Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 300: Ad Astra, Patti Smith.


My Latest Snag: My Son’s Christmas Outfit.

I selected Christmas outfits for my daughter and I last week; this week’s challenge was sorting my son’s. We are out of jon jon territory and I was truly stumped. I kept hunting around for slim-fit tartan pants and finally found them from British brand Trotters, which I paired with this adorable sweater. I also ordered him this tartan button-down for another occasion, as we have several festive affairs coming up, and I can easily pair this with some of his khakis/navy pants if need be. If you have a littler wee man, I would totally have been all over this RL set, or this one — or this Florence Eiseman.

This Week’s Most Popular: Winter and Holiday Finds.

popular winter bestsellers

1. HIGH-RISE WASHED BLACK KICK FLARE JEANS IN AN ANKLE CROP WITH A RAW HEM

2. FLAT TOP HEXAGONAL KABUKI MAKEUP BRUSH TO ELEVATE YOUR FACE MAKEUP ROUTINE

3. SET OF 16 ILLUSTRATED DAILY ROUTINE FLASHCARDS WITH A WOODEN STAND TO GIVE YOUR LITTLES SOME MORE STRUCTURE WHILE DOING THEIR TASKS

4. LIGHT PINK ILLUMINATING NAIL CONCEALER FOR EFFORTLESS MANICURES

5. VINTAGE-INSPIRE 60S MOD MINI-LENGTH VELVET SHIFT DRESS WITH A SATIN BOW ADORNED LOW BACK DETAIL AND FLARED LONG SLEEVES

6. MODERN JAR-SHAPED MERCURY GLASS LAMP WITH A COTTON HARDBACK DRUM SHADE THAT PUT TOGETHER REFLECTS LIGHT PERFECTLY

7. CARAMEL AND WHITE HORIZONTAL STRIPED TURTLENECK SWEATER WITH RIBBED ACCENTS AND JEWELED BUTTON DETAILING ON THE SHOULDER SEAM

8. BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED 1000-PIECE PUZZLE DEPICTING A BUSTLING SANTA’S VILLAGE — GREAT AS A GIFT OF FOR HOURS OF PUZZLING FUN WITH YOUR OWN FAMILY

9. ADORABLE SLEEPING ANGEL PLUSH FABRIC ADVENT CALENDAR WITH AN EASY-TO-HANG LOOP ATTACHED

10. LIGHTWEIGHT PORTABLE FOLDING ALUMINIUM TWO-STEP LADDER

11. TWELVE-INCH TABLETOP GOLD GLITTER DEER FIGURINE FOR A LITTLE EXTRA SHINE ON YOUR MANTLE

12. THIGH-HIGH BLACK SUEDE BOOTS WITH A SLIGHT BLOCK HEEL FROM STUART WEITZMAN — FOR BEING AN ICONIC WARDROBE STAPLE, THESE ARE ON SALE FOR A FANTASTIC PRICE

13. EXTRA WARM WATERPROOF PUFFER JACKET IN A MONOCHROME PINK TARTAN PATTERN…THIS JACKET IS A LIFESAVER ON BONE-CHILLING DAYS

14. MID-RISE BLACK ACID-WASH FRENCH TERRY JOGGERS THAT ARE PERFECT AND OH-SO-COMFORTABLE FOR LOUNGING AROUND OR RUNNING ERRANDS

15. METALLIC FOIL PRINTED RELAXED-FIT VOLUMINOUS MAXI DRESS WITH BILLOWING BALLOON SLEEVES AND A FRONT BUTTON PLACKET…I LOVE HOW VERSATILE THIS DRESS IS, SO CHIC DRESSED UP OR DOWN

16. PASTEL-COLORED KEYCHAIN-FRIENDLY SLEEK AND DISCREET PERSONAL SAFETY ALARM

Weekend Musings: Ad Astra, Patti Smith.

Patti Smith was on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar this month (rock on, Patti!) and I could not have enjoyed the profile more. As I read it, it occurred to me that I absolutely adore her. Years ago, I was mystified by the popularity of her book Just Kids (my maiden interaction with her work), but I think my adverse reaction stemmed from knowing so little about the artistic moment in which she came of age, and about the network of artists in which she traveled, and I therefore arrived at the work empty-handed. I generally distrust books that prescribe their own hermeneutics, but I think I missed the mark here. It is a book dense with shorthand to a specific cultural context, and I missed out on its meaty ballast because of my ignorance.

In spite of this rocky first brush, I fell in love with her after reading her phenomenal essay on failure. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve read it at this point. If you need a good “giddy up,” or are feeling particularly low after a bungled creative or professional moment, you must read it. Each time I revisit, I feel like I am sitting with an old, wise, trustworthy, kind friend. It is like she is squeezing my hand.

This most recent profile made me realize that Smith embodies nearly all of my own aspirations: artistic confidence, a yeoman-like approach to creative work, curiosity, humility, prolificness. On top of it all, she boasts a rare combination of pluck and grace. (And she’s wildly stylish.) She reminds me in a way of my brother, who is both exceptionally disciplined in his own work and winningly free-spirited in his interactions with others. “Go your own way,” he seems to say, and yet I know — because I see the seriousness with which he approaches his own projects — that he has high standards and I am a better person, better thinker, better creative, because of this invisible bar. Like Smith, too, he is interested in the way things work. He genuinely delights in the arcane. He loves pocketing specifics. For example, I could see he enjoyed learning the fact that our dog (Tilly, an Airedale) is bred to be a ratter, and that this informs some of her inborn habits. There is always a tilt of the head, a raising of the eyebrows, when he encounters some narrow, precise detail like this. It reflects his relentless curiosity about the world, and his trained writerliness. “To a great mind, nothing is little,” as it goes. Or, as Smith’s close friend Michael Stipe put it: “She has this quality of making the mundane in the everyday magical.”

As I said, aspirational stuff for us mortals.

Ad astra.

Shopping Break.

+Just picked up a few cute and inexpensive melamine plates (these gingerbread men and these fa la las) from Target to have on hand for holiday festivities / to give away treats on. I also bought this Santa plate for Santa’s cookies! Love that it’s melamine (unbreakable) as the kids like to put the plate out for him.

+This embellished mini dress is SO fun. Would wear with patterned tights.

+I think J. Crew accidentally marked this Collection piece down to 50% off — they rarely discount their collection items! — but I jumped on it. It is the perfect versatile piece — I could wear layered like a jacket, or tucked in as a blouse. Cannot wait for it to arrive!

+Easy holiday outfit if you’re running out of steam with what you have on hand: this $59 ribbed metallic dress with silver heels like this or embellished heels like this.

+Mr. Magpie picked out this Lego set for mini’s big Christmas gift from us this year. I absolutely love the theme and think it will be perfect, as she just saw The Nutcracker at The Warner Theater, and we talked a lot about set design and the process of putting together a production.

+Inspired by the styling of these wide-leg sweatpants on the Frank and Eileen website…

+The jacket I want to be wearing over cableknits and fair isles.

+Obsessed with this metallic-thread sweater.

+This holiday dress was sold out everywhere but just found it fully stocked here. A perfect dress for NYE…I’m so tempted!

+Chic initial phone case.

+Bought these treat boxes to distribute homemade pecan bars to all my neighbors.

+Can’t stop thinking about this pleated skirt. So chic!

+Cute striped sweater.

+Adorable clover necklace for everyday wear.

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