Friday 27th November 2015
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Posts Tagged ‘madewell’

Top five of the day: denim skirts, classic and otherwise

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I spent half the summer searching for the right denim skirt, and finally settled on one that fit my specs (A-line; no-nonsense wash; knee-length hem) even though I wasn’t exactly electrified by it. This is the one I should have held out for, and would have, had I only known it was coming down the pike: the long, slim—but not too slim— silhouette is retro without being obviously so, and kind of sexy too, in an unexpected way. Truly a textbook wear-it-now-wear-it-later weekend piece too: perfect with sandals right this second, and with boots come fall.

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coated denim skirt is the perfect way to get a leather-type vibe without having to fork  over too much cash.

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This super-clean black stretch denim skirt with nifty side zipper detail is so very office-worthy.

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A simple, unadorned, and delightfully under $100  option.

vick beckham

The slit’s on the daring side, but the rest of this A-line skirt plays things so straight that it doesn’t come off as too much.



Posted on August 20th, 2014 16 Comments

4ever summer

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Zebra and snake prints have always struck me as the more warm weather-friendly, but the truth is, nothing pops against white like a good leopard print, and frankly I just don’t feel right if I go more than six months without showing you a fresh batch. For reasons I can’t discern, most sleeveless leopard tops are chiffon and sheer, but this one is cotton and nicely opaque.

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A Madewell store just opened up around the corner from my mom’s place about a month ago, and because this could spell big trouble for my wallet, I try to exercise serious self-control on my visits. So I passed on this shift dress recently, but not for any good reason: it’s just the kind of unrestrictive, comfortable and desperately cute piece I like best on the hottest days.

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Silk tees are just a beat more elegant than their cotton counterparts, and I like the longer sleeves here.


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If not leopard print sunglasses during the summer, then when?



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You’ve got to play it really careful with leopard-print heels—things can get really trashy really fast, even if they’re fancy and designer. But these classic Soludos espadrilles are just good fun.

Posted on June 25th, 2014 11 Comments

Inspiration of the day

lauren hutton1

This picture of the divine Lauren Hutton has been obsessing me lately—everyone has their own notion of what constitutes effortless glamour, and for me this picture totally does it.  Part of what makes it so stunning, of course, is Ms. Hutton’s exquisite beauty, but try covering her face up with your thumb and the whole thing still works pretty great: just a denim skirt, button-down, and done.  Hutton understood the whole fashion/prep intersection before that was a whole thing, and she still does it better than just about anyone, never getting too prim, always keeping it on the loose side. I fell down a Google k-hole over the weekend looking at pictures of her both as a young model and now, and picked out some of the summer classics that seem to be cornerstones for her. They make for a pretty decent weekend packing list.



1. Bucket hat  2. Striped tee 3. Crewneck sweater (to be worn over shoulders) 4. Oversized button-down 5. Western-style chambray shirt, buttoned low as you dare 6.  Roomy white trousers 7. Old-school denim skirt 8. Safari-esque khaki blazer 9. Straw tote 10. Classic Tretons

Posted on June 9th, 2014 20 Comments

I could live all summer in crisp white tops

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And I mean that quite literally: if somebody came into my closet, filled it with dozens of attractive and light tunic-y  shirts in varying shades of white, and then packed up every other blouse I owned until Labor Day, I would be one thousand percent fine with that. No one other summer garment pulls off the excellent trick of being both surpassingly comfortable and pulled-together at the same time. And when the weather starts getting all wilty—as it most definitely already has here in New York—that’s the type of thing I like to put at a premium.  This one’s definitely on the beachy side of things, but I’d totally wear it out with jeans and sandals.

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I am not an inevitable fan of eyelet—you know how I get about things that skew girly—but this band-collar top has such nice, clean tailoring that I can totally get with it.

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The white on white here is pretty elegant.


I tried on this Theory top a few weeks ago and dream of it still: light as air, nicely flowy, brilliantly junk-camouflaging.

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A very lady-ish variation I would butch up with my most worn-in jeans.


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A slightly less predictable choice, but I like the shape, the dots amuse, and it’s on sale.

Posted on June 5th, 2014 34 Comments

It started innocently enough

splendid shop

It always does. Just a quick trip to the sunglass shop on Spring Street for a small repair, then straight back home to work. But then there was the Splendid store just steps away. And even though I have walked past the Splendid store dozens of times and never been the least bit tempted to go in, lately, and on more than one occasion, I’ve been surprised—because I always thought their stuff was kind of junior—to learn that a top I’ve admired is theirs. They’re not the cheapest t-shirts out there, but they’re also not crazy pricey, and I have a crazy pricey t-shirt habit I’m trying to break. A visit felt like the fiscally responsible thing to do.

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I wasn’t in the door a minute before I fell for this vintage circle whisper tee: the shape—blousy in both the front and back—is A-1 perfect junk-camouflage material, and looks like it could have come from Helmut Lang or somewhere else where it would have cost a good 30 percent more. In general I’m a fan of all of the tees in Splendid’s Vintage Whisper line: most really soft t-shirts these days turn out to have some sort of synthetic in them, but these are 100% cotton, super-thin, and so nice next to your skin.

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Right next store stood Sam Edelman. Much like Splendid, a store that has tempted me never. But they actually make some pretty cute shoes at really good prices, and recently I’ve been curious to see if the quality is there and they might be worth covering. If I can rationalize anything in the name of this blog, it’s pretty much a go, so I popped in.  It was summer sandal central inside, and I was drawn to these cork flip flops, dead ringers for this pair from French brand K-Jacques but way, way, way cheaper. I had actually coveted the K-Jacques versions, but had wondered if a flip flop wouldn’t be horribly uncomfortable when executed on a big old cork heel. Happily, I discovered, it is not.  They’re cheap enough to buy in multiple shades—and come in quite a few—but I stuck with just the gold.

madewell store

And now it really was time to get on home. Just a quick little foray to Saturdays Surf for my first iced cappuccino of the season and out. But in order to get there, I had to pass Madewell on Broome Street and Broadway, and even though I don’t inevitably buy something every time I visit Madewell, I can always find something to want. I gave myself a pass and went in. By now I knew I was getting a post out of this, and editorially speaking, three is always better than two.

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Madewell’s got a partnership going with Austin retailer JM Drygoods; they sell the best Mexican embroidered clothes, and have a—and I hate using this word, but it really applies here—small and quite thoughtfully curated selection of other items, from chairs to soaps to candles, and you kind of want one of everything. At Madewell they’ve focused mostly on Mexican tops and dresses, and after a good deal of obsessing, I finally settled on this Oxaca Caftan. I am quite sure it shall get stained—dramatically and soon, and likely by my own hand. But for now it is perfect. As was that iced cappuccino.

Posted on May 7th, 2014 31 Comments

The leggings of the skirt world

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Tube skirts are as comfortable as the day is long, unrestrictive, and—if you take care to find a good one, and pair it with the right top—not quite so tricky as they seem. I bought this one from Maria Cornejo not long ago. It wasn’t cheap,  but sucks you in like you’re wearing Spanx from hip to knee.

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A little bit of strategic ruching works wonders for those of us with less than diminutive hips.

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The peaked hem on this (quite reasonably priced) option is a nice little touch.

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For me, some degree of hip and butt coverage is essential here—but I don’t go too big, as the silhouette starts to get weird. This draped front top dips satisfyingly low in back and has a nice amount of interest up front.

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I like a tee that has enough volume to provide coverage, but not so much that it will add unnecessary bulk. (I also like that this one also comes in a decent assortment of shades.)

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A crisp oversize cotton button-down  is exactly what I’ll want to be pairing it with come summertime.

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As will a big old blousy tunic.

Posted on April 29th, 2014 19 Comments

Feeling spring part two: 5 key jackets

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Good leather jackets don’t come cheap—so far from cheap, in fact, that I almost never feature them here. But a nice, throw-it-on-and-you’re done soft and slouchy one like this can turn just about anything you’re wearing into an outfit, and you can’t put a price tag on that.

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You guys know I love a good lightweight bomber, and this one is so cute and unexpected with the embroidery.

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A clean, cropped blazer, for when an outfit needs to read grown-up in a hurry.

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Ye olde trusty Barbour Beadnell jacket, now and forever.

steven alan car coat

Something on the more polished side, to throw on with a dress.

Posted on April 8th, 2014 11 Comments

The unburdening

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A few weeks ago, I bought myself a beautiful new Jerome Dreyfuss cross-body bag. It was pricey, but I’d been obsessing over it for ages, and had finally managed to talk myself into believing I actually needed it, and that was all it took. What I managed to conveniently overlook is that Jerome Dreyfuss bags are really heavy, and after a while, this one actually started messing up my back. If I carry it on one shoulder it’s fine,  but that’s kind of unwieldy, especially when walking the dog, which is a thrice-daily affair. Then this weekend, shlepping the dog and the bag around Nolita, I found the solution at Clare Vivier on Elizabeth Street. For those occasions when I don’t need to be carrying around much more than my wallet, phone, keys, and reading glasses, this classic suede pouch is very nearly perfect. It weighs next to nothing, and is big enough not to look wee, but small enough to keep you light on your feet. (That not-too-wee part is crucial: seriously mini bags don’t feel grown-up to me, especially if they’re in shapes you’re used to seeing at regular size, like hobos and satchels.) Here are a few other options, all with crossbody capabilities.


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Super-simple, deathly cheap.

lark and wolf

It’s not every day that you find a nice rich brown like this.

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Just the right amount of exterior stitching and not a touch more.


This little guy comes in navy and tan too.

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Black on one side, nude on the other: big fat crazy versatility all around.


Posted on April 7th, 2014 9 Comments

Capsule wardrobe: essential tops for spring

zara floral

And by essential I am speaking here of my essentials, based on a recent and highly scientific study of my closet. First up: something in a print that goes bang.

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An ethnic top with graphic black stitching against a white background—so good with an otherwise straightforwardly classic outfit.

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A just-so slouchy asymmetrical tee.

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A striped tee—natch.

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I own a slightly different version of this Helmut Lang top (mine’s several seasons old by now) and wear it so much it’s kind of gross.

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I’ve got various iterations of the popover—to borrow J. Crew’s term—in both black and white: they’re my version of the classic button down.  Some skew boho; others menswearish. All get worn endlessly.

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A little something in the girly and flowy department.


Posted on March 14th, 2014 18 Comments

I see I want

jesse randall

It’s not especially in my wheelhouse, but I became obsessed with the quilted leather bomber that Loeffler Randall’s Jesse Randall is wearing in this profile on Madewell’s blog the second I saw it.  It walks that classic/edgy line quite well, if you take the quilting to Barbour-type places in your head, which I do. It also seems like it’d be a good weight for early spring. Should spring ever actually come.

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The closest approximation I could find is this—which is Isabel Marant and a wonder to behold and probably too pricey even for Princess Week.

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This one’s a little more like it.


Posted on February 28th, 2014 10 Comments