Accessories

Cotton Masks from J.Crew

Masks from J.Crew

I recently bought a pack of three masks from J.Crew and liked them so much that I ordered two more packs. They are rather pleasant to wear (as long as it’s not 90°), and they smell wonderful when washed with Tide. I might be returning to the office in the near future. Thus, figuring out my face covering situation was of the utmost importance. Will you be returning to in-person work?

Works Sighted

J.Crew tie-back masks (quartz ivory kiwi)

J.Crew masks (banker blue hydrangea) // J.Crew masks (black khaki navy) // J.Crew masks (blue navy)

J.Crew tie-back masks (orchid ashen quartz)

The Pashmina

Eldon Cashmere pashmina, J.Crew 2011 icon trench, and Warby Parker glasses.

The Dictionary of Fashion History (2010) defines the term pashmina as a lightweight cashmere scarf. While the Persian word pashm refers to wool in a broader sense, in the region of Kashmir, the fibre comes specifically from the underbelly of the Changthangi goat. In the UK, the woven fabric as well as shawls made from it were called pashmina in the mid-19th century. The modern pashmina may be sourced from other breeds of cashmere goats outside of the Himalayas. A cashmere/silk blend is permissible, but I wouldn’t included cotton and viscose products under this definition.

I purchased my grey pashmina from The Portobello Road Cashmere Shop in 2013. I’d set out for Portobello Road that autumn day with the intention to window shop at the market, but the cashmere scarves on display at the shop’s outdoor stall caught my attention. After surveying the selection, I still hadn’t found the one. But then, I was directed inside the brick and mortar location at number 166, and I found the pashmina that was meant for me there.

The light grey style bears the tag of the shop’s private label Eldon Cashmere, which, along with the shop itself, was established in 1997. Although the brand specializes in Scottish cashmere, my pashmina was hand made in Nepal. It’s 70% cashmere / 30% silk, lightweight, voluminous, and warm. I wore it almost every day when I lived in London. Now that I’m based stateside now, I don’t fly without it. When it comes to the cost per wear formula, I am undoubtedly the victor, especially since I wash it in a bucket of cold water and Woolite instead of paying for dry cleaning.

Works Sighted

Eldon Cashmere pashmina; J.Crew 2011 icon trench

Throws for Outdoor Dining

Throws from Brooklinen, Garnet Hill, Matouk, Aa&R, Magic Linen, and Williams Sonoma.

So far this winter (late autumn according to the calendar), we’ve had snow on two occasions in Philadelphia. The weather has been alternating between cold days and unseasonably warm ones. Per the city’s Covid guidelines, unless you opt for restaurant takeaway, you must dine outside. I cook at home constantly, and enjoying a meal that I did not prepare myself is a real treat. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to savor food from someone else’s kitchen when I’m sitting at my table in the street.

Some restaurants are providing outdoor enclosures and/or heaters for their guests. But, not everyone will be lucky enough to find themselves in a heated enclosure. Those who don’t make it to the VIP section will have to grin and bear it at a table on the sidewalk or in the street. Some establishments are offering throws, but I thought, Why not bring my own.

Works Sighted

Brooklinen throw blanket / Garnet Hill waffle-weave throw / Garnet Hill brushed-cotton throw

Matouk pezzo throw / A&R Cashmere reversible cashmere-blend throw / Williams Sonoma solid cashmere throw / Williams Sonoma cashmere & wool equestrian throw

Magic Linen throw / Matouk initial pezzo throw / Peacock Alley Hudson throw

The Charming Sun Hat

Sunhat by Sunbody Hats, J.Crew seersucker shirt, Hobbs skirt, and Castañer Carina espadrilles.

Although I don’t require an umbrella at the beach, I do need sunglasses and a little bit of shade for my face, otherwise I feel overheated. One summer day, after sitting on the sand with my family for many hours, I vowed never to spend an unprepared eternity in the sunshine again. My sunglasses hadn’t provided enough shade for the cloudless day. Thus, I set out on a mission to acquire a sun hat before our next stay in Cape May.

I’ve never been able to wear one-size-fits-all hats, and finding one that was offered in numbered sizes proved challenging. During the course of my search, I stumbled upon Village Hat Shop, an online retailer with five brick and mortar locations in California. They carry a brand by the name of Sunbody Hats, which is based in Houston, Texas and specializes in palm leaf designs. Village Hat Shop offers an extensive range of products from this brand, and I ultimately decided to purchase one with a 5-inch brim. It was delivered in a rather large box and the packaging inside somehow suspended the product so that it wouldn’t get jostled around whilst in transit. Although I purchased this hat to wear on long beach days, I also wear it in the city when the temperature rises. It provides UPF sun protection in the 50+ range and makes this Northerner look a little Southern.

Works Sighted

Sunbody swinger 5-inch wide brim Guatemalan palm leaf straw hat; J.Crew classic-fit boy shirt in seersucker; Hobbs skirt (old); J.Crew rattan clutch with chain strap; Castañer Carina 60mm wedge espadrille

Wearing My Silk Scarf as a Mask

Boden dress, J.Crew silk scarf, Kayu tote, Castañer Carina espadrilles, and Kate Spade sunglasses.

Although I only cover my face on weekly visits to Trader Joe’s, I find the experience of not being able to breathe highly uncomfortable. Wearing an attractive silk scarf was the only solution I could come up with to make these outings a little bearable. At present, I own three silk scarves (all acquired due to the current state of things), but the first one I bought has especially seen its fair share of wear.  When it’s not covering the lower half of my face, I’m wearing it around my neck, tied around my wrist like a bracelet, or as a belt at the waist of a navy dress.

For the sake of cleanliness, I refrain from looping it around the handle of my purse, but this would be another option in better times. I’ve also entertained the idea of tying it around my ankle, but I haven’t put that thought to the test (again for the sake of cleanliness). I won’t wear a scarf for longer than a day without washing it, especially now that the summer heat and humidity have arrived. Laundering is simple and only requires the following: a bucket of cool water, Woolite, and a drying rack.

Works Sighted

J.Crew square silk scarf in lemon print (sold out); Boden Helena chino dress; Kayu mini Behati tassel straw tote; Castañer Carina 60mm wedge espadrille; Kate Spade sunglasses (old)

Further Reading

J.Cew square silk scarf in leopard print; J.Crew square silk scarf in leopard; J.Crew square scarf in Ratti print; Bembien Simone Scarf—crème; Bembien Simone Scarf—petite étoile