Something about the weather turning cooler brings out the grandma in me. All I want to do is sit in a cozy spot with my knitting and drink a spot of tea. Care to join me for a cuppa? Matching shoes and handbag required!
Knit One, Purl Two
The whole time I was growing up, knitting was considered a dork’s pursuit—like the girl version of making ships-in-a-bottle. It was more “Debate Club” than “Prom Committee,” if you know what I mean. But I would still work over my scarves for hours, in the privacy of my own home, the Brady Bunch as my only witness. Now, it seems like every Hollywood starlet is confessing to making booties in her spare time. Yup, knitting is cool, as is evidenced by the Miranda-July-doppelganger in her Built by Wendy smock dress perfecting her stocking stitch on my subway commute. I could be bitter about this, but I say, “Welcome to my team!” After all, this new wave of knitters has also brought about hip, design-conscious knitting shops with cashmere so thick, it’s the lanolin version of a milkshake. One of the best is Purl SoHo. It’s in New York City, but ladies outside the Big Apple can make a virtual visit. You can’t touch the yarn, but you can appreciate the colors and visible textures. Now if only they’d do instant chat to help me with my dropped stitches …
One Lump or Two?
I’ll be the first to stand up and admit this: I like tea, but not half as much as I like all the little doodads that go along with serving tea. On a recent trip to London, my only “must-do” (aside from raiding Jo Malone for perfume) was going to Brown’s for a spot of high tea. The little parlor where we sat was straight out of a BBC miniseries. I sipped on my English Breakfast brew (natch) and sampled crust-free sandwiches from silver trays. Just when I thought I had died and gone to Jane Austin’s heaven, a little teacart came wheeling along with lemon cake poshly dusted with confectioner’s sugar. That’s when I ruined the moment by excitedly blurting “Get OUT!” and taking a picture with my very 2006 digital camera.
Any time I want to recreate that moment, I get a little bag of goodies from the English Tea Store. The teas are all very British and you can impress your Anglo friends with a solid cup of PG Tips. And if that’s too old school, there’s always Teany, with its very hip and modern take on the ol’ tea bag.
One Purse and Two Shoes (Must Match)
Kiss your trapeze dress and lemon yellow flats goodbye. Fall fashions have come tearing down the runway with 40’s wasp-waists and peep-toe flats. All of this reminds me of my grandmother, a little Latin lady less than five feet in height, who couldn’t leave the house without a full face of makeup, 3-inch heels, and a matching bag. And while I’m not exactly the flag-carrying leader of high maintenance gals, I do appreciate a little old fashioned glamour. Usually, glamour comes at a price, but every now and then, the gods of mass marketing smile upon us. Enter Vera Wang’s new collection for Kohl’s. Everything is a cool girl’s version of Veronica Lake in pin curls. Swinging gray skirts, satin black clutches, and even head wraps all help you get your glam on.
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