Week 8 :: of channeling my inner Chanel

What is cool?

A question that has plagued advertisers, high school kids and, most recently, politicos since the word “cool” became cool.

In fashion, there’s a fine line between cool and trying too hard, between setting the trend and following a fad. Sometimes, things move so fast – it is an industry built on planned obsolescence after all – that it seems futile trying to keep up. Why bother investing in oxblood or hi-lo hemlines or sneaker wedges when you know it’ll be so last season tomorrow?

I think this is why I find myself most drawn to effortless elegance. It never goes out of style. Think the Hepburns or Grace Kelly.  Jackie Kennedy or Kate Middleton. Coco Chanel.  These women ooze(d) class and refinement. When I grow up, sartorially speaking, I wanna be just like them.

It may not seem like it, though, based on my previous posts, where the majority of my outfits have been studied and calculated and sometimes a bit contrived. Those bespeak of my not-so-secret flair for the dramatic, and when I started this blog, I did think that pictures needed to be eye-catching and editorial.

And that was fun for a while. And I will still continue to create elaborate concoctions that make use of all the latest shiny “in” things. However, when I stumbled upon today’s inspiration pic, I developed an instantaneous craving for simplicity and knew I had to dupe the look.

leopard thursday

The hardest part for me was the top. It’s the centerpiece of the ensemble and needed careful consideration. I have numerous black tops that, combined, fit the bill, but separately, were woefully inadequate. I have a dolman sleeved blouse but it has a banded bottom; I have a loose-fitting top but it’s got a busy cowl neck; I have a boat-neck tee but it’s long-sleeved and the twin to the white top I already wore this week. I finally settled on the one from Old Navy because it mimicked the feel of the inspiration pic, if not the exact silhouette.

leopard thursday

Shoes were a little tricky only because most of the nude/neutral footwear I own are pumps or stilettos, both of which would counter the casual vibe of the outfit.  I ended up choosing my Cane booties in camel, thanking Buddha that I didn’t listen to KS#1 and return the black ones because they became my go-to wedge bootie so much that I had to buy it in two other colors.


I hope that I’ve come close in capturing the epic-ness of the inspiration photo.  Because it is perfection.  I mean, look at her! She is the epitome of effortless. The quintessence of cool. It’s in everything about the outfit: the clean lines of the pencil skirt, the unstructured breeziness of the oversized tunic, the subdued neutrality of the wedges. It’s in the restraint of her accessories – striking pendant, modest arm candy, a watch! And, of course, it’s in the ease in which she carries it all.

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – Old Navy
Skirt – F21
Wedges – Cane by Michael Antonio
Necklace – F21

P.S. I know my skirt is was waaay longer than hers, but it refused to hike up and I’m at work so it needed to be modest anyhow, even if it does go against the rule of thirds with the bootie and all.  Eh.

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8 thoughts on “Week 8 :: of channeling my inner Chanel

  1. jenortega says:

    Apparently, your links made me come back for a second look ; ) I only ever check once, but I kept thinking about this one, and had to see if you replied (cause I’m obsessive that way). Anyhow, I’m glad I did because even though I read about the hiked up skirt, I didn’t take it all in! Del- her skirt looks longer in the pic than it did in real life! That pic is still ultra cute and really captures your personality. I’m always happy to take your pic, but some of your recent photographers definitely have the knack much more than I.

    • mtsedwards says:

      You know, isn’t there a way to subscribe to a comment so you get an email when I reply? Must investigate…

      Am thinking of asking Lisa to whack off a good three inches from the skirt. Ya think?

      Sarah S. is amazeballs with my camera! And she takes shots like Aly does – like, I don’t even know she’s taking them and we just keep talking and she keeps shooting. She does manage to catch me making my signature grimace a lot, though. We just delete those. 😀

  2. I love your outfits! I envy your closet although, even though I am dying for a pair of Tom’s wedge boots, I am worried that I am too tall or may kill myself walking in them. I mostly resort to Toms or sandals…My wardrobe is in serious need of help…jeans and sweatshirts/t shirts make up the majority…it’s just too exhausting! Ugh!

    • mtsedwards says:

      You are never too tall for heels. Work it, girl! If you walk with purpose, no one would even second guess you in heels, no matter how tall you are. 🙂

      What’s too exhausting, coming up with outfits or wearing jeans/sweatshirts? I was confused with your last sentence. LOL.

  3. Del says:

    Nice job! Although I would have loved to see the skirt hiked up a lil 😉 can’t wait for tomorrow’s post!

    • mtsedwards says:

      I know, right? Didn’t even notice how long it looked until I put my picture next to the inspiration photo. >.< I was in a rush this morning or I would've retaken that shot. Oh, well.

  4. jenortega says:

    You know I love you in black. I don’t love Damon Koch, though…or at least his shallow political analysis that purposefully ignores actual issues in an effort to chalk up an election to a “cool contest”. How old is this writer? Planned obsolescence, on the other hand, is a really interesting link to include. Are you purposely trying to appeal to both parties? You conservative socialist fashionista, you!

    • mtsedwards says:

      I think you’re the only one who actually clicks on my links, much less dissect them. I actually only included the Damon Koch article because it was the first thing that popped up when I Googled “what is cool”. LOL. No political agenda need apply.

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