The Directrice Suggests

Better late than never, The Directrice suggests a few things that you might want to buy as holiday gifts for the stylish women in your lives. This includes yourself.

This delightful JCrew wool-blend sweater is soft as a cloud and warm as toast. But best of all, the space-dyed yarn combines a beautiful range of soft pinks, rosy reds, plum and coral. It’s a beautiful combination. The sweater is cropped and the fit is shrunken — but not tight, in part because the knit is fairly loose. I wear an XS and it can accommodate a shirt under it, though I prefer to wear it with a lightweight t-shirt that does not show.
I’ve noticed a little pilling on the sleeves where they create friction with the body, but a little de-pilling tool restores the appearance with very little effort.

It comes in a blend of blues and greens, too
This charming sweater also comes in a combination of greens and blues.
So compelling is this knit that The Photographer — who has no interest in clothes for himself — asked if it came in men’s sizes.

This striped JCrew sweater is as cute as can be — beautifully knit and shaped in a warm ivory and black graphic stripe. It looks equally good with black pants or dark rinse jeans.
The collar and buttons are a little oversized — they have presence but aren’t exaggerated.

These velvet pants from JCrew are mid-weight, inky dark, and astonishingly soft. Just the thing for cubby time during December, January, and February, I think.
The silhouette is not a true jogger cut. The cuffs are tapered, not tightly gathered. The overall cut is generous, but not big. I wear a P6.
Importantly, the waist is elasticized and finished with a drawstring, so it is not really a drawstring waistband. Just noting that fact for anyone who might expect the volume (and freedom!) of a true drawstring waist.

Banana Republic Slim Utility Pant
After years of eschewing camouflage prints (and questioning whether the wearing of them was, potentially, disrespectful of the Armed Services and our veterans), I experienced an abrupt about-face this fall and suddenly needed a pair of camo-print pants.
I cannot explain this shift in standards and taste (except that the latter seemed to influence the former), but Banana Republic came through for me. I bought a pair in early November and wear them 3x/week. Mom: The Gold Pants may start to look good to you, in comparison.

These pants are cropped. If you are short, and typically wear petite sizes but don’t want cropped pants, buy the regular length. Those of average height might want to buy the tall length. Or you could remove the elastic from the cuff and that would probably add an inch or so in length. The tall may be stuck with a cropped length.
You could also remove the elastic from the cuff if you aren’t sure about this jogger-fad. I have my doubts, but I actually think the elasticized cuff works.
Assuming everyone is like me and does not think that one can own too many tote bags, you might want to look at Tom Bihn. The totes are made of a durable ripstop nylon or ballistic nylon both of which sound indestructible — but I’ll leave the explanations and guarantees to the material scientists. You may also want to check out the Truck and Pop totes, too.

Les Toiles du Soleil Tote Bag in Jour de Fete Stripe
Too many tote bags? Mon dieu! There is no such thing.
An old favorite, still producing totes and other bags in wonderful stripes, is Les Toiles du Soleil. In addition to the totes, you may like their cosmetic bags — smart containers for so much more than cosmetics.

And for the friends who don’t need or want clothes or totes (Mon Dieu!), little luxuries are such a treat.
Thymes Frasier Fir candles and soaps
Harbor Sweets chocolates, my personal favorites are the Seabiscuit and the Sweet Sloop

Don’t forget to read last week’s posts here and here if you missed them when published.

9 thoughts on “The Directrice Suggests”

  1. I had the very same conversion about camo prints this year! They also seemed to me a little disrespectful, and I was wary of the Private Benjamin look. But this year I bought (from Athleta) a pair of camo joggers and a camo sweatshirt, and I can’t stop wearing them! Nice to know our eyes can still be opened.

      • A very dark green camo boilersuit was the gateway drug for me. It is not obviously camouflage unless you look very closely at it. The other items I own are also very dark and subtle, which is perhaps why they are more acceptable to me. I think if we steer clear of a black beret we will be fine.

  2. Sunnyland Farms pecans in all their iterations are awesome. So much nicer than what’s on offer at the grocery store. My grandmother used to shop there for her baking supplies, back in the day.

    • Are your people from Georgia, Christine Q? I received Sunnyland Farms nuts as a gift from my mother — who maybe had a school connection to the farm? — and now we give one another nuts including cross-gifts of nuts at Christmas . . . which is slightly nuts, but amuses us!

      • No my kin aren’t from there, but I lived in Atlanta for many years. At one point, I was acquainted with someone who married into the family that owns Sunnyland Farms.

  3. It’s funny – at this time of year when I’m looking for items for others, I tend to find so many things for MYSELF! Good sales galore…


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