Posts Tagged ‘madewell’
Here is precisely why I always say not to judge all synthetics too harshly: this tee, which right off the rack looks slouchy and chic and perfectly broken-in, like you’ve had it for years. It’s 100% rayon and you would never, ever know.
One of the most overdone fashion magazine stories in the history of fashion magazine stories—and one they’ll just keep running, because we just keep eating it up—is the Fashion Uniforms story. There are women for whom clothes are a canvas, and every day is a fresh opportunity to Create anew—and that is fabulous and a gift; it is. But the notion of getting it all down to a science is vastly appealing to a lot of us. And not because we don’t love clothes or getting dressed any less, but because we want to be able to put our finger on a look—or even just a set of pieces—that we can say is identifiably ours. And to return comfortably to this as home base, even if we wander (and, in fact, precisely because we do wander). I definitely have a uniform—more now than ever, probably, although I would be hard pressed to name it. And it’s absolutely centered around a handful of essential pieces, although I could never have predicted which ones those would turn out to be. Do any of you remember last June when I asked whether you thought this Nili Lotan top was worth $285? Reactions were mixed, and when I visited the store to check it out for myself, I decided it wasn’t even close. Then, on my visit to LA in January, I came across it in black, marked down 30%. I wear it endlessly. Here it is, also on sale.
Madewell makes a lot of their tees with linen and—as I have said before—I can not say enough good things about this. They wear and hang so well, and much better if you hand wash them (possibly you have noted by now that I’m a touch obsessive on the topic of hand washing favorite t-shirts). This stripey one is in such regular rotation that it’s slightly embarrassing.
I love a nice wraparound sweater, and own enough to outfit a small dance company. If I wasn’t holding myself to an indefinite embargo on buying more, I’d definitely go for this little number from Alternative Apparel, because it’s just $68 and lightweight cotton and would layer so well.
This is the season that I walk away from skinny jeans with my head held high: more power to those who can still occupy that space, but I can’t take the jeggings-ness of it all anymore. I’ve transitioned to the slouchy skinny jean, which is a different beast entirely. Check out this pair from J Brand. They’ve got a boyfriend shape, but then taper, which is so much more flattering. And I continue to like J. Crew’s toothpick jean, but sized up—for that all-important slouch.
I thought you guys would make all sorts of diaper load jokes when I bought these R13 crossover jeans, but you were actually rather supportive. Even I had my doubts, but these are so flattering that a dear friend who came over for dinner not long ago made me change out of them so she could try them on, and then grabbed my laptop and ordered herself a pair on the spot.
These Zara trousers are a nice spring-weight alternative to those, and mighty cheaper too. Although it’s always a crapshoot with Zara and pants when it comes to sizing, lord knows.
Red clogs. I know. Nobody could have been more surprised than me. They’ve been sitting in my closet since the nineties, I’m pretty sure, and have rarely gone farther than around the block for milk, but suddenly I think they’re the shit. Go figure.
Big hoops for going out to lunch or a party. I have a nice gold pair, but live in fear one will fall out and I won’t notice until later, so usually they stay home and I wear a dirt cheap pair like these instead.
Spring can be an awfully frustrating time in here New York: it used to arrive in April, but now takes its lazy-ass time, popping in once or twice for a quick hello but not quite settling in until May. At which point we get two or three weeks of idyllic, balmy weather and then there’s a sort of universal: It’s Memorial Day already? I’ve been dealing with the lag by deciding that if it can’t be sunny and 73 degrees outside, then I will simply make pretend, and blog as though it is. This approach, as it turns out, has not been universally embraced. “Please, no more breezy patterned frocks when it is so freaking cold,” a beloved (and usually quite supportive) friend implored the other day. “Have you even been outside this week?” She requested some in-between season wear, which is no problem by me: I could show middle-weight jackets and flowy sweaters till the cows come home. Especially dark ones, because that’s what I live in most of the time anyway—the prints and the brights serve as punctuation, and all of them work with everything here. This super-smart take on the stadium jacket, for instance, is so clean that you could have all sorts of bright, printy fun with a scarf and top and still look crisp as hell.
I love, love, love a lightweight, shrunken leather bomber. Especially one as minimal as this: they often work well on those of us who swear we can’t get away with leather jackets, and—hear me out—if the fit is snug enough, you can even wear it with dresses, as you would a cardigan.
Here’s a not-dissimilar vegan version for under $100—the quilted business might not be for everyone, but it’s kind of fun and unexpected. And it keeps a quite simple jacket from looking too simple.
Drapey sweaters in a variety of weights are what make my world go around in all weather, and this is as whisper-fine a layer as you’re likely to find; perfect for wearing over a tee or tank, but light enough to even slide on under a blazer for a little pop of cool.
Cocoon cardigans are such a (surprisingly) flattering shape, and if you get a lightweight one like this, you’re looking at a yet another perfect layering piece, one that is particularly cute over a long-sleeved tee.
Were I not to have one or two slightly-inferior-but-close-enough versions of this genius VPL cardigan wrap sweater in my closet already, I’d be having a hard time talking myself out of it. This is exactly the kind of piece—elegantly draped and desperately comfortable—that was made for wearing on long plane flights when you want to look reasonably stylish upon arrival.
A lot the Northeast wasn’t so lucky—and my heart goes out to those who got smacked this weekend—but I’m feeling quite grateful that the Blizzard of the Century decided to give New York City a pass on Friday night. Saturday morning was nothing but clear, bright skies, (mostly) shoveled sidewalks, and the kind of lightly giddy mood on the streets that comes from knowing that a bullet was dodged. The neighborhood was full of tourists gamely mucking about, kids playing in Abingdon Square Park’s relatively-unsullied milli-acre of snow, and, of course—in this, the most doggie-dense area of town—a thousand pooches frolicking in the snowbanks. At any given moment, at least half of them could be counted upon to be wearing Pawz, disposable little balloon-shaped rubber booties that protect from the rather ouchy effects of salt on their vulnerable little paws. Pawz are a bitch to get on—somewhat like trying to fit four little condoms on somebody who doesn’t understand there’s an upside to wearing them—but they get the job done. And although the matchy-matchy look here wasn’t intentional, is there any denying that Sammy looks boss?
BTW: when the snow gets half-slushy and it’s time to pull out your serious mucking-about boots, consider reaching for your favorite cropped jeans too. They’re just the right length to not get all bunchy when you pull socks over them, and just in general keep things on the smoother side. File that one under Counterintuitive But True.
By Sunday afternoon, I realized I hadn’t actually left my neighborhood since Tuesday. This is a surprisingly easy thing to do in New York if it’s winter, and your universe involves Fresh Direct, working at home, and at least one nearby cafe that you can treat as a second living room. Still, this was a troubling thought. As was the realization that I couldn’t recall the last time I’d had one of my little city shopping rambles. The sun was out, but it wouldn’t be for long, so I decked Sammy out in his Pawz and off we went. The first stop was APC on West 4th Street where, rather predictably, I was drawn immediately to this blue leopard print parka. I communed with it for a few moments, and then moved on. As one does with items that have a certain appeal that can not be denied, but are bat shit crazy nevertheless.
Way, way more real-world tempting was this canvas and leather tote with an unbelievably good dot print that almost reads like tweed—you really have to go to the site and zoom in to get a good sense of the scope of its excellence. If I still worked in an office I would be all over it.
As it is, I’ll probably just get the tee.
What I really found myself flipping out over, however, were these amazing quilts—all of which were made in India with archival APC fabrics. This one with the yellow and light, light brown has nothing to do with the rest of my home, but I want it desperately.
I like how this one’s design is somewhat like a traditional quilt’s, but then again totally isn’t.
Then it was off to lower Fifth Avenue—not the most thrilling destination, but the most convenient for somebody who’d gotten a late start and was traveling by foot and with dog. I popped in to J. Crew, but somebody had majorly flipped the switch on Springtime in there—it was Liberty schoolboy blazers and lilac-hued cashmere sweaters as far as the eye could see. I’d be back, of course. The lower Fifth Avenue J Crew is one of the great constants of my life.
Madewell was in more of a transitional mode: I want this this chevron-print peasant blouse madly, even though the neck is a bit high for me. There is always the possibility of wearing it backward, with the button unsnapped and the label cut out, a trick I’ve employed more than once. Also, it is just as—if differently—cute in the red.
I wasn’t in a dessing room mood but when I am, I will be back for these swing tees, which seem to be just about the right length, have a nice slouchiness, and are super-soft. Also, that’s just a great blue.
Couldn’t one almost frame this safari scarf and use it to decorate a child’s bedroom or something?
My next—and final—stop before home was West Elm, because I am desperate to find new side tables for my living room sofa. And can I just say? That maybe it’s just me, and maybe it’s just because it’s always so mobbed on the weekends when I go, and maybe it’s just the weird feng shui of that 18th Street store, but I can never really shop at West Elm. I’m fully prepared for the problem to just be me, by the way. And because I do actually like West Elm’s stuff, I think I need to hit up their big Brooklyn store. Another day.
It is a testimony to just how much the elements have been bringing all of us down here in New York that when a friend referred to the weather outside today as “glorious,” I knew what she meant, even though the sun was nowhere to be found. It was just one of those days that usually don’t come along until February if you’re lucky; days that tease spring with balmy air and temperatures high enough that you can stuff your scarf and gloves in your bag and feel almost human again. My self-appointed duty this afternoon was to look for basic, long-sleeved black tees to replace my old ones, which are truly dead and busted. But instead, I decided to seek these out: striped tees that aren’t like all the other striped tees, and that you don’t have to wait until April to work into your wardrobe. Like this multistriped number from Madewell, which is made so chic by that unexpected drop shoulder.
Sometimes I feel I am a bit too hard on Isabel Marant. Yes, this red, white, and blue top is pricey, but it is so dead-on cool that I can hardly bear it.
I have been circling this R13 diagonal-striped tee for quite some time now. It’s the perfect example of a striped top that works all year round, and is soft as the day is long.
The particular pattern of these stripes feels so excellently Peter Brady.
Stripes and ethnic flourishes on the same top: almost too much to bear.
Part of me thinks these look like a very bad little boy went to town with a Sharpie on mommy’s best snake print shoes.
And part of me thinks they’re the kind of crazy that somehow, oddly, works. Thoughts?
I never, ever allow myself, but they always seem so cheering.
Glitter. It’s a lot, I know. And it comes off in your hands and on your clothes. And a little goes a long way. But still: these pumps are on the cute side, no?
And how about this J Crew pair? Which is just a bit tamer?
Maybe you’d consider a simple skinny little belt.
Or choose to punctuate an evening outfit with a smart little clutch, like this.
Or possibly, you might just say to hell with settling for only the simplest dash of drama, and go out and get yourself a pair of super-tight, glittery-ass jeans.
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. Now I just make sure I’ve got a few knockout tops on standby—ones that I can pair with everything from jeans to a skirt to trousers depending on a given event’s fanciness level—and I’ve got wardrobe solutions for days.
A party in a top is the kind that brings just a bit more excitement to the proceedings than your typical top might. The people of J. Crew, loving a sequin as they do, are particularly good at turning them out. This striped tee is just about as restrained a treatment of sequins as you’re likely to find.
Allsaints is all about the sequined party in a top too, but they don’t particularly share the Crew’s affection for restraint. And what I like all their pieces is that—like this one—they’re all quite floaty and comfortable. Plus, the sequins are more muted than they come off in this picture, so you don’t look all disco ball.
There’s nothing more fun than wearing a lace party in a top all fun and contrasty with jeans and a leather jacket. But it also cleans up really nice when you need it to.
There are few things more acutely party in a top than a super-sheer blouse layered over a black cami.
When the conversation turns to parties in a top, more beading is definitely more.
Which is not to say that subtle black-on-black beading doesn’t have its charms.
A party in a top should, occasionally, look somewhat literally like a party in a top.
One way to still wear minidresses well after the moment in life when you’ve told yourself you can’t wear minidresses anymore: throw them on with leggings or the skinniest black jeans. I want this beaded Mara Hoffman tunic dress so much it almost hurts. With the black and white and tiny bit of pink, just like I like.
This look works best with a shift shape and long sleeves. How nuts you go with the print is entirely up to you.
I like the idea of this all layer-y, with a long sleeved tee poking out underneath.