Top 5: Amy Novesky, Author

The background: I was introduced to prolific, award-winning children’s author Amy (check out her books here), by my book editor friend Tamar, who did her own Top 5 here a couple of years ago. Together, they worked on Amy’s latest, Girl on a Motorcycle, about Anne France Dautheville, the badass French motorcyclist who rode around the world alone in the ’70s, and was basically a style icon who never forgot her eyeliner! — check out this fabulous slideshow in the Times.  And the book is illustrated by my all-time favorite, Julie Morstad. I can’t wait to read this to Gino!

Hometown: San Francisco

Self-described style: City/beachy.

Style icons: Anne France Dautheville, bien sûr!; Claire Waight Keller, in particular, her Fall-Winter 2016 collection for Chloe, inspired by Anne France (all of which I covet, none of which I own); California and Kaua’i beach culture; my mom, especially circa 1970s and 80s, when I was a kid growing up in Corona del Mar; five-year-olds.

Things I can’t live without: A pretty white dress; my well-traveled Converse sneakers; the perfect blue jeans; silver Ray Ban aviator sunglasses; black Havaianas flip flops; soft, fringed wraps in off-white and in black; tall black Ugg boots; Salt Jennings reading glasses; my silver Arabian coin ring; Ever Daylight Tinted SPF Moisturizer; Burt’s Bees peppermint lip balm; the ocean; Moleskine sketchbooks and Paper Mate felt tip pens; books; a house full of flowers; my passport.

1. rag & bone Rosa Boyfriend Jean in Wyatt washI am always looking for the perfect jean: the perfect color blue, the perfect softness and distress. I love me a button-fly, and I’m a low-rise girl, which is hard to find right now with all of this high-rise madness; I settled for mid-rise with these. I’ve been, like seriously, living in the same pair of Target/Wild Fable-brand, black palazzo sweatpants since well before the pandemic. Seven months into this I was coveting a pair of over-sized, comfortable-as-sweatpants boyfriend jeans to replace a pair of actual boyfriend jeans I wore in the ’90s: perfectly soft, worn-in in all the right places, and at least 3 sizes too big—big enough you need to fold them over on top or wear a belt, or not—as that’s the beauty of boyfriend jeans: they fall seductively down on your hip, even if they are ridiculously big.

2. Everlane: The Editor Heel. I admit, as a book editor, I had to get these. I love them. They are so pretty. I’ve barely worn them, but, when I was putting together my wishful-thinking-what-to-save list, prompted by this summer’s devastating fires here in Northern California, they made the cut. Wear them with the jeans above.

3Diptyque Tuberose Candle When I was writing my picture book, Girl on a Motorcycle, I flew to France to meet Anne France. I stayed in Paris for a few days, tout seul. In addition to requisite visits to Musée D’Orsay and Shakespeare and Company, I made a short pilgrimage to Diptyque Paris on Boulevard Saint Germain, in an arrondissement I remembered from the first trip to Paris I took with my dad when I was sixteen. I felt pretty proud of myself for making it there, jet-lagged and disoriented, to buy one candle to bring home. No matter that when I told the shopkeeper I was from San Francisco she said: “we have a shop there, too.”  

4. BodenStowe Merino Cardigan in black I am loving, how do you say, puff-shoulder pieces. If simple, well-made, like this one, I find it to be a flattering style, even for this newly minted 50-year-old. That said, I think I might be pushing my puff-shoulder piece limit.

5. KES Sustainable Face Covering in natural cotton Given that we are in the middle of an historic pandemic, it’s all about face masks and finding ones you actually want to wear. At the beginning of all of this, I was pretty obsessed with finding and buying masks; I think it was my way of coping. I have more than enough masks to weather this, and probably the next, pandemic. My favorite has been this ruched one that ties, and the more user-friendly Peace Face Covering, with ear loops. Although if I ever needed a fancy mask, I’d go with The Dreamer or the silk charmeuse Bandana in Stoneware. I mean, come on. Cue the quote about looking gorgeous in a crisis.

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