Category Archives: style

an ode to the boring summer dress

summer dressThe heat has returned to New York–the stifling, oppressive kind that makes me regret all manner of social and professional obligation. It’s the only time of the year I thank god it takes my apartment five minutes to get hot water because bless it, I just want to sluice that sweet and cold NYC tap water all over my fetid body. So hot that I say fetid and absolutely mean it.

This is the part of the season where I pull out a dress of absolutely no style and commit to wearing it, sweating in it, and otherwise making it a second summer skin, abused and unappreciated, until the temperature drops to the point where I no longer sweat through absolutely everything.

The dress is intentionally Not That Cute. If it were particularly cute, I’d be precious about it, and to be precious about a summer dress is to have a dress I’ll never wear in the summer. The moment I hesitate at the thought of my slick, sweaty body occupying a lovely garment is the moment I put on a shitty t-shirt instead. Instead, the summer dress is boring and basic and probably more than a little unflattering. I put it on as soon as I get home, stripping off my bra and any other layers that do little more than create dams of sweat. Underboob sweat is real and awful but with the Right Dress, it’s a problem quickly dispatched: just use the fabric of the dress you don’t give a fig about it to wipe away the reminder that your body and its functions are largely out of your control and we’re all just animals walking on hind legs.

Why not just wear the shitty t-shirt?, you might find yourself saying, as you sit in your own small pool of sweat, your window air conditioner sputtering out a meager breeze that could only be described as cool-ish. A dress offers the fewest points of contact, and in this world of 90 degree heat, points of contact = friction = heat and what the hell do we need that for, besides more sweating? A waistband in the summer is a personal comfort hellscape. Wear a boring dress.

Shop the dress you’ll essentially use as a sweat rag at Joe Fresh

the best ballet flat

best ballet flatsBefore leaving for France, I ordered a new pair of ballet flats, crossing my fingers they wouldn’t completely tear up my heels or leave my feet sore after an hour of walking. It was a gamble, but I was desperate to have at least one cute pair of shoes on the trip. (Yes, athleisure is a thing now, a thing to which I do not subscribe).

If you bought Cece ballet flats from J.Crew a few years ago, you’re then familiar with the holy grail of comfortable, stylish flats. But you also probably know the current incarnation of the shoes is not the same. I still have my old pair, but they’re fuchsia and suede, and I just wanted a basic black because… Paris.

So let me introduce you to Cole Haan’s Avery Flat, currently on sale. It has the Cece bendiness, but not to the point where it cuts into your feet. The footbeds are ultra padded, and the split soles have rubber “pods.” In pointe shoe speak, these are Gaynor Mindens. The cadillac of ballet flats.

I won’t make any miraculous, exaggerated claims about a pair of shoes. But you will be able to walk clear across Paris in these, and that’s pretty good.

Shop: Cole Haan Avery Flat


kate spade charm braceletWhat is it about charm bracelets? I’ve been fascinated by them for years, ever since I found my mom’s own bracelet from the ’60s. It was a great chunky gold bracelet with so many good charms, like a scottie dog, the state of Indiana, and a sparkly letter M for Mary. The clasp was broken though, so I never wore the bracelet. Instead I just jealously hoarded it in my room.

My husband has apparently taken note of my charm bracelet obsession, because this year he gifted me one of my own. The charms are from Kate Spade, and I think it’s a brilliant intro on their part. I am part of the Pokemon generation, so I WILL collect them all. Bravo, Kate Spade, bravo; or as they say on the internet, shut up and take my money.

Kate Spade Link Charm Bracelet / Ladybug Charm / Initial Charm / Pearl Charm / Anchor Charm

what I wore in morocco

white morocco outfitHello, hello! We got back late last night from Morocco and I’m excited to share some of the highlights in the next week. I want to start from the beginning though, and that’s what I packed.

One thing I was very cognizant of while getting ready for this trip was the packing list. Morocco is a Muslim country, and while it’s Western-friendly, there’s something to be said for being respectful of another culture, and that means dressing appropriately. I never bared my shoulders and I only wore long skirts and pants. I was never harassed. I have no doubt traveling with my husband contributed to this fact, but I think dressing modestly helped a ton too.

grey and black morocco outfitThe heat may seem prohibitive to this type of dressing, but there’s very little humidity, so with good hydration and taking breaks in the shade, I never felt oppressively hot. Plus, at night it does get cool, so having at least one top with long sleeves is wise.

Of course, some tourists and local Moroccan women dress in clothes I would normally wear in summer weather: short shorts, tank tops, and shorter dresses. I have no idea if they were treated any differently, but they did stick out. But absolutely no one dressed this way in the more rural towns.

In addition to wanting to dress conservatively, I wanted to pack as little as I could. It was an 11 day trip, but I knew I’d bring back a lot from the souks (and I did). I’m really happy with what I packed in the end–everything got worn multiple times, nothing felt like dead weight. So below are a few tips, plus everything I put in my bag!

black and white morocco outfitStick to a Color Palette

This is such basic, normal advice, but critical to pulling off longterm dressing with few items. Everything I wore was black, white, or grey. I did bring one colorful maxi dress with a matching pink cardigan for dress-up nights (used twice), but otherwise, all of my daytime clothes shared a color palette. Dressing just became a matter of “when did I last wear this piece?” rather than “what goes with this?” Everything went together.

Embrace Natural Fibers

Again, this isn’t earth shattering, but it’s the difference between pitted-out tops and ones that can be rinsed and dried without an odor. All of my tops were cotton, so while I definitely got sweaty some days, my tops didn’t hang onto odor.

Think Drapey and Flowy (and Gauzy)

Yes, those are words now. I never thought I could get with drapey pants, but they were my favorite thing to wear on the trip. Mine were linen–very comfortable and the black was low maintenance. And non-fitted tops felt cool while being a bit more modest.

Below are my essentials for the trip. Just add in a favorite maxi dress and cardigan if you plan to have any fancy dinners–I highly recommend La Mamounia!

morocco packing list

{Everlane Cotton U-Neck in WhiteJ.Crew Bar-Stripe TeeEverlane Cotton U-Neck in BlackJ.Crew Pom-Pom TunicJ.Crew Keeper Chambray ShirtTory Burch Kerrigton Mini ShopperZara Drawstring Loose Fit TrousersJ.Crew Maxiskirt in StripeFrame Denim Le Garcon JeanJack Rogers Navajo FlatsTory Burch Espadrille Flats}

leith clark for warby parker

leith clark for warby parkergreta-optical-crystal wednesday-sun-noir

It’s perhaps time for me to trade in my lilac glasses–Leith Clark for Warby Parker is here. The collection epitomizes Leith’s girly cool look and includes both optical and sunglasses. A percentage of each sale will go to Girl Up, a UN campaign that helps American girls raise awareness and funds for UN programs. And as always, for every pair sold another pair goes to someone in need.

My Leith Clark love runs deep. She styles Michelle Williams, Keira Knightley, and Kirsten Dunst and founded Lula magazine–completely perfecting the modern gamine.

The only lingering question for me is tortoise shell or mother of pearl.

{Aurora in Daughter of Pearl / Greta in Crystal / Wednesday in Noir – All Warby Parker}