Thursday, July 2, 2009

going with the (gros)grain

nothing says fresh and preppy summer quite like grosgrain ribbon details. can't you just picture a clam bake on nantucket or newport, or a golf outing in palm beach, everyone looking tailored and color coordinated with their grosgrain belts and headbands? if this kind of scene has always been a little fantasy for you as it has for me, you'd probably really enjoy curtis sittenfeld's prep as a summer read...but i digress...

what i love about the grosgrain look is that it packs a very specific color combination into a neat little package. grosgrain accessories, like flip flops and watches can spruce up an otherwise simple outfit, making an ordinary, casual look something a little more polished and intentional looking.

alternately, grosgrain accents can work to tie in other patterns and color schemes creating a great mix and match effect, which i always love. i found pink and green grosgrain accented totes at the christmas tree shop of all places, and i think they were like $3 each. i immediately snapped them up in 2 sizes, knowing they were a steal and could be well integrated with some of my other travel bags. i especially love using the larger of the two with a pink and green striped tote i have and love. the small one turned out to be a little too small, so i use it as a gardening tote now, and with my green gardening tools, it works quite nicely.

also, my travel makeup bag in a terrific pucci-esque pattern has a small grosgrain handle. i love how on this piece, wild with color and pattern, the grosgrain is the more staid component, where when used against solid colors, the grosgrain becomes the snazzy element. yes, i just said snazzy. it is a great word, you have to admit.

along the lines of combining grosgrain with another pattern, i could see it working well with any number of lilly pulitzer pieces, as well as mixing and matching with vera bradley accessories in similar color families. that's another check in the column of why i should get one of the vera bradley ensembles i've been coveting.

what's also nice is that because grosgrain is a pattern that lives mostly in the accessory world, you can try it out relatively inexpensively to see if you like it and it isn't a huge commitment. for great flip flops like the ones above, check out the preppy princess website and for a wide assortment of grosgrain headbands and key fobs, check out palm beach botanicals. j. crew and ll bean also have some grosgrain accessories right now too.

i'm into it. i might have to change my name to muffy and join the junior league.

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