Wednesday, September 18, 2019

More Fall Fashions

Fall is finally in the air and I can't wait to put away those summer clothes and wear sweaters and coats.  So what am I loving for fall?  A lot unfortunately!  Like these jeans. These will make any figure look good.

I need to add a turtleneck sweater in this neutral color.  Prefer wool over cashmere but this is a staple for me.

I'm always a sucker for an animal print.  Love all of these.......




I also love this sweater from Vince and it comes in several colors. I could wear them all.


Another animal print.  Do you see a theme here?  Love this for fall....



Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Road to the Kentucky Started Last Weekend

Yes, it's true.  The first Kentucky Derby points were handed out on Saturday, fittingly enough, at Churchill Downs.  And there is definitely a "favorite" already but hoping not to jinx this talented two-year-old this early in the game.

Dennis' Moment did not disappoint the crowd when he went on to win a race in which he was the clear favorite. After demolishing his competition at Saratoga this summer by winning his last race by over 19 lengths, this bay colt, a son of Tiznow, came off to win effortlessly, setting a Stakes record along the way. 

He made it look pretty darn easy and he'll be bubble-wrapped until the Breeder's Cup in early November where he will likely be vying for the top-two-year-old honors. He;s most definitely a Derby horse.

 (TB Daily News Photo)




Sunday, September 15, 2019

Fun Fall Horsey Clothing for the Riders and Non-Riders

I am loving some of the fun new fall and winter clothing that is starting to show up, stuff that you can wear even if you don't ride.  While in Dover Saddlery yesterday, I saw some of their new clothing and the selection, the variety, it's great.

This sweatshirt was not in the store and I'd love to see it in real life.  It also comes in gray. Love the details.  See it here.



As usual the Ariat clothing does not disappoint. I love the red and blues.  Their clothing is such good quality, lasts, fits well and it's reasonably priced. See this sweater here.  Wish it as all wool.


Also love this top from Kingsland. Would love to wear with jeans, or to ride in. See it here.

And I love this new base layer from Ariat. See it here.



And this half zip is SO CUTE in real life.  See it here.



Friday, September 13, 2019

Super Sega - One Last Time

My beloved chestnut mare is not doing well.  It's been a long few months with her this summer with repeated episodes of founder (laminitis) even though we are in drought mode here with little to no grass.  She is definitely on a downward spiral that is not going to end well and I just try to manage her and allow her to have the wonderful quality of life she deserves as she winds down her life with us in Virginia. 

 (Sega at the end of her horse show career)

 (early Sega)

(Sega in her prime)

These past few weeks have had me thinking a lot about her and what we achieved together.  It's remarkable that we had the run we did.  She was an inexpensive horse by today's standards, bred to be a dressage mount, bought to be field hunter but turned into a top Adult Amateur Hunter.  And she did not live in a "show barn" except for the first few years of her 12 year run. Who knew?



Sega was special from the very beginning.  Her brain was what you always wanted in any horse - calm, cool, collected, under any circumstances but her greatest strength was her will to win.  She wanted to be the winner every time out - except for one day at Harrisburg. If we messed up it wasn't her fault.  Sure, she'd pull a rail, swap off, miss a lead change, but after she got the hang of it, that rarely happened unless the rider caused the error.  I had 110 percent 99 percent of the time.  How nice was that?  And she was so uncomplicated - not marish, not spooky, not interested in anything going on around her except her job in the ring.  And she was the soundest horse on the planet.  In almost 22 years I can count on one hand the times she has been lame until this summer.  She had a broken bone in her leg and was lame only the very first day of the accident.

She won a lot but we never chased year-end awards.  If we won them it just happened.  We were the top Adult Hunter in Maryland, the top Hanoverian Adult Hunter in the country, the top Adult Hunter in Western Pennsylvania multiple times, the #2 horse  (Older Adult) in Zone 3 (only because we did 1/3 of the shows that the winner did) and we almost always were in the top 10 in the Zone the years we showed.  But she always showed at the least amount of shows of the horses she competed with during those years.  That's why she had a 12 year show career.  We never did warm-ups, the professionals rarely showed her after her Pre-Green year. We had a great routine that worked well for us both.

She won tri-colors at some big shows:  Maryland Horse & Pony, Merrill-Lynch Hunter-Jumper Classic (now called Chagrin Valley Classic), Lexington Spring Encore, Stonewall Country, The Barracks, Culpepper, Ocala, Roanoke Valley, State College, just to mention a few and was the Circuit Champion one year in Ocala.  We made the WCHR Finals three times and placed it in twice - 10th and 4th (one of our greatest accomplishments). She was the Hunter Classic queen and we did the NAL Finals, WISH Finals and Local Day placing in all three.

As she slowed down I showed her for a few months at 2'9 (where she was champion at a AA show her last time out, of course) and I showed her locally in the Pleasure Division a few times where she won every class every time.  She wanted to be the winner even in old age!

And did I say she was as good a field hunter as she was a show horse?  She was!  Everything she did she did well. 

Sega's career is who she was.  She loved every minute of it.  That's what made it so fun with her - it was such a partnership - we just understood each other so well through it all.  That's what makes it so hard now - I understand her now too.  She is almost done with this life.  That I am certain.  Life will never ever be the same without her once she is finally gone, but man what a great ride we've had in more ways than one!


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Do You Remember Pierre Deux?

I watched the Tory Burch fashion show online on Sunday morning and she is channeling Princess Diana for the spring.  She is also rolling out "Pierre Deux" type bags as Diana had one as we all did back then.  Do you remember Pierre Deux?  I loved going to the stores in Washington and Atlanta.

You can still find the stuff on Etsy and Ebay like this bag here.


Pierre Deux brought the French Country Style to mainstream America and it never really left but it was so "in" in the 80's.

Here's a toile tablecloth also on Etsy. 

Here is a lovely pillow:


We all owned this book but I don't have mine anymore:

Here is another bag:

The company declared bankruptcy in 2011 and I believe the shops have all closed.    The founder, Pierre Moulin, died in 1999.  You read his obituary here.

If you love the brand then you'll want to look for the bags next spring at Tory Burch.




Thursday, September 5, 2019

Early Fall Picks

I am loving the fall clothing this year but have promised to shop only for quality items that I know I'll be wearing five years from now.

Here are a few of the things on my wish list for fall and winter 2019.

Love, love, love this coat and it comes also with a fur collar:

(Coat)

A Lee Radziwill bag is definitely on my list although I may never own one.  Love them all!

I also love this backpack which I would not use as backpack but more as a handbag. Not certain whether I would love this or not but I like the concept.  This would go with almost everything.  See it here.

I've had my eye on these shoes for a while. They come in two colors and then in solid black.  I like them all but these are my favorites:

I also like these brown mules. They will go with everything in the closet for sure:

You can never have too many turtlenecks and it's getting harder and harder to find them in wool and cashmere.  The price point on this one is good but you never know about J Crew quality anymore. 


Monday, September 2, 2019

The New York Time's Bad Aim at the Horse Show World

I wanted to take aim at an article that appeared this week in the New York Times about the Hampton Classic Horse Show, a staple on the Hamptons' social circuit.  The horse show is a labor day tradition in tony Hampton circles and on some people's horse show calendar. The article presented an interesting but not necessarily realistic view into the horse show world. 

If you have not read the article, you can see it here.

First of all,let me state that I have never been to the Hampton Classic either as a competitor or as a spectator.  I would love to show there and also spectate but my comments are from someone who knows many people who have competed there. 

But I take aim at a lot information in this article that makes it look like he entire horse show world operates at the Hampton Classic level, which could not be further from the truth. I'll start by the comment about the horse trailers:

The eastward crawl on Route 27 has become a cartoon motorcade of Maseratis, Lamborghini, convertible Bentleys and, during this 44th edition of the Hampton Classic, Ford F-350 trucks towing air-conditioned 4-Star gooseneck horse trailers, a form of equine transport that Horse & Hound magazine once judged as luxurious as a five-star hotel.

First of all, I have never seen an air-conditioned horse trailer.  They may exist, but I have never heard of anyone owning one. Maybe Georgina Bloomberg or Jessica Springstein has one.  4-Star trailers are not fancy, I own one, a gooseneck to be exact.  And why in the world would a British magazine know anything about a trailer that isn't even sold in that country?  If a 4-star gooseneck is luxurious as a five-star hotel then I have been staying in the wrong hotels. Is this five-star quality?  Maybe low level Marriott or Hampton Inn? 


We all know that owning a horse is not an inexpensive enterprise. Horses cost money.  But not all horses cost $500K or $5M as this article wants you to think. Most of us own horses that cost four or five figures but you can pay whatever you want for a horse. You can buy a very well-bred warmblood as a yearling for $10,000. You can buy an off-the-track thoroughbred for less than a $1,000.  Maybe the Jennifer Gates and the Eve Jobs of the world are buying the $5M grand prix jumpers but the other 99 percent who ride and show are not. This is like saying that everyone who shows horses drives a Masserati.  Most of us are driving our 15-year-old diesel trucks because we can't afford to buy a new one.

Most horse shows don't have events that sell $50,000 tables. In fact, the ones that I attend in Virginia, offer free tables to the exhibitors. This is uniquely a Hampton's thing or a Wellington thing, and is clearly not the norm at the many shows I have attended over the past 20 years up and down the East Coast.  It's great to raise money for good charities but don't make it look like this is a normal event at a horse show because it's not.


And I'll take aim at this comment:

Bodily risks aside, Mr. Babington added, the sport is clearly not for the faint of heart. Consider, he said, the $4,000 monthly fees charged by some barns for boarding; the $1,500 Der Dau boots favored by many riders; an imposing list of tack-room essentials (bridles, saddles, martingales, girths, blankets, coolers, fly nets, galloping boots, spurs and crops for a start); the $300 fees required to enter certain show classes; the $100 it costs to braid a show horse’s mane and tail; and the fact that many horses require new shoeing almost as often as Sarah Jessica Parker. 

Boarding a horse can cost whatever you are willing to pay.  Field board can be as low as $100 a month.  You can pay $2500 a month to board near Boston.  You can pay $10,000 a month for an apartment in New York or you can pay $2,500. Horse boarding is no different and people like me do it all themselves and it's hard labor. And yes the gear is expensive but not everyone rides in custom made boots just as not everyone is willing to pay $750 for a pair of Gucci loafers.  Many of us buy our equipment at second hand stores where well-used tack is a fraction of it's original price.  And unlike a lot of things today, tack will last 20-30 years if it is taken care of.  I resold a 10-year old French saddle a few years ago for more than I paid for it new. 
The braiding figure is accurate however, and it's a huge pet peeve of mine at horse shows. If your kid is going to ride and show, make sure he or she learns how to braid their own horse.  Sadly I never learned the art.


As a side note, Kevin Babbington, the professional quoted in this article suffered a bad fall at the show and was airlifted to a New York hospital late last week with non-life-threatening but serious injuries to his spinal cord.  Hoping he fully recovers.

It's articles like this that make the world think that the entire horse show popluation operates like the Bloombergs, the Gates, the Jobs' of this world.  Trust me we do not. I was up at 6 am this morning mucking stalls and cleaning out my "five star hotel" 4-star gooseneck.  And there was no air conditioning.

The Real Cost of Cheap Fashion

Being environmentally conscious means much more than driving a hybrid car, living off the grid, taking public transportation or eating less meat.  Have you ever thought of how your clothes buying habits impact our planet?

According a recent article in the New York Times, in 2018 the average person bought 68 garments a year.  On average each piece is worn seven times.  Another study says the average wear is only three times.  Our population growth is staggering.  It is predicted that our population will swell to 8.5 billion by 2030 and that will mean the world will collectively buy 63% more clothing (all from this article in the NYT).

To accommodate the demand for "fast fashion" companies off-shored manufacturing to the cheapest possible locations. In 1991 56.2% of all clothing purchased in the US was made here.  By 2012 only 2.5% was made here.   Fashion is still very labor intensive so that one out of every six people on the planet is employed in some way by the industry.  But yet fewer than 2% of garment workers earn a living wage.  And the industry is a big polluter, responsible for 20% of all industrial water pollution annually. The fashion industry releases 10% of the carbon emissions in our air according to a McKinsey study.



And what about the clothing waste?  Do you think all those clothes at H & M get sold?  20% go unsold. Leftover clothes are buried, shredded or burned.  Most clothing today is synthetic and therefore, not biodegradable. 

The fast fashion giants are trying to do better but it's certainly not in their financial best interests to really change a thing. Zara and H & M have launched capsule collections made with sustainable materials. 



But the biggest impact can be made by the consumer, people like you and me.  I for one am going to start buying a lot less.  How many pairs of shoes do you really need?  Do you need five pairs of black pants for winter?  And I read labels.  Where was this garment made? China, Vietnam, the US?  And what is the fabric content?  I have quit shopping at J Crew mostly due to the poor quality of their fabrics.

To sum it all up.........

1) Buy a lot less.
2) Buy better quality clothing that you will wear for years over and over again.


3) Read labels - origin?  Fabric content?
4) Is the garment hand or machine washable? Does it have to be dry cleaned?
5) Recycle your clothing. Sell your good quality clothing on Poshmark or Ebay or donate it.



We need to change a lot of things to make our planet more livable for future generations and even your clothing purchases have a real impact. Be stylish but help sustain our planet at the same time.


Sunday, September 1, 2019

New Needlepoint

Gearing up for the colder weather when it gets here?  Think about adding to your needlepoint stash now so you have time to special order any canvases that may not be in stock.  There are so many cute canvases out there that I'd love to add to my stash.........

This would make a great sign for your deck:


These jockey coasters would look great as a pillow. It looks like it would be fun to stitch too.  See it here.


This cute bunny will make a great pillow for the spring holidays:

Love this one - would take a long time to stitch:




Love this for the holidays:


Love this toile ornament and it's on sale right now:

Love this Fox canvas:


Friday, August 30, 2019

Target to Celebrate 20 Years of Design Collaboration in September

 Wishing you could replace those cute Lilly Pulitzer bowls you bought at Target back in 2015 for $19.99?  Love that Missoni cardigan you have now worn out that you bought back in 2011? Well, you can revisit all of those great collaborations over the years when Target brings many of them back (until their web site crashes) on September 14th. Set you alarm on your iPhone as these deals will be gone by early morning for sure.


 Drum roll please! The designers joining Target in celebration of 20 Years of Design for All include visionaries Michael Graves (1999-2013); Philippe Starck (2002); Stephen Sprouse (2002); Isaac Mizrahi (2003-2009); Erin Fetherston (2007); Proenza Schouler (2007); Thakoon (2008); John Derian (2008, 2010); Anna Sui (2009); Rodarte (2009); Stephen Burrows (2010); Zac Posen (2010); Harajuku Mini (2011-2012); Missoni (2011); Jason Wu (2012); 3.1 Phillip Lim (2013); Altuzarra (2014); Lilly Pulitzer (2015); Marimekko (2016) and Hunter (2018).


Many of the items are on the website now but not available to purchase until the 14th. 


You can scroll down the site here and check it all out.
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