Wornette’s Classic (Not Boring) Things to Share With You Today

Nicole Wornette gave her mother a boring Christmas list and then shared what's been catching her computer eye


You said I’ll have to live out of one suitcase. I’ll bet yours isn’t this small.

This is a suitcase?

Well, a Mark Cross overnight case.

I gave my mother a boring Christmas list. However amusing it is that I am an adult woman who still gives her mother a Christmas list is not the point in my sharing. The point is that my Christmas list was rejected, or rather sent back to me for a second pass, on the grounds that it was dull and in possession of zero holiday magic. Upon review, I had to admit that I would not want to buy any person the things on that list. It was just a collection of household necessities and personal grooming practicalities; the heart’s desires of a truly boring person. Which I like to think I am not.

The trouble is that my personal style has gotten really classic of late. Actually, the classic bit is not so much the problem as is the visible fallout from this shift. All of my sartorial desires are so utterly simple, their tones so neutral that it’s tempting to view them through the eyes of the more fashionably adventurous among my friends and think of them as boring also. The contents of my original Christmas list served as a reminder not to fall prey to this thinking and get all sloppy with it. To my mind, having classic style is all about specificity and enthusiastic choice; “a gentle exercise of will” at every acquisition.

The following are links that are reminding me of that, among other things today.

PS: The final draft of my Christmas list was as follows: gray crew-neck cashmere sweater, crisp white cotton sheets, and a year’s subscription to The Paris Review. And to get any or all would make this classic wornette very, very happy indeed.

Grace Kelly’s Handbag in Rear Window

I just watched Rear Window for the first time. (I know, I know. “It’s a seminal work” or whatever…) And Grace Kelly’s New York princess style could and should be discussed at even greater length than it has already been. What I will say here, in the spirit of brevity, is that the Mark Cross handbag she pulls out in one scene reminded me of how much I like a bag so utterly free of branding and iconography. It is what it is and she can say whatever she wants with it.

Alice Gregory’s Camel Coat on Into The Gloss

So many reasons why I like this. Where to begin? Alice Gregory, fellow appreciator of the always classic, late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, is a great writer. Next up, this is all about looking for a very long time for the perfect, minimal and entirely classic camel coat. Now this is a story after my own heart! I was very happy to read about Gregory thinking and dreaming about clothes the way I do. And, expecting them to be as transformative.

Refinery29′s Office Tour of The Paris Review

I am a writer, and so, obviously, The Paris Review exists in my thinking as a kind of lit promise land. So imagine my delight at being able to peek inside their new New York offices and read about the personal style of those who call that incredible magazine “work.”

Daphne Javitch for Band of Outsiders

I have been a from-afar admirer of the personal style of Daphne Javitch for, let’s just say, some years. Girl’s got a supremely classic sensibility but is always slightly off-beat. She has described her style as “chic muppet” and I liked that a lot. This is a fashion film where you get to see her shop and get dressed.

“‘A First-Rate Girl’: The Problem of Female Beauty” in The New Yorker

This outstanding article by Adelle Waldman circulated quite a little bit when it first dropped but it’s sparked so many great conversations lately that I would be remiss not to include it here. It may not deal with fashion, but in my mind, it is at least tangentially related. Or they have conversational friends in common. Or just read it, okay?

let it show, let it show, let it show

Ah, the holidays are upon us. Every year, right after American Thanksgiving, I yank out my box of Christmas (okay, two boxes) and start unpacking all things sparkly and glittery and gold that I’ve collected over the years. The next few days are all about the Pee-Wee Herman Christmas Special, the John Waters Christmas CD, wool socks and eggnog. These are my holiday traditions. My other holiday tradition is the rush of holiday sales that crowd the calendar this time of year. I love getting to meet readers and make new ones, and dream of all the new copies of WORN that will be tucked under the tree with care. If you in Toronto or Montreal, come say hi to the wornette elves working the tables this year.

Buying gifts at a movie theater is inarguably a great idea. Movie inspired gift suggestions: croquet set a la Heathers, Otis Redding album a la Pretty in Pink, or a copy of Howl a la Gilmore Girls. Okay I know that last one isn’t a movie, but who wouldn’t want to get an annotated copy of Howl from Jess?
Saturday, December 4 from 11-5:30pm at the Fox Theatre (2236 Queen St E. in the Beaches).

Kensington Market’s Kid Icarus puts this show on in a totally fitting church basement, replacing the crochet snowflakes made by senior citizens with crochet snowflakes made by Parkdale hipsters.
Saturday, December 4th 11-6pm at the St.Stephen-in-the-Fields (103 Bellevue Ave at College).

Tiny chair necklaces. Candles in teacups. Number eleven monsters. Cat log cabins. Sometimes I very seriously miss living in Montreal. Design goodness abound.
Friday, December 3 from 6-9pm / Saturday December 4 from 11-6pm / Sunday December 5 from 11-6pm (160 rue St-Viateur Est, 2nd floor).

We don’t actually have a table at this show, but we’re an official sponsor, and we’re doing the FOR KEEPS show with them. And it’s awesome. GO!
Saturday December 18th 11am-6pm / Sunday December 19th 11am-5pm at The Theatre Centre (1087 Queen Street West), $2 Admission.

- Serah-Marie

Christmas Sweaters by Smart Design Mart

There is no shortage of crafty love here at WORN, hence our current crush on Montreal’s Smart Design Mart team. Made up of a bunch of close friends all running their own creative businesses making diverse items like moustache clocks, fringe necklaces, UFO snakes and ladders, leather books that look like wood, and dead rabbit rings, they come together a few times a year to present their very own curated independent art and design show: Smart Design Mart. Vastly different from other Montreal shows, Smart Design Mart allows contributors enough space to build their own tightly curated mini boutiques that focus on high quality, original work. The show will also include a live art instillation, a full bar, and great music for those not in the shopping mood. In the holiday spirit, the five have been gracious enough to each design a fantastical Christmas sweater reflecting their style, from gothic and minimal to lovably tacky.


“Marc and I got together to create a non-traditional take on the Christmas sweater. Traditional motifs used in unconventional ways…”


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