I returned to the city last night to a boatload of mail—much of it of the rather pressing and urgent variety. But naturally—me being me—the first thing I directed my attention to was the new Madewell catalogue. And I must say that, after a weekend of looking at the big September issues of the fashion mags—and drowning in all of the Important Trends of the Season—it was refreshing to see how blithely Madewell chooses to go its own path. They’re not so much about fashion as they are about cool. And fun, which isn’t a story the rest of the fashion world tells nearly often enough.
For starters, I decided I needed this happy little t-shirt. And improbably enough, a bunch of other kelly green items as well (kelly green being a big Madewell color this season. Who decides that they’re going to make an Easter color huge for fall? I love this). I decided to pay a visit to the lower Fifth Avenue store to have a little look.
This top comes off a bit shapeless and eh as a still- life (click here to see what it looks like on a model, just in a different color) but it’s the perfect underpinning for people like me who have stared, bewildered, at their closets and wondered why on earth they’ve never been able to get it together to throw a couple of nice pop-y brights into the mix. Also: you can’t see it here, but it’s got the tiniest bit of a cap sleeve, which can be so much more forgiving on the arms than straight-up sleeveless.
How fantastically throw-it-on-and-go is this? I used to wear silky little dresses like this to the office all fall and winter with boots and tights and a cardigan. And it’s not as short as it looks: 36 inches, which isn’t bad for those of us who are less than model-length. (It also comes in black, which is probably lots more versatile, but not nearly as much fun.)
As far as that which is not green goes: I still can’t decide if this colorblock sweater is too young for me (it’s got little heart patches on the elbows) but boy, is it cute.
A rare case of polka dots that work. Probably because the dots are more dash-ish, and because of the solid strip at the neck and the arms, which keeps it from being way too much and instead makes it really, really chic.
And here’s what I wound up buying: the t-shirt that inspired my visit in the first place and these, which I could not be more on board with. My search for a pair of suitable fall oxfords hasn’t been particularly extensive but it has been frustrating: all those browns and blacks just kept looking so clunky and unfeminine. But the pointy thing going on here—which I wasn’t sure about until I tried them on (I feared they would look too Jazz Shoe)—is actually very sophisticated, even graceful.