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Archive for April, 2013

Preaching to the choir

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Every time I put together a post on plus size clothes—like this one on spring dresses—I am amazed afresh at how completely the apparel industry is blowing an opportunity. Why is there this mass misconception that every woman over size 12 just magically ceases to care about fit, style, and quality? The mind reels. Please, plus size ladies, if I’m missing any good resources, send them my way. Help me work harder to serve you better. Meanwhile: as I’ve stated before, my most important criteria when evaluating pieces for this category is to select only items that I would absolutely wear myself—not just pieces I think are good—for plus size. And I can say without reservation that I would die for this floral  confection. It may look intimidatingly body-con at first, but all that strategic ruching provides brilliant camouflage for lumpy bits.

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Another floral, this one with with more daytime potential and a little more breathing room.

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The print on this waisted, retroish dress feels like a kind of geometric/art nouveau hybrid, which shouldn’t especially work, but really kind of does. And the pops of lavender keep things fun.


I’m not typically a big fan of the maxi, but this works for me: there’s not an excess of volume, and the way the print fades out toward the bottom keeps it from coming off too loud.


This scarf print is probably completely insane, but it amuses me. And I like that it’s kind of arbitrary and and fashiony, because you don’t get a whole lot of that in this category.


A nice, diaphanous cowl neck dress is easy and simple and hard not to love. And the sophisticated print keeps things from getting too sweet.

Posted on April 30th, 2013 27 Comments

Anatomy of a core wardrobe: Part 2


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Several winters ago, on a Sunday night so frigid that under normal circumstances nothing would have made me leave the house, I traveled to the farthest reaches of the Upper East Side for an impromptu dinner party. It was at the home of a friend’s recently deceased godmother—a fearsome/beloved fashion world eminence of whom there are a very few each generation;  a woman for whom scholarships are named, and short documentaries are made. My friend was having people over to pay tribute to her famously  sprawling Park Avenue duplex—and by extension, the woman herself—before movers came the next day. The evening was memorable in many ways, and highly instructive in one. Most of the woman’s important clothes had already been sent off to the Costume Institute, so there wasn’t much to see in the way of flash. But my friend directed me to an unassuming-looking hall closet, and when I opened the door, I saw something truly amazing. One long rack of  no less than forty versions of the same exact quite simple shift dress, executed in every fabrication and color you can imagine: cotton, silk, tropical wool and charmeuse, houndstooth, black, fuchsia, and simple dove grey.  Here is what she wore for the last decade or two of her (very long) working life: pretty the exact same thing, every day. This discovery overjoyed me, and whenever I feel like I should be taking more and bigger chances with my wardrobe, I think of that closet, and that woman, who knew exactly who she was.  And it is in that spirit that I present my second installment of the things I wear all of the time—but sadly, do not have in multiples. I’ve extolled the virtues of the Clare Vivier messenger bag on more than one occasion, and I’m very fond of this tote shape, too. And of the blue and the black, which is an unstoppable combination always.


A slouchy black dress with just a little bit of something unexpected going on never lets me down. And I love the sleeve length here—just a couple of extra inches throw a lot more sophistication  into the whole enterprise.


Tops with some interesting drape to them are a cornerstone of my wardrobe—because they’re cool, but also of course, because of their superior powers to camouflage one’s less desirable spots gracefully. I’ve got a Helmut Lang top from another season that’s very much like—but not identical to— this one, and I wear it so much I hate when it’s time to send it to the dry cleaner.

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A V-neck cashmere cardigan, and a companion super-lightweight cotton version. They make a nice counterpoint to all the drapey asymmetry of my favorite tops, and do so without creating too much bulk.


The jacket that makes the outfit interesting.

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Walkable platforms—inevitably quite 70s-inspired in design, although that’s never really a conscious choice.

Posted on April 29th, 2013 13 Comments

Monday links

2013 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

  • So many famous faces at the White House Correspondents Dinner! Here’s who wore what. I do like our girl Julia Louis Dreyfus in a purple. (The Cut)
  • Also: the president got off some pretty good lines. Watch here. (Slate)
  • I never tire of  seeing what people in the past thought the future would look like. Here are a number of rather interesting—and some quite prescient—predictions for the future of newspapers.  (Smithsonian)
  • RIP to Mary Thom, author, early Ms magazine editor and all-around big deal feminist of the second wave. Thom died as she apparently lived, on her beloved motorcycle, and sounds like she was just all-around badass. (NY Times)
  • Really quite unfortunate sex sex conditions.  (The Stir)
Posted on April 29th, 2013 4 Comments

Bag heaven

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I’m not quite certain how Roztayger—an e commerce site devoted entirely to bags—escaped my notice for so long. And I’m also not entirely certain it’s a good thing I finally discovered it, because I want pretty much every piece in its small, well-edited selection. They’ve got familiar names like Clare Vivier and Utility Canvas, but a lot of new ones too, like  Meli Melo, Ro, and Frrry. The selection is on the clean and utilitarian side (lots of totes and cross-body bags) hardware is kept to a minimum, and there is nary a logo in sight. But in no way does that equal boring: could you die for this quite polished—but simultaneously deeply cool—little number?

Posted on April 29th, 2013 3 Comments

Department of: things that couldn’t be any prettier

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Were one to set a whole table with it, the new butterfly-themed dinnerware collection from Christian Lacroix might come off a touch too Lady’s Auxiliary. But I love the idea of buying just one piece of it—like, say, this dessert plate—and then deploying it as the most spectacular butter dish ever.   

Posted on April 28th, 2013 4 Comments

Friday links

this is punk

Posted on April 26th, 2013 2 Comments