Monday, July 2, 2012

No fashion left behind

I must have been in complete denial when I was packing to come here for a year. After all, this is my sixteenth consecutive summer here in this house, on this farm in England. It's not like I don't know that 90% of the time it's chilly, damp and muddy here, meaning I really never change out of a long sleeve t-shirt, jeans, wellies or riding boots, and either a raincoat or a military jacket of some sort, sometimes with a sweater underneath. Yes, that is summer attire here. And I packed well for it.

But I also packed way too many fashion clothes from New York that it is now so clear I will never wear. My husband and I made a deal that we were each allowed two suitcases on the plane. And I stuck to that. But I also secretly shipped two Fed Ex boxes here, all full of clothes. I knew before I even sent them that I would have no use for them here, but I compulsively went ahead. My teal calfskin Chanel 2.55 bag, my braided Derek Lam stilettos, my immaculate Balenciaga safari jacket, my pristine Proenza Schouler linen dress, among many others, all made the journey with me. Even if I did get the chance to wear these things here, they would likely not make it through the muddy gravel path outside our house or past the car journey in our dusty Land Rover without getting filthy.

In addition to not having ample chance to wear these coveted clothes, I also have no where to put them. Despite our cottage having 5 bedrooms, there is exactly one actual closet in the entire house. Yes, you heard it right, ONE. And it is smaller than the closet in my first New York City walk up apartment. Instead we have antique wardrobes in each room with broken handles and minuscule hanging room. For now I have resorted to buying loads of plastic underbed storage boxes, but I'm thinking of transforming the smallest bedroom into a closet/dressing room with just a day bed.

Now that all my clothes and accessories have found a place, even if temporarily, I am glad I brought them. I know I likely won't wear most of them, but they are a part of me. They remind me of who I am - as a whole person - as opposed to just the side of me that wanted to live on a farm for a year. So even if I don't have many fancy parties or serious meetings to wear them too, they have a place in my life nonetheless.

Here are some of the clothes I do actually wear (or at least hope to) on the farm:
My favorite oversized Celine shirt successfully made the transition from city to country. Its great with jeans tucked into riding boots.

I live in this Rag and Bone jacket - mostly to go riding but also to make myself look a little more put together to go for dinner at the pub.

I bought this J Crew dress just before I left New York. I haven't worn it on the farm yet (although I know I will if we ever get any actual summer weather), but I am planning to wear it a lot when I go to Spain next week.

Other than boots, these are the only shoes I keep out to wear on a regular basis. Not that I actually wear any of them in this weather -  I just like to hope I will.

This is really the only dress I need in England. It's Thakoon from a few years ago. I wore it to an English country wedding this Spring with a shaggy fur over it (pictured above), and I wore it this past Saturday to the Cornbury Park music festival with wellies and an old Chanel leather jacket.

T-shirts are the bread and butter of my wardrobe here, which finally justifies all the expensive Proenza Schouler t-shirts I have bought over the years. I also love striped ones by Chance - they are the perfect cut and fit, they are really soft, and the colors are spot on. I especially love the white one with brown stripes. The bandana T is from J Crew - my daughter and I both liked it so much that we each got one in a different color and we share. And the Rodarte was a gift from Kate and Laura when I hosted my first Barneys event in LA. I love those girls - they are true originals - and I like to channel their spirit by wearing this shirt.

Believe it or not, these are the boots I have always wanted. They are my mom's (from the 80's believe it or not) and I have coveted them since the minute she got them. Late this spring, my mom was moving house and she asked me to come over to help her edit her closet. At the end she handed me the boots and said she thought'd they be great for me in England. They sure are. Now I just need to get my hands on her brown ostrich bamboo-handled Gucci bag from the late 60's....

I've had this Proenza PS 1 bag for about a year and a half. I thought I might get sick of it because of the color blocking, but since the colors are so neutral and the shape is so classic, I still love it as much as I always have. I brought about 6 other bags with me, but in reality this goes perfectly with everything I have here.


  1. Haha, great post! I really love that Rag & Bone jacket.

  2. Nice bedrooms with a great wallpaper. I can also see blankets on the beds. Prepare for the weather here in Seville, last week 44 degrees!
    You should stop on Sotogrande on your way to Trasierra, a great beach place for summer .

  3. I can see how the Proenza bag would be versatile and cool with so many things, but ostrich bamboo-handled Gucci from the sixties? You do need to get your hands on that!

  4. It feels good to let that stuff go. I bet you put it under your bed in zipper bags for a year and pull it back out you'll think, wow, who even was I. By the time you wear that stuff again you'll have such a fresh eye that they will take on a whole new meaning and evolve into the iconic pieces they are meant to be, not the over salted fake buttered popcorn we stuff ourselves with when we're so inundated with it, as it becomes when living in the whirlwind of a pumped up, over adrenaline-ized life. Good luck and I can't wait to see what it evolves in to.

  5. Nice post! Love the rag & bone jacket!

  6. Hello Amanda. I love this post too and am also coveting your R&B jacket. Your cottage is really cute, exactly how an English cottage should be. I've only found your blog recently and am enjoying it so much.

    I read your book a few months ago and loved it so much I wrote a post about it, hope you like it x

  7. First off love that you gave up city life for farm life for a year. Second, I enjoy your mix of down to earth yet fashion forward style. This resonates.