I think you’ve already met my blogging friends. This picture of us was taken near the end of May. Oh, seeing them again in this photo makes me want to give them all a hug! Anyway, yesterday I called Sandra (in black and white polka dots) and Cindy (in turmeric linen over all black) and quizzed them about style and how they styled the outfits they wore that day so I could tell you all about it. Sandra Sallin, is an artist extraordinaire from Beverly Hills, CA and my buddy Cindy Hattersley from Monterey County is an interior designer.
They both have must-read blogs.
Our other buddies, Elizabeth Kirkpatrick (Miss Tall in green) and Mary Ann Pickett (who had to dash before this photo was taken as Paris was calling her) are from the Bay Area. Unfortunately we don’t get to see each other often as a group because of the physical distance between us. It’s amazing how I met them all for the first time a year ago and feel today like I could count on them for anything! That’s how friends are.
Staying with our “lunch at Neiman Marcus” theme we met for lunch but in Walnut Creek. Both Mary Ann and Elizabeth had to leave early but I got to hang out with Sandra and Cindy a little longer.
Cindy up close
As I was talking to Cindy, we chatted first about her interior design business. I was listening and said, “Wow, you really ‘wear’ your brand.”
Here’s how her interior design work has been described: “Her layered, curated look comes from the pairing of high and low, the imperfect and the worn, and the antique and modern for a fresh take on tradition.”
She said, “I really do like to dress the same way I decorate. I like mixing in vintage pieces. I don’t do anything shiny. I like patina, tarnished metals, and lots of texture. It ties into my Rough Luxe.”
She only wears linen shirts and linen dresses in the summer. It’s very hot in her part of California. The tunic she’s wearing comes from Tancredi & Morgen, a must-visit store in Carmel.
When you listen to her talk about where she finds her fashion and accessories you can absolutely see the designer in her at work, the one who’s willing to hunt down the treasures that are just right. Tancredi & Morgan sells home decor, one of a kind pillows made from vintage fabric, and select clothes and accessories. In other words, it’s not Macy’s!
She loves vintage accessories like her horn bracelets as well as contemporary pieces like her necklace. This bracelet bundle includes vintage pieces she purchased from eBay except for the black wooden orbit bracelet that came from Cost Plus. (High/low, vintage/new.) She also buys clothes and jewelry from Etsy. Talk about a savvy shopper! Her style is very organic, artistic, and luxe. “Texture is what I love in design. I’ll always choose texture over pattern.”
She only started wearing glasses full-time a year ago. Her tortoise frames are by Warby Parker.
One more thing about Cindy. Her hair has been going gray for about six or seven years. It was really dark brown, almost black. She’d be at the hairdressers every three weeks getting a color fix. One day her daughter said, “Your hair looks like a frizzled mess.” Against every hairdressers advice (they thought it would be an awful shade of gray), she did stopped coloring it. Can you believe that beautiful head of hair? Oh my gosh! She’s 63. She gets oodles of compliments. Indeed!
Sandra up close
Sitting next to Sandra at lunch, I kept studying how she accessorized her polka dot tunic. It was unexpected and I was coming up with why I thought it worked so well.
I loved the juxtaposition of the warm-toned brooch with the cool black and white dots. The colors in her brooch make the polka dots pop and vice versa. I loved how the colors in her tortoise-framed glasses and the colors in her brooch were talking to each other. And I particularly swooned over her nothing earrings. I talk about how necessary nothing earrings are when wearing something necklaces. In my mind Sandra’s wearing a something brooch and her nothing earrings are beautiful on their own but don’t take attention away from the brilliance of the brooch. They just slide right in there, completing her look without being demanding.
I explained my theory to Sandra and she said, “I didn’t even think about it! I dress by the seat of my pants. It’s all about trying it on and saying oh that looks good. It was an intuitive decision.”
Well of course! She’s an artist!
You’re going to love the story of her brooch. Her husband is a filmmaker and producer. In fact, Sandra met him when she was a Hollywood actress. She writes a lot about those years and her family and how her mother played cards with a woman whose son, Dustin Hoffman, was a fledgling young actor. She writes breezily about her friends like Carol Brunett and being on set with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. You know, stuff like that!
So you’ll understand that she and her husband were cleaning out a room in their home getting ready to turn it into a room to show films. In a giveaway pile in a corner she found boxes containing this brooch and others. She’d set them aside to give to grandkids when she adopted the idea that wearing brooches would make her look older.
She told me, “What was I thinking that this gray-haired woman was going to look old if she wore brooches? Who am I fooling? I’m 77. Screw it, I am old.”
We had a giggle.
She said, “I’m kind of shocked that I’m 77. I have friends in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. I don’t think of myself as being invisible. I think I’m bolder now and freer. I want to look good as opposed to young.”
She’s a big fan of the Tokyo tunic-dress. (Just type in Tokyo tunic into Google and they’ll pop up.) She said she’s constantly doing a search for them. She has them in different colors and prints and enjoys wearing them over leggings. It’s almost like her uniform. “I put it on and it looks good. It’s always fun to wear. It’s like a man wearing a different colored polo shirt every day.” Simple.
She said, “I think I’m going to get more brooches and crazy frames.” She can easily pull off a dynamic, unexpected look.
I wanted to know about her nothing earring. She didn’t call it that. She just knew she “needed an earring that’s there but doesn’t draw attention to itself.” These earrings are by Ted Muehling. His work is at August in Los Angeles. She said, “They mean something to me but no one says, Oh I love those earrings, I have to have them. The artist actually worked with his hands to make these. They aren’t machine made. They are hand sanded, hand carved, hand worked.” Can’t you just feel the love from one artist to another?
Both Cindy and Sandra have a clear sense of what works well on them. They have a love affair with their carefully chosen accessories. They do such a beautiful job of just being themselves. They’re comfortable in their own skin and in the clothes they wear. How divine is that?
There will be another post or two when you’ll hear more about Mary Ann Pickett, interior designer from San Francisco, whose blog is called Classic Casual Home. And my friend Elizabeth Kirkpatrick who is La Contessa and blogs about fashion, gardens, Italians, antiques, food and so much more on her website called the Vintage Contessa.
Like my arty friends, do you have certain styles or combos that are your uniform? Do you have a curated jewelry collection that spells out Y-O-U? How do you put it together? Can’t wait to hear your secrets.