Monday 24th November 2014
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A Party in a Top, Part 3

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Penelope Tree knew a Party in a Top when she saw one

Here, from my original exegesis on the topic, is the concept behind the Party in a Top:

My philosophy about dressing for the holiday party season has always been pretty straightforward. Weddings are an endurance game: you’re on display for hours, possibly on a dance floor too.  So there’s every reason to sweat it to some degree. And dinner parties are typically so intimate that no aspect of your outfit goes unnoticed there either. But holiday parties are crowded,  frenetic, standing room affairs, where all anybody really notices is what you’re wearing from the waist up. I realized this truth a few years ago, and it totally set me free. 

party in a top

It set me free because I realized all that was called for was a really strong top—a Party in a Top. As for its qualities, a really good Party in a Top should change the way you look at yourself in the mirror a little. Possibly, it should be a touch bolder than you usually go. And it should all have just a touch of sexiness to it—even if it’s just in a cheeky way, like this snake print and sequin number.

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You know the woman who shows up wearing wear this Party in a Top will be the most interesting person you meet all night.

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Surprisingly sophisticated, for a top with so very much going on

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Of course you won’t wear this one with just a bra like the lady here, but instead with a perfectly simple cami. And you will come off all kinds of French and sexy for having done so.

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Most off-the-shoulder tops are too flouncy for my taste, but this one is so clean-lined and sophisticated and perfect and I want.

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A cool way to show skin without really showing any skin.

Posted on November 19th, 2014 15 Comments

It’s the little things

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 10.21.50 AMI spent way too much for this Isabel Marant shirt, but it makes me so damn happy.

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It does that magic secret French thing where it fits like this. Which—in my frightfully skewed value system—is something upon which you can not put a price tag.


Posted on November 17th, 2014 21 Comments

Top 5 of the week: white button-downs with a difference

tuxedo top

Nothing sexier than a tuxedo top, buttoned as low as you dare.

sequin button down

I had a spirited debate with my friend Regan recently about sequins for day; she insists they’re a Fashion Never, but I believe that a small dose, well-deployed, can be good fun. The fact that the stripe of rich blue here isn’t front-and-center makes all the difference.

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I’m sure there’s something out there as simultaneously chic and cheery as this blouse’s perforated star pattern, but I am quite certain I don’t know what it is.

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Throw this on and your outfit’s got all the statement it needs.

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You can look at the crew neck here in one of two ways: as a nicely laid- back version of a button-down, or as a dressed-up version of a t-shirt.

Posted on November 14th, 2014 7 Comments

My strange obsession


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I used to have an actual active distaste for anything made of calf hair, but lately, weirdly, I keep finding myself attracted to it; specifically on footwear (it still kind of ooks me out on bags). These crazy winter boots by UK designer Penelope Chilvers boots have been haunting my dreams for weeks now.

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The mixture of textures and patterns on these Nike platform sneaks just slays me.

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These are on my (not-unlengthy) Definite Maybe list over at Maria Cornejo: they’re super-comfortable and look so cool on.

Posted on November 12th, 2014 15 Comments

I brake for Liberty

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 10.51.48 PMThe new Liberty/Nike fall collab just launched, people, and I couldn’t not share the crazy cuteness of it all.

Posted on November 10th, 2014 11 Comments

This shirt is perfect

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On the rack, it looks like a whole lot of shapeless nothing, but I was intrigued enough by the super-thin cotton—so good for tucking—and the fact that the Steven Alan salesgirl told me pretty much every woman who worked for the company owned it to head for the dressing room. And you guys, it is magic on: perfectly slouchy, and nicely body-skimming in a way that bulkier cotton button-downs never are.

Posted on November 7th, 2014 11 Comments

Micro-trend: inverted-lapel blazers


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You know the funny satisfaction that comes from stretching a long-sleeved tee or sweater until it comes halfway down over your hands? I feel like these jackets scratch the same itch. They’re also just an impossibly crisp look for fall. Here’s the one I’m considering buying for myself, from J. Crew, although I haven’t settled on which color to choose yet.


The flash of bright is what it’s all about here.

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So throw it on and go, and yet really elegant too.

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Ignore, for a moment, the ridiculous sports bra top it’s styled with and focus on what how fantastic this would be for holiday party season.


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A cute, cropped little under $100 option.

Posted on November 5th, 2014 3 Comments

Unbeatable combination: the leather jacket and striped tee

emmanuelle alt in her office

I have always thought I liked this picture of Paris Vogue editor Emmanuelle Alt because it shows her looking so at ease in her power, but of course it’s about the classic brilliance of the outfit, too. She’s taken this traditionally tomboyish look and transported it to a very Frenchie masculin/feminin place by getting small-but-important details right: the fancy watch; the nice and glossy finish on the jacket; the boots that can only be described as major.


1. Emerson Fry 2. J. Crew 3. Seiko 4.  J Brand 5. Mango 6.  Linea Pelle 7.  Ray Ban 8.  Iro (or try these Steve Maddens)


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Meanwhile, this young lady’s look is so pleasingly nouvelle beatnik—and so incredibly simple to copy—that I had to share. Here is a weekend outfit for when you don’t want to make a massive effort in order to get that (never unchallenging)  I-just-threw-this-together look.


1. R13   2. J. Brand 3. Kacey K 4. Ray Ban 5. Monserat De Luca 6. Madewell 7. Molami 8. Sam Edelman

Posted on November 3rd, 2014 26 Comments

My mom’s so much cooler than me

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Mom’s got a whole case (!) at Love Adorned.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram know how proud I am of my mom, a former jewelry designer  who came out of retirement earlier this year at the sprightly age of 77. Her work is all executed in chain mail—she was way ahead of her time on that one. In fact, it looks so modern today that the supreme tastemakers over at Love Adorned took note, and you can find a whole case devoted to Mom’s work there. Until now, none of her pieces had been available online, but now that a few are, of course I have to be the doting daughter and share:

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This sterling silver and gunmetal bracelet is at the top of my list of pieces to try to charm Mom into giving me: it’s got a simple but really distinctive shape, and I feel like it’s a good option on days when I’m not in the mood to mess with getting together a whole stack. Plus, the magnetic clasp means it’s a snap to put on and take off.

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These gunmetal swirl stud earrings have the magical ability to go tough or femme depending on your outfit.

Posted on November 1st, 2014 21 Comments

Wednesday Trifecta: blue camo

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Sometimes—when I’m totally tempted to buy something but know I really shouldn’t— I’ll post it here, just to get it out of my system.  This Emerson Fry anorak has been haunting my dreams for weeks: now I hand it off to you. No backs.

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This is pretty cute too, though, and costs half as much.

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And here’s one that’s cheaper still.

Posted on October 29th, 2014 9 Comments