Sunday, July 25, 2010


I'm heading down the California Coast beginning with Monterey Bay - the backdrop to John Steinbeck's "Cannery Row"  -  through the charming town of Carmel to the rugged beauty of Big Sur.  The Beat Generation's Jack Kerouac immortalized Big Sur in his writings too.

Big Sur, CA (from

On the Coast, activities range from outdoorsy treks by the beach to world class wining and dining.  This makes packing a bit complicated.   Did I mention that the Coast can be cold and foggy in the middle of summer too?  It will be in the 50s to 60s Farenheit this July, colder if we are in the middle of the ocean spotting humpbacks.

Jeans and sturdy shoes can take care of horseback riding and trekking.  What about the evenings when the local Inn offers its wine and cheese reception, or when we stroll by the many acclaimed restaurants in Carmel?  This calls for ...

Rugged fabrics like denim, though perhaps in white or as a skirt, and camel-colored leathers or suedes nod to Carmel's most famous resident, Clint Eastwood.  Vogue's fashion editor, Tonne Goodman, also embodies this effortless American style:

model as Tonne Goodman, Vogue August 2008

Here are a few ideas of the mix of fabrics and styles that can bring on this look:

Camel sweater jacket with fur and denim trim
White jeans contrasted with denim wedges with suede bow

White V-neck tops suede pants
Cropped denim jacket and denim shoes finish it
You can play around with the fabrics in unexpected places - like suede pants, or denim shoes.

Note:  To make legs look longer in either ensemble, swap the contrast shoes for a pair of neutrals, like camel-colored suede booties.

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