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Le leather

February 25th, 2011

I’m not sure what has gotten into me where I have resumed outfit posts (two days in a row after six months without nary a one?)
I had leather pants 10 years ago that I wore faithfully and adored and then tossed after I had kids thinking I was too old for them now. Then I went for a drink with the lovely Aesthetic Alterations and she had on gorgeous leather pants. She is younger than me, but it made me wonder if I could pull them off at my age. What sealed the deal on the frigidly cold day we met was when she told me they were probably the warmest thing in her wardrobe. Bingo.

PS In case you are wondering, these were on super secret clearance at the thrift store … love my local thrift store! They are butter soft and don’t appear as if they were ever worn.

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  1. February 25th, 2011 at 10:13 | #1

    Wow! Those look fabulous on you. I think this might be my all time favorite outfit of yours – the top, the belt – it all looks so stylish. And they look like they fit you perfectly. What an incredible find at a thrift store.

    • February 25th, 2011 at 13:55 | #2

      Adrienne,
      Thanks. Can you believe the belt is the most expensive item I have on? The top is from Target ; )
      k

  2. February 25th, 2011 at 11:47 | #3

    Well–I’m just going to have to get over myself and get to that thrift store–preferably with you! These look fantastic, and I absolutely adore the bootleg cut. If I had a pair like that, I’d be over the moon! You must wear them when we get together…. Trying to figure out what day I don’t have to edit (drowning….).

    • February 25th, 2011 at 13:55 | #4

      Fridays are good … i have a card that gives me 20 percent off everything in the store …

  3. February 25th, 2011 at 15:00 | #5

    They are STUNNING on you!

  4. Giovanna
    February 25th, 2011 at 16:15 | #6

    they look stunning on you! I don’t remember if I ever commented on your blog (that I have been visiting faithfully for a long time now), but I HAD to tell you this time. I like your style in general, share your love for books and literature – actually I might be your long lost Italian twin (albeit I must be a couple of years older than you…)

    • February 25th, 2011 at 16:31 | #7

      Phyllis: that’s what I’m hoping!
      Fiona: thanks so much. I continue to keep New Zealand in my prayers.
      Giovanna: thank you so much for commenting! I haven’t posted regularly for ages, but I used to love posting about books. I always welcome any recommendations on good reads. I’m going through a Spanish phase right now. I love Carlos Ruiz Zafon and just started re-reading Queen of the South by Arturo Perez-Reverte. And for a non-Spanish author, I picked up The Passage by Justin Cronin. Maybe you are my doppleganger! I’m 42 …

  5. February 25th, 2011 at 16:54 | #8

    HOT! You wear them well and with the rest of the outfit it really works. I bet they will last a really long time too. They look brand new.

    • February 26th, 2011 at 08:49 | #9

      Stephanie — thanks! Have a great weekend!

  6. February 26th, 2011 at 14:37 | #10

    Looking good Kristie.
    How would you clean these?

  7. Aurora
    February 28th, 2011 at 10:31 | #12

    Looking good!

  8. February 28th, 2011 at 20:01 | #13

    They look really good on you! Have you tried a skinny pair of leather trousers? I wonder how they look on, I can imagine that you carry them very well!

    • March 1st, 2011 at 07:37 | #14

      Fleurette, Thank you! As far as skinny, well I might try some straight let. I am very curvy and that works better than flat out skinny. I have a slight problem with the ones I bought — they are already baggy. I have lost a few pounds, but also I probably didn’t get a small enough size to start …

  9. Giovanna
    March 1st, 2011 at 07:20 | #15

    scary…I am 42, too, and attempting to write my first novel as well – I know you do not post often, but when you do it is interesting and fun, so I keep coming back ;) , currently I am (re)reading classics (Flaubert, Balzac) and light crime story (love Charlotte Link) to crack their “structure code”, so to speak. Not a new book, but one I really appreciated recently (for the story, but also for the style and language) is “Romanzo Criminale”, by Giancarlo de Cataldo (dit not see a translation on Amazon, though) and also “Io non ho paura” (I am not scared) by Niccolo Ammaniti.

    • March 1st, 2011 at 07:41 | #16

      Giovanna,
      Too funny … is your story light crime then? For a bit I was also reading everything that was similar to my genre as well to see how they handled structure, etc. thanks for the recommendation. I wish I could read Italian. I’ll look for translations. Also I’ll look for Charlotte Link. Where are you from In Italy?

  10. March 2nd, 2011 at 05:03 | #17

    Very classy!

  11. March 2nd, 2011 at 08:58 | #18

    This whole outfit is amazing and sexy on you! The looser top was the perfect compliment to the structured pants.

  12. Giovanna
    March 3rd, 2011 at 04:33 | #19

    Kristi
    Actually, I am TRYING to write a social critic (too ambitious?) disguised as crime novel. Forgot to add that I prefer Link’s older works (criminal novel + historical fiction; look for “The Sisters’ House) to her purely criminal novels (she now writes one per year it becomes a huge bestseller almost immediately). She is German btw. I am from the Italian part of Switzerland, but have lived abroad for the last 20 years, always in places with no public library :( and Amazon can get costly. I’ll look for the titles you mention when I will have the opportunity. Take care

    • March 3rd, 2011 at 08:17 | #20

      No library! That would be extremely difficult for me. I rarely buy books unless I’ve read them at least twice and love them.
      Thanks again for the recommendation. I spent some time in a small town just outside Bern where some of my Italian relatives lived.
      K

  13. Giovanna
    March 3rd, 2011 at 14:33 | #21

    So you ARE my long lost cousin! ;) My Granny’s youngest brother, now deceased, used to live in the outskirts of Bern…they were originally from Rome. As for not having a public library, I make up for it by using my children’s school library, book exchanges, sometimes Ebay when in Europe and Amazon when I am completely, absolutely sure that it is a book that I will read again and again.

  14. March 4th, 2011 at 11:04 | #22

    Kristi, I would really be interested in hearing about how you find time to read and write your novel all the while taking care of your kids and your house. I’m a working mom with two small children and I find it so hard to keep up with reading and my own interests. It’s such a juggle!

    • March 4th, 2011 at 12:36 | #23

      Giovanna, maybe you and I should do some book exchanges … or if I find some good thrift store deals I can just send you some ones that are hard to find where you are … that would be really hard for me to be in your situation. I’m such a bookworm.
      Helen, I’ve been very lucky to find time. Right now I have two hours to myself every morning while both children are at school. I dedicate this time to writing and revising my novel, although occassionally I succumb to the desire to go to the market without kids tagging along and do that during this time as well. Then, with one child still at school, I spend my afternoons doing my “paid” writing, which I am lucky enough to be able to do at home. It’s not a full salary, of course, but I am contributing to the household expenses, which is nice. Then I put my kids to bed and read. I don’t watch television, except for one to two movies a week from Netflix. If I did watch TV, I would never have enough time in the day to do my writing or any reading. It’s a decision I’ve made. In addition, I only read about six blogs a day or I would spend all day doing that as well, instead of writing!
      Sometimes, if I am in a good writing spot, I will also write when I awaken — as early as 5:30 or after I put the kids to bed instead of reading. Hope that helps.
      One more disclosure here: my house definitely suffers. I sacrifice having a spotless house for my art. It is more important to me to read, write, play games with the kids, cook yummy meals, watch movies, etc. than have a spotless house. But that’s just me. I don’t have clutter, which makes it probably seem neater than it is because I don’t have crap all over the place, but I don’t stress out if my kitchen floors haven’t been swept for three days … hope that helps.
      Are you writing something or must looking for more “me” time? It will get better as the kids get older. And early bedtimes are not only good for your kids, but good for your marriage and you — I’m a firm believer in a set, early bedtime every night.
      Thanks for commenting and I hope to hear more from you in the future!

  15. March 4th, 2011 at 13:17 | #24

    Kristi, thanks for your response. I’m not a writer. I don’t think have the talent. But, I’ve always been a voracious reader, since childhood. Until I had my kids. They are now 4 and 2 and I’m only now starting to “find myself” again, emphasis on the STARTING. And, at the age of 43, I’m in a strange sort of mid-life phase now where I’m trying to figure out who I am and how the next chapter(s) in my life will unfold. I’m trying to be conscious of things rather than letting days slip by in a blur. I’ve been reading a few blogs that speak to me (like yours!) and they are definitely helping me to explore and try to define what kind of quality of life I want and what will make me happy.

    Getting back into reading is a way of getting a bit of myself back. But it’s been very difficult as I”m always so exhuasted and can’t seem to find the time without feeling guilty about not doing other things. By the time my kids are in bed at night I don’t have much energy to do a lot. I have experimented with not turning the TV on at night after my kids go to bed. If I’m moving through my day in a semi-conscious state, it seems to be my default to just plop myself in front of the TV and watch whatever is on, sometimes finding that I’m not enjoying it. So there have been several times in the last couple of weeks when I have very consciously NOT turned on the TV and instead lounged in bed with a book (or magazine) and a cup of tea before going to sleep at a decent time.

    Sorry to go on so long. I guess I’m just curious about how other women manage their days and all the demands placed on them while still being true to themselves and not losing themselves to all the “roles” in their life, be it wife, mother, employer/boss, whatever.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are truly inspiring!

    • March 4th, 2011 at 17:09 | #25

      Helen, thanks so much, but honestly when my kids were your age (just a few years ago) I probably didn’t have it in me to write a book. I was exactly like you — completely drained at the end of the day! Hang on, it gets a bit easier …. I would love if other mothers would chime in on how they manage their lives …
      K

  16. March 4th, 2011 at 13:26 | #26

    Kristi, on your full disclosure about housework. I, too, have given up on having a spotless house. And I’m OK with it. My MIL is one of those Italian mammas who’s house is so spotless at all times that it’s devoid of any life — as though no one even lives there — and as a result has a a very “cold” feel. Not inviting in the least!

    My home, and the home I grew up in, while not spotless, always feels lived-in and full of life. My only problem is clutter. It’s really hard to stay on top of the clutter with kids. Just the amount of artwork and and projects that they bring home every week is hard to manage.

    Thanks for providing a great forum for sharing thoughts and ideas! — Helen

    • March 4th, 2011 at 17:07 | #27

      Helen,
      My kids are crazy about their artwork and we keep most of it stacked in my room (once there I save a very small selection of items in a folder for each school year)
      but their most beautiful works hang on the wall beside their beds. I use this: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60075295
      and then use the drapery clips to attach the photos — which makes them easily changed, etc.

  17. March 4th, 2011 at 15:39 | #28

    OMG! Can you pull those off??? Uh, YEAH! Faboo!!!!

  18. March 4th, 2011 at 17:55 | #29

    Kristi, those trousers are amazing. They’re so flattering. You always find the BEST stuff at resale shops.

Comments are closed.










What is it about those Italian women? You know the ones I’m talking about: beautiful, sexy, dressed to the nines just to take the kids to the park. They have a certain something that is indefinable. It is in the way they dress, the way they prepare their meals, the way they spend their leisure time.

It is because they know the importance of la bella figura. Roughly translated from Italian, it means putting you best foot forward in everything you do. It means cutting a beautiful figura. The opposite of la bella figura is la brutta figura, which is what someone might say about the falling down drunken guy at the party or the super tackily dressed woman at church. It means ugly figure.

La bella figura is much more than your appearance. It goes much deeper than that. It is about how you act. It is about how you treat others. It is about how you care for yourself, your home and your family. Living a life in line with la bella figura doesn’t take money. In fact, it is more about how to have class without a lot of money.

Someone who exudes la bella figura will have clean, pressed clothes and be well groomed. They will not be rude or sloppy. Their fingernails will be impeccably groomed. Their hair shiny and clean and their shoes will be polished. They will not have stray threads hanging from their suit hems. They will not be driving a car in need of the car wash.

La bella figura means driving that 15 year old car and meticulously cleaning it and caring for it. It means keeping your belongings in good repair. It means taking time to clean your house and not cluttering it up with meaningless objects.

When you focus all your spare energy, time and money on the things that bring you the most amount of pleasure, then you are truly living a life in line with la bella figura. The best part about it is that you don’t have to be Italian to do so. You just have to think like an Italian.

Italian children are raised to present la bella figura in whatever they do. From the time they are small and are groomed perfectly to attend church or school, they know that appearances count. They count because it is the first thing people judge about you. That first impression does matter. Appearances are also important because when you take the time to look nice, you are showing that you care about yourself. When you care enough to look good, it shows you have good healthy self esteem. Nothing is more attractive than self confidence.

In addition, dressing nice also shows respect for others. If you invite people over for dinner and greet them in flip flops, baggy sweats and a stained shirt, it is really disrespectful to them. The same if you dress sloppy to go to church or even to the market. By dressing nicely and being well groomed, you show respect for everyone in your world.

Having la bella figura means presenting yourself in the best light possible in all your interactions.