We are so excited, thrilled... over the hill, in fact, to be announcing that we are moving! Please come visit us over at our new location, www.jessicagordonryan.com a new and improved website and blog! Take a look around, familiarize yourselves! Bring a cup of coffee, a glass of wine...a friend, many friends! Bookmark the new location. You will be so happy that you did. Great stuff is in store!
We've had an incredibly journey here at Blogger, but we're excited for the incredible journey with limitless possibilities that lies ahead!
I accompanied my daughter on a photo shoot yesterday afternoon for a photography assignment. I will jump any chance to get behind the lens. One of my favorite places to shoot is about a mile away from my house, down by the harbor. Remnants from yesteryear are still in tact - old rope, old wood and lots of rust. The sea air will do that - It's salty wetness turns everything around it to rust. The town could have done away with these old rusty items - the old buoys, ropes and pulleys, anchors, even the old shack with rotting wood and rusty hinges. But they're all still there, sharing with us an incredible weathered and storied past - an open air museum. Just feet away are several docks where you can board your skiff. As we look out onto the harbor and the inlet, beautiful and majestic boats are tethered to the bottom, waiting to set sail once again. The edge of the nearby country club sits just across - lush, green and beautiful - all this such a stark contrast to the old rusty remnants. But the beauty of the harbor, the large boats and the country club, is really just a different kind of beauty. Look closely, zoom in - these objects - hardly symbols of luxury, lacking perhaps the exquisiteness directly surrounding them - are far from ordinary. These are reminders that there's beauty in everything, sometimes you have to look a little harder.
I started this blog just over 7 years ago as a need to fill a creative void in my life. I decided to just wing it - having no idea what I would write about and no real desire for an audience. I needed something to call mine - a hobby, a project, call it what you will. I needed a role that was neither mother or wife. I needed something to claim as my own. And I had, as all writers do, a burning desire to write. I started writing about the children. The blog, back then, was called Welcome to Our Crazy Crowded Lounge. I had 3 children under 8, in a house that was being taken over bright those god awful bright plastic toys. Although our home was by no means small, with 3 small children on top of you 24/7, any house is bound to seem crowded and crazy.
And so my earliest pieces were about the children. Kids - as you know - are naturally hilarious and inspire the best ideas, thoughts, and writing - not to mention laughter. With an 8, 6 and 2 year old the stories were simply too good not to capture and share. And so that's what I did. I really only intended on sharing these private moments with friends and family. I never imagined that strangers would ever be interested in what I had to say. But I guess they were. And they trickled in one by one and the numbers started to grow.
And then we moved from the crazy crowded lounge to a much larger home on a much larger piece of property. And we needed a name change. Something more suitable. It was my friend Lorraine who came up with The Entertaining House. She said the name was fitting - we were an entertaining family, after all, and I loved to entertain. I loved it and immediately changed the name.
Eventually the children started getting older and my daughter was getting to of be an age where I thought the focus should not be on her. I wrote a bit about the boys, but then that didn't seem complete. I needed to keep writing - I needed something more. Something fulfilling and substantial. I loved writing on this public forum. I loved the creativity it afforded me and the fact that it kept me disciplined and focused. I also saw great improvements in my writing and photography.
I started to write about what I was interested in and passionate about. And slowly this became a lifestyle site where I wrote less and less about my own children and more and more about fashion and decor and food. And incredibly enough, people were listening. And incredibly enough they seemed often to take my advice - to love my suggestions. Over the past 7 years the blog has morphed and changed many times and grown exponentially. We seem to have found our sweet spot. This blog has landed me sponsored and many writing assignments and jobs.
I have two people to thank for that. I have Lorraine and I have Alexander, my Birthday Boy. He inspired the blog. He inspired me to write. He is the reason I have The Entertaining House - that's a pretty big gift from such a little kid. And of course, he's inspired so much more!
And so with that I wish my baby a great big Happy Birthday! I love you tons and tons and tons... to the sky and back an infinite number of times!
Yesterday I wrote about wearing white after Labor Day. In my opinion this absolutely ok when done properly. As the Fashion Rules blur and become less defined trying to figure out what is acceptable and what isn't can be a bit challenging. There are certain liberties the younger generation can take, and there are certain liberties that those in creative industries can take.
What might work on the weekends may not work during the week. And what might work in a southern climate, may not so much in the northern states. And many of us live in states where the weather, both during the spring and fall seasons, seems to be quite confused - hot one day and cool and crisp the next. These unpredictable weather days allow us to make full use of our summer wardrobes, while slowly working in cooler weather pieces. It's even ok to continue to wear a pair of little white ballet flats. (In the shoe department, off white is more chic than pure white.) They pair perfectly with a worn in pair of jeans and a crisp white blouse.
I'm not suggesting that it's time to put away your little white sundresses. In fact I am suggesting you do the opposite - for now, while you can. This little dress certainly has no business at your family's Thanksgiving table... and maybe not at any dinner table once you start eating when it's dark out again. But for now a jean jacket, a cardigan, a wrap, even a blazer can add a touch of seasonal warmth to a summery dress or skirt. Instead of sandals, opt for a pair of cute flats, even a pair of boots. You can also pair boots with shorts. Wear a belted cardigan over your dress. This way, as the temperatures start to rise in the late morning, you can take off the necessary layers.
Once the cool fall air takes over, and all signs of summer are but a fleeting memory, the lighter weight fabrics and dresses can be packed away. Shorts, provided they're not summery and lightweight can still be worn with sweaters, jackets and boots. On colder days toss on a pair of dark or brightly colored tights.
Just as we're packing away the final pieces of our summer wardrobes, we can unpack the velvets!
I believe that rules are always meant to be broken. But first you need to know the basics - what works and what doesn't work. Some things never work and some things may work for some folks but not for others. Style is a personal matter and is as individual as our own personalities are.
The rules of fashion are forever changing and evolving. It seems that the "rules" are getting more and more lax. Our lifestyles are becoming more and more casual, the workplace is becoming more and more casual and our lives are busier and busier as we hustle and bustle from one place to another, one activity to another, one meeting to another. Our lifestyle choices both affect and impact our wardrobe choices.
As I sit down to write this, on a very hot and humid day here in Connecticut, some might say that I am defying the Fashion Rules. It would look silly to be dressed in wool or anything warm for that matter. The idea of anything warm or tight-fitting is completely unappealing. And so I sit at my kitchen table - work sprawled out everywhere, wearing not just a little white dress, but a little white sundress. And white flip flops. And my hair is tied up in a knot on top of my head. Because it's hot out. Damned hot. Have I mentioned that? And so for that reason alone, rules must be broken.
When I was a child even I knew that no one wore white after Labor Day. It was the day that symbolized the change from a summer to a fall wardrobe. Linen and seersucker were also packed away. I never questioned this Golden Rule of Fashion. After all, as a schoolgirl my wardrobe changed as well. The T-shirts, shorts and bathingsuits were replaced with uniforms - grey flannel skirts worn with grey or navy knee socks, crisp white blouses and navy cardigans. Years later when I would switch schools my fall wardrobe would once again change, this time into plaid jumpers and kilts. I grew up in Manhattan and don't remember seeing summer clothes being worn in the fall.
Even a few years ago I might not have given the seasonal wardrobe change much thought - after all I love fall clothes. I love being able to finally wear sweaters and jeans and boots after months of flip flops and sundresses. I bore easily. I bore of my wardrobe easily as well. Labor Day, to me signified, a wardrobe change - a way out of what was becoming a wardrobe rut. It wasn't until I decided not to pack up my white jeans one year, that I decided to break the fashion rules. I kept my sandals out for a while too, even my white Jack Rogers.
As the warm weather started to cool and sweaters and jackets and darker, warmer textures came into to play I started to play around mixing and matching them with my white jeans. (I am a white jeans addict, if truth be told, and I own several pairs!) I loved the look. I loved the look of the navy blazer, the charcoal colored cashmere cardigan, the black cape, the warm, oversized brown turtleneck. I loved the jeans with my brown boots. I loved the jeans with my black boots. After that summer my white jeans never came out of my wardrobe rotation.
Wearing white after Labor Day is now commonplace. It pairs well with any color, even white. Yes, you can wear white with white after Labor Day as well. It's important, however, that no matter how you dress, your wardrobe best reflects the seasons - light flouncy fabrics are probably not the best choice for a cold October day, yet make sense for a hot and humid September day.
There are many ways to wear white after Labor Day.
A little white dress pairs nicely with a dark colored jacket or sweater - keep the sling backs, pumps and mules and now, unless it's incredibly hot out, pair it with a nice pair of boots.
White jeans can be worn with almost anything.
A white blazer looks crisp with both tailored black pants or a pair of jeans.
A crisp white coat always looks elegant. Pair it with black, denim - anything you choose.
White shorts can even be worn for a while paired with a crisp white blouse and blazer, a dark colored sweater and little heels, flats or boots. On a warm September day pair the white shorts with a crisp navy, denim or black shirt. Unless you're in a creative work environment, keep the shorts out of the office.
A white blouse never ever ever goes out of season or style.
White accessories - belts, shoes, bags:
Not really a fan of them. An Hermes belt can do no wrong in my mind - even in white. Ditto with the Birkin bag. White shoes generally a no. A cute pair of white ballet flats or driving mocs are the exceptions to the white shoe rule. But wouldn't you rather wear sandals and expose your pretty painted toes? Soon enough we'll have to cover them up - why do so before necessary?
So, just because we've turned a new page in the calendar, the season is still in transition - It's still technically summer and for many of us it still feels like summer. We don't need to adjust our wardrobes in the same manner as we need to adjust our clocks when the time changes.
That said, if it's Halloween, and unless you live in the Deep South, your fall wardrobe should take center stage, little white jeans up front and center, of course!