43 In Style

The Importance of Details

sport stripe detail

The difference between something ordinary and something extraordinary is often a small detail.  For example, the sporty side stripes on this skirt are what make it for me; they add just the right amount of irreverent WTF? to an otherwise standard leopard skirt.  I started thinking about how style can be such a metaphor for life (stay with me here, this is my Philosophy major seeping out on my blog… sorry ’bout that).  It is the appreciation of small details that make life LIFE, and not just an existence… in the same way that a small detail can make a coat particularly beautiful,  going far beyond functioning  just as a layer of fabric to keep you warm.   I boarded this train of thought when I was wrapping Christmas presents this year.  As I wrapped boxes in the usual department store paper strewn with cartoons of Santa, reindeer, holly, snowmen, and Christmas trees, I thought, wouldn’t it be so much nicer to wrap packages that are enhanced by thoughtful details rather than Christmas cliches?  Maybe just simple white paper with beautiful ribbon and a sprig of real holly or spruce tucked into the knot?  Every year, we commit to a ‘theme’ on my Christmas tree (one year we did eggplant purple; it was dreadful) so next year I’m going to commit to a wrapping theme as well… a simpler theme, but heavy on small beautiful details.

I’d like to get more into the practice of noticing, memorising, savouring, and filing away joyful details of everyday life.  I’m not sure I’m ready to write them down on scraps of paper and keep them in an actual jar, like Elizabeth Gilbert suggests we do… but I just might.  We all burn small but important details into our memories on our wedding day, or when our children are born, or at other big events in our lives.  My ‘resolution’ of sorts for 2017 is that I am going to quiet my mind, switch off my drive to be multi-taskingly efficient every second of the day, and take note of those small beautiful details that happen around me daily… like the elegant cut of  stranger’s coat, the light changing every day with weather and season, or the atavistic joy of being watching a candle flame.  As crazy as it sounds, I think the same principle applies to your wardrobe.  Noticing and relishing the small details of the things you wear makes you appreciate them more.  Today when we took these photos, it was FREEZING, and I made myself take a quick moment to be grateful for the soft warmth of my cashmere sweater.  You don’t have to buy new new new all the time to appreciate your clothes.  You just have to buy less, buy better quality, and buy things that are rich in details that you love.  This black jacket is one of my favourite pieces in my closet.  At a glance, its just a black satin trench.  So far, so ordinary.  What I love about it though are the details— the quality of the thick satin, the way that the big buttons go nearly up to the elbow, the mysterious vibe of a stand up collar, and the dramatic lapels (I am ALWAYS a sucker for a well-worked lapel).  The trench is a joy to wear, and it is eight years old.  I always feel like a secret agent when I wear it (a secret agent for what, I have no idea.  Even that is a secret)!  All the little details make it special to me, whether the jacket is ‘on trend’ or not.

‘The devil is in the details’ is the overused saying we all know, but did you know that the original saying was ‘God is in the detail’?  ‘God is in the detail’ meant that details are vital, and that paying attention to them and doing them well is rewarding.   Instead of keeping up with what everyone else is wearing, I wear things with details that bring me little snippets of joy, and joy to me is always an unexpected (and often very sparkly!) detail.

What little details in your wardrobe bring you the most joy?  The nosy writer in me would love to know!

Lapel detail

Cashmere detailFreezing.  But look at those sleeve buttons!  Swoon!

sunglasses detail

Leopard and Satin detailJacket: Barbara Bui (old)  Skirt: River Island (sold out)  Sweater: Winser London  Clutch: Hermes Medor Sunglasses: ZeroUV  Shoes: Kurt Geiger (old) Photos: Lottie Anderson

Often readers will message me to ask where I got a particular item, or if I can help them find something similar…  especially my old Gucci boots in this post;  you loved those as much as I do!  When I have time, and when I find something special, I’ll start to add them to the bottom of my posts.   This is the closest option I could find for the Barbara Bui coat I’m wearing in this post.  It has gold grommets, shiny fabric, and has a fabulous stand up collar and wide lapels… all lovely details and at a great price (click on the photo for the link).

I’m also loving this fairly pricey Carolina Issa option; it has an almost tuxedo-like style and combines navy and black, which I love, in a shiny crepe fabric…  all special details that set it apart from a basic trench.  Maybe it will go on sale soon; I think it is absolutely gorgeous (better  photos are on the Nordstrom website).

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Linking to: notdeadyetstyle, notdressedaslamb, elegantlydressedandstylish, stylesplash, fashionshouldbefun

 

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43 Comments

  • Reply
    Stella Asteria
    January 8, 2017 at 1:23 PM

    You are so right my dear Lisa! It’s the little details that make the difference, or else, success is in the sum of details! 🙂 And this skirt of yours is the perfect indicative example for this quote! You look fantastic! I really admire you of implementing so perfectly classic and edgy at the same time in your looks! This bag of yours is my favourite, such a classic statement piece and so rare to find! My favourite details at the moment are my yellow Gucci Dionysus chain wallet which is the perfect color pop detail for a dark winter look, and also showing some fishnet under destroyed jeans!
    Thanks for one more amazing look! Hope you are having a lovely weekend and a fabulous start to 2017!
    Much love,
    Stella
    http://www.stellaasteria.com

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 8, 2017 at 1:39 PM

      Thank you, lovely Stella!

      Oh, I need to go ogle your Dionysys wallet; it sounds lovely. You’re a girl who loves the new Gucci as much as I do 🙂 I can totally see you wearing fishnets under ripped jeans… I love that detail. Thank you for sharing your deets! Love back to you, gorgeous. xx

  • Reply
    Suzanne
    January 8, 2017 at 2:03 PM

    I love your style so very much! Who else could write phrases like “standard leopard skirt” and “just a black satin trench. So far, so ordinary”? When I grow up, I want to be you and not limit my style to being happy when I find a coat that has pockets capable of holding my wallet, phone, poop bags, and dog treats without destroying the line of the coat. In the fwiw column, Burberry usually does.

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 8, 2017 at 3:11 PM

      Thank you, Suzanne! I love that you factor in the lines of the coat in when you’re organising the practicalities you need… a girl after my own heart. Burberry hardly does anything wrong, so I’m not surprised that they can accommodate your functional and sartorial needs! xx

  • Reply
    RetroChicMama
    January 8, 2017 at 2:37 PM

    This is why we click my friend, we share the same philosophy about “Fashion” & yes it’s a good one to remember in all aspects of life. Regarding your fabulous sold out skirt – Perhaps a couple of metres of stripe grosgrain ribbon sewn along the side seams of an existing leopard skirt would do the job? I’m always up for customizing old clothes to revive them or add an edge. It’s often a very cheap alternative.
    I love both your Trench choices, this is a wardrobe staple I’ve yet to invest in. I’ve been looking for a very long time but I can’t decide on colour! I keep coming back to the traditional camel Mac even though this colour looks dreadful on me. I may need to re-think a black option that way we can go spying together 😉
    Another terrific read Lisa xxx

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 8, 2017 at 3:59 PM

      Thank you, Michelle. Funny you mention the hack of sewing on some ribbon down the side of a skirt… I was going to link to some sport striped ribbon as a style hack, and I totally forgot to do it once I got off on a tangent! I’ll save that for a future post.

      I’m not so great in a camel trench either, but I have worn this black one to death. It certainly ‘does’ evening a lot better than a camel one. Plus, as you correctly point out, we can play spy together. 😉 xxx

  • Reply
    Liz
    January 8, 2017 at 3:42 PM

    Lisa, I love love love your intelligent approach to fashion. Although it isn’t fashion. It’s far more than that. It’s style and your style is intrinsic. It’s unique, it’s beautiful and it’s glorious to see. As Michelle said, a terrific read. Thank you Xxx

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 8, 2017 at 3:47 PM

      Oh, thank you so much Liz, that’s such a compliment coming from you, a SUPER stylish writer. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it! xx

  • Reply
    Nancy
    January 8, 2017 at 4:07 PM

    Great style! Love the skirt, and I have loved a trench for all of my life! I should have been born with a Burberry trench on! Lol.

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 8, 2017 at 4:20 PM

      Thanks, Nancy! Well, a trench is a classic for a reason! I’ll bet you’re super stylish in one. xx

  • Reply
    'Thia
    January 8, 2017 at 4:33 PM

    My mother taught me that there is tasteful leopard print. (Strangely, both of my workhorse winter coats are leopard prints: one is blue and gray, and the other is burgundy and navy.
    For me, it’s all about the hat. I don’t feel ready to walk out the door until I have a hat that fits my outerwear! I even have a leopard print hat, in dark green and black. No, I do not wear it with either of the coats. 🙂

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 8, 2017 at 5:43 PM

      Your mother has so much style, if you are anything to go by! You wear hats SO WELL; I can see how that is the unique style detail that makes you happy. xx

  • Reply
    LA CONTESSA
    January 8, 2017 at 5:21 PM

    I had a dear friend who did the XMAS wrap as you are DREAMING about every year!She would pick two colors and then FIND the PAPER!
    IT is ALL in THE DETAIL!Who said, THAT?Someone FAMOUS I KNOW!
    The detail is what MAKES it for me in EVERYTHING I DO be it the GARDEN the HOME, CLOTHING………….A PHOTO!
    I think that is something HARD TO TEACH.Either YOU have it or YOU don’t.Would you agree?Maybe, I’m wrong here but GOOD TASTE in general either YOU have or YOU do not. THAT IS ANOTHER hard thing to TEACH.BUT IT CAN BE DONE!

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 8, 2017 at 5:48 PM

      I think you’re right, La Contessa. Some people aren’t interested at all in the details, just in the initial impact that an item makes. I like that too, but I need the extra something in the details or I eventually tire of it.

      Your home and wardrobe are rife with ‘more is more’ and with LOTS of detail, which I why I enjoy you and your photos so much! I feel like I could spend days exploring your house and your closet 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    Joanna
    January 8, 2017 at 5:29 PM

    I love small details! You’re absolutely right in that they make an outfit zing.

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 8, 2017 at 5:49 PM

      Thanks, Joanna! xx

  • Reply
    Joanna
    January 8, 2017 at 5:31 PM

    Forgot to ask. I loove your sunglasses. What is the make or can you link us to them?

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 8, 2017 at 5:52 PM

      Oh, yes of course, Joanna. You’ll see a red hyperlink to ZeroUV in the credits below the last photo of me in the blog post, right before the two photos of the Nordstrom trench coats. I’ve linked to the exact pair on the ZeroUV website. They’re like $9 or something, and they come in a couple of colours. Happy shopping on there; they have some amazing and very inexpensive stuff. xx

  • Reply
    Sheela Goh
    January 8, 2017 at 6:56 PM

    When I saw that first picture, Lisa, my eyes were instantly drawn to the buttons on your cuffs. How they reminded of me Victorian collars and wrists. Then the tuxedo stripes of your skirt called to me, and I was drawn in, hook, line and sinker, but in a far more positive fashion xoxo

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 8, 2017 at 8:30 PM

      Awwww, lovely Sheela! I trust you and your sharp fashion eyes to zero in on the details! So pleased you like xx

  • Reply
    No Fear of Fashion
    January 8, 2017 at 8:09 PM

    I fully agree. Details are everything in an outfit. But also shoes are (are shoes details? No, not really are they?) The way your awesome booties work with the skirt, is great. Love that you are wearing opaque black tights with them. See, it is so simple but I don’t think about that. Anyway, you inspired me. And yes that last coat is perfect. (Alas, it is not going to happen).
    Did I mention I love the outfit?
    And black really suits you. You see, it is not just the colour of your hair which determines whether a colour is good on you. Far from it. As black is very dangerous on me and yellow isn’t but is on you.
    Greetje

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 8, 2017 at 8:34 PM

      Are shoes details… Good question, Greetje. Sometimes, yes. Often, they take centre stage. Certainly after the Carrie Bradshaw-ification of Western Society, they take centre stage 🙂 I’m so glad I inspired you (with more than the sequins!).

      Interesting about black and yellow on me and you. You’re right. Yellow is putrid on me, but it absolutely sings on you. Thank you for your thoughts, love. xx

  • Reply
    Susan B
    January 9, 2017 at 1:26 AM

    Fabulous outfit!! You’re so right about the details, and it’s something I’ve started to pay more attention to when choosing my wardrobe. I want good basics, yes, but I want to go beyond and find pieces with an interesting detail or two. That might be color, or something like the unexpected stripe on your skirt.

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 9, 2017 at 8:57 AM

      Thank you, Susan. It sounds easier than it is though, right? It is easy to find a basic, but it is hard to find a really special basic. If I find one, it is often expensive, like the Caroline Issa navy and black jacket I linked to at the bottom. xx

  • Reply
    Mithra Ballesteros
    January 9, 2017 at 3:51 AM

    After seeing the striped skirt, my mind couldn’t concentrate on the words and I had to rush to the end to find out that NOOOO!!!!! the skirt is sold out. Back to the beginning to start over and read your post which was so effervescent, witty and fun. You do make it seem so easy and I know otherwise. Really this was one of your best. No secret in that!!!

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 9, 2017 at 9:00 AM

      You might have to buy a leopard skirt and sew some sports stripes down the side, Mithra! Thank you for your compliment on the post; I had a rare few hours where my son was out rock climbing with my husband, and I could stay at home and write in a QUIET HOUSE! What a difference that makes to a post 🙂 Love to you xx

  • Reply
    Emma Peach
    January 9, 2017 at 9:41 AM

    I completely agree – the beauty and joy are to be found in the details, both in fashion and life in general. The stripe is an unexpected detail on a leopard print skirt – a very cool one at that. I am totally swooning over those boots and gorgeous clutch!

    Emma xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 9, 2017 at 1:03 PM

      Thanks so much, Emma. Nothing like an unexpected detail to get a style girl’s heart racing! xx

  • Reply
    Isalondon
    January 9, 2017 at 11:47 AM

    Beautiful post Lisa yes we need to slow down and find beauty around us instead of always jumping on the next trend , I do that a lot , I’m a dreamer!
    I love beautiful fabrics or handmade knits that I find on ebay, or the soft leather of a bag, and I’m obsessed
    with studs by Valentino or on the Chloe susanna, or a beautiful china cup to start my day or fresh flowers!
    You coat is stunning I love Barbara Bui.

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 9, 2017 at 1:00 PM

      Thank you so much, Isabelle. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for sharing your favourite details; I love all of those as well!

      I also adore Barbara Bui; I’m DYING over this cape, but it is expensive and only available in a small size. Still, I can’t stop staring at it! xx http://www.barbarabui.com/us/coat_cod41672316ih.html

  • Reply
    Isalondon
    January 9, 2017 at 1:37 PM

    oh my! Yes that cape is fabulous so couture and reminds me of Alexander McQueen, I hope you find it! Isabelle

  • Reply
    rachel
    January 9, 2017 at 2:16 PM

    Love this post and attitude. I just last week found a gaberdine black trench in the charity shop. Its vintage judging from the labels and quality of cloth with gold buttons, not what I would usually choose at all (and my first thought was to swap them) but I just love them now

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 9, 2017 at 9:40 PM

      I’m so glad you like the post, Rachel. You’re vintage trench sounds gorgeous; I bet the gold buttons look perfect. xx

  • Reply
    Theresa Campbell
    January 9, 2017 at 6:10 PM

    Such a chic outfit. And you sure are right about details. In this case that vertical stripe on the leopard print skirt really catches the eye. It is the details that take an outfit to another level of fabulousness! That is why I’m so enamoured of vintage clothing. I fall in love with the unusual way necklines are cut, the unique buttons used, and even the inside construction, that no one even sees but me. Yet I appreciate it all the same.

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 9, 2017 at 9:37 PM

      Thank you, Theresa. I can see why you love vintage so much. It is always such a thrill to have a unique piece, and vintage is often much better made than than modern clothing. xx

  • Reply
    Glenda
    January 11, 2017 at 7:02 PM

    A rare bird you are, Lisa. I love the WTF idea in dressing. This type of fashion sense always make me wonder about the person wearing the clothes…and not the clothes. If that makes sense? As always, you look exquisite.

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 14, 2017 at 6:50 PM

      Oh, thank you so much, Glenda. That is so nice coming from a thoughtful and considered fashionista like yourself! xx

  • Reply
    jess jannenga
    January 12, 2017 at 3:47 PM

    Love this look Lisa! I so agree about details making an outfit! It can be a small change or something added to create uniqueness.. like the stripes in your skirt. Love this! The structured trench is fab, I love the lapels. of course your heels are killer!
    jess xx
    Thanks for linking with Turning heads tuesday!
    http://www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 14, 2017 at 6:51 PM

      Thank you so much, Jess! I’m pleased you like it. xx

  • Reply
    Marlena
    January 15, 2017 at 12:52 PM

    So have been quietly visiting your blog now for awhile, but it wasn’t until you showed up shopping with another blogger I love that I signed up…..however today I visited your archives on beauty and just loved the post about your eyebrows!!! We have similar coloring and a similar dilemma of thinning…..so annoying!! I have been going every 6 weeks or so to have them dyed but it is not very long lasting and still have to fiddle with them after a couple of weeks or they are SO light as to be non-existent!!!! I love this idea of a GOOD more permanent solution. So want that contact number!!!!! Love your style, and writing, thank you for being a bright spot in my day!

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 15, 2017 at 8:13 PM

      Hi Marlena, thank you for visiting my blog, and WELCOME! I’m more than happy to give you Sophie’s contact details. She’s AMAZING. You can reach her on + 44 20 7589 5899. Happily tell her that I sent you. I am really pleased that you enjoy my posts on here; that makes me really happy xx

  • Reply
    Dawn Lucy
    January 16, 2017 at 5:40 PM

    Head to toe amazing! Thanks so much for sharing with Fun Fashion Friday!

    OXOX
    Dawn Lucy
    http://fashionshouldbefun.com

    • Reply
      Lisa
      January 16, 2017 at 8:04 PM

      Thank you Dawn! xx

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