I’m sorry, I’m just in the mood for black and white! It’s such a clean look and, somehow, in hot weather, that is perfect. Layers feel too complicated as does pattern mixing.
And this is another incredibly cheap dress from Urban Outfitters this time – sale on top of sale and then reduced some more. I love any dress with an odd detail – and the gathered bottom portion of this dress qualifies! So much fun.
Over time, I’ve also acquired some white accessories and now is the perfect time of year to use them. So it is possible that you may see me again in black and white before summer is over. Why don’t you join me with a similar cool summer look?
Let me be perfectly clear: I have NEVER liked fringe. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I was never even on the “fringe” of hippiedom. It always looks to me like a little Davy Crockett, Roaring 20’s and 1960’s protest to me. But this past spring, I was briefly seduced by a simple black sleeveless top with 3 inches of silky fringe at the bottom. I mean it was J. Crew for Pete’s sake! Darling, I thought, with boyfriend jeans or a pencil skirt or with a simple white tee underneath. Since then I have pulled it out of my closet AT LEAST ten times and I have worn it exactly 0 times. Why, you ask?
1. Fringe does not lend itself to a shapely silhouette – unless you want to wear a fringed pencil skirt (I can barely type that because it sounds so awful)
2. Fringe rarely adds anything to the item it decorates – sandals, boots, handbags, scarves ( except maybe the wool scarf you wore last winter), kimonos, suede jackets, earrings. It gets tangled, dirty, etc. And tying beads at the end of the fringe does NOT help!
3. 99.9% of the time fringe looks, well, cheap. I’ve seen a very few couture items that looked good with fringe. See a few of them here:
This dress is from last summer, when I was determined to dress it up with a wide belt and even a jacket. Now I’ve discovered that I was going about styling this dress all wrong! This is meant to be a cool, effortless summer shift – no belt, no overworked styling. I love it with this almost transparent sweater – perfect cool neutrals for summer.
When I had everything on, I realized that the only shoes that would do were my new Seychelles animal print sandals. The closest I’ll ever get to style perfection!
Hmm, that is not as alliterative as “What We Want Wednesday”, is it? I DO miss having Kate out front with me on the blog. But, regardless, I stilllust after certain articles of clothing.
Today I am lusting after a kimono-style jacket. I figure that, even when I retire again, a fabulous kimono jacket will look great with jeans and a tee or black trousers and a black turtleneck. I’ve been searching high and low and I’ve established some criteria: NO fringe, no cheap looking fabric. This is easier said than done (as you will know if you’ve looked for kimonos).
Kate and I were in Tokyo a while back and we bought several used hapi coats in a street bazaar – I loved these but I’m really looking for something that goes to the mid-thigh and does not wrap or fasten. And kimonos are quite handy – even serving as a robe or a beach cover-up when one is traveling!
This is not an easy search because, this year, kimono jacket means anything that resembles a loose printed boho jacket with wide sleeves. But here are a few I am thinking about:
I’ve already ordered the Anthro kimono you see above, and I might order the graphic stripe print kimono from Topshop!
I think this dress could go two different ways – 1) the way I treated it by combining it with summery cognac accessories or 2) the matchy-match way (accessorizing with black or one other bright color). I will probably wear it a variety of different ways, but I like the unexpected and more casual approach I took here.
BTW, this dress cost maybe $22 at ASOS. I have learned several secrets of success on the ASOS website: wait for sales and experiment enough to know which dress styles and sizes work before the sales begin. This dress is made of my favorite neoprene fabric – easy to wash and no ironing required. What is better than that?
My style challenges are specific to each season: how to locate apparel items that embrace current trends AND are age, price, sophistication level appropriate.
I like to follow summer trends – dramatic hi-low tops, ankle strap sandal heels, jumpsuits, etc. But it takes work – mostly on a lot of websites – to find items that suit me, are reasonably priced, and chic. So how to get the trends this year? I’ll address a few over the next week or so. Today’s subject is LACE.
Lace – SO many beautiful summery items out there, but few, besides a long sleeved lace sheath, that really suit older fashionistas. I mean, we don’t want to look like this, right?
And don’t get me started on lace short shorts. But here are a few items that embrace the trend and suit us older stylistas.
Lace almost bermudas!!!
Lace – check; sheer – check; stylish – check!
A lace maxi dress that doesn’t look like a wedding gown!
I must tell you that highlighting different colors on the blog has been incredibly frustrating because no one seems to agree on the official tone that is a particular color (if that makes sense). Take the picture above. Is she wearing a bronze cape or dress or is it gold? I say bronze because bronze is a darker version of gold (or so I think.)
In any case, bronze is a fabulous color. It sizzles with both white (in the summer with a tan!) and black. It offsets virtually any other color brilliantly. It is mostly seen as a metallic but can also shine as a matte color Look at these wonderful examples of bronze couture!
Believe it or not, this is a hi low dress from last year – I guess this look has become more dramatic in the past year! In any case, this simple shirtwaist dress design is incredibly versatile. I could wear this unbuttoned with a tee and white jeans and instantly have the duster look.
My obi is also incredibly useful – I’ve worn it with the pink side out and it looks great that way as well. You can also use a scarf to achieve the sash effect. I am all about clothes that can be worn many different ways. This is a large part of the fun of fashion to me!
Kate says: I’m starting a new job today and I’ll be working from home. Awesome, right? I’m already dreaming up how to put together an adorable home office and whether I can rig up my own standing desk.
But of course… working from home TOTALLY changes my wardrobe. I can’t exactly sit around my second bedroom in a pencil skirt and heels. So I’ve got to rethink how to feel professional while wearing significantly more casual clothes.
I’ve read several times that getting up and getting dressed, even if you don’t have to, can have a large impact on feeling like you’ve shifted into “work” mode. Plus I expect to be using video chat quite a bit, so Mom and I have been joking about looking professional from the waist up! So I’ll be upping my casual game — I’m thinking nicer t-shirts, jeans, and comfy cotton dresses.
What does this mean for the ol’ blog? Well, not getting dressed for work makes taking photos of my outfits really not interesting. So I’m going to be taking a backseat moving forward and let Mom be the star of the show. I’ll still be helping out in the background and making the occasional cameo. And if you’re interested in what I am wearing while working at home, I’ll still keep up my Instagram account.
When we started this blog, the plan was to have something fun to work on together and to share our love of style with others. And we’ve accomplished both of those things! Now it’s time for Mom to take over — and let’s be honest, she can carry this blog all on her own with her sense of style.
So there may be some more changes coming as Mom figures out what this space looks like when the two of us aren’t “taking on style”, but we’ll still be here sharing outfit photos and ideas.