summer at last: twinsets, Paddington Bear and the end of the world - plus Friday morning update

you dress up for Armageddon
I dress up for the summer 
There's something wonderful about summer days that start smooth and end comfortable.
My sister and I used to joke that if one of us said "Mom, I've been invited to the end of the world," she'd say "Wait, I have just the thing!" And sure enough, she'd reach into her endless wardrobe and remove some item we'd never seen her wear but which was indeed perfect for the occasion, albeit possibly a bit dated.
What would you wear to the end of the world?
Me, I'd wear pretty much what I like to wear on the cool summer morning of a weekend day that's going to heat up: a cotton tee, old jeans, wedge sandals, a favorite ring or two...

or so I thought until a little over 10 years ago, when I had to get out of one country, into another and onto a plane in a horrible hurry, when it became very clear that not only do desperate times call for desperate measures, they also call for respectable outfits. In the best of times, airports bring out the worst in people, in bad times, you need all the help you can get.

So I'm always on the look-out for "end of the world" clothes, which, if the world doesn't end, can at least be worn for travel.
Hence the preponderance of nice twinsets (Missoni, Tse) and tailored slacks in my suitcase, and the absence of visible logos.

You can see how flexible a twinset is, especially if it's reliably constructed.

I have them in cotton, in cashmere, in merino, and in the strange "mélange" that only Missoni can use itchless-ly.

I was cheered to see these cashmeres this morning, smiling at me from my computer screen, at least until I saw the prices. I can in fact find Missoni cashmere for those prices, on sale, but still... I added these to the "stalking" list, and continued diligently clicking along.

Even if I were Paddington Bear, or his girlfriend, I don't think I'd want an unwearable duffle coat.
 It's unwearable because of the short sleeves. Who thinks these things UP? Really, if you have jewelry to show off - what are called "state occasion pieces" in my house - would you be wearing it with a duffle coat? This creation will not be added to the "stalking" list.

And finally, it wouldn't be a computer-browsing morning without a message from the Copywriter from Space:

So is it "nylon twill" or is it "poly"?

 I think a well-cut trench coat would be perfect for many occasions, and if the world should end while you're
 wearing it, well, at least you haven't wasted a Burberry. On the other hand, poly? When everyone else is wearing wings and a halo? C'mon. It could be raining at the end of the world, I know it's often rained when I've been travelling, but I'm not even going to go look at this in person until I know that someone cared enough about its construction to find out what it's made of. Besides me, I mean.

UPDATE, FRIDAY MORNING: it pays to clean out the Inbox! Look what Bergdorf's has:
Striped Sweater: 
Dip-dye details add artistic imprecision to smart colorblocking on this mod-inspired Carven sweater.
  • Multicolor stripes with white dip-dye detail on hem and left sleeve.
  • Round neckline.
  • Long sleeves with ribbed cuffs.
  • Ribbed hem; pullover style.
  • Superkid mohair/polyamide/wool.
  • Made in France.

I'm not going to discuss prices. Either the economy will catch up with the prices by the time it's cool enough for these delicious sweaters, or the prices will fall to catch up (down?) with the economy.


  1. As a former chemist, I take insult to that description. Poly is an ester, while nylon is a polyamide. Ugh.

    I have no clothes for the 'end of the world,' so I guess I should start looking for some. I am betting there's an interesting story behind your having to exit in a hurry... will you share with us? :D If you'd rather not, I understand.

  2. Ah the end of the world. I am pretty sure I will indulge in tulle of some sort (my inner ballerina?) and cashmere and very expensive champagne. The end of the world will be a sunny day I hope, as I really look awful in a trench...

  3. Hi, Rose, my my mom was perfectly equipped for all possibilities at all times I, of course, am not. However, when travel arrangements need to be changed on the spot I've learned the hard way that it pays to look like someone who might just be in a position to make trouble for the unhelpful. And to think there was a time when I traveled with clean underwear, a facility with languages and a hopeful expression. Sigh. The pretty sweaters imlooking at are from the new JC arrivals, stalking til they're marked down.

    1. I read somewhere that a very expensive, recognizable designer bag would do the trick. Maybe people are on to something. I should pay attention and go upscale from my regular Coach bags. So far I have been relying on my (air mile) status with the airlines.

  4. I love twinsets, I'm sure it's no surprise to you. That new jc/designer collab set had me making irrational noises last night when I saw them. Did the double take as you did, and decided that for the combined $600 I could spring for "real" designer duds. Plus did you see the description that the knit is 14 gauge? That's flimsy stuff for $600. In the cold light of day, I've decided that I'll seek out a special piece to splurge on this fall, and not necessarily from our obsession-inducing retail giant.

    1. Ah, I see they corrected the prices on the twinset the next day. Still too pricey for the sure-to-pill knit. I think I'll take up knitting and make myself a scarf in those colours.

    2. I wonder if that was a correction or a concession...

  5. I like the Bergdorf one-- cheery. Looks like they ran out of dye, but I guess that's the point with dipdye. I have an old Tse cashmere set from the 90's still NO PILLING. Have never tried Missoni-- is the sizing easy to figure out?

  6. Hi, Lane, my Tse - the one with the blue flowers - is (are) from, um, maybe the late 90's, and NO PILLS! Missonis last forever, the are Italian sizes, 42 - 44 is a10 and the sizes can go up to 50. The yarns tend to be stretchy. I took a real chance with the zigzag stripe, found the cardi on one sale site and just held my breath till the shell appeared on a different sale sue, and not a moment too soon! It was almost time to send the cardi back...

  7. I read that description of the trench and was really puzzled too - is it nylon or poly? Oh well. The Carven sweater is very nice and probably excellent quality. I bought a Carven mohair sweater last fall and it is as light as air and feels like silk on the skin.

    I like the idea of dressing for the end of the world or at the very least, dressing for catastrophes while traveling!

  8. H, Louise, I'm definitely planning to stop in to Bergdorf's and try on that sweater. I'd prefer a twinset on general principles, but I'm afraid to make a capital commitment to JC cashmere. As to the is-it-nylon or is -it-poly thing, I just wish they'd take the trouble to get it right. This isn't as awful as the time the CFS confused the human knee with the human navel, but still...

  9. Maybe they meant the lining is poly and the outer shell is twill? Anyway, it's a mystery. I am ITA about duffel coat, who does the cropped sleeve on a COAT? I made a mistake several years ago of buying a very expensive Burberry Prorsum coat with 3/4 bell sleeves and I wore it exactly once- it warrants a t-neck or something L/S under and just simply a pain you know where to wear. Lesson learned.

  10. Hi, Slastena, those sleeves are simply beyond me. Kind of like the winter-weight flannel shirt with short sleeves. Why?


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