Tag Archives: le train bleu

random friday (poolside) finds

i’m still wishing for a little poolside lounge action, so i’ll dedicate today’s random finds to the rest of my beach bag essentials.  it is, definitely, a random collection of goods, but all are utterly essential to a successful day of absolutely nothing.

sunscreen: my sunscreen needs are well-documented…this summer, i have hardly left the house without dousing every exposed surface with clinique’s new sun spf25 body spray. it doesn’t smell sunscreen-y, works for hours, and doesn’t upset my overly sensitive skin (unlike most drugstore brands, which tend to cause all sorts of skin problems in my life).  plus, it’s easy and mess-free to reapply. what more can i ask for (other than perfect, non-burning olive skin)?

stylish straw hat:  sure, it’s for sun-shielding…but also, i just think a big straw hat is a must for completing that chic poolside look.  mine happens to be from j.crew, but i’m highly coveting this straw visor from le train bleu.  i had some misgivings at first, but i’ve decided this has such sweet styling that the visor aspect just makes it fun, and my sources tell me it packs like a dream (the sitewide 40% off sale this week doesn’t hurt – use code dogdays).  of course, if you’re more into hipster than chic, i’d go for the fedora (best if you have a narrow face, by the way), which is all the rage this year. don’t overspend, though…this version at urban outfitters is less traditional, but utterly fab.

post-plunge cosmetics:  there isn’t much to be done, it’s true. but even if i’m skipping nearly everything, and bronzer’s utterly unnecessary after a day in the sun, i’ll still grab my always perfectly rosy, never sticky benetint lip balm and my new beachfront favorite high impact curling mascara from clinique.  it doens’t quite do the job of my shu uemura curler, but in a pinch, it does give a bit more curl than other formulas.  it definitely packs more punch than my daily standby, which is what i’m looking for when there’s no other makeup involved. and it won’t turn into raccoon eyes, even when you’re awash in chlorine and sunscreen.

h2o:  if i don’t carry water with me at all times, i’m hardly coherent. i read about kor water’s stylish new bottles in gwyneth paltrow’s newsletter (go ahead, mock…she entertains me), and had to give them a try. love! they hold a ton, ice cubes are no problem, and the lid stays attached without hitting me in the nose when i drink – in fact, i can even open the lid one-handed when necessary. pure water bottle genius, if you ask me…and they even have motivational messages in the cap.  i can hardly believe i’d suggest a $30 water bottle, but these ones really are fab.  in fact, i may need a second one soon – the hubs keeps stealing mine!

and with that, i’m off to take an ice-cold shower and dream of being somewhere much more fabulous.  happy virtual vacationing, everyone…see you next week!

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sweet scarf steal (or, when the planets align…)

here’s a little “six degrees of separation” for you – just to let you know how my mind works on a daily basis.

i was playing around on twitter, looking for interesting people to follow (any suggestions, by the way?), and clicked over to a suggestion from decor8 to check out someone called myturtleneck.  

not being able to resist that user name, i took a peek at her twitter feed, and saw that she had linked to a blog post she’d written that sounded interesting.  

i clicked over , and was immediately sucked into her beautiful blog, including a great post about ankle boots and scarves,

where i promptly fell in love with a certain completely perfect striped scarf,

which i then realized was from a local portland obsession of mine, le train bleu.

not five minutes later, an email arrived in my inbox from le train bleu, letting me know they’re offering 30% off sitewide with code mayday all weekend…

including, of course, that lovely striped scarf.

i think it’s a sign.  don’t you?

happy weekend, everyone!

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deals of the day: happy st. paddy’s day!

call it the luck of the irish, but whatever’s inspiring my favorite stores today, i can’t resist sharing the deals:

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shoppingsmycardio interviews: le train bleu

dear readers, today i’d like to introduce one of the true stylemakers: bria of le train bleu. her store (both the online site and the “real” version, located in portland, oregon) is positively notorious in the world of fashion for epitomizing that rare talent of mixing the best of upcoming trends with timeless, unique pieces. any true fashion addict has bria’s gorgeous finds for le train bleu at the forefront of her fashion radar. bria was kind enough to offer to guide us through some of her favorite styles, trends, and advice, and i’m thrilled to share it with you.

shoppingsmycardio: i have to start by gushing a little – i just love le train bleu. you do such a great job of picking really wearable pieces that are still so unique, and i love that you manage to mix in vintage and a few key home accessories as well, without making the store feel disorganized at all. how did you come up with the concept for the store? 

le train bleu: Ah, thanks – that totally makes my day. The homewares, apothecary, and vintage selections are fairly new and just stages in a long evolution. It’s a little known fact but Le Train Bleu actually started as an activewear store, albeit a very eclectic and eccentric one. I started out selling activewear as fashion. We had a lot of dancewear – high-fashion legwarmers (there was a terrific company called Dosty that we couldn’t keep in stock), cool dancewear imported from a company in Italy called Dimensione Danza. You can see a vestige of these roots on the site now if you look closely: we still sell leotards!

SMC: you have a knack for finding designs (and designers, for that matter) that really are “up and coming” – your shoppers get the high fashion look without necessarily the high fashion price tag. how do you decide what pieces and designers to stock?

LTB: It’s very instinctual—I buy whatever makes my heart race. I’ve gotten smarter about it though as I’ve gone along. I do make a concerted effort to have a range of prices. There are some surprises in regards to price though: my core customer is not very hampered by price and it’s not because they’re rolling in dough. It’s a very small niche market of people who are hard-core fashion collectors. They are the trendsetters and will scrimp and save and blow half their paycheck on a pair of high-waist jeans from Australia, because they just have to have them. This means that I can just as easily sell a $600 dress as a $60 pair of boots. It just has to be the right dress. The right boots too, for that matter.

SMC: tell me what trends you’re most excited about for fall ’08.

LTB: Midi hemlengths! I am shocked by how hard it is to find a skirt or dress that falls anywhere below the knee right now but for Fall we’ll have some more options: I’m very excited by the Tibi collection. And the color red—I can’t get enough.

SMC: what trends from last year are you counting on to stick around, and which pieces should we send to goodwill?

LTB: I guess I think more in terms of moods and stories than trends. I would be heartbroken to know that my customers were casting off things they had purchased one season earlier from Le Train Bleu—that runs totally contrary to what I feel about clothes. For me, clothes become dear friends and we might have periods in our lives where we fall in and out of each other’s lives (I do have some things in boxes that I’m not wearing right now, but I know in a year or two they’ll be back in my closet).

SMC: if a woman wanted to choose one special piece to update her wardrobe right now, what would you point her toward?

LTB: A trench coat is timeless and ageless and there’s one for everyone. I think a little structured tailoring is always cool and flattering.

SMC: what are your 3 favorite pieces in store right now?

LTB: On my shopping list right now would be the Speak Easy candle (vapors of gin, pipe tobacco and wood), The Vera Blouse from the Australian line Fleur Wood (very me – a slightly 1970s style via the 1940s in an amazing print and color), and the Bianca Dress from Heidi Merrick (her dresses are so well tailored).

SMC: what is your favorite piece of clothing (or accessory) that you’re wearing today?

LTB: Well, it’s morning and I’m still at home in my ritual of answering emails and drinking my coffee. I’m wearing my beloved cotton Thai fisherman’s trousers.

SMC: tell us about your favorite, never-fail outfit.

LTB: A wrap-around skirt, a very slim cut printed blouse (I love the 70s cut again, lean through the torso and cut high in the armhole) and a pair of heeled boots. If it’s cold, a really tailored great wool coat.

SMC: what one style secret do you wish you could teach every woman out there?

LTB: Relish the choices we have and when the marketplace offers up a style that is perfectly you, stock up. I haven’t worn a babydoll dress or a pair of skinny jeans in my life because they don’t suit me at all but I have been taking full advantage of the high-waist styles that have been offered in the last few years, because that style works well for my body type and my personal style, being a lover of the ’70s silhouette.

bria, thank you so much! i know you’ve given me loads of new ideas for my wardrobe, and can’t tell you how much i appreciate your taking the time to share your advice with all of us!

oh, and for those who are now lusting after everything on the le train bleu website, you might recall from my last le train bleu post that they currently have a lucky mag discount code for 25% off, good through june 1. use code luckybreaks1 at checkout!

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what i want today: joey top by le train bleu

this top just reminds me of everything fabulous about summer. the deep violet color and cheery floral pattern is a little bit bohemian and a little bit tropical, the drape is beautifully relaxed, and the breathable silk fabric is just what i’m looking for as a dressier option when the weather is miserably hot.

i’d pair it with a flared white cotton skirt, short-shorts, denim cutoffs…just about anything, really. it’s that fantastic.

grab it for $138 at le train bleu, and use code luckybreaks1 to save 25% on any of the many gorgeous pieces you’ll find sitewide!

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