the weeping Pleiades wester, and discounts fall galore; Fred views the Cloisters collection, shirts, pants, scarves

This is not the first time scaled-down printed versions of the tapestries on view at the Cloisters (NY) or the Cluny (Paris) have found their way into contemporary fashion.  I think this is a good thing. The scarf below is a vintage treasure, ahem.
Anne Klein. Herself.

Quick report on the August meteor shower, which around here means a flurry of birthday discount codes and coupons of varying durations.

People seem very grumpy at Anthro. I've had a pair of grey leather booties on preorder since forever. An example of my renowned saintly disposition is that I didn't cancel the order when they refused to add on the birthday discount.

I parlayed Banana Republic rewards, promos, and birthday tribute into BR's version of the Military Jacket, which is the same color as the JC pale beige/stone/canvas Downtown Field Jacket. The cut of the JC jacket is slightly sharper, but the collar is finished with tape in a color that's not quite the same as the rest of the jacket. They managed to get dyed-to-match tape for the other colors, so this is just a miss. The one at BR seemed a little nicer, I preferred its make-believe tortoise buttons to the shiny metal on the JC jacket.

the Banana version

the J.Crew versuib
It arrived, it fits, and guess what? I ordered the JC version as well.

The JC version seems to be in good supply on the web and in local stores (I shop on the web in the middle of the night because I have other things to do in the daytime) - but for some reason the jacket is traveling to New York by oxcart from Southern California. Annoying because I want it to arrive before the return date on the BR jacket.

Of course once I'd committed my JC birthday gift to testing the jacket, my JC rewards arrived over the weekend and boy was my face red! I had about convinced myself that my spending was way down. Mmm not so much. On the other hand I may be one of the better dressed at the apocalypse.

I have to admit that my first thought upon seeing the Bird of Paradise and Midnight Unicorn prints in a Times ad was Finally! Something to wear if Farley shows up! Because the longer it goes between visits, the more worrisome Farley becomes. Farley is one of a small group of school friends from years back - school as in 3rd grade, and he's the one whose adventures are the most amusing, although perhaps not for him. Farley has appeared in the blog a few times....

Anyway my second thought was the disaster I'd had last winter when I tried to buy a Drake's pocket square in a version of this season's unicorn print. The fabric was completely see-through and was so stiffened with sizing that it couldn't be worn at the neck, which was where I wanted to wear it.

So with that background, off to the store.

People are having different reactions to the fit of the pieces in what I will call the JC Cloisters Collection. The SA told me that the BofP shirt runs small, advised sizing up, and called for a larger size than the one I was holding. Twenty minutes later it was clear that there was no larger size in the store, no one felt up to calling around for a stock check, and I'd have to try on the one I was still clutching. It was a little loose and floppy at the shoulders, perfect at neck and chest, and yes, I do have a generous bust. The very bottom button didn't button. The fabric was perhaps not quite as nice and drape-y as, say, the silk French Hen shirt or the silk navy/red Hearts shirt, but I didn't find it see-through and the collar was correct, by which I mean not floppy and not overly stiff. Not worried about that bottom button. Found the shirt extremely appealing. So BANG went the rewards.

Styling suggestions:
     (1) pants.
     (2) skirt.
Not at the same time. There's a lot of wine-colored stuff in my closet. I dunno, it just accumulated. I'm also thinking about the pale beige suede skirt for dressup.
     (3) if anyone is asked to be in a holiday pageant the shirt would go very nicely with sequin or velvet shorts. If anyone is thinking of asking me to be in a holiday pageant, please reconsider. Now.

I didn't try on the pants in either design. The fabrics are of the same weight and hand as the tops, and the designs are of the same scale. Not lined. However - big however - as we know every garment fits every body in a different way. I saw another customer trying the pants.

Do not buy these without trying them on in front of a mirror, and making very certain that you are OK with the way the unicorn's horn or the bird's bill is pointing. Just sayin.

That (BofP) beak recalled the above Wildfox shirt. Do not pair them.

As to the scarves, the long narrow one in BoP is an awkward size for me. A smaller lady might have some fun with it as a sash or as a floppy bow tie. The measurements weren't given when it was on pre-order, so I was curious. It's 4 feet long by 3 inches wide. To me, that's gift wrap.

There's a 20-inch square scarf in the unicorn print, I might go back for that one.

I found the Unicorn pajama top to look like, um, a pajama top with big floppy shoulders. Tried a smaller size. It looked like a pajama top with big floppy shoulders and a tight middle. So I guess I'm not meant to have it.

Finally, I tried on the JC Avery pumps, the tweed with medium blocky heel. Gorgeous. Only I learned that I have lost weight on one of my feet. Just one. Or perhaps someone with an extraordinarily wide right foot tried on that shoe before it was offered to me? Or perhaps a manufacturing blink?  In any event, happy with the blouse. If things work out this fall, I'll wear it in Paris and stand in front of a tapestry and graciously accept compliments.


  1. I'm trying the unicorn pants because they remind me of a storybook and I thought they might be fun at readings and book signings (we will see!). You might get to see them on me when I do my NYC signing in Feb or March!!! Will let you know where the horn is, which, I agree, is crucial!

    1. oh, you can't have a story without at least one shy but hopeful unicorn. Can't wait for publication!

  2. Wish you had been with me on Michigan avenue yesterday when I had a good look at all of these pieces. I couldn't figure out how I'd fit wearing pyjamas into my real life except for sleeping of course, and they're awfully spensive Jammie's and dry clean only, I don't think is try cold water wash on that fabric... I don't wear many skirts so no pairing ideas were coming to mind, the pants would be very hard to pull off as an outfit as the silk is as thin as the tops? My hubs was with me and he could only say 'what'
    I did buy the tiered fatigue shirt dress in khaki for an upcoming canoe trip, it's not easy finding a dress fit for paddling as I'm sure you can imagine ;)

    1. I love the idea of a slender maiden canoe-ing in a cute dress, didn't Sacajawea wear an embellished suede tunic with fringe, no less?

      The fabric is the same, pants and tops. I would actually love these prints in a lightweight but closely-woven ($$$$) wool. Doubt it will happen. Sigh.

  3. As always, your comments are delightful . Wit with capital letters.

  4. These prints are not for me, but I was so thrilled to go to the Cloisters on my recent trip to NYC. I'd wanted to go ever since I swiped my mom's copy of "Fear of Flying."

  5. These prints are not for me, but I was so thrilled to go to the Cloisters on my recent trip to NYC. I'd wanted to go ever since I swiped my mom's copy of "Fear of Flying."

  6. Well, my 8th-grade field trip wasn't quite like that, but I do love the Cloisters.


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