Mid-Winter Cravings for Bold Prints and Happy Hues



Relative to winters from the recent past, this has been a gray, rainy season in Los Angeles. I love a cold, rainy day when I can be inside my own house, but sometimes I get a bit tired of the blah, colorless, concrete jungle.

Moreover, for the last few weeks, I’ve been preparing a styling presentation that mixes and matches a lot of neutral-colored staples. The looks are both luxurious, richly textured, and practical, but there are no prints and no bold, bright colors.

Being surrounded by so much neutrality makes my eyes crave a more colorful, complicated palette, so I was thrilled when my husband proposed a weekend getaway at the La Quinta Resort in La Quinta, California – a colorful place even on it’s worst weather days.

desert-oasis-la quinta
The beautiful La Quinta Resort

Before packing, I went straight to the internet in search of some energizing hues and cheerful prints to inspire me and possibly turn up some interesting pieces to add to my wardrobe.


Elevated Loungewear

At home, when I know I’m in for the night at home, my favorite clothes to lounge in are well-loved and well-worn; my M Special Brewery Hoodie, my ultra-thin and now threadbare American Apparel sweatpants, and my UGG Boots, of course. But it’s an outfit I only permit my family and very close friends to see.

Kicking off the weekend after a rainy drive to La Quinta from L.A.

On a weekend getaway with my husband, I want to feel relaxed without looking like I just rolled out of bed with a contagious virus.

For serious chilling in elevated style, here are some of my favorite pieces:

relaxed-daywear-poolside
Heading to the pool for a few hours of warmth and sunshine

Printed Scarves

The desert heats up midday for 3-4 hours in the winter, but it’s still quite cool in the mornings and after the sun goes down. This time of year, there’s typically a 25-30 degree difference between the hottest and coolest times of the day. It may be warm enough to lay by the pool, but f the sun hides behind a cloud for a few minutes, it feels 10 degrees cooler instantly, so having a scarf handy at all times is a good idea. Scarves are also a great way to add a festive splash of color to an otherwise neutral outfit.

Desert-Worthy Dresses

Even the finest restaurants in the desert allow casual attire, but since the weekend is geared towards romance as much as relaxation, I prefer a dress to jeans. Still, the desert evenings are cool – cold if it’s windy – and as I tend to chill easily anyway, long sleeves or maxi dresses keep me warm without spoiling the mood.

maxi-cardigan
Floral maxi dress from re:named under a cozy cashmere cardigan

I wore this floral maxi from re:named, but here are a few of my favorites this season:

Cozy Cardigans

We try not to drive once we check into the resort.  The grounds are so beautifully tended, it’s enjoyable to stroll through them before and after dinner. The last thing I want to do is rush back to our casita because I’m too cold to enjoy the starry desert skies! For those times when a jacket or coat is too restrictive, I opt for a loose, cozy cardigan like one of these:

Chokers

I was never a huge fan of chokers in the nineties, but lately, I’m drawn to the chokers I’m seeing. Whether romantic, edgy, bohemian, refined, there are a million styles to choose from.

I ordered these two chokers to try: the first by Vanessa Mooney and the second by Ela Rae. Both of them are adjustable so you can fasten them to fit high or low on your neck. While I love the look of a choker placed in the middle of the neck, I find it to be a bit uncomfortable.

vanessa-mooney-choker
Black lace choker by Vanessa Mooney
ela-rae-choker-sapphire
Sapphire choker from Ela Rae

For this look, I preferred the more delicate Ela Rae and fastened it so that the sapphire stone hit the depression at the base of my neck.

For the Poolside Pack-Rat

I don’t like carrying a bag if I don’t have to, but I need something for my kindle, a sweater, sunscreen, and my phone – all the necessary diversions for a stationary, sedentary day spent poolside.

These cheerful, whimsical bags put me in a warm-weather mood:

No-Fuss Footwear

I’ve never mastered the art of making one or two pairs of shoes last all weekend. Still, I try to limit extra pairs when I can. These vacation-friendly shoes are comfortable and low-maintance:

After Dark

Of course, we all know the real reason our husband’s take us away on vacation…. To keep the love alive, I like to be prepared with a little something special.


Winter is far from over. I need only look outside or at the five-day weather forecast to be reminded of that. A 40-hour vacation in a colorful desert oasis refreshed more than just my eyes. Fortunately, the internet is filled with spring fashion for the color-deprived. It’s never too early to start planning for warmer weather and sunny skies!


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