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What I'm coveting now: James Perse's holiday collection

November 10, 2010 |  9:00 am

Perseholiday 

Maybe it's how refreshingly uncluttered his stores are, or how he presents just enough but not too many choices. But I am crazy for James Perse lately. 

The Los Angeles designer has an obsession with simplicity that plays right into the less-is-more attitude that swept the fall runways at Celine, Chloe and Stella McCartney. And he has this uncanny ability to bring out the OCD in everyone.

The object of my latest obsession is the soft cowl neck sweatshirt in French terry ($145), left. It only comes in three colors -- gray, black and navy. And I must have spent 30 minutes in the boutique in West Hollywood trying to decide which color to buy. (After a second and a third trip, I ended up with black and navy -- and one for a friend.) All the time I spent only made the shirt feel all the more special. Like taking the time to cook the perfect meal, rather than eating something on the fly. 

That Perse is a clever guy.

Not that the sweatshirt doesn't have many fine points. It's just the softest thing, and the boxy silhouette, chic cowl neck and dolman sleeves elevate the piece way beyond loungwear. Worn with a pearl choker peeking out from the neckline, skinny jeans and flats, you're ready to go anywhere.

When I was in the store buying my second sweatshirt, I made the mistake of letting my eye wander to the striped cashmere blanket poncho ($350), right. It's starting to gnaw at me. I'm seeing it with everything from denim to a jersey tube skirt. Can you imagine anything more comfy on a cold night?

I'm thinking about putting it on my holiday wish list. Except that means having to choose between the black and the gray. And I definitely need a couple more fashion field trips before then.

-- Booth Moore

James Perse sweatshirt and poncho. Credit: Courtesy of James Perse.

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