If there is one store that just nails it every time with their curated seasonal collections, it is Mill Mercantile. The sister store to San Francisco's venerable Unionmade, Mill possesses the same ethos of stocking timeless, unassuming and elegant pieces. But while Unionmade's speciality are American-made provisions and heritage brands such as Ebbet's Field, Red Wing, LVC, Filson, and Quoddy, Mill is more globally-minded in the the brands they stock, with some of my favorites being  Japanese brands Kapital, Journal Standard, Blue Blue Japan, and Fog Linen Works.

The easy drape and minimal shaping inherent to Japanese style is humbly beautiful, and I love how luxe natural fibers are always complemented by beautifully boxy proportions. The lack of pretense in design is refreshing. A well-finsished seam, a dramatic drape to a coat or playfully lined jacket cannot be beat.

So inspired have I been by the beautiful clothes at Mill, and by the darling collections of lines like Fog Linen Works, that yesterday I went to the bookstore in search of some Japanese pattern books from which I could sew some clothes for myself. With titles like I Am: Cute Dresses, Let's Make and Wear: Stylish Frocks, and My Feminine Wardrobe, the charming verbiage found inside each is enough to warrant a purchase.


It's the start of a new year, and I find it a bit rude that come the first of  January we are expected to have penned an exhaustive to-do list of personal changes we vow to keep. Last year I promised to run every other morning, sew more, read more books in French, write a lot, and take better care of my nails.

I haven't exercised formally since May, and the only stuff I've read in French have been the liner notes to my favorite Serge Gainsbourg records. My nails remain brittle and bitten,  but I did manage to not grow a unibrow or develop any cavities, so I'm counting that as a win.

The only resolutions I kept this year were with my writing and my sewing, both of which I managed to do a lot more of, and so, to set myself up for success in 2014, they are the only two I plan on keeping.