Monthly Archives: September 2012

French Girl in Seattle’s fall fashion post

French Girl in Seattle’s fall fashion post

Note to readers: 

This is a fashion post. If you are averse to girlie talk about clothes/shoes/handbags/accessories, or if the sheer thought of shopping makes you cringe, you may want to skip this story and return next week. A bon entendeur… (You have been warned…) 

What a beautiful fall morning,” I thought today, as I looked through my office window. Then I cracked it open to smell the air and closed it quickly. Brrrrr… Chilly… 

Fall is here to stay, it seems. Note to self: Re-organize closet and put away t-shirts, shorts, and sandals. The new season calls for a cozier wardrobe. 

Then I made a mistake. I checked my email. The first message was from a favorite French retailer, Le Comptoir des Cotonniers. I always pay a visit to their boutiques when I visit France and leave with a small item, a t-shirt, a blouse, or an accessory. Today, they had important news to share. Come and meet Mademoiselle Plume, la nouvelle doudoune! A reversible new “puffer” named “Feather;” that fits in its own little bag when not in use; a limited edition by a Japanese designer? Count me in! 

“French Girl, meet Mademoiselle Plume. Mademoiselle Plume, meet French Girl!” 

Mademoiselle Plume is a big deal and gets
her own website and advertising campaign!

It only took me a few minutes to click on that “Commandez” (Order) button. I knew that between Mademoiselle Plume and this French Girl, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 

Wait. Mademoiselle Plume looks really good with Paris as a background, but what about Seattle? Is la doudoune going to stand out like a tanned Washingtonian among pasty-white locals on a summer afternoon? Is it too bright? What will happen when it starts to… you know… rain?!

Not to worry. I can find another coat for rainy days. In fact, since we have just visited Paris, let’s cross the Channel and head to the UK. Thank you Monsieur Boden. You have just what I need. Click, goes the mouse (or is it just my imagination?)

Boden’s Rainy Day Mac
in Pewter Falling Petal

What about shoes? Accessories? We are going to need some really cool items to accompany these fine pieces… According to fellow blogger Vicki Archer, Oxford shoes – or Brogues – are all the rage in Paris these days. I prefer to call them Richelieu (they are named after a famous French statesman,) and to be perfectly honest, I have been looking for a pair of stylish, but comfortable shoes for the fall. A quick trip to my favorite website, and I find these grey beauties… complete with two pairs of shoelaces (one in black velvet, one in waxed leather.) They are going to look smashing with my “uniform du jour:” a pair of rolled up boyfriend jeans! 

Born’s Arletta shoes 

It is often said that the United States is the land of opportunity; the birthplace of the great American Dream… Yeah, yeah, yeah. I say the United States is the land of extended shopping hours and most generous return policies. Dear friends, my life would not be the same without you! 

Wait. Did someone say: “Accessories?” — I did? Oh, ok. 

I can just picture this fun Kate Spade bangle with that new fall wardrobe…

Kate Spade “Strike your Fancy” Bangle

Last June, while in France, I found an amazing scarf I had to bring back with me. Heyraud has always been a favorite brand name chez moi. The umbrella caught my eye (it is pictured below,) but  it would not fit in my suitcase. I settled for the matching large square scarf made of thick, rich silk instead. Très joli... et très parisien!

We need more accessories. A unique scarf begs for the company of a special handbag; one it would not mind being proudly tied to. Forget diamonds. Handbags are a girl’s best friends. I know there is one out there who would do the trick. 

Voilà. A cross-body bag. Perfect for busy – yet elegant – suburban moms. Keeps your hands free at all times while looking stylish. And how wonderful as a travel bag. Takes you from day to night. So versatile. Back chez Kate Spade. The woman has good taste…

Kate Spade’s Grove Court Cora in black

Oh, look. Polka dots. One can never have enough polka dots (Fellow blogger Anne from Playing with Scarves would agree.) I know who loves them too: English designer Cath Kidston. Check out this fun, versatile collection. Aren’t these oil-cloth bags ideal for the wet Seattle weather?

Cath Kidston day bag in sage green

It also comes as an overnight bag…
Ohhhhh… The matching wallet in Berry…
The computer mouse is beckoning. It would be so easy to click, click, click… but virtual shopping is almost as much fun. 

Besides, do I really need all these treasures? Des trouvailles (real finds,) certainly… but… 

After all, j’habite à la campagne (I live in the countryside.)

As I type this, neighbors are rushing to local merchants – and websites – to order the Northwest’s favorite gear: Fleece-based clothing. Waterproof. Windproof. Moss proof (one hopes.) 

In a few days, I will see fancy – or less fancy – illustrations of that same trend, as I walk or drive around, and illustrious Seattle labels: Columbia. The North Face. REI. Patagonia. One feels stylish and fit  (sort of…) wearing these while walking the dog or visiting the grocery store…

Kristen Stewart, aka “Bella,” dressed for the Northwest weather
in the Twilight movie series

Patagonia “Better Sweater” jacket

The ubiquitous fleece Denali jacket, by the North Face 
It’s ok. I own some of the fleece-based thingies too, but I prefer them a bit more … fun.  

Title Nine’s Hepburn Jacket
(It needs a cute pin or a scarf to brighten it up)
Sundance’s Helena jacket

Let’s be honest. I can’t wait to strut my stuff around town in la new Mademoiselle Plume doudoune! If I don’t come to Paris, Paris will come to me…

Happy fall shopping. 

A bientôt.

Parting words…
A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” 

Elegance is refusal.” 

— Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.

66 Responses to French Girl in Seattle’s fall fashion post

  1. I have even considered buying a larger suitcase to bring one of those gorgeous Heyraud square umbrellas home….But a French friend told me recently that Heyrayd has boxes! I will check that out! Thanks for a fun read tonight!

    • You silly girl. Isn’t “puffy” one of the ugliest words you have ever heard? It’s a wonder they even sell “puffers” in the US (what a terrible choice of names, from a marketing standpoint…) Who wants to spend a fortune on a coat and look like a blow fish?! 🙂

  2. Salut ma belle !
    Je viens moi aussi de craquer sur une paire de chaussure d’un ton superbe… semblable à la couleur du vin que je vais déguster à midi ! sans toi puisque tu n’es pas en France… Un jour j’espère que nous ferons connaissance !
    Cette année les collections me plaisent… et tout comme toi, je prends plaisir à regarder et j’achète après avoir été tentée! par les merveilleuses choses du Comptoir des cotonniers! (Ils devraient nous faire des offres pour avoir parlé d’eux ainsi!)
    Merci pour cette charmante publication aux doux trésors…
    Gros bisous

    • Merci de ta visite, Martine. Moi aussi, j’espère faire un jour ta connaissance… Nous pourrons comparer nos collections de T-shirts trouvés au Comptoir des Cotonniers. J’en ai plusieurs avec leur animal “mascotte,” le bouledogue français. A bientôt.

  3. Love it! Have to agree with Virginia though ~ no puffy coats for moi. I have one hanging in my closet that needs a good home. Any takers? 😉
    Always smile when I read your posts…….Sarah

    • Bonjour Sarah. What is it with you ladies and puffer coats? Don’t you think “Mademoiselle Plume” does not look puffy at all (for a puffer, I mean?!) 🙂 I can’t wait to try it on and sincerely hope it does not end in my closet. Try Ebay for yours. I bet it would sell fast!

  4. Great shopping Veronique… and I love your puffer… They are so comfortable and practical, yet the shape is cute… Online shopping… it’s the best and as you say the returns make it so much easier. HAve fun shopping… xv

  5. Fun post! I love Kate Spade too. When used to go into the San Francisco shop…just a lift…so colorful and pristine.

    Yes, Veronique, we are so spoiled in the U.S. I’m off to Lake Tahoe for 1-6 months with NO snow clothes, snow boots, snow tires, etc. I thought my snow days were behind me.

    I’m thinking black tight leggings, black tall high boots, and a black jacket that nips in at the waist and has a faux fur collar. And a rented black Jeep SUV. I have blonde hair. It works. Plus minimalist. There, shopping list done! 😉

  6. Oh I so love that cat-y scarf! A big Meow! 🙂
    And once again, a beautiful nostalgia stirs me while reading this. Your mention of Northface, fleece and puff makes me sad however, since I don’t know what to do with them here, in the scorching, autumn-less land of India.

    Happy shopping!

  7. Love the puffer–especially the cute neckline! I know you will wear it to pieces. Now I just might have to stroll past the “comptoir” boutique here in Arles on my morning walk with Ben…you are going to get me into trouble! 😉

    • Bonjour M’demoiselle Heather. So you are back from le beautiful Luberon? It sounded like a great trip, and what a place you found! I can totally see you in that “puffer,” with your read hair! Blame it on me when the credit card statement rolls in, ok?

  8. Well, I’m a fan of varied posts and I certainly enjoyed your little run through autumn fashion. I bought a similar ‘doudoune’ last year here in the UK. It’s incredibly lightweight and does fit in its little bag yet it is surprisingly warm. This burgundy and navy version is a lovely colour combination for autumn. Comptoir des Cotonniers is one of the first shops I head to in France and I like their mother and daughter adverts too. What a cute umbrella from Heyraud.

  9. Dear Véronique,
    Would you consider a time share??? What about the idea of you enjoying the Florida sun in the fall or the winter while I am enjoying the cold and rainy weather in Seattle? Other than that,there is no way I can wear this adorable doudoune du comptoir des cotonniers… At least I can probably get some of these cute accessories you showed – lovely bracelet and fun polka dot bags. My husband (French too) loves to say: “the two favorite letters in this house are HT (a short way for “acheter”).. We are all the same wherever we live… And you are so right: the return policy in the US is phenomenal – which makes shopping even more tempting…
    Thank you very much for mentioning my blog. This is worth a week – at least – in Florida. When do you come? Christmas in Florida is wonderful! Let me know so that I can prepare a hearty French dish for you (Boeuf bourguignon or pot-au feu?).

    • Bienvenue, Anne de Floride. Merci pour tes gentils messages. Be careful what you wish for. The Seattle winter and rainy weather has a knack for dragging on, and on, and on… I am guessing you would miss your Florida palm trees very quickly. Your husband is a wise man. “HT.” Ha. Love it. I would love to come and visit one day. Thank you for the invite. I might take you up on it!

  10. I love your fashion posts and I love to HT (cute acronym)! I really do not like the puffy coats and prefer instead a swing coat and have one that I bought from Boden last year. Love the North Face which I have and wear a few times each year. Perhaps I should come to Seattle so I will have a place to wear it!

    You really should come South – We are very hospitable! My B&B is very inviting.


    • I am really going to have to come South. I do miss the East Coast where I spent many summers after I studied in Altanta in the 80s. Alabama is a state i did not spend a lot of time in (with the exception of the NASA facility.) One day, one day. Thank you for the invite, Genie 🙂

  11. Ooooooo, i want a Feather, and a pair of those beautiful Arletta shoes. Love love and love some more. And love this post lots too. 🙂 I adore everything in it.

  12. Oh who doesn’t love a fashion blog Veronique! I have a Kate Spade bag that I looove! Also a wee bit dubious about the puffer coat, you will have to post a picture when your coat arrives si we can see it on. I would order the Hepburn jacket in a flash.

    • Bonjour Grace. You’re right. Fashion posts are so much fun. I need to do these more often. 🙂 So I am supposed to turn into a model now, too? Sheesh. I will do my best. Please don’t tell me if you think I look like a “blow fish” in my new doudoune, ok? 🙂

  13. I think fashion is in the French blood. I remember my last visit to a small village and the old ladies were dressed to the nine just to go to the boulangerie. I love that. I especially love ” “French Girl, meet Mademoiselle Plume. Mademoiselle Plume, meet French Girl!” 🙂

    • Well… Merci beaucoup, Sandy. I don’t know if fashion is in the French blood, but I know that looks are very important to the French. A famous American food blogger – who has lived in Paris for years – commented in his book that he realized he had become a Parisian the day he caught himself getting dressed, and cleaned up, just to take the trash downstairs in his building! 🙂 — Bon weekend!

  14. Ma chère Véronique, I do believe you should do more “fashion” posts. You clearly have a flair for it. I really enjoyed this one. Loved everything (all Kate Spade all the time!), except the puffy coat. You really have to be extremely tall and extremely thin (“voire maigre”) to pull that off.

    I look forward to more fashion posts from the extremely clever, interesting and versatile French Girl in Seattle.

    xoxo, M-T

    • Well, thank you very much, Madame M-T. Coming from you, this means a lot!

      Tell me, what is it with so many of you ladies and “puffy” coats? Not all puffy coats (i just can’t get used to that ugly name…) are unflattering, I know it. Mademoiselle Plume looks very cute, in fact! Will keep you posted once I receive it.

    • Ma chère, Mademoiselle Plume would look adorable in anything!! I think I’ve just seen too many heavy women wearing bulky down coats over shapeless sweats.

      If you’re going to rock a puffy, it has to be a jacket (not full-length coat) that fits close to the body (i.e., not tooo puffy) over clothes that fit snuggly, like skinny jeans.

      But, in my line of work, I like to keep an open mind. You never really know what will work until you try it on, n’est-ce pas?

      I am definitely open to being convinced, particularly by a fellow compatriote.

    • How embarrassing! You’re right! Blame it on my age and the wrong pair of eyeglasses. (Mademoiselle Plume is the doudoune, not the girl in the picture.) My bad.

      And, right again, I was indeed describing the perfect puffer experience, and the picture bears that out. You are definitely NOT in trouble.

  15. Great post, Veronique. And it reminds me that it’s been ages since I hopped on the train to Paris and went shopping. For me the very best place to “chauffer ma carte bleue” is the lingerie store (Orcanta) near Opera. I used to go there often enough that the sales ladies recognized me every time and knew my name. 🙂

  16. I loved this post, Veronique. I just returned from my first trip to Paris and I was so impressed with the French fashion. I did manage to purchase a vintage Chanel scarf and I just recently watched the movie with Audrey Tatout, “Coco Before Chanel”.

    • Welcome back Kim. I visited your blog and saw the pictures of your trip. Particularly enjoyed that shot where you are sitting on your Parisian balcony. Looks like you had a wonderful time! A Chanel scarf, eh? Lucky girl!

  17. Hi, Véronique! Wonderful post, I love the choices and the story telling, you are charming!
    I really like your blog, so I’m following you, of course!
    I invite you to visit mine, and if you like it, I’d really appreciate if you to follow me back , hopefully via bloglovin!
    A big hug!


  18. I”m counting on you to keep in the fashion know!!! Now the puffer coats, I’m sorry but I’m to puffy already!!!!
    You made me drool all over my keyboard with the accessories and of course le chat noir parapluie!

  19. I had no idea that Seattle’s Fall Fashion can look this good. Thank you for sharing it. I thought that New York Fashion is the only one worth following. Boy, was I wrong.

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