Because there are so many ways polka dots can go wrong—they can come off too costumey, too young, too goofy—I’ve got some pretty tough criteria for choosing them. To wit: I like them in the most limited palette of colors, all of which are dark and none of which are earth tones. I like when the actual dot is not a perfect sphere. And I like them on clean, sophisticated shapes. The dots on this shirtdress from Marimekko are much, much bigger than I usually find acceptable, but it works, in a poppy summery, fun way.
A small dot print on a straightforward button-down feels pretty classic to me.
The subtle dark-on-dark palette is what makes this sneaker chic and not crazy.
The easiest way to incorporate this (or really any) print into an outfit is with a scarf, and the pattern on this one is so pretty and painterly.
This tee is Proenza Schouler, so of course it costs a fortune, but boy, would it look cute peeking out from under a blazer.
Dots can be pretty genius for print-mixing, and this sweater quite conveniently does all the work for you.
This outfit recipe is so straightforward you guys don’t really need me to walk you through it, but the blazer/jeans/tee/sneakers combo is such a favorite of mine I couldn’t quite resist laying it all out anyway. The most important component, of course, is the blazer, and I love the skinny shawl lapel on this particular one. (Of course, this one is pretty good too, and rings in at a friendlier price.)
A striped tee under the jacket is so tomboy cool.
A classic shoe for a classic outfit.
Blue sunglasses are a nice way to throw some color into the mix while still playing it pretty safe.
Although they are now owned by a French company, Feiyue sneakers come from—and are still produced in—China, and the first pair I ever saw adorned the feet of my friend Michelle, who bought them on a trip home to visit her family there. Are they not just immensely graphically appealing? They come off so delightfully lo-fi, like they’re neither of this era nor from America, which I love. And because I have instituted a No New Sneakers rule—the situation has gotten a touch out of control—it hurts me a little to look at them.
I wasn’t especially planning on a sequel to the the post I wrote on army green back in January, but sometimes I get fixated on a particular color or style, and this appears to be one of those times. Here’s my favorite French fashion editor of all the French fashion editors, Capucine Safyurtlu, doing it up in my favorite way: paired with white.
A nifty—and well-priced—pair of chinos.
I like these for a skinnier fit.
Army shirts can sometimes feel bulky and sloppy, but this silk version is just about perfect, and so feminine.
This raincoat is from Barbour and it’s lined in a floral print and I don’t think it’s possible to begin to impress upon you how much I want it.
Just a good basic slouchy tee.
I so wanted to find an inspiration photo for this post, so you could understand my obsession with women who layer light neutrals seemingly effortlessly and to astonishingly good effect. But no such photo appears to exist, so plese take my word for it: these are the ladies whose style is worth channelling once it warms up just a smidge more. Because when that happens, a dead-chic suede jacket like this one is just warm enough.
All that’s necessary to to layer under it—especially because the jacket makes such a statement on its own—is a perfect, but perfectly simple, white tee.
Next up: the kind of chinos that slouch just exactly right.
A good belt is one that has striking—but not distracting—hardware.
Clog wedges in a light hue come off less clunky.
The yellow in these sunglasses adds a bit of pop, while still working with the overall palette.
A light khaki or cream-colored trench is endlessly chic and deeply classic, but doesn’t quite go the distance when you’re trying to up the French fashion editor factor in your wardrobe—which I pretty much always am (minus the heels). For that, you need one in black or navy, and as evidence of this assertion, I present Paris Vogue editor Emmanuelle Alt, who I am always banging on about, but who I haven’t sprung on you in a while.
A perfectly solid option at a pretty ideal length, from Everlane.
Not cheap, but so well put-together—and best of all it’s got a hood, which is ideal for when I’m walking the dogs in the rain and don’t have an arm free for an umbrella.
Of course, this also has a hood, and it’s just under $100.
The absence of flaps here puts this beauty right up my alley.
And finally, a choice so pared-down that possibly it doesn’t qualify as a trench at all.