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Archive for February, 2018

20 backpacks to have you reconsidering backpacks

street style backpack

I love the look of a backpack—so urban-chic and no-nonsense. Plus, they are so much kinder to your back than carrying your life around in a handbag. I am thinking about getting one for travel, because I hate dragging a huge tote around the airport, and like the idea of being hands-free.

everlane backpack1

The dark green on this option from Everlane is really good, but it comes in a couple of other colors too.

mansur gavriel backpack

A poppy red choice from Mansur Gavriel.

fjallraven backpack

I love classic Fjallraven backpacks: they’re cheap and stylish and there’s something kind of Euro about them (they’re from Sweden, so that follows). I also like this one, which is meant for laptops.

fjallraven backpack1

Another Fjallraven model worth considering.

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A simple, straightforward backpack from Clare V.


kara backpack

Kara’s backpack is a favorite of mine: so streamlined, with an oversize zipper that makes a big statement.

vere verto backpack

The natural leather here will age really well.

rag & bone backpack

An understatedly elegant choice from Rag & Bone.

herschel supply backpack

Just your basic black backpack, from Herschel.

sole society backpack

This is faux leather and a great deal.

allsaints backpack

I didn’t used to like it when backpacks were shaped like something other than backpacks, but now I can see the utility of having a backpack that reads like a handbag, and for that reason I like this one from Allsaints.

adidas backpack

This is actually a gym bag, and it’s nicely big, so I’m thinking it would be great for travel.

madewell backpack

A cute little canvas number with touches of leather.rag & bone backpack1

This could easily go from work to evening.

longchamp backpack

You know how geeked out I am lately on Longchamp bags, so I am loving this. It comes in black and a couple of other colors too, but I think the blue is kind of fun and less-expected.

frye backpack

I’m not typically the biggest fan of hardware, but I really like it here.

sole society backpack1

This looks a bit like what the woman in the top picture is carrying.

madewell leather backpack

A leather backpack that’s pretty reasonably priced.

jerome dreyfuss backpack

And finally: something gorgeous, spendy, and French from Jerome Dreyfuss.


Did you miss my post on excellent everyday handbags?

Posted on February 28th, 2018 24 Comments

Its a big Shopbop sale, everyone

phillip lim bomber

Shopbop is having one of their the-more-you-spend-the-more-you-save sales starting today (it ends Saturday) and I like to employ these sales as an opportunity to buy something splurgy that might otherwise never go on sale, like this bomber jacket from Phillip Lim. I think this is structured and sophisticated enough to wear on an evening out.

jerome dreyfuss bag

It’s also a good time to think about picking up a nice Jerome Dreyfuss bag like this luscious brown specimen.

lagence jacket

I like the grey-on-black color palette of this camo jacket.

nili lotan dress

A gorgeous, easy dress from Nili Lotan.

paul smith blazer

This striped blazer is just a kick.

nsf jacket

And this blazer-ish jacket looks like it would be great for kicking around in.

Posted on February 27th, 2018 2 Comments

What are you looking at?

body battleground

What are you feeling visually stimulated by these days? I’m loving Signs of Resistance: A Visual History of Protest in America, a book by my friend the genius graphic designer Bonnie Siegler (she has created logos for SNL and about a million other shows, and co-designed the original Lucky). Her eye for protest in pop culture is super-sharp, and there is so much here, including this now-iconic piece by Barbara Kruger.

women are not

I would totally hang this 1975 poster in my home.


And I’m quite fond of this one too. Now what about you? I very much want to know what’s got you inspired.

Posted on February 27th, 2018 13 Comments

A note from the GOACA sickbed

natalie wood

Excuses in advance if things are a little slow this week: I had a bunch of posts conveniently prepared in advance before I got sick, but am now working to bring myself up to speed while still not feeling 100%. Meanwhile, this picture of Natalie Wood pretty much sums up the last week at GOACA HQ: just nonstop glamour with me and the dogs, fine china, and very strong antibiotics. Tell me, because I’m craving entertainment: what the most exciting thing that has happened to you so far this year?

Posted on February 26th, 2018 84 Comments

A bunch of pretty silk tops

Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 3.11.10 PM

I’ll just start out by saying that silk tops are not a cheap category. There’s nothing too outrageously splurgy here (at least by my—admittedly skewed—standards) and I did manage to unearth a couple of reasonably-priced choices, but for the most part, a nice silk blouse will cost you. But I think they’re worth it, because it always feels a little bit special to be wearing silk, even if you’ve got no bigger plans than lounging about at home. Why not let’s start with this divine leopard print?

vince silk top

I sort of wanted to save this red top for a “Things I bought, things I want” post, because I do want it a lot, but I haven’t bought much lately so it goes in here. Just such a good red, and nice slouchy fit.

everlane silk top

Well-priced, deeply office-worthy, covertly kind of cool.

equipment silk top1

This popover has all the crispness on a freshly-ironed white button-down shirt.

eileen fisher silk top

This shirt comes in a few colors—including always-handy black—but I like it best in this vibrant red.

veronica beard silk top

A pretty dark floral, just how I like them.

lagence silk top

Small touches—the deep cuffs, the covered buttons—make this an elegant option.

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Another pretty floral print—because spring will come, eventually.

joie silk top

I’ve thought about buying this easy top so many times: it just looks like a good solid option for those days when nothing else in your closet seems quite right.

vince silk top1

The gentle gathers on this blouse make it quite feminine.

rebecca taylor silk top

This top is a bit girlier than I usually go, but I like it.

green silk top

I just really love this green.

everlane silk top1

I saw a striped shirt like this from Isabel Marant recently that costs about twenty times what this one does.

eileen fisher striped silk top

I like the very subtle stripes here.

frame silk top

Another top I surprise myself by liking because a high neck like that is usually not for me. But I think the smocking is a cool touch.

vince silk top2

I love the graceful neckline here.


In case you missed it: my post last week on tops with great prints.

Posted on February 26th, 2018 19 Comments

GOACA home basics: Table and floor lamps

sidnie lamp

Technically, this is a Taking Requests, because a number of you have written in asking for a post on lamps. And I’ve been meaning to get around to it, too, but am pretty certain I was avoiding it, because I am picky, picky when it comes to lighting, and feared I wouldn’t find much to clear the bar.  But in the end I did find a number of pretty good specimens, like this blue domed number from Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.

cb2 lamp

I like this dome lamp too, and it’s a better buy than the blue one.

mini task lamp

Here is the classic Task lamp, which works on just about any desk. Here is another variation I like, and here’s a cute, bright one from Paul Smith.

target task lamp

Here’s something Task lamp-ish that rings in under $25.

grasshopper table lamp

And then there’s this graceful iteration.

cigar lamp

This George Nelson Cigar lamp is another classic (sorry, but this is a category I don’t take a lot of risks in). When I lived in a brownstone, I had the cigar shape hanging from the ceiling and it was divine.

arco lamp

You really have to see the Arco floor lamp in action in people’s homes to see how genius it is (happily, you can do so here). It is something I would buy if I could buy anything I wanted, but for now I will content myself with considering this cheaper version, as well as this also cheaper version.

west elm floor lamp

More retroish than I usually go, but I like it.

nelson lamp

The George Nelson Pear Lamp is like the cigar above, but maybe a little more graceful.

globe floor lamp

A Globe lamp is nicely unobtrusive, and this one is a lot more well-priced than others I’ve seen.

studio floor lamp

This is kind of  1970s teenager’s bedroom, in the best possible way. Here is a cheaper option that is kind of different, but reminds me of it somehow.

tripod floor lamp

I don’t just inevitably love a tripod lamp—they can be clunky— but this one is quite appealing, with its skinny legs and excellent blue shade.


Catch up on my post covering items for the home office.

Posted on February 23rd, 2018 11 Comments