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Charting the style of daily life...with the mouth of a sailor.

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The Classics: Trench Coat

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Effortlessly cool and classic, the trench coat is a no-fail staple that works with every wardrobe and every body type. Classics endure thanks to great design and versatility and there are few items of clothing that will serve you as well as a great quality trench coat. It adds instant polish to casual ensembles and can be a perfect complement to evening dress.

The trench coat is a key piece for anyone who loves to dress with a nautical or military flair, for a very clear reason. The trench was first developed (by either Burberry or Aquascutum, there's a debate here) for Army officers just before the First World War. Traditional styling is double-breasted, with wide lapels, 10 buttons on the chest and oversized, button-closed pockets for maps and such, as well as a self-belt and straps at the wrists (to keep moisture out while using binoculars in the rain) and buttoned shoulder straps for the attachment of epaulettes - yes, very real functions and features.

 

Movie stars popularized trench coats after the Second World War (Bogart in Casablanca, anyone?) and they've been mainstream ever since. While sizing of the original trench coats were roomy - because they were a layering piece over warmer woolen coats - modern cuts are slimmer, less bulky. And even though a civilian doesn't need to attach epaulettes or reach for binoculars on the regular, many of the basic features remain, while lengths, belts, textures and colors have expanded in variety. 

You simply can't go wrong with this classic. It will take you from weekends to work, then to cocktails and dinner, with elegance and ease. If you ever have the ability to splurge on the real deal from Burberry, do so. You won't ever f^ck!ng regret it. 

Holiday Weekend in the Windy City

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It was cold. Damn cold. Like, really f^ck!ng cold. But, we hopped a train to Chicago to add new memories to old ones. Growing up, each year our mother would take my sister and me to Chicago, in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The tradition has fallen by the wayside but when we learned the famed Cape Cod Room was closing for good on December 31st, we knew we had to make the trek for one final meal. The Drake was, and still is, our HQ when visiting. We had quite an experience at dinner and relished the lovely, legendary recipes of The Cape Cod Room, enjoyed high tea the next day in The Palm Court (my fave!) and did a little Christmas shopping. My boys and husband came along for the ride so of course we took a detour to the Lego store (where my mother made a new friend), picked up refined sugar and carbs at Glazed and Confused and consumed some deep dish pizza at Gino's (my mother insists on Gino's but we Foxes are Lou Malnati's devotees). Bonus: I introduced my mother to SnapChat and got as close to taking a selfie with Queen Bey as I'll ever get. 

Chicago Scrapbook, Part 2

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Our family trip to Chicago (two weeks after my fun girls trip) was exactly what we Foxes needed. Lego, our favorite hotel*, fantastic food and drinks - both high and low - and an exhausting but wonderful trip to the Museum of Science and Industry for BDF's 8th birthday. Whew!

*The Drake Hotel is old school in the best way and I absolutely adore it. All trips to Chicago as child included The Drake in some way (an overnight stay in one of their oversized rooms, dinner at The Cape Cod Room, afternoon tea in the Palm Court and so on) and I have so many lovely memories of the iconic hotel. This time, I snapped a pic of the initials of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio carved into the bar by the famous couple. 

The Classics: Breton Stripe

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A Breton stripe boat neck t shirt is a fashion icon not only of classic French style but also that of nautical style. But why? In 1858, the shirt started out as the official uniform for French Navy seamen stationed in Brittany but quickly became popular among working mariners due to the comfortable, durable nature of the garment. The distinctive 21 stripes of the original design (one for each of Napoléon Bonaparte's victories) also made the garment easier to spot among the waves. 

Mademoiselle Chanel included a Breton stripe top in her 1917 nautical collection and later the Beatnik movement adopted the design as their own in the 50's & 60's with notable devotees such as Brigitte Bardot, Edie Sedgwick and Audrey Hepburn. Today, the iconic shirt is seen well beyond France on stylish ladies, gents and children. 

If you only purchase one, make sure it's from Saint James, the legendary manufacturer of the original design, which still supplies the French Navy and French Army with their official uniform sweaters. 

#LoveMyJacks

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There's no sandal that's quite as resort-y as a pair of classic Jack Rogers. They're like a paper umbrella festooned fruity cocktail for your feet. While they scream VACATION, they're far from sloppy. A pair of Jacks (so many new styles to choose from) can pull together any resort look from beachy caftan to T shirt and shorts to breezy cocktail dress. While the sandal's roots are in Capri, they always make me think of the preppy chic vibe of the Cape and Islands --- and of the East Coast blue blood that introduced the now iconic style into American pop culture: Jackie O.