show and tell, upside down is the new right side up

I’ve never done a post like this, a show-and-tell, but I feel compelled to share three recent purchases with you. These items cost a bit more than I would have felt comfortable spending a few years ago, but they jive with my less-is-more, quality-not-quantity, slow fashion credo.


They’re things I’ll wear for years, they won’t go out of style, and they’re versatile.


Everyone’s talking about the capsule wardrobe these days and a two of these items are a good start on mine. The third is just a sweet little find.


First, that mass of fluffy stuff is what I’ll call a sweater-cape-poncho. It’s mohair, and like I was told by the woman who made it, it is not itchy. The yarn is from Italy and it’s soft and frothy. The sweater-cape-poncho itself is big and slouchy and it can be worn in several ways, including upside down! (Upside down, you know, is the new right-side up!) It can be worn with just about anything: it’s my new number-one thing. What’s your new number one thing?


Second, my Frye boots. What can I say? They’re made like a fine Italian sports car. Every little nail, every little stitch and zipper detail is perfect. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still hobbling around in these at 70! These boots, too, are versatile: they can be worn with jeans, a nice dress or skirt, just about anything. Boots can take some time to wear in, but I’m finding no problem wearing these right now. Do you have a pair of beloved boots?


Last but not least, my new lipstick! I haven’t been comfortable wearing lipstick for many years. I really like lipstick and would love to do the red lip, but I have serious lip lines from years of smoking and sun worship. For me, even a relatively light, pink lipstick “bleeds.” One day, while trying not spend money at Sephora, I discovered this Burberry lipstick in “Nude Beige.” Try a similar color lipstick if you have the kind of lip lines I do.



We all know that beige is a very tricky color, and I have never liked it—not for clothes, walls, or those beige (or “flesh toned”) shoes. 


However, this truly quite beige lipstick works remarkably well on my lined lips. It doesn’t seep up the lines to make me look like the crazy lady from the haunted house down the block! If you think about it, this makes sense because, well, my face is pretty much beige. This color could look “frosted” or lip glossy, but it doesn’t. It’s just a nice creamy beige, and I can wear lipstick again!




  • Delia says:

    Anita, nice fashion food for thought. Myself I use a deep red lip gloss from Burt’s Bees with no seeping into lines.
    Also, I love this time of year because I can break out my boots and rework my wardrobe. Purchased a pair of Justin boots last spring and wore them in comfort. Lots of great comments shopping a farmers market in the north of Spain. Great with jeans or skirt and feeds into my country lifestyle.
    As for warmth, nothing beats cashmere. My mom used to say to buy the cashmere from Scotland as what comes out of China is not half as good. Must say the old gal knew what she was talking about.

    • Anita Irlen says:


      Old girls often know what they’re talking about 🙂 I have to agree about cashmere being the warmest and also about the superior quality of the Scottish cashmere. I am all about quality and so are my readers. Thanks for the comment.

  • Angie says:

    I love the feel of mohair, although I must say I don’t own a single article of it at the moment. Sometime when I can wear nicer clothing without worry of ruining it…

  • Haralee says:

    I have seen the sweater/cape/poncho thing lately. I like it but how do I carry my shoulder bag? I was just shopping with my sister who is trying to talk me into some updates.

    • Anita Irlen says:


      You raise a good point. I’ve always been afraid of the poncho combo because I always carry a big old shoulder bag. What I’ve figured out is that I’m sick of the big old bag. I’ve learned to slip a cross-body smaller bag under the poncho. You could also use a clutch but lots of people find those difficult. Yay! Updates.

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m knitting a poncho right now, to wear through the season. It’ll be a fun change from a jacket or wrap. Lipstick lines are such a drag. I have a large number too. Several companies make a clear wax pencil to line outside your lip line which works like a charm. Stops bleeding completely. I’m liking the one from Bite Beauty. Cruelty free and healthy enough to eat 🙂

  • Laurel Regan says:

    Love all three finds! And this is the second post I’ve read in the last 15 minutes that is making me want to go shopping. Off to grab my wallet!

  • Oh I LOVE those boots! Boots are the best footwear ever. Those heels are perfect. You made me laugh with your comment about bleeding lipstick making you look like the crazy lady from the haunted house! I’m sure you don’t.

    • Anita Irlen says:


      I had never owned a pair of Frye boots but a friend always raved about them, and now I know why. Plus the store here in NYC is fantastic! Thanks for the comment.

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