You could blame the recession. You could chalk it up to maturity. You could mention my new love affair with Ayn Rand and a corresponding appreciation of the marriage of form and function. You could even bring up my recent relocation to Bushwick, an industrial Brooklyn neighborhood, and draw a rather poetic parallel between a gritty, urban environment and sartorial utilitarianism.
Whatever the cause, I've purged my wardrobe of the esoteric, difficult-to-wear clothing I used to favor and have now turned my eye towards pieces that are sophisticated and streamlined enough to work in almost any setting, day or night, and that have the impeccable fit and quality construction to ensure holding up to their versatility.
(Side note: I suppose that a change of alias is in order; although I admire Cate Blanchett for her fearlessness not only in her acting but also in her fashion choices, hers is an example that I'm no longer going to follow. Celebrities have been boring me lately, so I'm at a loss: can anyone suggest one who typifies understated elegance with a touch of modern edge? Gwyneth Paltrow comes to mind, but I know how unpopular she is among the other contributers here (one in particular, whom I won't name)....)
Okay, that's enough rhetoric. On to the clothes:
I bought this dress at the beginning of the summer as a less costly version of a Theory dress I love but can't wear without living in the inescapable fear or spills and stains. I get way more milage out of this one, though: it can be dressed up, dressed down, and accessorized with such a vast possibility of shoes, belts, and jewelry that I'll never get bored of it. It's probably the hardest-working item in my closet right now.
Also, boys love a girl in a white dress. It's that combination of sweet and sexy, that union of Lolita and femme fatale, that does it for them. I posted a picture of myself in this dress on my MySpace, and not ten minutes later I received a text from a boy I went out with, like, three years ago praising its "beautiful simplicity" (and some other things I'm not inclined to repeat).
I tried this on the other day; I love the choice details like the pretty pintucked straps, unique racerback cut, and buttery cornflower blue silk. Unfortunately, I found the cut to be less sheath and more A-line in person, and the volume of it swallowed my figure. But, still, it's so lovely....
A simple t-shirt dress gets a healthy dose of cheek with cheery poppy-colored silk, a quirky side knot detail, and lots of leg.
I'm always on the hunt for a good cotton tank; whether thrown on with a pair of jeans or tucked into a high-waisted skirt, they're rapidly becoming my best-loved wardrobe staple. The heathered appearance of this one doesn't photograph too well, but it's better in person, and the deep scoopneck makes it extra-feminine and flattering.
Delman leather "Skyward" heels,
Delman's known for its legendary ballet flats, so these chunky heels are a surprising (but not unwelcome) digression. I'm sure the goes-with-everything saddle-colored leather is extra-rich in person....
Gap classic striped shirtdress,
I love the idea of femme-ing up an all-business cotton shirtdress with a pair of unapologetically sexy, sky-high, brightly hued sandals. These two, in lemon-yellow leather and gleaming cherry patent, certainly fit the bill:
BCBGMAXAZRIA "Lacey 2" slingback sandal,