Brands Reminiscent of Rugby Ralph Lauren

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know my love for the short lived brand Rugby Ralph Lauren. Most of my favorite items I own come from this line and ever since the brand was discontinued in 2013, I cherish them even more. My husband and I still frequently search eBay and Poshmark for old Rugby items. This brand was crazy preppy, much of it over the top even for me, but there are some key pieces that were so unique in the preppy style marketplace. I was able to visit the Chicago location a few times and one of the NYC locations once, and the stores are even better than you can imagine. If you’re curious, google “Rugby Ralph Lauren store” and look through the images. I wish I could live inside!

There are a few brands that remind me of Rugby Ralph Lauren and I love and appreciate that they are keeping the ivy-league style alive. Check them out below:

Weyhill & Wharf

Weyhill & Wharf makes incredible oxford cloth button downs that uses silk tie material as a trim along the shirt. Rugby used to make similar shirts that had tie material under the collar, which I’ve owned several of, so I was really excited to see Weyhill doing their own version of my favorite shirts. I have one of these from Weyhill & Wharf and I wear it all the time. I love the little detail that sets it apart from the rest of the shirts in my closet.

Arnold Steiner

Take one look at Arnold’s instagram page and you’ll see a lot of Ivy League influence. I recently received a bunch of great items from this brand and I think the style and quality is spot on. The hats in particular remind me of Rugby, especially the yellow hat with the navy skull. I can’t wait to sport it this upcoming fall. Check his page out, I think the prices are great and his product is worth checking out.

J. Press

J. Press is a brand that’s been around since 1902 that focuses on men’s suiting, but if you look at more of their casual items you’ll see some great seersucker and madras pieces. Keeping it preppy, J. Press reminds me of Rugby’s classic side. Check out their needlepoint hats.

Brooks Brothers – Red Fleece

The Red Fleece brand of Brooks Brothers always has a few standout items each season that remind me of Rugby Ralph Lauren. The varsity/collegiate look is strong with this brand, and it has the rich history of Brooks Brothers behind it.

Polo Ralph Lauren

Last but not least, Ralph Lauren teases us Rugby fans every once in awhile with Rugby-esque  lines in their fall collection. It always gives me hope they’ll go back in the direction of Rugby Ralph Lauren, but I don’t count on it. This year they are pushing “The Polo University” collection that is really just a small revival of what Rugby was. I hope they continue to put out collections like this and maybe make it more of a permanent standing in their brand.

 

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Guest Post: Rowing Blazers by Noah Pelletier

Rowing Blazers x Luke Edward Hall Launch Party

Robin and I have long shared a mutual love of classic clothing, stately interiors, antiques, and unapologetic glamour shots. We met in the college group at our church in 2008, and were fast friends. We’ve been friends for 10 years now, of which almost 7 of those I have been living in New York. But that hasn’t changed a thing.

I was excited when she asked me to do a guest post on her blog covering a recent event I went to for the launch of a menswear collaboration between two of my favorite artists.

I’d been counting down to the end of July ever since I heard that one of my favorite designers Luke Edward Hall would be collaborating with the classical menswear brand Rowing Blazers.

LEH x RB Rugby Jerseys

Rowing Blazers was created by Jack Carlson, and inspired by his vintage blazer collection, sportsman and their wardrobes, and his time at Oxford. His unique perspective on men’s style was the perfect foundation for Luke to add his own artist’s touch – infusing Grecian symbolism, and punchy colors with the more traditional stripes and collars of rugby shirts, oxfords, hats and sweatshirts. The collection is described as below on the Rowing Blazers website:

“This limited edition capsule is based on a series of five illustrations by London-based artist Luke Edward Hall inspired by the ancient world: a Greek vase; the mask of Tutankhamun; a discus-thrower; a set of ionic columns in ruin; and a statue bust.”

This collab brought together two creatives I so admire, their unique sensibilities combined to create something fresh, compelling, and not to mention wearable! –Like all good design, it pays homage to the past through subtle and not-so-subtle references.

Guests enjoying the launch party

After seeing the collection teased on both Luke and Jack’s accounts for weeks prior, I was excited to receive an invitation to the launch party on July 25th at the recently opened Rowing Blazers Clubhouse. You can imagine how thrilled I was when I got to the bottom of the invitation and read “Artist will be in attendance.”

I immediately RSVP’d for two and set a few goals for the evening: (All of which I accomplished – as the accompanying photos will attest.)

  1. Meet Luke, his boyfriend Duncan, and Jack Carlson
  2. Take photos with them
  3. Give a concise, but genuinely passionate confession of how much I love their work
  4. Buy some pieces from the new collection
  5. Enjoy myself

I took my trusty sidekick/best friend Royce with me and we headed to the Rowing Blazers Clubhouse.

The Rowing Blazers Clubhouse

Walking into the RB Clubhouse is like entering an exclusive men’s club where everyone can be a member and the staff is glad to see you. The walls are covered in vintage menswear illustrations, pennants, ads, text, and framed photos. They’ve recreated the atmosphere of a jovial rec room, and the ping-pong table and Foosball only add to the fun.

We had a delightful evening chatting with the other guests while looking over all the amazing pieces for sale. The Rosé didn’t hurt either! After much deliberation I bought the yellow striped Rugby shirt with the pink statue bust on it, as well as one of the corduroy hats. Once the temperature drops you know what I’ll be wearing first.

Accessories For All

In addition to the LEH x Rowing Blazers collection, the RB Clubhouse offers menswear classics, accessories, and some vintage objects. Not to mention a selection of the Rowing Blazers they’re known for. My favorite of which was the Croquet Stripe Blazer with multicolor vertical stripes!

Trying on the croquet striped blazer

I highly recommend a trip to the clubhouse, or you can of course shop online if you don’t live close.

Noah Pelletier, Luke Edward Hall, Duncan Campbell

Notable attendees:

Luke Edward Hall @lukeedwardhall

Duncan Campbell @jduncancampbell

Jack Carlson @jackcarlson

F.E. Castleberry @fecastleberry

Rowing Blazers @rowingblazers @rowingblazersmoodboard

 

ROWING BLAZERS CLUBHOUSE: 161 Grand Street, New York City

SHOP ONLINE: https://rowingblazers.com/collections/luke-edward-hall

Noah lives in Brooklyn, New York and works in Manhattan as a luxury décor director

@noahpelletier

Noah.pelletier@gmail.com

Playing Foosball with F.E. Castleberry

The Rowing Blazer’s moodboard

 

Noah Pelletier and Rowing Blazer founder, Jack Carlson

That’s a Wrap

I love spending extra time wrapping gifts as I think it shows an extra level of thoughtfulness and care. I even have a section of my basement that’s a “wrapping paper table” and has tons of rolls and ribbons nearby. There are so many cute choices for wrapping paper, but some are too cute to be torn into and discarded immediately!

I think back to my wedding – a guest gave us a gift in a nicer box that she had wrapped in gorgeous paper. I still have the box to this day and use it for extra storage and display. It was very thoughtful and I enjoy the look and functionality of it.

stripe shirt wrapping paper c/o sara fitz studio

This wrapping paper I used above is just one of 13 eye-catching wrapping paper options that anyone, especially those who like East Coast style, would enjoy. I’m talking lobsters, whales, basket totes, hydrangeas, etc. Sara Fitz’s watercolor looks just as good on wrapping paper as it does her stationary options! The problem I ran into was I didn’t want to wrap someone’s gift in it for it to get thrown away… It’s too cute for that!

So I took a nicer box I got for a few dollars at TJ Maxx. There are several stores that have these types of hard gift boxes and you can find them on sale.

I thought back to the wedding gift I got in the wrapped box and decided to do the same thing. It was quite simple as I just wrapped the bottom and top separately and took extra care to make sure the pattern lined up right.

For now, I’m keeping this box for myself to keep extra accessories in and display in my room. I may eventually wrap one more box in this paper as a gift box for a friend that I know would enjoy the print. They may keep the box themselves, or use it for a gift to give to someone else who may enjoy it. Regardless, I’m getting more out of the beautiful paper than before!

Please check out Sara Fitz Studio for all the beautiful gift wrap options. She is also a fun account to follow on Instagram!

3 Trends I Like, 3 Trends I Don’t

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know I like classic pieces that I can re-wear for years. I try to skip some trends because it’s not economical for me to only wear something a season or two before donating it, but other times I think trends are a fun way to add some life to a classic wardrobe. Below are 3 current trends that I like, and 3 I’m skipping:

Trends I like:

  • Statement Earrings are definitely having a moment right now. While statement necklaces are still in style, you’ll see more larger scale earrings being sold and worn by brands across all styles. I really love this trend as I believe it has staying power and adds a lot of interest to my outfits. My statement earring collection has been growing and I’m enjoying this trend to the fullest!
  • Basket Bags have also been popping up over the past few years. I’ve been carrying a vintage basket bag for over 8 years, and now they’re available at many stores including Target. I think the texture and structure of basket bags are gorgeous and I’ll continue carrying my basket bag long after everyone else has moved on.
  • Silk Scarves are another trend that’s come to mainstream fashion as of late. I remember having to find silk scarves second hand in vintage shops and Etsy, and now they’re readily available at major retailers. They are so easy to wear in multiple ways, whether in your hair, around your neck, or around your purse. This is a trend I absolutely love!

 

Trends I Don’t Like:

  • Body Suits (adult onesies): These look good on people, and it’s super nice that the shirt stays tucked in. My reason for not liking these comes from being a new mom because all I can think about is how babies wear these things all the time. 🙂 I understand why this trend is popular and I do agree it looks great, but it’s one that’s not for me. I also like the casual nature of a shirt being imperfectly tucked in and don’t mind having to smooth it out sometimes.
  • Athleisure: I am not against wearing workout clothes outside of working out, in fact, I run most of my errands when I’m coming from the gym. When people are putting on workout clothes because they’re comfortable with no intention of working out, it tells me their main wardrobe doesn’t have comfortable options for them.  More power to you if you like to wear athleisure, but if I’m putting on workout clothes I’m gonna work out.
  • Wide Leg Crop Jean: This is one I think can look good on certain people, but would not work on my frame. It’s something that’s fun to add to your wardrobe, but it’s seems too quick of a trend to invest in it. My advice is to buy a version from somewhere inexpensive so you don’t think twice in a few years when you aren’t wearing it anymore.

Are there any trends you like? How about ones you are skipping? Let me know in the comments!

 

Virginia’s Nursery

One of the last things we did before Virginia was born was work on her closet. There was just a single rod in there before, and we knew we wanted to change it up to make it more functional for her. After a lot of research, I went with this Rubbermaid Closet Organizer, and it was simple to put up. The very next day, my water broke and Virginia was here! 🙂

Since her clothes are still tiny, I like having a double rod in there. The nice part is that down the road I can move these down to make more space as she grows. I used all the gray woven basket collection from Target to keep things organized on the shelves, and plastic bins from the Container Store for socks (not that she wears them), shoes (doesn’t wear those either), and hats. I use the top rack for decor, but as she accumulates more things I will add more storage bins up there. The hamper is also from The Container Store and I’m very pleased with it. I’m considering getting myself the same one! I hate fabric hampers and this plastic one is attractive, easy to wipe up, and contains any odors.

I like using uniform hangers for most everything and found a good deal on Buy Buy Baby for ones that fit baby’s clothes perfectly. I also use plastic dividers that say 3-6 month, etc. to keep the clothes organized by size.

This closet is deep so I used plastic command hooks to hold our diaper bags on the side. It makes it easy to grab them because we always know where they are.

I love my diaper bag from Barrington Gifts! I’ve been using it for 5 months and it still looks brand new. The key is that the outside is nylon and easy to wipe up.

I have so many outfits of Virginia’s that I love, but here are a few of my favorites that she can fit into right now.

Top Row: Gift from my dear IG friend Rox-Anne / Lilly Pulizter shift – got it in the sale but here is one similar / Shep Shirt c/o Vineyard Vines

Middlle Row: All of these are from H&M baby but I can’t find them online anymore, but this one is similar to the last one.

Bottom row: All Janie and Jack

 

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into Virginia’s nursery!

My Favorite Closet Organizing Items

I like to keep a pretty organized closet because it helps me be able to find things easier and put together outfits in the mornings a little quicker. I don’t color-code items, mainly because I’d feel guilty about how many blue shirts I own, but I do organize them by clothing type. Right after Virginia was born I had a lot of time at home and did a little extra organizing in my “dressing room”. I was switching over my closet from fall/winter to spring/summer attire, and ran into a few space issues. The biggest resolution was buying velvet hangers and switching out all of my hangers completely. I really wish I would have done this sooner because everything lays flat and I can fit WAY more in my space. It also looks more uniform, whereas before I had a few different types of hangers and it looked messy.

Through trial and error, I’ve found what works best for me and I’ve listed those items and tips below:

The photo above shows the right side of my closet. You can tell it goes in deep on the left part, and I show a little bit of that in the top right photo. I keep a bin there for little things that often get disorganized – such as make-up bags, sunglasses that I don’t wear as often, wallets that I’m not using at the moment, etc.

The shoe organizer on this side is new. I have one my dad made me a long time ago on the other side, but I have many summer shoes that I couldn’t fit on the other rack. I did a lot of researching and found this shoe rack from the Container Store was the right size to fit my needs.

This is another item I use to organize my many scarves. I find it’s easier to sort through them when they’re hung vertically.

I found that skirts were taking up a lot of room in my closet because skirt hangers are a little clunkier and I didn’t seem to have many to begin with. I’d always try to fit two skirts on one hanger and it really wasn’t great for the garment itself. I found these skirt organizers in a three pack and I love them! It’s easy to see the skirts and opened up so much more space in my closet.

Above you can see I like the decorate the top shelf while keeping functional. I keep smaller bags and totes in the large tote, and stack many in-season hats where they’re visible so I won’t forget about them. My gym bag also fits perfectly on this shelf! Below is the shoe rack my dad made me, and so I was happy to find the one from the container store because it’s a similar size.

This storage ottoman (I like this version too) is my favorite way to sneak in some storage and it’s extremely functional as well. I keep hats, headbands, some of my fancier shoes that I barely wear, as well as iphone cases that I’m not using. It’s a great way to add seating and storage to my space.

So that’s my closet and the recent organizational items I’ve been loving. If you love organizing your closet and can think of an item that I’d find useful, please don’t hesitate to comment below!

The Art of Nautical Style

Summer is the best time of year to dress with an ode to the water. Whether you live near the ocean, lakes, or are just a fan, it’s a fun style to incorporate into these hotter months. I have always enjoyed adding a little extra nautical flair to my summer wardrobe, but I have learned a lot through trial and error. Looking back there have many times I’ve gone way overboard (no pun intended) with the style, and now I like to add it in a little more subtly. As always, sometimes I throw out all the rules and go all out because life is too short. 🙂 See my tips below:

Color Palette: Adding a bit of nautical style to your everyday look has a lot to do with the color palette you use. You’ll see mainly primary colors (red, blue, yellow), white, and navy, but you’ll rarely see pink, purple, etc. This is a very classic approach to the style and can be done so pretty easily. I think a fool proof outfit without being too much is to start with navy and white with just a pop of one other color. The outfit above I kept to navy, white, and some brown leather detail, but I also have some red on the silk scarf. The striped shirt, gold buttons on the blazer, and boat shoes are all a nod to nautical style without screaming it.

Dress around one main piece: For this look, I wanted to showcase the striped dress (c/o L.L. Bean and on SALE right now) and accessorized around it. I still kept some nautical details, like the rope belt, but if I weren’t on a boat I would have swapped out boat shoes for leather wedges. I try to keep accessories simple because you can easily find a LOT of nautical style accessories and be tempted to wear them all at once. Stripes are always a great way to add in the nautical element but can be worn all year round.

Go old school: I have an affinity towards old school style nautical items, like the print on this dress, or 80’s/90’s Ralph Lauren nautical items that are loud and fun. (I’ve always wanted this Ralph Lauren dress and found it last summer on Poshmark for only $25!) I try to keep the rest of the outfit more subtle, like the rope bracelet and belt, but overall the print makes it a bolder choice and perfect for summer by the water.

 

Old Chair, New Look

chair slip cover c/o comfort-works

I’ve always written off slip covers, assuming they look sloppy and are a short cut way to update furniture, but my mind has been changed completely in the past few years. Slipcovers have come a long way and look fantastic nowadays. The slipcover look is even in style – just look at fabric dining chairs from Pottery Barn and you’ll see what I mean.

I love furniture and design, and the weakest part of my decor has always been this chair I have in my back room. It’s very high quality, a nice size, and comfortable, so I didn’t want to replace it with another chair but I didn’t love the style. Behold, Comfort Works worked closely with me to design a slipcover that converted my chair to fit in with the decor in the rest of my home. htSpecial thanks to my cat, D.W. for modeling the before and after shot. 

The process was daunting to me. Comfort Works does a lot of slipcovers for chairs/couches they already have a pattern for – like IKEA or Pottery Barn – and this would be a custom project. It started out with them sending me 5 sample fabrics of my choice. I (of course) chose the stripes as it coordinates great with the other furniture in the room. The entire communication and help surpassed all my expectations as they worked closely with me to ensure I got the right fit. I sent in photos of my chair and they sent back photos like the one below, indicating what measurements I needed. I messed up a few and they caught it and emailed me about it right away. It made me feel great knowing they were double checking everything.

I can’t emphasize enough how painless the entire process was. I am extremely impressed by Comfort Works and Rachel and Sarah who I worked with. The cover fit perfectly and looks great. Taking my beige striped chair and using the new slipcover has brightened up my space. My favorite part of the chair is the pockets they added to the side. We always have random remotes laying around, and now we both know right where they’re at. There’s also a bigger pocket for catalogs/magazines as well.

There are even more options for pocket configurations, piping color, and bottom pleats. I like the corner pleats they put on mine.

Overall, I’m extremely satisfied with the ease of ordering a slipcover and that is thanks to the customer service Comfort Works provided. I’m now a believer in slipcovers – not only do they give my chair a whole new look but it’s nice knowing I can throw the cover in the washer if something were to happen.

Have you ever used a slip cover? What was your experience?

 

 

http://www.thedressdecoded.com/?utm_source=thedressdecoded&utm_medium=sponsored-blog&utm_campaign=thedressdecoded-blue-sponsored-blog

 

Summer Pattern Mixing

Pattern mixing is a great way to maximize what you already have in your closet by putting things together you haven’t combined before. You’ll also look like a pro and that you know what you’re doing since pattern mixing is daunting for some! Now that we are mid-summer, I like to throw in some stripes with other patterns to mix things up and wear what I have in new ways. Below are my tips on how to do so seamlessly.

  1. Stripes are your friend. I think a easy way to start with pattern mixing is to use some striped pieces. I am not bold enough to wear stripes with stripes since it can often be too busy, but pairing it with another item that has a larger or more spaced out pattern works great. For this outfit, I would avoid doing a smaller, tiny pattern since the stripes on this skirt are already close together.

2. Mix texture with pattern. I think an interesting way to switch up your wardrobe is taking a patterned item, like this skirt, and pairing it with a coordinating item that has the same color palette but a different texture. This tank has a very subtle eyelet pattern that looks great when worn with the striped skirt. Find some clothing in your closet that has a textured pattern to it and try it with a bolder pattern for a eye-catching look.

 

3.  Have some fun. It’s easy to take a patterned piece, like these seersucker shorts, and go the easy route of wearing a solid color with it. It’s not wrong to do so, and is a refreshing look, but pairing it with this lobster motif makes the outfit pop a little more. Sometimes items like these shorts keep me stuck in repeating the same pieces with it, but with pattern mixing I can open up to more outfit choices. Something busy like the shorts looks great with something a little less busy to balance it out.

Keep in mind that style means something different to everyone and these are only my opinions. My main focus when creating an outfit is to look put-together, so I gravitate towards more conservative approach to pattern mixing that relies on subtlety rather than loud/bold.

Want more pattern mixing inspiration? Check out @respecttheshoes on Instagram – she is my favorite girl for pattern mixing. She keeps it fun and everything always looks well thought out.

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