It is What it is

It is What it is

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I’m not really moved by this dress, and I’m guessing you aren’t, either.  There’s not much to say about it: it’s navy blue, and it came from Nordstrom.  It’s so basic, I don’t remember who made it, and I can’t be bothered to check the tag.  That said, there is still a place for this kind of dress in my closet.  It is the perfect foil for accessories that pop, like my orange and gold pig’s trotter sandals by VC Signature by Vince Camuto that you have seen here before and this awesome Anya Hindmarch shoulder bag from several years ago.  Even though the bag is not new, it is right on the color block trend.  Finished with a new favorite wide belt from Lula Vintage Wear, the blank canvas dress is complete.

Unnaturally Beautiful

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This dress is very pretty and sort of on trend, thanks to the knife pleats.  I could see Betty Draper in this dress — the Betty Draper that was married to Don and subsisted on red wine and cigarettes.  Not the depressing Betty that’s married to the anal retent Henry Francis.  But I digress. 

Back to the dress.  It is lovely, but it highlights an issue with vintage clothing: acetate rayon.  Lots of it.  This dress looks great for summer, but some serious sweating will go down on a hot, soupy day like today.  This is not your picnic dress.  This is your over-air-conditioned-office dress.  No standing near open flames, either.  So stay in your office and move slowly and everything will be fine.

I was going to include a picture of Betty, but wouldn’t we all rather look at Don?

To Short or Not to Short?

In the last four days, I have had the same conversation with three different friends, which tells me that this burning question is on everyone’s mind: under what circumstances, if any, is it acceptable to wear shorts?  Now, I am talking about wearing shorts out in public amongst the masses.  If you are toiling in your back yard in your old, ratty shorts, I don’t care.  Also, shorts worn while working out get a free pass here.  Same goes for shorts at the beach.  Setting these carve outs aside, the question becomes should they ever be worn?

My friend JP says she was once told no self-respecting woman should be seen in shorts.  And, another friend, TH, says they are for working out only.  The contrarian, KN, says her 65 year-old mother kills it in shorts all summer long.  More power to mom.  As for me, I say no.  Except when I say yes.  If you are in my neighborhood, you might see me in shorts walking the hounds, and the other day, I wore shorts to take those darlings to the vet.  I am not proud of this, but I did it, and I have to own it.  (Can you tell that I was always the kid who confessed before she got caught?  And I am not even Catholic.)

Maybe I want to wear shorts because they epitomize the easy, beach living that I once had and would kill for again.  Look at me in these pics from my youth in Jamaica.  Sure beats Lawyers, Inc.  Maybe it’s just because they are so dang easy to throw on.  (They also do not blow up over your head on a windy day, as yesterday’s water color dress did in full view of everyone.)  Either way, I know they’re not right for me anymore.

I’m not the only one thinking about shorts.  Check out the dude in his short suit, captured by Bill Cunningham for the NYTimes.  I don’t like it, and I don’t want to see it here, but wouldn’t it be amazing to see a man dressed in something other than Dockers?

So, taking a page from TMZ, I have to ask:

Got Corn?

Garden party belt.

99% of all Cornhuskers approve of this dress.

I don’t think there are adequate words in the English language to convey my love for this girly dress.  No one has ever accused me of being afraid of color, and this dress makes the point.  It certainly stuck out in a sea of navy and black at the Lawyers, Inc., partner meeting this morning.  No, I was not ejected.  Someone had to pour the coffee.

I also love it when there is a story that goes with the outfit.  That’s probably obvious by now.  I scored this dress in an awesome vintage store in (wait for it) … Lincoln, Nebraska, while we were there for a two week arbitration in March.  I had noticed the store, Ruby Begonias, during one of my 300+ trips to the Starbucks by our hotel.  (To call its storefront unimposing is to be the master of understatement, as the picture at shows.  Do not be fooled.  The basement of that place is chock-a-block with great clothes.)  Since there is almost no personal time during trial, I was thrilled when one day we wrapped up a bit early.  I dashed to Ruby Begonias, and, in the 20 minutes before it closed, I found, tried on, and bought this dress (1960s “watercolor dress,” per the tag) AND a spectacular 1950ish party dress, complete with crinoline!

Today I am wearing the watercolor dress with a taupe, patent leather belt from JCrew and a fresh vintage flower pin from my favorite Twin Cities vintage spot.  I feel like the JCrew belt anchors the dress and makes it less garden party-like.  There is a very cool self belt; so cool that I schlepped it in today so you could see it.  It will come in handy at my next garden party.

Subversive Pants

How you like me now?

For the first time since this blog began, I am wearing pants.  Not just any pants — kelly green pants!  (You can see them hanging in my closet above, although there they look like they look like knee shorts.)  Even though bright pants are tres chic for Spring/Summer, they still sort of feel like the sartorial equivalent of the middle finger.  In other words, they feel awesome!

The trickier part is what to wear with kelly green pants.  Whatever you pair with them has to take a back seat to their in-your-face greenness.  I went with a very basic, black twin set and these old Donald J. Pliner shoes.  There may be nothing that bores me more than a twin set, but I think it is ok here.  At least I am not wearing pearls.

ShopStyle has tons of bright pants. 

I got these bad boys at J.Crew, and they appear to still be available.

Now, before you jump all over me about wearing capris, given my prior diatribe against them, I ordered these in Tall, so they are more ankle pant-like.  Deal with it.

Anonymous Fabulosity

Who am I?

It’s a good thing none of the Big Partners at Lawyers, Inc., read this blog because I am about to make a shocking confession.  (Not only do they not read it, they don’t know who I am, which was proven again yesterday when one such BP kept asking me questions that made no sense.  Mystery solved: he thought I was another lawyer at Inc., who, by the way, looks nothing like me. )

Back to the confession: sometimes I’m not excited to come into the office.  I need motivation beyond the pure joy of billing time.  Today, I found that motivation in my closet.  The genius of this vintage dress is that, depending on how you style it, it can be worn day or night.  It is semi-sheer, so it is perfect for a steamy day like today.  The right undergarments are a must, so let me take this opportunity to turn you on the world’s greatest half-slip by Commando.  The name alone is reason enough to buy it, but it is also brilliant under sheer or close-fitting clothing.

I have also rocked this dress for a dinner party, with a black full-slip and black patent belt and pumps.  Plus some bling, the antidote to anonymity.

Knife Pleats

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Isn’t it interesting how trends recycle?  Take this dress from the 50s.  It has these great knife pleats, which were on trend again for Spring this year.

The neckline and buttons on the dress make a necklace impossible, at least as far as I can see.  Instead, I’m wearing an awesome bangle from StyledLife, an ancient jeans belt from Ann Taylor (a place I don’t think I have set foot in in over 10 years), and my favorite Marni sandals, which I bought in NYC years ago during a weekend break for a trial in Connecticut.  I love a sturdy high heel.

A word about the location for today’s and yesterday’s photos.  As the photographer for both pics remarked today, “There’s a lot going on.”  And she wasn’t talking about the dress.  All I can say is never trust a lawyer with a clean office.  And a nod to an awesome French guy (is there any other kind of French guy?), Eric Ripert, who graces my PC in the background.

Mod Monday

It is super steamy out today, so kindly disregard my hair.  Not surprisingly, I am wearing a vintage dress.  At one point, I knew its era, but now I would have to guess late 50s-early 60s.  I love the dress, not only for its comfort, but also because it looks a lot like dresses my mom used to wear.  And, because it is from JCPenney (yes, it is), it is also a dress that she might have actually bought and worn.  We always got the JCPenney catalogue on the farm growing up.  (That and Sears and Montgomery Wards.  Kind of sad.)  Enough about the dress.  Can I get a hell yeah on the belt?!  This spectacular 70s belt is what makes this Monday a Mod Monday.  Multi-colored and chained-linked, the belt epitomizes the 70s.  Free love, people!

Feeling groovy.

Reality Check

We are here to pump you up.

Yesterday’s post has been bothering me, and now I know why. Do you see any resemblance between these two pics?  Compare my belted look from yesterday to Franz’s sweatshirt and weight belt look. Disturbing. Both looks involve significant BUNCHING at the waist, which was really not the look I was going for.  I can’t speak for Franz. There’s no better reality check than a close-up shot of your waistline.  Still love the belt, though (mine, not Franz’s).

Red skirt. No bunching.

Today’s look does not involve bunching, thank goodness.  It is fairly nondescript, but not bad for casual Friday.  A fun red skirt from Nordstrom paired with a seriously old knit top I think I picked up in Fargo, of all places.  The top has a pretty deep v-neck for Lawyer Land, Inc., so I have filled it with chunky necklaces from StyledLife. 

Have a great weekend, people.  If I bust a spectacular look over the weekend, I’ll try to remember to take a pic.

The New LBD: the Little Blue Dress

Let’s face it.  No one has described anything worn by me as “little” since, well, never.  But, the idea of the LBD still works for this navy blue Tory Burch dress.  It’s a basic dress that can change a lot depending on the accessories, and it can be worn in any number of situations.  And, if you had to, you could throw it on plain vanilla style and run out the door.  Here, I’ve paired it with a smashing vintage belt (in orange, what a surprise), which I would guess is from the 80s.  I’m wearing it with a jean jacket today since it is cool and rainy, but I took the jacket off in one of the pics so you can get the full effect of the dress. 

The LBD is from several years ago, but Tory Burch currently has lots of great dresses, including a new LBD.

My necklace is from StyledLife.  I can’t remember the designer, but StyledLife has so many great necklaces (including pristine vintage) to pick from.  They also have a pretty cool promotion going on now, so you’ll get a discount.

Shoes by Chie Mihara, again from a number of years ago.  Check out the current selection on ShopStyle.