Spring Capri Pants For Women From Aventura

Capri length cargo pants are a must pack for every trip I take in the shoulder seasons – spring and fall. I like lots of pockets. I like having something that’s lighter than a pair of jeans but is not a pair of shorts. I like being comfortable and casual without looking like I’m in my jammies. And I like the length, as my travel wardrobe leans towards the modest side for most destinations.

Aventura’s Arden Organic Cotton Capris
almost fit the bill. I wanted those cargo pockets on the side – that’s where I like to put my phone. That’s the ONLY thing I want. Beyond the additional pockets, I really like these pants.

I won’t wear the zip off convertible trousers that some travelers favor. They’re just too dorky for me, and that’s saying something given my level of dorkiness. But I do like roll ups with tabs or ties to hold the cuffs in place. They’re great for beach combing or sunny days. Aventura’s capris have roll up cuffs and button-in-place tabs. The buttons are sewn on to ribbon detailing that runs down the leg. I like both the look and the fact that they’re reinforced.

The fit on these is just about perfect, and that’s a thrill for someone who’s short but hardly skinny. They’re low rise and there’s a wide flat waist that sits just right. The pants are a good cut – flat front, straight in the leg but not too narrow for a person who like cookies. There are button-flap pockets in back and flat pockets in front. On me, they’re a little long, but again, they roll up so they can be adjusted to the right length.

Fashion mavens are not going to make any bold trendsetting statements in these pants, but my travel wardrobe tends towards practical and comfortable. The pants come in six colors including white (is it after Labor Day yet?) and they feel soft and wearable right out of the box. They hold their size after washing, too.

I don’t know about you, ladies, but I have a terrible time finding pants that fit. Because the cut is so great, I’m tempted to throw a bunch of their other styles into my virtual shopping cart. Your mileage may vary, of course, as fit is purely subjective (plus, I tried on one of their dresses and oh, it did not work at all on me). That said, the Arden Capris totally fill my need for casual, lightweight, and versatile clothing for spring travel and I’ll likely be packing them well into fall. They’re $72 directly from Aventura.

Snow Angel Dynamix Flare Leg Pants

I’ve posted before about my search for clothes that I can wear on the plane without looking like I’ve just fallen out of bed or come from yoga class. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care what you wear on the plane, and I will not give you crap if you show up in seat 17F in your flannels with the penguins on them.

I’m trying to dress like the kind of human who might get an upgrade if she asks, nicely. I still believe in that fiction. Also, I feel slightly more human when I’m dressed like I actually bothered rather than put on whatever what was lying next to the bed. Still, I want clothes that are soft, don’t bind, and feel fine after six eight ten hours in flight.

Snow Angel is a sport line — base layers, long underwear, that kind of thing. But they’ve got heavier pieces that work well for travel. The shirts are nice, if a little shiny for my style, but I really like the Dynamix Flare Leg Pants. They’re cut like a pair of jeans, with patch pockets on the pack and two shallower front pockets, but they’re all stretch and give, easy to move around in.

Because they’re made of a heavier weight fabric, they don’t immediately read as yoga pants. They have a nice wide, flat waist band, stretchy and comfortable. There are no zippers or buttons or ties, they’re just pull on and everything fits flat and smooth.

The fabric is all artificial stuff — supplex and spandex. That’s why you get that great stretchy feel. I have really sensitive skin and I had some doubts about whether these were going to work for me, but after two washings, whatever was making me itchy was gone, they’re nice and soft now.

The pants come in two colors, a royal blue and a black. I prefer the black, you really can wear them with a nice blouse or sweater and look perfectly acceptable in most casual environments.The cut is quite flattering, too, ladies, you’ll look good loading that bag into the overhead bin. They run true to size, though you could go up one size if you want a little more room.

The Dynamix pants aren’t great for hot places, their made out of a not particularly breathable fabric, I found. But I was very comfortable wearing them on my last round of flights. They’re wearing well and surviving the wash, plus, as I mentioned, I don’t look like I just came from the gym while I’m standing at the coffee counter in SJC, IAH, or whatever airport I find myself in at 6am.

Snow Angel’s Dynamix pants are 70.00 directly from their website.

6 ways to crash New York Fashion Week

Twice a year, Manhattan’s streets are flooded with high heels, red lips, and designer clothing as the world’s fashion community descends upon the city for New York Fashion Week.

The week-long event, officially called Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (nod to sponsors), runs from February 9 to 16 and will feature presentations by some of the world’s most famous fashion designers of their Fall/Winter 2012 collections. The runway shows are invitation-only, with most seats reserved for press, buyers, and friends of the designer. The after-parties are equally exclusive, with tight guest lists and strict door policies.

But although it’s a mostly closed event, it is possible for New York visitors and residents to get in on the action. Here are six ways to “crash” Fashion Week from outside the industry.

1. Park yourself at Lincoln Center. Since 2010, the hub of New York Fashion Week has been Lincoln Center, after the organizers abandoned the traditional tents at Bryant Park. Throughout Fashion Week, the plaza outside the center is a flurry of activity, with a constant stream of people entering and exiting while paparazzi fight for photos of celebrities and socialites. Bundle up, grab a spot, and feel the energy.

2. Check out Fashion Week’s other venues. Milk Studios, in Chelsea, is the unofficial second main venue of Fashion Week, hosting shows for designers like Peter Som and Cushnie et Ochs throughout the week. Other designers choose to hold their shows at more off-beat (and open) locations. Victoria Beckham, for instance, will be showing her latest line at the New York Public Library, while the 3.1 Phillip Lim show will be held on the Highline. A full schedule, with locations, is available from NYMag.com.

3. Visit the FIT Museum’s new exhibit. The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology will host the first-ever exhibition celebrating the work of the Council for American Fashion Designers from February 10 to April 20. Titled Impact: Fifty Years of the CFDA, the exhibit will feature more than 100 garments from the council’s most impactful designers, including Diane von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, Halston, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, and other fashion heavy-hitters. Admission to the museum is free.

4. Explore the Garment District. The Garment District, located right smack in midtown, is the historic center of New York’s fashion industry. A daytime stroll will find you in the midst of truck deliveries, rolling clothing racks, and anxious interns running errands, and the energy multiplies during Fashion Week. Stay alert, and you may even recognize a familiar face; I spotted designer Anna Sui during a recent visit.

5. Reserve a room at a stylish hotel. It used to be that New York’s most fashionable nightlife was centered around the Meatpacking District, but not any more. This season, Fashion Week’s notorious after-parties will be held in venues across Manhattan, and many of the most stylish hotspots are hidden in hotels. While reserving a room won’t guarantee entrance to the events, it might certainly help. Start with the Ace Hotel, the Hotel Gansevoort, the Gramercy Park Hotel, the brand new Dream Downtown Hotel, and the always risque Standard Hotel.

6. Watch on Facebook. The democratization of fashion continues on Facebook, where people around the world can snag front row seats to shows from designers like Michael Kors, Betsey Johnson, Narciso Rodriguez, Jill Stuart, and BCBGMAXAZRIA. Sure, it’s by live video stream, but until you’re a famous fashion blogger, it’ll have to do.

[Flickr images via Art Comments, Paul Lowry and Jimmy Baikovicius, other image via Fashion Institute of Technology]

Gadling Gear Review: Winter hat and gloves

Seattle was recently choked by the kind of snowstorm that we’re not supposed to get. It was followed by an ice storm, something I’ve never had the joy and/or terror to experience. It was also great gear testing weather. I unpacked my snow gear and the big parka, the long underwear, and wrapped my hands and head in SmartWool’s “Snowflake Pop” knits.

I like hats with earflaps because well, they keep your ears warm. Even though I’ve rabbited on much too much about how I love SmartWool, I didn’t believe that the hat would not be itchy and that it would not keep the wind off. I was wrong, it’s super soft and my ears did not itch. It totally gave me hat hair, but whatever, pretty much every one in my city has hat hair right now. As for warmth, it was a frigid 28 degrees F and I was pelted with freezing rain and I was certainly warm enough. Caveat — I was wearing the hood to my parka to keep from getting too wet. I’ve been wearing this littlle hat regularly since the temperatures dropped. I only have one wish for it — the braids on the ends of the earflaps are a little short. Sometimes, you want to tie those things up so your ears aren’t covered. When I turn the earflaps up, they stick out and I look like Yoda. Not a good look.

The matching knitted gloves make for a cute set, but they’re not as weatherproof as I needed them to be. They got damp on the finger tips while I was taking pictures of the ice and my hands got cold. The wind bit through as well, the knit isn’t tight enough to really keep the weather out. The following day I wore them with a pair of glove liners (mine are from Icebreaker and no, you can’t work an iPhone in them) and that made all the difference. If I wanted to stay warm, I had to keep stuffing my hands in my pockets. The gloves are good for cold but not wet — blustery day at the bus stop? Okay. Rain and sleet and snow? Not so much so.

SmartWool’s Snowflake Pop hat is $45.00, the gloves are $35.00. They come in a couple of different colors — a cranberry, a turquoise, and black. There are (ooooh!) matching socks, too, if you have to go all crazy with your winter accessories and need to match them all the way down to what’s inside your boots. In short, good stuff for cold; you’ll need more if you’re going to be in wet weather.

More Istanbul shopping and dining secrets from Daily Secret

Last week, Gadling included Istanbul in our picks for 2012 luxury travel, and introduced you to Daily Secret, a web-based “guide service” offering insider intel to 12 cities, including Istanbul. We got so many more great Istanbul secrets from editor Laura Wells (many with special discounts and exclusive access), we’re posting them for Gadling readers to add to their itineraries. Happy shopping (and tasting)!

Local designer fashion: To buy designer clothing for men & women from multiple up-and-coming Turkish designers, this is a really cool, brand-new co-op: Fashion Tunnel in Galata

Turkish wine: Turkey has amazing wine, but it’s difficult to export as it’s heavily taxed. To try the best Turkish wines (even local sour cherry wine wine, which is delicious) and get ideas for what to buy at duty free, check out Rouge in Taksim. They have free tasting every Saturday, but you can try anything by the glass in the restaurant above, which also serves amazing rare Turkish cheeses and cure meats.

Waterside dining: For a gourmet, organic meal that few know about with a view of the Bosphorus, head to Fark-et-mez in Sariyer. The chef & sous-chef are both Turkish, and Daily Secret members get 15% off their meal. They also have live jazz on certain nights.Travel magazine: One of the most interesting and beautiful magazines (the kind you save) that I’ve ever seen is ‘Cornucopia‘. Written by world-class authors and journalists, the articles cover the history of the former empires of Central Asia, as well as modern figures trying to preserve national treasures. Our members get 10% off the price and they ship worldwide for free!

Rare books: For rare books about Istanbul and the former empires, this bookshop in Kadikoy on the Asian side has any hard-to-find edition, old or new, or they’ll find it, and they ship worldwide.

Artistic home decor: Grand, hand-painted panels & wallpaper that you see in palaces & hotels all over the world is actually made by a company now based in Istanbul. You can visit their trade-only showroom & atelier if you tell them you’re a Daily Secret member when you make an appointment. They’ll ship worldwide without a problem: Iksel in Bebek.

Turkish rugs: Here is the best Turkish antique rug dealer I’ve ever come across with the best prices in the world (I’m a collector and my cousin is an antiques rug dealer, and she agreed)! He is usually only open to ‘trade’, but welcomes our members. You can either leave with a rug, or he ships worldwide at reasonable rates.

Interior design: For handprinted, hand-loomed fabrics and unique handmade furniture, Philadelphia-transplant & textiles expert Elizabeth Hewitt counts Oscar de la Renta and President Obama’s interior designer among her customers. They have everything from scarves to draperies, bed linens, table cloths, and more; all really gorgeous and uniquely central Asian. Her husband & brother-in-law are rug & suzani dealers, and his shop is on the top floor of this store – best place in terms of selection to get tulu rugs (sheepskin rugs, which are very ‘in’ now) and antique suzanis, at literally the best prices in any emerging country.

Subscribe to Daily Secret for more tips in Istanbul and other cities around the world.