Monday, October 4, 2010

Back to Basics

For me fall signifies a time to get serious.  As a child it meant returning to school with sharp HB pencils in my new pencil case, crisp outfits, and the smell of books in the beloved library.  Every year, no matter where I am in the world and what the weather may be, I instinctively become more solemn as we round the corner to September and tend to stay that way for most of the winter months.  It's school's fault I think - it forced me to shed the lazy days of summer and get back to business.

This also goes for my wardrobe.  It is true that growing up in Canada meant a free-for-all of amazing and wearable fall fashion from plaid and wool to velvet and fur, but it also meant a purposeful acquisition of basics that could be worn mostly together or intermingled between other trendier pieces.  I was a basics lover long before my Gap days, but it was my tenure there that instilled an appreciation for the good stuff - a plethora of white, black, navy and grey t's in long and short sleeves always kept on hand, be sure to include leggings in those same basic colors,  and don't forget denim in light to dark washes in tops, bottoms and jackets.  These lessons I learned at Gap are, in some ways ironically, as valuable to me as an adult as some of the things I learned in high school and university (shhhhhh don't tell!).  As long as I have the essentials in wardrobe basics, it is easier to maneuver from season to season without breaking the bank.  Fall is a time when I find myself rediscovering these wonderful pieces that have rested patiently in my closet through most of the brighter summer months, and this weekend was no exception.

 If you were to happen upon my neighborhood chances are
you would see me strolling in a version of this on any of my "off days".
 Okay you got me.  On any day.

It's got all the essentials - not too large/not too small denim jacket, 
James Perse T (you know how I feel about those), black leggings, 
and a zip of leopard in the shoe to bring the unexpected.

 As much as I love a leather bag - and girls you know I love a leather bag - 
this little canvas bag is perfect for groceries and, well, I'll just out myself...
It's got CATS IN A BLANKET AT THE BEACH ON IT!
(if only my parisian former-neighbors from santa monica who used to take our "shared" cat to the 
beach in the basket of their vespa could see this now!  bruno...you out there?)

The bag says "4 friends, 2 sweaters.... 1 cold night @ the beach"
Doesn't get much better than that, in my opinion!

And it only seems fitting to pair cats with cat print.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  I'll fill you in on mine tomorrow seeing as I've been wrestling with Blogger for, oh, 4 hours and my patience has basically been worn to nil.  (death to this picture uploading/crashing nonsense!!)

Outfit details:  Tom Ford - Sunnies, Big Star - Denim Jacket, James Perse - T, Gap - Tank, American Apparel - Leggings, Target - Leopard Flats, J.Crew - Canvas Bag, Melinda Maria - Rings

96 comments:

Katie said...

Classic, perfect outfit!

Carrie! Check your email because you won the CSN Giveaway :)

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Carrie, this is a lovely 'Off day' look. I adore the ballerinas - perfect for swanning about and fetching provisions from the market. Have yet to wear a pair of leggings - they do look good on you paired with that Jeans top and white tee.
Have a sweet, happy week;-)
XXXX

Chloe, Butterfly Cupcakes said...

I love that bag, so cute. My mum just bought me a tote bag with cats on it.

Diana Mieczan said...

I also tend to go back to basics during the autumn season...I am crazy about yout tote bag...I so need to have one like that!!!...I have flats like yours and I am probably going to wear them today too..You look so amazing in them:)
Hugs,sweetie
Happy Monday

kirstyb said...

love the leopard print pumps xxxx

Jaclyn said...

love the simple, classic 'everyday outfit' and here's to wishing that your blogger horror is sorted shortly!

Collette Osuna said...

Cute bag...love your simple outfit....and its chic!!!

Stop by and say Hello ♥
Statements in Fashion Blog

Style Attic said...

We have the same shades and my hair is always pulled back as well. I love that someone else feels most comfortable that way too. Watching TV, I always find myself wanting to reach through the screen and help hold back some of the hair drama :) Ahh, the leggings, you do them proud. I technically think it's not tragic if I go that route, but being so petite (5'1") I always feel like I need more runway to pull them over! You've got the token leopard on for the season...I just ordered mine in the form of DAV rain boots..with a tiny heel! XO, Kelly

Anna Jane said...

i love fall, too, because it signifies a new start (more so than the new year--who wants to start a new routine in a bleak month like January?)

what a simple, perfect oufit! love the flats and that definitely is the perfect tee..might have to revisit James Perse as I haven't looked at his stuff lately.

xx a j

Lori said...

L*o*v*e THAT BAG!! OMG ~ it is too cute! Love the basics outfit ~ so comfy and cute. I too wrestled with Blogger or Booger as I called it yesterday but I am hoping all is OK now as I had no problems last night. Hope you have a wonderful Monday Carrie and I tagged you in my post today ~ I so hope you decide to play along! xo

annelise said...

I'm an absolute sucker for anything leopard print, they *make* any outfit.

Cara said...

American Apparel and Theory are my FAVORITE leggings! Have a great week!

Chas said...

You look great! I love the leopard flats and the cat bag is too cute!

Cool Gal said...

Those flats are adorable and from Target? I'm going out for a pair today.

Darling outfit.

Happy Monday!

Danielle (elleinadspir) said...

I love this look. Just classic and easy.

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

OOh, Carrie, love those flats with it!

Gina said...

i love your flats :)

where can i get them??

&&& holy moly!!! that bag must be mine :)

Dawn said...

Have the jacket and the leggings...now please send shoes:)
Hope your week is a better one:)

20 York Street said...

Oh Canada! I've been very strategic about fall this year as it always scares the living Blahniks out of me this Canadian winter!

Love the flats!

besos,

ML
20 YORK STREET

Debby said...

I love animal print flats... I went to get some sensible shoes to wear to my son's football games last fall and that's what I came out with. Who needs sneakers anyways? I got a lot of disapproving looks from small town, small minded Mom's but I liked them, so that's all that matters. I love those J. Crew totes too, they are so cute! xo

janettaylor said...

What a lovely canvas tote, my dear!

just a girl said...

I love this outfit, especially with the shoes. I need to get me some animal print flats. In fact, I wish I was wearing this outfit right now.

Closet Fashionista said...

Love this! The bag is so cute :D
http://aclosetfashionista.blogspot.com/

Staley Mc said...

Love this outfit! So casual and chic and I love your flats!

Nikki said...

Carrie, you are too cute. Love the look, and I totally agree it's the perfect weekend outfit for fall.


xx
Nikki

Josie said...

I am all about basics. In fact, I'd say that I own entirely too many. But you look adorable in yours! Oh, James Perse, how I love you. This whole look is so chic but looks utterly comfortable at the same time -- genius.
xo Josie
http://winksmilestyle.blogspot.com

Aimee said...

I love this outfit! Simple yet so put together. I don't think I've ever seen an outfit of yours that I haven't wanted to completely drool over! Bitch :p

Lisa Lisa Lisa said...

You are the cutest! That tote is adorable and I love that it reminds you of such sweet memories. Yes, your outfit is the perfect basic staple. The jacket keeps the basics vibrant I think.
Hope you had a lovely weekend!!!

Vic said...

i couldn't agree with you more.....it's just a time of year that you can totally feel this way...love it....i've been a complete tights (leggings) girl for the past two weeks....they just go with everything! love the bag....have a nice week!

Daniela said...

I LOVE this outfit! Simple and so cute

Sophie said...

Love your outfit! I want those flats of yours. amazing!!!

xx

Jen said...

Isn't it amazing how those leopard flats make the entire outfit?? Love them!!

Happy Monday Dear! xo

P.S. Oh, and will you check out my new blog that shows where all of us bloggers are located:

www.locationcentral.blogspot.com

Ms. Givens said...

Denim jackets are a must in everyone womens wardrobe. I am wearing mine over an army green sweater, with gray GAP slacks and suede pumps that are gray, army green and black.
If you dont own a denim jacket then thrift one today. That's my advice.
My problem with fall and winter is that it takes me till next summer to thaw out my ankles.
It was 39 here this morning. I am still cold. :)

Lisa Griffin said...

man i just love the length of that t! i find it hard to justify that price for a t-shirt but that is the perfect basic tunic. i had those same shoes but they tore my feet to shreds, so glad your's worked better!
www.indramaticfashion.com
p.s you're welcome for the shout out thanks for the inspiration!

THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

Oh I so agree with u! And I wear pretty much that exact outfit quite often :)

Have a great day, sweetie! xoxo

Daisy said...

you are so smart when it comes to fashion. you look fabulous in these shots.

Lydia said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE canvas totes. I seriously have around 7 of them. Did you work at Gap? I work at Banana Republic right now and I'm enjoying it a lot! :) Hope the weather is a bit cooler in California now.

Bella @Bellgetsreal said...

I love that you have your book bag in tow. :) cute shoes I will be checking them out after work today....
I always load up on basics every season. You can never have too many layering pieces in my book.

Leia said...

You make basics look chic-er than ever :)
I *adore* the bag, the little kitties are so cute! And leopard print is my absolute favorite :)

Leia

Alicia said...

Oh I saw these canvas bags at JCrew and instantly fell in love! So chic for grocery shopping and would definitely be an upgrade from tje Trader Joe and Wholefoods canvas bags I currently use ;)

Ashleigh said...

OMG CUTESTBAGEVER!!! Love my 2 kitties <3
Loving your off day outfit, got me thinking I 'need' a denim jacket!
Thought of you this weekend while shopping, have you checked out Ann Taylor Loft lately? They're looking a little M+O inspired these days. Of course nothing can replace, but I noticed a few hints of our beloved :)

And shame on you for not buying the dress form! I stopped in Home Goods this weekend but no such luck...

la petite coquine said...

I'm sorry you're still having such trouble with Blogger!

Adorable outfit-I'm almost always wearing something just like it! And as fabulous as a good leather bag is, nothing beats a great canvas! I have an LLBean in medium, giant and huge, and I don't know what I'd do without them!

Valerie said...

Carrie, this is almost identical to my winter errand running uniform. It's so comfy and classic. You look so chic and I'm loving those leopard flats! I hope you got some rest (or a martini) yesterday after all the "mayhem". Haha. I have a confession to make. I fell off the wagon on Saturday and bought a pair of shoes. UGH. It's just that Santa Monica Place is on my direct path home from the gym. So on my walk home, I ventured into Nordstrom and found myself in the shoe section. I don't remember much after that, but I somehow ended up with a new pair of black peep toe pumps with jeweled heels (as seen on my post today). I should be ashamed of myself, but I love them so much that I feel like it was meant to be. It was a one time incident though! I hope we can still be friends.

xo
Valerie

BenchesandChandeliers said...

i agree about fall! maybe it's the extra layers of clothing we're wearing that makes us more serious? not sure...

http://www.benchesandchandeliers.com

Marie a la Mode said...

I'm loving your denim jacket and I enjoy those flats, too. An all-around great outfit : )

I get most of my basics from the Gap, there's an outlet near my house and it's cheap, cheap, cheap!

PursuitOfLLT said...

love this outfit. simple but comfy and chic. And the tote is just too cute!

happy monday....is it friday yet ?

Marcie said...

Love that bag. And I agree, sometimes going back to basics is so great. It just takes the hustle out of everyday life.

xo M

Café Bellini said...

I love your flats, I've always wanted a pair of leopard print ones!

Claire Kiefer said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely. I have to admit that I'm not so smart about having "classic" or "staple" items in my wardrobe; I am always drawn to the outlandish! But the leopard shoes give the outfit just the right amount of wild. :) As for denim jackets, I've so been wanting one, but it's so dang hard to find one that is cute and fits well! I think the lesson is: once you find one, hold onto it for dear life!

Dancing Branflake said...

I love this outfit! You are surely the chicest in your class. Love that bag especially!

heather yalin said...

I love your back to basics look. School did the same thing to me, though I was always a little happy and excited about it. I look back now and wonder how I ever did it though. I worked and schooled full time for so many YEARS! And held down (crappy, for me) relationships and managed to go out on the weekends, kinda. I don't know where that energy came from. And I'm happy not to be doing that now, though I wouldn't mind some of that energy!

Love this wonderful outfit and those shoes! And that bag is perfection!

Annie said...

SUCH a cute outfit, Carrie!! Especially loving the leopard flats :)

Jessica said...

I have got to find me a pair of leopard flats. Yours are adorable!

alli/hooray said...

LOVE the outfit, Carrie.
I also can't believe you have this bag. I was SO close to buying this for my bff for her birthday, it's perfect!

Emily Jane said...

Lovely outfit, and ADORE the bag!!

Jennifer Fabulous said...

I absolutely LOVE the jean jacket! Those leopard flats are simply too adorable as well! xo

Margaret said...

Ahhh I must get that adorable kitty bag : )

Travels in Heels said...

I love this classic outfit! I have to Denim jackets from the GAP that I love!

Ebony said...

You look so casual and comfortable. I rarely feel like I look comfortable and pulled together. It's one or the other for me.

http://xoxoebony.blogspot.com

BusyB said...

YOUR SHOES! : ) they made me smile....


-HAPPY MONDAY!

hip hip gin gin said...

You look fantastic!! Dare I say you look more chic on your off days than most people look on their "on " days. And I am in love with those shoes, how could you not feel good in cute shoes like those!

Style, She Wrote said...

Love the leopard ballet flats! J. Crew definitely makes the best ones.

Kendall Marie Bennett said...

that bag is amazing. must run and purchase this week! love all the outfit posts.

LyddieGal said...

The Gap does teach many things. It's one of the few stores that I have been shopping at for 12 years and isn't a 'problem' now as I work hard to give up the jrs. dept.

Basics with a leopard shoe aren't even so basic anymore -- they are stylish.

Chic on the Cheap

this free bird said...

Thanks Lyddie!! I feel the same way - the leopard sass really elevates it!

xoxo,
Carrie

Bren said...

Carrie!!! You were missed on Saturday. I hope you can make it to our next meet up! I love your casual outfit with those AMAZING leopard ballet flats! This exactly the kind of stuff I love to work in! Cute and comfy. :) And that J. Crew tote...I think I need it! The kitties in the sweater are adorable!

xoxo,
Bren @ Chasing Beauty

Jess said...

LOVE your denim jacket! I can never seem to find a denim jacket that fits well. They are always too boxy. How come yours fits so perfectly?! ;)

xo

Casee Marie said...

BAG! Oh, I love it. The whole look is perfection. Absolutely love the pop of leopard with the shoes :)

ChinkyGirLMeL said...

You always look so classy in chic i anything you put together. Oh and those shoes are the cutest! I've been a flats girl for so long and I know a cute pair of flats when I see them. =)

SMASH said...

this is so chic, I am dying right now. Seriously though, it's totally wearable, unfussy, but completely put together and you look amazing.


Girl are you in HB?? If so, what a small world!!

xx
MILK TEETHS

Jammer said...

Purrrrrfect outfit (Sorry, couldn't resist) I was digging through my closet and there is just so much stuff I haven't gotten to wear in forever! Love rediscovering the winter gear.

style'n said...

Ok just got sidetracked by Valerie's comment. Her shoes were fab today! I might have to copy her. Ok back to you-you look so comfortable yet stylish. I was just chatting with Bobbie Thomas about this sat. I think even when running errands we should all look put together right? And those leopard print flats really make the outfit. Love it all Carrie.
naina

Poppies and Sunshine said...

I love the idea of leopard shoes for a bit of the unexpected. This reminds me I actually have some, but they have disappeared in the closet so I must go rummage around and find them again!
I just got a canvas bag also. I love leather as well, but it is nice to switch it up occasionally. :)

Ashley said...

This is fantastic. I love your denim jacket and I want that bag!!! I, too, love a leather bag, but totes are very nice sometimes when you don't have anything too heavy to carry. Plus, it has cats. I love cats.

corey thompson said...

the lessons learned from the gap run deeper than any of us will ever care to admit.. love this post it is good to see the simple things sometimes! but of course you make it look so fab!

Isabel said...

i NEED those flats!!

Nicole Marie said...

oh my gosh super cute bag!

Tamara Nicole said...

lovin those flats girly:-) And that tote is uber cute, I want one!!!

The Owl's Closet said...

I couldn't agree more! Having the basics definitely helps with transitioning from season to season. You have such a chic everyday uniform, Carrie:) Thank you again for your kind words on my last post:) I really appreciate it!

TheOwlsCloset.blogspot.com

ryan said...

Beautiful! I love a casual yet very chic outfit and your leopard flats give a little unexpected pop! Love it

Beckerman Girls said...

Your lil leopard ballet slippers are sooooooo cute! I mean a super cute!!!!!!! Love love your casual look!!!!!! You look Audrey hepburn like with those sunglasses!!! Love your bloggy!!!!
Big kisses,
xo Beckerman Girls

http://www.BeckermanBitePlate.com

Miss Caitlin S. said...

Of course we could catch you in that at any given moment... that's because it's not an off-day! You look beyond great! Always rocking that pony that I love and adore with all my soul :) Gap is a part of all of our youth, I swear... I don't know if that had to do with the clothes or the catchy commercials! "They call me mellow yellow..." ps the cat bag is perfect for you

Miles Of Style said...

Carrie...I love your "to go" outfit. the denim jacket, the animal print flats and the canvas bag...very effortlessly classy!

brittany said...

iiii love james perse! always so soft and comfy! and love your cute shoes :)

Nell said...

I have been looking for a denim jacket EVERYWHERE. And you have found the perfect one. Love! xx

ORIGINAL SEED said...

i love the shoes

Krystal said...

Oh my gosh, you are too cute in flats!

Karoline Kalvø said...

Love this and your whole blog so much. Just so much inspiration.

Adore the denim jacket. You are really gorgeous.

Karoline @ SECONDHAND NEWS

Brenda said...

I love those flats and they look adorable on you! I saw those in the catalog and was contemplating getting some.

this free bird said...

Brenda...totally got them at Tarjay! Can you imagine?? And they don't squish at all. Perfect little shoes and I am a total shoe snob!

xoxo,
Carrie

Fifth Sparrow said...

OMG! I love your bag, awh it's the most adorable thing I've seen in a while!

I also love the rest of this outfit, well, we both know how much I adore basics, so of course I'm all about this look! lol
xx

kelli g. { bug miscellany } said...

ok, this outfit is adorable (i am in love with those flats!!), and i have that SAME BAG! :p

Krista said...

I've been on the hunt for leopard flats and you're telling me you got them at the Tarjay?! Unbelieveable!

Kristin W said...

Ummm...is it weird that I am swooning over that bag! That is one of the cutest things ever! I love cats...and cats in a sweater at the beach?! So cute :)

I love the basic kind of outfit too. I pretty much live in basics most of the time because I can't handle heels. Wish I could wear something like this to school!

la franglaise said...

Oh how I love love love that bag! I have just come across your blog via the lovely Cafe Bellini and I'm enjoying the read. I'll be visiting again. A bientot jolie Carrie. xx

Oh, My Darling said...

I really like this outfit!!! What a fun canvas bag, too.

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