Signature Style And The Essentials

October 1, 2014

Theory, Fashion Week, Signature Style, Nordstrom, Vicki Archer

Runway action these last few weeks has got me thinking about signature style.

My own in particular.

My style has changed very little in the last thirty years.

I know what I like and I think I understand what works for me.

I could be more adventurous but then I like to feel comfortable in my own skin.

Theory, Nordstrom, Vicki Archer, French Essence

I have always favoured what I call “tailored with a twist”.

Bohemian for the beach is fun but my work and play is a classic life.

Summer and my “rules” relax… more colour, florals and looser shapes.

Autumn and winter… and I am back to my comfort zone.

Black, grey, navy and cream are the basic colours in my style rainbow.

Even back in my younger days… when body, hair and skin tone dramas never reared their less than perfect heads,

I went with those shades.

Theory, Nordstrom, Vicki Archer, French Essence

It’s not that I’m conservative but neither am I overly flamboyant.

My “twist” comes in with a flash of rouge, a clash of violet or a dose of emerald.

And texture for added flair… the naturals, leather, lace, silks and flannels.

Accessories are what make me feel like me; they handwrite my style.

Flannel Grey, Theory, Nordstrom, Vicki archer, French Essence

What makes me smile these days is that my daughters, now with grown up lives of their own,  oftentimes make a beeline for the same pieces.

We are three individuals with our own unique styles… different shapes and makes… yet we can wear many of the same creations but in totally different ways.

What to wear?

Theory is our go-to brand for many of the essentials.

Their tailored suits, with that hint of masculine which makes me feel so feminine, have been part of my wardrobe for many years.

Nordstrom, as always, have the best choice and I have had a wonderful time selecting my signature pieces for you.

Do you have one piece or several key pieces that write your signature style? xv

Timeless In Theory

theory, nordstrom, vicki archer, french essence

separate or together

ines crop trousers  //  gabe. b blazer  //  payette blazer  //  belize coat  //  danijo structured poncho


** on sale jahneem a-line skirt  //   jodi wool and cashmere sweater

perfect anywhere 

winstine sheath dress  //  dalax colour block dress  **wear them with the poncho or the belize coat 


pate wool and cashmere sweater  //  pristelle turtleneck  //  wendel ribbed blouse //  kelsea bateau neck

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The Definition Of True Fashion Style?

September 30, 2014

Coco Chanel, Chanel, Paris, Vicki Archer, French Essence

What is the definition of true fashion style?

Style is a quality that we all would like to possess and yet style is not instictive or intrinsic to all.

I have been reading quotes from the fashionable famous… one liners on the definition of style.

Let’s see if we agree.


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Love All Things French? Two Fragrances Not To Miss

September 28, 2014

Houbigant, Molinard, France, Fragrance, Vicki archer, French Essence

I am always cheered by fragrance, whether on top of the world or down in the dumps, for every day is not always as glorious as we would like.

The thought of scent and how it makes me feel is a tonic… an uplifter… Fragrance is one of the great priviledges we enjoy as women.

I believe, it’s not quite the same for men.

Perfume and I have always had a love affair… a particular bouquet can evoke memories of the happiest and oftentimes saddest days.

That’s the miracle of perfume…For every moment is worthy of remembering.


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Walking In Winter White Feet

September 26, 2014

Paris, Winter White, French Essence, Vicki Archer

What do you think of winter white feet?

I admit I kind of like them.

Everywhere I look, along with the winter white sweatersI am seeing white sneakers.

I could almost imagine the Parisian damsel above with a pair of white sneakers popping out from the folds of her gown.

How liberating it is to spend the day in trainers?

And not go to the gym… for these shoes are all gain and no pain.  (more…)

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Winter White Chequerboard

September 24, 2014

The days have been bright and beautiful in London… spoiling for this time of year when I would expect to feel the first shivers and sight the overcast greys.

Wandering the streets of South Kensington in London has inspired me towards winter white… that delicious off-white that sits so well against black.

There is something very beautiful about the grandeur of this scheme, the elegance of light against dark.

London, Winter White, Vicki Archer, French Essence

This season there is an abundance of winter white, especially in sweaters. Chunky, fine, cabled or plain… winter white is being worn.

I like the contrast particularly with black.

The soft creamy shades are flattering to the face and like the “winter white” of London, they brighten and liven.


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The Best Kept Beauty Secret #7

September 23, 2014

The Best Kept Beauty Secret , French Essence, Vicki Archer


Another best kept beauty secret… one that we all know, but sometimes one that is easier said than done.

Water… drinking water.

Why does something so obvious and so simple… so often escape us?


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Long And Lean… The “New” White Shirt

September 19, 2014

The New White Shirt, French Essence, Vicki Archer

Do you remember white “grandpa” shirts? Like over-size tuxedo shirts.

Bib fronted, slightly longer with or without pintucks… with or without detailing… and usually a wingless collar or mandarin style neckline.

They are back. (more…)

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The Art Of The Thank You

September 17, 2014

Thank You, Vicki Archer, French Essence

I have been meaning to write about the art of the thank you for some time.

I am worried that, “thank you” is loosing puff… being forgotten or relegated to one of those meaning-to-do jobs.

This upsets me.

I am a great believer in the power of those two small words.

They won’t change the world but they do make it a more gentle and civilized place.

Saying thank you is easy, it’s fast and it costs nothing… What is difficult about that?

Saying thank you gives friends, family and aquaintances great pleasure… it turns strangers into willing accomplices and brightens up many a dull day.

Writing a thank you is even better… by hand perfection,

by email, a poor second but so much better than nothing.

I understand that life is busy and we communicate constantly with each other through social media.

Perhaps in our mind that is as equivalent as a thank you.

We are attached to our mobile devices as if our lives depended on them… and for some that is the case.

I am guilty… and hate myself for these lapses… but I hope that I have not lost sight of the difference.

I would like to think that the younger generation are the only guilty party. Not so.

It is true, they are not well versed in the art of the thank you.

Not all, but many don’t have any idea that saying thank you is customary.

As for a thank you note… not on their radar.

An archaic custom that no longer deserves respect.

Sadly it is rife in our generation too… myself included.

I do take the easy way out… write an email when I should put pen to paper.

I justify the laziness with all sorts of lame excuses. The truth is none of them cut it.

Being thanked, whether verbal or written makes us feel good, makes us feel appreciated and in some cases makes us feel loved.

It’s time to return the favour.

Have I said thank you for being such wonderful readers, such lovely friends? Never, ever enough.

Thank You… xv

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Leather… The Edit…The Why And The How

September 16, 2014

Question? Can we wear leather?

At what age does wearing leather become a fond memory?

I believe that if leather is worn sympathetically it is another ageless fashon win/win.

There are limits and leather, like any other contemporary piece, has them.

These limits apply to women of all ages.

For example, I am a great believer in one piece at a time.

Wearing top to toe leather is a tough one to manage and best left to the biker world.

Olivia Palermo, Leather, French Essence, vicki Archer, Google Images

This season there are touches of leather everywhere. Tops, pants and skirts are detailed with strips, patches and panels.

This is fantastic news for us.. we can “get the look” without being overwhelmed.

I do love it when fashion speaks my language.

Like the leopard, it seems that this season is as much about the leather.

How to wear leather when it’s not something you thought you would ever be wearing?

I truly believed that leather and I had parted company. We haven’t, we have re-united and I think we are working well together.

I started slowly… with those Dannie pants I mentioned… and now I have been brave enough to move on to the Pixies with the leather panels.

The trick is to wear them in a classic fashion… simply and without over embellishment.

Next I’m picking up the Collection panelled pencil skirt, wearing it with an over-sized sweater, opaque tights and flat shoes.

Heels or booties for the evening.

Plus either the Dannie or the Pixie pants ( i’m greedy and going for both )

and that is my winter “office” wardrobe finalised.

Add the tuxedo jacket and a soft blouse and I’m ready to be taken out somewhere fab.

I have put together my favourites for you in the leather edit below.

Be brave, xv.

The Leather Edit

Olivia Palermo, Leather, French Essence, vicki Archer, Google Images

j.crew pencil skirt with panel  //  **halogen pleated skirt on sale  //  classiques entier panelled skirt  // dvf midi skirt

**halogen mixed tee  //  **halogen shell  on sale  //  autumn cashmere sweater  // ** j.crew pixie pants on sale

p.s i forgot to mention…

if you are on the go and prefer reading french essence on your mobile device… i have a new phone friendly design

have a look at… i think it’s pretty and most importantly… easy to navigate… xv

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