The 10 things magazine editor icon Kim France keeps buying over and over
Editor’s note: As a reader, Lucky was the first fashion magazine that didn’t make me feel like an outsider. While most fashion mags felt like an exclusive club to which I didn’t receive an invitation, Lucky felt warm and authentic and knew I probably wouldn’t be able to splurge on a $7,600 pair of cat eye sunglasses. At the helm of Lucky was Kim France, an editor and writer who came from Sassy and Spin. She was the one who envisioned a publication with reasonable, balanced price points, a publication that spoke to every woman, not just the opulent one. Now, I religiously follow her blog, Girls of a Certain Age, in which France features everything from dresses you would actually wear, to very good jumpsuits, to sexy-yet-highly-functioning bras. France agreed to write a guest shopping post for HelloGiggles, where she brings the same authenticity she is so known for. And I couldn’t be more psyched.
And now, Kim France’s 10 things she keeps buying.
1. Vans, $60
I am very much a sneaker person, and occasionally will splurge on a fancier pair, but those are inevitably not the ones I end up living in. That honor goes to my dirt-cheap, super-cool Vans Old Skools. They feel so eternally 1960s California to me, which always puts me in a good mood. The dog chewed my limited-edition grey suede pair, so I’ve got my eye on these, in classic navy.
2. J Crew Tee, $19.99
Just a really good, cheap T-shirt, especially if you wait until J. Crew is running one of their 25%-off specials (as they seem to be all of the time these days). If you value very lightweight cotton and a nice, slouchy fit—which you’ll get if you size up, as I always do—this could be your new go-to. My favorite used to be their scoop-neck, but the Crew, in their infinite wisdom, discontinued it (check out the site, where they’ve got it in limited sizes). Be forewarned, though: they’re not the most durable tops in the world, so I keep them out of the dryer.
3. Everlane Button Down, $65
I am a big wearer of button-down shirts—they’re a key component of my uniform at the moment—and own dozens of them, both splurgy and otherwise. And those I’ve purchased for $65 on Everlane—I have them in pretty much every color and pattern combination they offer—look and hold up as well as any of the others. They’re comfortable, smart, and well-tailored—very menswearish, but definitely cut for a woman.
4. Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady perfume, $70
I am not a perfume person—the fumes bug me—but this scent is completely addictive, so I splurge on Portrait of a Lady Hair and Body Oil, which lasts as long as the perfume but is subtler. I have had people ask me about it on the street, at a gas station off of Exit 50 on the Long Island Expressway, in taxis, and other, similarly random spots. What I love so much about Portrait of a Lady is that even though one of its top notes is Turkish rose, it is not in the least bit floral—which I loathe—and it’s got a nice hit of patchouli and musk, which the former hippie girl in me loves.
To experience it in its least-expensive iteration, try this cute travel size decanter.
Buy it here.
5. Camo jacket, $88
I’m a big lover of prints, and at the moment, am going through a bit of a camo phase (I know that some people dislike when others wear camo as fashion, but military looks have been influencing style for centuries, so I say it’s fair game.) Camo is a tricky pattern—a little goes a long way—and like leopard prints (another obsession) there is good camo and bad camo. You’ve got to be really careful. This jacket gets it exactly right.
6. No 6 clogs, $285
My closet teems with clogs and clog sandals: they provide height without pain, are highly walkable, and—while not exactly sexy—are so damn cute. I get them mostly from No 6, because the store is dangerously close to my home, and they really know their way around a clog. This pair is in alarmingly high rotation at the moment—I wear it with everything from dresses to jeans.
7. Rilastil Mascara, $32
I am a serial mascara monogamist, remaining desperately devoted to whatever I’m using for a period of time, then inevitably discovering something superior to fall in love with, and becoming just as loyal to my new crush. Right now my favorite is Italian brand Rilastil, which I found after asking one of the makeup mavens behind the counter at C.O. Bigelow Apothecary what her favorite mascara in the store was. It goes on very light—and blessedly clump-free—so you have to apply about three layers. But once you do, it looks very dramatic but at the same time quite natural.
Buy it here.
8. Layering Necklaces, $150
I have bought into the whole layering necklaces trend in a big way: typically, I’ve got three (or more) chains around my neck, all lightweight enough to keep on all the time without thinking about—I even sleep in them. Because my daily uniform is kind of tomboyish, it helps bring a little femininity to the party, which I like. A recent-ish acquisition: this Maya Brenner shark’s tooth, which makes me feel all cool and surfer chick.
Buy it here.
9. By Terry Rouge Expert Click Stick #22, $32
A pink lip is a tough thing to pull off; it can be harsh and unflattering and fake-looking. But sometimes I crave an alternative to red, and this is a soft tone, and really, really pretty on. It’s also super-matte, which I require all of my lip colors to be: once a child of the 80s, always a child of the 80s.
Buy it here.
10. Kara Mini Messenger Bag, $515
Like many women, I own a lot of handbags. Enough for a lifetime, really. But I can always convince myself that my closet has room for one more, especially since I discovered Kara, a line of appealingly simple but really chic bags that have long enough straps to wear crossbody, as is my wont (they’re adjustable, though, so you can wear them shoulder-style too). The Mini-Messenger is just big enough for all of my daily essentials (minus the laptop) and it’s pretty lightweight as well. I hate a heavy bag.
Buy it here.