal account, the one with the puppy pictures and the tennis store with the dusty taxidermy owl. No response.

I understand that there’s a push and pull with brand management. You want young and willowy women with toothy Kennedy smiles posing for photos bedecked in Lanvin. And then you want those photos cross posted to Pinterest where they will be seen by women a tiny bit younger who will save for an investment piece. All of this will happen if Lanvin happens upon the trend du jour. Or if their moms buy them a gift.

I did note that of the 427 people @LanvinOfficial follows on Instagram there are a few in my age group. A Frenchwoman I cannot identify, Linda Evangelista, and Michelle Obama. We share an adoration of Michelle Obama’s style, me and whomever it is that runs the account.

Women like us, who are devoted to quality, wear their investment pieces everywhere. We know that saving things for special occasions simply translates into never wearing nice things. Later never comes.

And maybe this sounds a little Single White Female of me. But Lanvin, I will always love you.

And I will most likely continue wearing Lanvin clothing and shoes on Instagram, I just won’t tag you in it, because you blocked me. And I’m not sure why that happened when there were so many other options, including the option of clicking twice and untagging @LanvinOfficial.

I did notice that even though the Lanvin account has more 3 million followers and mine has yet to hit 30,000 we routinely have more comments and interaction with our community. Maybe there’s a great strategy in being aloof and never responding to anyone? You know, like that really popular boy in high school who never noticed you and your crush grew deeper.

I strongly suspect that this block has to do with a number. And the number was unlikely the thousands of dollars I’ve spent in your shoes.

These are all instagram photos where the brand @LanvinOfficial was tagged.

Pastel Motorcycle Jackets

Pastel Moto Jackets at Every Price and Size

I was picking up some basics today from a bunch of different departments when I noticed that pastel motorcycle jackets are basically everywhere. Okay, maybe I wasn’t shopping basics when I was over in the Rebecca Taylor section caressing the fabrics but I was noticing what the Spring 2017 Trends are and pastel moto jackets are everywhere. Rebecca Taylor’s lilac version is stunning and at $895 it’s a trend you’ve got to love not just like.

If you’re like me you are a sucker for craftsmanship and quality. If you’re like me you don’t have a bank account that can support thousand dollar purchases that will last a year, two if you’re lucky. If you’re like me you wouldn’t spend that kind of money even if you could afford it.

We all have to decide if a pink or lilac biker jacket is the item we want to own for several years.

I’m leaning toward “Yes” and it’s entirely likely that I’ll be bringing home the Rebecca Taylor version. If you’re learning toward one year or two I found pastel motorcycle jackets at every price-point and a couple of plus sized versions too.

If you buy one or already own one we’d love to see how it looks. Tag us on Instagram and show us how you styled one of the season’s hottest trends.

Hermès is for Style. Hermès is not for Fashion

It seems as though every woman over 40 in Los Angeles has the Hermès H belt. There’s a good reason for this. It is a lovely looking accessory and if you’ve ever owned Hermès leather goods you understand that they are artisan made and the gold standard of luxury. One of my belt straps is more than five years old and still looks like new. I am extremely rough on it but it is well-made and the perfect example of why we buy luxury items. Though they may be pricey you only have to make the purchase once.

The problem with the H belt is that everybody has the same one.

If you go on certain websites you’ll find plenty of copies of the H belt and much like the Louboutin red sole it is dangerously close to becoming basic.

So I was looking for a new buckle, these are belt kits after all, and I was also hoping to add the white and red strap to my collection. I found exactly what I wanted and ordered it online to no avail. Hermès is a French brand, and in keeping with being very very French they are not capitalists. When you order things they may or may not arrive. Nothing ever arrived. I wasn’t even surprised, I’m accustomed to their abuse.

Luckily for me Stefanie was headed to Montreal where the exchange rate is favorable and she was going to have lots of free time to wander and shop. Stefanie went and picked up the red belt for me along with a gold toned buckle that isn’t living on every Instagram account. Now I can use all of my straps with this lovely buckle.

White and Red Leather Hermès Belt Kit

 

My straps historically have been 90 cm long. They run comfortably across the middle of my hips where they have been resting for a number of years. The last couple of years our denim creeped up our waistline bit by bit and now I’ve got more than a few pair of high waisted pants. So when Stefanie asked me what size to get I wasn’t forward thinking and requested another 90. Of course I realized that I now had nothing to wear with high waisted jeans as there was no way in the world a size 90 would hold my pants up.

So I went to the Hermès store on Rodeo Drive with the belt kit that Stefanie had purchased to exchange the 90 cm strap for an 85 cm strap. I was there at the very end of the day on Saturday, as they are not open Sundays it was crowded and people were feeling very rushed. My sales lady though older and elegant, was clearly harassed and making no effort to be kind or patient. Sometimes Hermès is just like that. I wasn’t looking for a friend, I was looking for a belt.

I picked out my new strap and as we went to the cashier I pulled out three other straps to have her add holes to them. It was at that point that I remembered one of them was a 95 cm strap and I owned it in that size because it was a very limited run color and I had added the extra holes early on. This annoyed my sales person further and I got a lecture about the five hole maximum.

In keeping with being slightly difficult Hermès will add holes to your belt, but only two. The third hole is illegal. A crime against fashion if you will.

My son and I sort of nodded at each other and rolled our eyes. I accepted that I would have one belt that was too big and maybe I would pass it along to a friend or perhaps I would drop it off at a consignment store.

All of a sudden my sales lady was very concerned that I was dropping a full 5 inches on my waist line, she wanted to know if I was aware that the difference between 95 cm and 85 cm was a full 5 inches. I smiled and replied to her that I was well aware, and that now that pants were worn higher we needed smaller belts.

Suddenly my saleslady goes into a long tirade about exactly where pants are worn. “No one is wearing pants high” she explains to me “The fashion is to keep them low on your hips.” And I began to argue with her but then I remembered that she she worked in a store where the most coveted item has remained unchanged since 1984.

Hermès is where are you go for style. Not for fashion. If you want to know what’s in fashion look in the window at H&M.

But it’s always fun to get yelled at by a new person and I still love their leather goods and silks.