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Welcome.

My name is Margot Austin and I am the editor-in-chief of The Design Edit, a collection of the best design stories I encounter in my life as a stylist and design communications specialist. Read on to meet top talents, get inspired by beautiful spaces, find out about innovative products and  maybe even try one of my dead-easy DIY projects. I look forward to connecting with you, a fellow design hound.

J.Crew Wants to Murder My Bank Account, Tartan Edition

J.Crew Wants to Murder My Bank Account, Tartan Edition

First, I get an invitation to an exclusive shopping night next week at J.Crew in Toronto. Exciting, right? Well, yes, except I just got back from Europe and did what one does there — spend $$$. But now this: I take a quick peek at the web site to do a little pre-event reconnaissance. You know, just in case. Now I know there is a secret plot in the creative director's office (I'm looking at you, Jenna), to absolutely murder my bank account. They might as well have called the new Collection the Margot Collection. First there are those pumps above. Black Watch + Mary Jane strap + ladylike heel. Yes, yes and heck yes.

Collection Avery Embellished Heels in Tartan

These Collection Avery Embellished Heels in Tartan hit a few perfection notes: they are Stewart Black Tartan (the better of the Stewart tartans), they have pointy toes (so good for a petite girl such as moi), they have block heels (a heel not so unreasonably high that a person who works at home could still wear and not feel like an idiot walking around their house in high heels), they have a buckle (I can take or leave the sparkle, but love me a buckle-on-a-bow). Lone downside: price, $378. Just a hair out of my snack bracket.

Colette Bow Pumps in Stewart Plaid

Colette Bow Pumps in Stewart Plaid. Oh for Pete's sake J.Crew. You are KILLING me. Again with the Stewart Black Tartan, again with the ladylike heel but also with shiny festive bows? Come oooooon. $353.

Cropped Maddie Paint in Black Watch Bi-Stretch Wool

So I click away from the shoe department to catch my breath and then find these, Cropped Maddie Pant in Black Watch Bi-Stretch Wool, $182. Here's the thing: I already own a pair of slim stopped Black Watch trousers (natch).

My Black Watch pants

Here I am in them. But they are more than 3 years old and they are showing wear (damn you mermaid thighs!) so I'm thinking a replacement pair may be in order...

Collection Trench Coat in Tartan
J.Crew Collection Tartan Trench

Oh myyyyy, this is a tartan trench. This is a thing I do not need. This is a thing I want. And I would wear it just like this — with my jeans a Breton stripe. and everywhere, and maybe as a bathrobe. $474.

And for the coup de grâce we have this: Regent Blazer in Black Watch with Satin Lapel, $259. Click on those pics above to see it in more detail. The satin lapel is a masterstroke, but so is that pin dot lining and bright blue trim. You know they call that inside stuff the "interior design" of the garment. Thanks for that J.Crew. My bank account may only be saved from this by two possibilities: 1. It may not be in store yet at the time of the special shopping event I'm going to, since it is only avail. for preorder now (and no, I'm not going back or ordering online). and 2. It probs won't fit since the J.Crew fit squad has a general disdain for breasts.  As in, they don't make room for them in their garments. I have fallen for the trick before. I see a blazer I love. I try it on. It fits perfect in the shoulders, sleeves are a little long (but can be hammed or rolled), but then I can't do it up over my ladies. I decide I'll get it anyway and just wear it open. WRONG. Nothing makes you feel more craptastic about yourself than ill-fitting clothes. Oh, one thing does: seeing yourself in a photo/on TV wearing the ill-fitting clothes. Won't fall for that again. 

Tartan-lovers unite and get thee to the Crew.

Vanessa Francis's Pretty Kitchen

Vanessa Francis's Pretty Kitchen

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