American Living Takes It Up a Notch for Winter

October weather in New York City is dicey.  Hot one day, cold the next.  Luckily the day I got to visit the American Living showroom was chilly and cloudy; it was easy to imagine stepping into a ski lodge on Christmas Eve.  (The minted hot chocolate I was served did not hurt this illusion.)

There is something about plaid, am I right?  The American Living collection, exclusively at J.C. Penney, is all about sophisticated and fun plaids this season; “party down” golds and metallics; dreamy sweaters you will wear more than once; and a surprising group of fancy, fancy dresses and suits that would be welcome at the snazziest of holiday balls.   I take that back: it is not surprising that the line, launched by Ralph Lauren in 2008, has gorgeous dresses.  I was surprised that they cost about $100 retail.

There are lovely details as well that really made me wish for a lifestyle that would demand I buy a new dress (then again, for the price, I may just need to have one “in case”).  The appliqués at shoulders and brooches at the ruched waist are perfectly understated and affordably glamorous.  And that’s what I love the most.  Here are dresses that scream Hollywood, but they are accessible to most of us (and in matte jersey, they can be washed at home!).  We all deserve that. (This is what I am telling my husband, so go with it.)

One of my favorites–oh please, my FAVORITE piece–from this collection, which arrives in stores over the next few months, is a faux shearling vest.  I mean, really.  When would you NOT wear this?  And it will retail for $70.  I don’t even want to show it to you because I want to be the only one wearing it this winter.  But I like you.

There are lovely large bags in the collection that can *easily* be used as trendy diaper bags (see how my mind works?) and also really cute mobil phone/wallet cases that look like they cost five times what they do (about $25).

The home collection for American Living is country charming.  It is not particularly unique, but I don’t mind that.  The plaids are decidedly American and the cottons, soft and cozy.

I appreciate clothing and accessories that cost a lot.  But even more, I go nuts for things that look like they cost a fortune but don’t make me feel guilty.  I also love classic prints and styles that I can wear for years.

High fashion is a state of mind, and a part of American Living.

This event was covered happily for Momma’s Gone City. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

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