Friday, December 20, 2013

Rudolph the Red-Nosed "Renne"

Jumper (Parisian Signature, circa 1997); Blouse (Pendleton); Shoes (Naughty Monkey); Smoky Quarts and Garnet Pendant (Ross-Simons); Cuff links (Van Heusen); Watch (Aqua Master)
I don't speak French, but I do speak French cuffs.  There is something about cuff links that I just love - it's a finishing detail that I always notice and appreciate.

Cuff links add just a touch of personality to an otherwise conservative or traditional business look.  When I was a litigator, this charcoal grey wool jumper with its chalky pinstripe was a tried and true courtroom staple, and I always wore it with a French cuff blouse.  Other than small earrings and a conservative watch, cuff links were the only jewelry I wore to court - you never want your accessories to overpower your argument.  But, cuff links were just understated enough to add polish without taking the focus off the case at hand.

They're also a way to add a bit of holiday spirit to your office attire without looking cheesy.  For example, I'd never wear these little silver renne (that's French for reindeer) on my ears, but as cuff links, they're festive rather than garish.

French cuff shirts for women aren't always easy to find.  I overcame that hurdle with this cranberry silk blouse by having a tailor remove the buttons at the wrist and replace them with a second button hole.  I've done the same with several other blouses (see examples here, here, and here).  It's a simple and inexpensive way to add extra panache to pieces you already own!

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

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