What to wear in April

I know I've made quite a production in my last several outfit posts about how I'm trying to move beyond the whole Dress Like a French Woman™ thing, so I don't want to seem totally hypocritical in sharing an outfit that's completely designed around the pair of Chanel ballet flats I bought myself for my birthday. But it is, and I'm happy with how it came out, so sit back and enjoy as I attempt to rationalize my irrational choices. For one, this is actually a very lizard-brain outfit because it has 1) leopard print, 2) camel, 3) the cashmere maxi cardigan I pretty much live in, and, most importantly, 4) the shoes I've been obsessed with since I was a child. I finally, at the ripe old age of 43, decided to buy a pair, and I love them so much, they may be dictating how I dress for the rest of the season (or at least the entire month of April). Here's how it all came together. 

I probably first became obsessed with Dressing Like a French Woman™ sometime in the very late '80s and before you start rolling your eyes because I'm talking about this topic yet again, I promise this time will be different! Anyway, I remember a story in YM magazine that was pretty revolutionary for the time because it featured real people in real settings (it was very early street fashion photography!), albeit young and gorgeous French ones that all kind of looked like Jane Birkin. This was my introduction to maritime stripes, silk scarves, and of course Chanel ballet flats. Obviously this article has stuck with me for a long time; I even remember such style tips as "86 the iron—French girls wear their jeans straight out of the dryer." I am now kind of determined to track down a copy (this, by the way, was from Bonnie Fuller's days as editor in chief). Long story short, I've wanted a pair of two-tone Chanel ballet flats ever since. I've resisted buying a pair for so long because, TBH, they are quite pricey for what they are—a simple ballet flat with not a lot of arch support. But the blog had a good holiday shopping season (thanks for your support!), I had a chunk of change sitting in my Paypal account, and along came a nearly perfect pair on eBay. (Yes, these are secondhand!) While these are nowhere near as comfortable as, say, my Gucci loafers, I am very happy with them. My only regret is not getting the next size up—these are a 39, which is normally what I wear in French shoes (I'm a US 8.5 or UK 6), and I wish I had gone up to a 39.5 for a little extra room in the toe. My right foot is a half size bigger than my left foot, and I really notice it in these. Still, I will keep them—and wear them with pride. 

Camel is a color that I've decided I need more of in my life—I love a good camel sweater, coat, or blazer, but I've never tried a camel dress until now. I was worried that it was going to make me look washed out, but turns out there's no such thing as too much of a good thing. I scooped up this dress during Banana Republic's friends & family sale and promptly wore it three days in a row. It's the same Luxespun fabric as my much-loved ruched dress, but instead of gathers at the side, this one has a built-in belt that's equally flattering, if not more so. Like my gray dress, this one is also incredibly comfortable, and it's the perfect weight for spring—it's warm enough on its own, even more so with a sweater, but you can scrunch up the sleeves and transition it to warmer weather too. This dress is on major sale at the moment, and I'm contemplating getting it in another color—I feel like the red would be great for the holidays, even though they're like 7 months away. I'm in my usual size small, and it fits true to size. 

As I mentioned last week, I'm not abandoning black completely—I mean, it does go with everything, and it is pretty practical, all things considered. Plus, I absolutely love this cashmere maxi cardigan, which was a Christmas gift from Sean (you last saw it with jeans). If you like a good bathrobe, this is like a super luxurious one that you can wear in public. Like I said earlier, I wear it multiple times per week IRL and look forward to trying it with literally everything in my closet. I'm in a size small, which you can see is quite generously cut. 

So while my lizard brain loves camel, cashmere coatigans, and Chanel, it really goes wild (pun intended) for leopard print, particularly if it's haircalf. I've had my eye on this Clare V bag for awhile too—a former coworker had the satchel version and it was gorgeous—and scored a great deal on it via Poshmark. (Like I said, I had Paypal money burning a hole in my pocket.) It's rather small but big enough to hold my tiny wallet, phone, hand sanitizer, and keys; I thought the crossbody strap was going to be too long, but I'm already used to it. I feel so liberated carrying such a tiny yet fabulous bag, I may never go back to a big everyday tote after this whole pandemic situation. Then again, I do have a pretty fabulous one... thankfully my lizard brain wants both. 

OUTFIT DETAILS: Nakedcashmere Makena cardigan | Banana Republic Luxespun dress | Clare V bag (similar here) | Chanel ballerina flats | Ettika coin pendant (c/o)


Laura B said...

I'm obsessed with those ballet shoes! What a great treat for yourself! Love that pretty dress on you too!

Lovely said...

You look chic in this look! Love the camel, leopard and black together! Your shoes are gorgeous!

Nancy 's Fashion Style said...

Love this outfit and I adore that bag! Have a great day Cheryl!

Mica said...

It's always good to score a piece you've been wanting for a while and they are such a classic flat I can see you will get a lot of wear from them! I like how the colours in your clothes match the shoes so well too, such a stylish and comfortable outfit!

Hope you are having a good Easter weekend :)

Away From The Blue

Avec Amber said...

These Chanel two-tone flats are gorgeous! What a great find!

I hope you are having a great week so far!


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Gail Is This Mutton? said...

You've really nailed French chic with this fabulous outfit. It's so elegant! Love the story behind the shoes. The dress is a gorgeous color on you! Thanks for linking

Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom said...

These shoes go so well with this outfit and I love, love that dress on you!


Shelbee on the Edge said...

Beautiful and timelessly classic outfit, Cheryl! The cap toe Chanel ballet flats will be so versatile forever! Thanks for sharing and linking with me.


mummabstylish said...

Your neutrals look lovely, thanks for sharing on the #linkup Jacqui x

Jessica Jannenga said...

I never tire of this classic combo! Looks beautiful on you! Great accessories too!
thanks for linking!
jess xx