Does Cher not look fabulous here? I remember being so struck by this image of her in the brilliant style guide Cheap Chic (which came out in 1975 and has since been reissued and which you should by all means snap up, as it’s a timeless classic). I’m very much feeling this look. It seems polished and sexy and new, even though it’s been around for a little while.
I like the solid dark wash on this pair from Frame denim, and it’s got a staggered hem, which is very of the moment.
It’s tough to find a high-waisted pair in a boyfriend cut, but these—from Rag & Bone—are rather good.
Here’s a slick black pair.
I’m liking the grayish wash on this Citizens of Humanity pair.
These have a nicely beaten-up look.
Of all the recurring posts I do, there is no greater pain in the ass than dresses with grown-up hemlines. This is because I like to show you dresses with actual sleeves as well, and this additional requirement always manages to whittle the choices down with alarming efficiency. I did find a handful I liked quite a lot, however, starting with this flatteringly-cut dot print from & Other Stories.
A very ladylike—but not at all prissy—silhouette.
I just love this fun print, and the dress itself looks so easy and even a little sexy.
I like that this manages to be shoulder-baring and long-sleeved at the same time.
A graceful, asymmetrical choice from Zero+ Maria Cornejo.
And finally, to round out the group: a really quite pretty silk floral.
I enlisted Tribeca Mom for this post, because a whole lot of you wanted help with a work capsule wardrobe, and it’s been so long since I had to dress for an office that I didn’t feel like I could do a very credible job of it—and because TM has fantastic office style. (For the uninitiated, Tribeca Mom is my friend Meredith Rollins, and she is the editor-in-chief of Redbook.) I’ll let her take it from here. “Dressing for work is one of those things where it helps to have a uniform. Ever since I got the top job at Redbook, I’ve majorly streamlined my closet: it’s a lot of the same kind of dresses, variations on the same jacket, the same pant cut, the same shoes. Maybe it’s not the most exciting array in the world, but it helps me get out of the house in less time—and it also means I never feel scraggly if a big meeting is thrust upon me in the middle of the day. Though the shapes of my clothes are classic, I try to have some fun with the prints and colors and little details, just to keep things from feeling boring. My go-to items are right here. Let’s work on the assumption that you have a nice white t-shirt (I like a J Crew V-neck) and some dark-ish jeans that can pass muster on a casual Friday. Add those two elements in, and you’ve got roughly three weeks’ worth of variations. Kinda magical, no?”
“A printed sheath dress (I like a floral). This is polished enough to wear on its own to an event, and also layers nicely under any kind of jacket or sweater.”
“A simple black blazer. Self-explanatory, I think. It makes you feel instantly boss-like, and can elevate that t-shirt and jeans into something office-y.”
“A cropped jacket. I’m really into this moto style, in a lush, deep green. It feels fancy. A black leather jacket would also work well here, if you’re in the kind of job where leather doesn’t seem wrong.”
“A floaty skirt in a pretty print. Yeah, this isn’t cheap, but it really works hard, and nice fabric is key. Cute with a sweater, a button-down, a blazer, a cropped jacket….just cute, period. Yet professional!”
“Black pants. This is the other place where it’s worth spending some money. These Philip Lim ones are my favorite—the crop is cute with loafers or heels, they’re not too low-waisted, they’re simple yet a tad bit interesting. Perfect all around.”
“A super-simple cashmere crewneck. Expensive-looking, luxurious-feeling, yet not a wallet-buster. You can even throw it over the sheath dress, to get more mileage out of that.”
“A silk button-down. This is chic as hell with the black pants (or jeans) and either heels or flats. Plus, it’s just the right side of sexy, which I love.”
“Loafers. I’m living in these right now. You gotta be able to walk, am I right? So gamine and sweet with a cropped pair of pants and a sharp little coat.”
“Pointy-toe heels. I’m hearing Kim’s voice in my head and not recommending my favorite shoes on the planet, which are Manolo Blahnik BB pumps. They are not cheap ($595) but boy, are they comfortable for a heel. They last forever, if you don’t slog through the slush in them. They’re trend-proof but also cool. And in a surprising color or print, they make even an all-black outfit feel thought-out and glamorous. Such a good investment, IMO. That said, you can get very similar and equally stylish heels for less. So…People swear SJP shoes are insanely comfortable, and these grey flannels are cute as can be.”
“Or you can jazz things way up with some animal-print velvet. Because your workday deserves a little jazziness. (Really: it does.)”
Cecilia writes, “I’ve been reading your blog for years, and I only remember one post on clothes for plus-size girls. We’re a huge portion of the market, and it seems like there’s only a few brands that cater to us. I’d like to expand my clothing options.” Cecilia busted me but good. I’m pretty sure I’ve done more than one post on plus-size clothing options, but there haven’t been a whole lot more than one, and I definitely haven’t done any in a long, long time. I consulted my old friend and Sassy cohort Marjorie Ingall, author of the brilliant book Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do To Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children and a stylish plus-size lady herself, for pointers. She directed me to pop star Beth Ditto’s site, where I found this rather excellent eyelash-print blouse.
And also this pretty great dress—I’m not sure what exactly this print is of, but I sure like it.
Also from Asos Curve: this great grey cocoon coat.
Marjorie also directed me Eloquii, which specializes in bright, happy, trendy pieces. I like this brilliantly loud dress.
And I think this top is really smart
Also from Eloquii: this very nearly perfect trench.
On the splurgy side of things, there’s Maria Rinaldi. This crepe de chine shift dress costs a fortune, but it is to die.
I don’t like that they don’t show choices on actual plus-size models, but Eileen Fisher has a decent selection in this category, though the sizes are limited. I quite liked this top.
Also by Fisher: I love the look of this serape.
The one plus-size brand I managed to discover all on my own—and that I like quite a lot—is Universal Standard. If I were shopping in this category, this is where I’d be spending my cash. They make slouchy jeans that fit the way slouchy jeans should fit.
They’ve got cool asymmetrical dresses that remind me of Maria Cornejo.
This faux leather top is just so good.
And this vested blazer (it’s all one piece) is so clever.
Welcome back from the holidays, everyone, and welcome to the week of requests, which may well stretch into two weeks, as you guys sent in a lot of quality queries. First up is a bit of a hybrid. I had a number of requests for my take on wardrobe classics. I also had some readers ask what my personal go-to pieces are. So I decided to conflate these into one post for your reading pleasure. Some choices here are painfully obvious—like a simple white button down—while other picks might seem like classics only to me. Do with them what you will.
I’d be nowhere without a great pair of jeans that fit exactly right.
I’m not breaking any news with this one, but that doesn’t make it any less true: one can never underestimate the timeless chic of a good navy blazer.
Thank God that clogs came back, and may they never go out of style again, and even if they do, I’m not getting rid of mine. They provide height without pain, which is invaluable, and are eminently walkable.
A good single-button mid-length wool coat is a key component to the wardrobe of anyone who aspires to dress like a French chick.
A striped tee is forever.
I like a necklace that’s small enough that you can put it on and forget about it.
I own an awful lot of popovers, and am partial to those made by Nili Lotan, though they cost more than I wish they did. I like to wait until they go on sale, as this lovely one is right now.
I’ve never liked the expression Little Black Dress, as it implies a mere slip of a thing; nothing consequential. I like the idea of a Serious Black Dress, and invested in this one from Maria Cornejo a couple of years ago. It falls well outside of the GOACA price limit, but it is just so good—I immediately feel confident when I’m wearing it, and you can’t out a price tag on that—and I trot it out whenever I’ve got an important meeting or family event.
A cashmere beanie is a nice little hit of wintertime luxe, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot.
A good-quality grown-up bag for when you’ve got to look polished is essential. I like my new one from Mansur Gavriel because it’s elegant, but still has cross-body capabilities, which gives it a certain ease.
I couldn’t quite manage without a cashmere V-neck sweater.
…or a generously proportioned cardigan.
A well-built tote with good interior pockets is essential for travel.
The older I get, the more rings I wear; this coiled snake from Manon is a favorite.
I’ve been kicking around a lot lately in my Canada Goose Rideau parka. The hood doesn’t have fur, as most Canada Goose parkas do, and I love the army green color. And, most importantly, it is warmer than anything.
And finally: one really good hippie girl top is crucial.
Comme des Garcons is now making their zipper wallet in this excellent matchy-clashy tartan print, which could skew preppy or punk rock, depending on the owner.