Robe and Slippers

One of the many nice things about having female colleagues is that once your numbers reach a magic population, clothing exchanges are likely to happen.

That magic population can be as small as two — two women can have clothing swaps — but I have a more diverse group upon which I can bestow things that I bought when I imagined that I was taller or thinner or more petite than I actually am.
And this is a multilateral exchange. One of my partners offered me this trench coat, which she bought during a Brooks Brothers sale and then concluded looked more like a cozy bath robe than a chic trench because it was too big for her.
A robe
Sure, I’ll take your bath robe

robe side
On me, it’s more Clerical Robe than Bath Robe
It fits me perfectly!
I wouldn’t have picked it out for myself, in the first instance, but it’s actually a terrific color for the season and, I think, for me.

Here, I am going to offer a little advice that is different from the conventional wisdom that you hear in style guides. According to the CW, you should never: (1) buy anything that you don’t love; (2) buy anything without a plan for wearing it; (3) buy anything just because it’s on sale. These three rules, read together, may lead to paralysis.
I agree that you shouldn’t buy things because they are on sale. But buying something that you are uncertain about (because it is outside your comfort zone, beyond your imagination, or not perfect) when it is on sale is actually a great way to experiment. The trouble arises when a significant percentage of your purchases — say, more than 20% — fall into one of these three verboten categories.
3/4 view
Rules are helpful, to a point

I did have one idea for this coat: Fatima could make an alternate belt —
in the same color, but from taffeta or velvet. Mightn’t that be pretty? I think so.
tie belt
Belt not tied in bow

What Lies Beneath
For those wondering what I am wearing beneath this plummy coat, it’s an outfit you’ve seen before.
Today I am wearing this sleeveless, fringed top with a tissue-weight crewneck jersey. Previously, I wore it with a turtleneck, which I prefer — but the turtleneck is currently in the laundry hamper.

For those wondering what I am wearing on my feet, allow me to introduce my slippers.
I was horrified by the revival of mules last year. Mules are such unflattering shoes, particularly when they involve chunky heels. Even the name — mules! — is dreadful. I vowed: Never again.
A year’s worth of mule images on the internet, however, has softened me up. I recently bought a pair of flat ones to wear with cropped trousers and midi dresses.
shoes dead on
When The Photographer saw these, he said, “Witchy shoes! For Halloween!”

In general, I am opposed to bows on shoes, but can’t help being a little fascinated by another recent shoe trend: floppy ties and bows that cover the vamp and graze the ground. They look like the Shih Tzus shown at Westminster.
The studs on these shoes prevent them from looking the least girlish.
bows communing wiht mums
I’d rather look like a witch than a girl

Coat: Brooks Brothers; Shoes: Rebecca Minkoff
Remember Miss Cornelia's perambulating haystack?
Remember Miss Cornelia’s perambulating haystack?

13 thoughts on “Robe and Slippers”

  1. What a nice clothing swap! This coat is a beautiful color on you. It is more eggplant than merlot but nonetheless, a warm color and a lovely choice for a November day!

  2. I think the coat is gorgeous — I love your idea of a velvet or taffeta belt. FWIW, I think your shoes are contributing to the bathrobe and slippers image — with real shoes, the coat would be fine. And yes, my bias against mules is showing.

  3. Great idea re different belts! I saw some padded Max Mara jackets this season, where several belts (with different textures) were provided with the garment. Re mules: still hard-line anti mule, I’m afraid.
    AV from Dublin

  4. Shi Tshoes?

    Agreed, the coat is great. And, I am with you on the mule dilemma. Though, I like flat ones and those don’t make your feet look ugly. They remind me of a pair of flat mules I once had, made of bone leather with some kind of sparkle that I just adored for stumping around with my small children.

  5. The coat is a winner and your idea of a different belt is spectacular. Please show us the result of your idea. It speaks to me… Alas, I have always hated mules but pointy toes and absolutely flat I can do. Those have a look of polish for the outfit. They really workI think. Kate

    • One unexpected (negative) consequence — the air is so dry that my heels are getting chapped. Ouch. So, the mules may be restricted to the very early fall when the weather is still warm.


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