Megan

The Ironic Boat and Tote

I never get tired of looking at pictures of L.L.Bean’s iconic Boat and Tote. I take notice when I see them out in public. When I’m home, I conduct my search for vintage and one-of-a-kind totes via the #boatandtote Instagram feed. (Apparently, they are a hot commodity in Japan.) But these days, I’ve been gravitating to another hashtag. Scrolling through the #ironicboatandtote feed has proven therapeutic. I don’t believe in trends, but there’s a way to turn this one classic.

Although Air-Mail-writer Gracie Wiener wasn’t the first person to have her Boat and Totes monogrammed with text other than her name, she has made the trend viral. I wouldn’t be so bold as to emblazon The Heiress or PRADA on a timeless accessory, but I don’t see anything wrong with requesting a non-name monogram that is equally as timeless. The text should be carefully selected. Does this monogram have personal meaning? Will I tote it around next year? What about the year after? Is it crass? (A winning answer key: yes; yes; yes; no.)

Opting again for the Editrix monogram, I finally purchased the L.L.Bean medium Boat and Tote with long handles. You may recall that I had my eyes on it in April 2021. This is my second Boat and Tote with this monogram (the extra-large tote being the first). I have a few other classic monograms in mind, but this one means the most.

Works Sighted

L.L.Bean medium Boat and Tote with long handles

The Bigger Carry-On by AWAY

Further Reading

The Boat and Tote and Me (Air Mail)

A Preppy Staple Got an Ironic Makeover This Summer (Vogue)

The Rise of the Ironic Boat and Tote (Harper’s Bazaar)

Falling for Faherty

I came across the Faherty Cayman tee dress while window shopping at Out There Outfitters. It’s made of thick cotton, and, as you can see, has perfectly-spaced stripes and charismatic side vents.

I didn’t purchase the dress right away due to the steep price—it was originally $128. But then I saw a woman wearing it in Suburban Square, which reminded me that I’d be distraught if the item sold out before I had an opportunity to try it on.

Per tradition, I ordered two sizes directly from Faherty. The larger of the two sold out before my order shipped, and I felt that the smaller size wasn’t roomy enough and returned it. I found the dress in my preferred size on Nordstrom’s website after a quick Google search. Et Voila ! I ordered the dress, it arrived, and I wore it on a recent trip to Tampa. (The item has since sold out in every size on Nordstrom’s website.)

These days, I rarely buy all my clothes from one brand and often find items that suit me in unexpected places. I’d describe Faherty’s aesthetic as classic-casual, nature-appropriate, and bohemian. I prefer strong lines and polished silhouettes to floral, flowy dresses; the classic Cayman tee dress was a pleasant surprise.

Although I ended up purchasing the dress that I kept at a sale price, I would have paid full price for it. Faherty’s products are made to last. I plan to wear this dress repeatedly when the weather turns warm again in the Northeast. Until then, I’ll be searching for more elevated casual staples from the small family-owned brand and beyond.

Works Sighted

Faherty Cayman tee dress // Castañer Carina 60mm wedge espadrille

Inktober

Every October, members of the global art community commit to drawing in ink for 31 days. The Inktober movement, started by artist Jake Parker, is meant to cultivate the habit of drawing. Instead of sharing my work on social media like many participants, I plan to showcase my drawings to a small group of artists from work. We’ve taken up the challenge together.

I often engaged in process-driven art as a child. But, when I enrolled in art classes in college, I began to focus more on the content rather than the process. My professor graded my finished product, not the process that led me to it. I’ve only recently rediscovered the joy of drawing without a plan.

I find it difficult to draw from memory and need a visual. Flipping through the September 2022 issue of Town & Country, I drew/traced a collage of a few products that caught my eye. I’m actually looking forward to picking up my notebook tomorrow and turning to a fresh page of neat, little dots.

Works Sighted

Moleskine notebook (large, soft cover, dotted pages)

Uni-ball Vision Elite rollerball pen (0.5mm)

Town & Country (September 2022 issue)

Larousse unabridged French/English dictionary

The Dutch Bike

Everyone on the Main Line drives a fancy car, but what I really want is a Dutch bike. I’ve been dreaming of a life where exercise comes easily and real food can be bought at less-than-Whole-Foods prices. Walking or biking to and from the local market sounds ideal.

The Omafiets, which has high handlebars, a wide saddle, and a step-through frame, is designed to be ridden upright. It’s built for comfort, not speed; no workout clothes needed. The Omafiets complements whatever outfit the rider has deemed most appropriate for her destination. (The male version of the Omafiets has a crossbar and is called an Opafiets, but men ride the Omafiets too.)

Works Sighted

Cortina U4 transport ladies bicycle // Rains A-Line jacket // COS sweater // Scotch & Soda skinny pants // Smaak Amsterdam bag // Veja Campo

Further Reading

No helmets, no problem: how the Dutch created a casual biking culture

Why Dutch Bikes are Better (and why you should want one)

How to BIKE in THE NETHERLANDS? … These foreigners survived the Dutch bicycle!

The BEST things to do in Amsterdam | handpicked by the locals

The 10 things to eat in Amsterdam | WHAT & WHERE to eat, by the locals

The State Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II

I’m watching the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on television right now, imagining what I would have worn if I had been invited as a guest. Camping out overnight on the pavement in London with onlookers would have required a casual outfit, but sitting in prime seating with others who are expected to look their best seems more bearable.

Works Sighted

Gigi Burris hat // LBV. dress // brooch (Bentley & Skinner) // Mark Cross purse // Sara Flint pumps

Stripes for my French Class

Striped tee shirt dresses and cardigans

I had my first French class at Alliance Française de Philadelphie this past Saturday. My particular section meets online, but, even though I didn’t have to commute, I found myself pressed for time while getting ready. I wore a solid white polo on the first day instead of a marinière. Never again! I traditionally wear stripes to French class. You may recall the previously-published post “Stripes for my Paris Class.” Well, here are the stripes that have been on my mind lately. P.S. The clever slogan is for sale on an Alliance tote; I can’t take credit for it.

Works Sighted

Faherty Cayman T-Shirt dress // La Ligne sailor cardigan // Banana Republic mini T-Shirt dress

Kule tee dress (navy/cream) // La Ligne braid stripe cardigan // Kule tee dress (cream/navy)

Further Reading

This Stripe-Obsessed Designer Is on a Mission; Nikki Kule wants to make you the perfect t-shirt. (Coveteur)