wardrobe workhorse: one skirt four ways

one skirt four ways
Who would’ve thought a little white skirt could be so versatile?  This cameleon goes from spring to fall, weekend day to dinner party, in the blink of an eye.  I’d wear it now with tall boots, a bomber jacket and a cable knit sweater!

Rag Bone short sleeve crew neck t

Torn by Ronny Kobo skirt

What to Wear: The Ambiguously Worded Invitation Edition

What to Wear

We’ve all received one.  The invitation to a birthday party, benefit, or holiday soiree with a cleverly worded dress code that leaves you confused and clueless?  I’ll never forget the first time I encountered one.   I was a college junior dating a man who had graduated, and we’d been invited to a dinner party where the invitation read “casual chic.”  As a student, the chicest things I owned were my grandmother’s pearls that I wore with an over-sized grey Champion sweatshirt baring my sorority letters (oftentimes with a peter pan collared blouse underneath – yikes) and the houndstooth blazer I had purchased for a summer internship interview.  Somehow I knew neither would work but I had no idea which direction to go.  I still remember what I ended up buying – a simple black shift, black pumps and a fuchsia blazer (and yes I wore the pearls).  The outfit was safe and I blended in with women ages twenty to seventy, but wow was it B-O-R-I-N-G.

Therein lies the problem: nebulous wording such as “casual chic” or “holiday festive” scares you into dressing like a sartorial wallflower.  Or even worse you end up guessing completely wrong.  As one friend commented, “what if you show up biker bad-ass to country club casual?”

Having a few decades of parties under my belt now, I’ve adopted a formula that seems to work fairly well and helps me avoid making the “what are you wearing?” call to the hostess.  If the event in question could lean either casual or dressy, I’ll base the outfit in classic pieces like a trim blazer and velvet pointy toe pumps and finish with more modern elements like leather pants and a chunky crystal necklace.  This not only helps create a balance between dressy and casual, but it also injects a healthy dose of personality into the look.

And if you have an occasion you know will be dressy but you are unsure of how dressy?  Always skew to the most formal level you think possible.  Trust me when I say being over-dressed is a far better fate.  The invitation to the benefit my husband and I are attending this weekend reads “cocktail attire: Hollywood Glamour encouraged”.  Old Hollywood?  New Hollywood?  Left of Audrey?  Right of Marilyn?  The possibilities are endless.  Just please no Kims or Chloes.

fall cravings

fall craving - leather leggings

Cream cable knit sweater

Isabel Marant smock top

Valentino studded sandals

Isabel Marant earrings

Silk shawl

What to Pack: Seaside Retreat

What to Pack: Seaside Retreat
My thoughts have turned to the ideal warm weather vacation wardrobe as our family has an oceanside trip on the horizon.  I love this palette of sea green, mist grey, sunshine yellow, and ocean blue.  White is the quintessential neutral for summer, so packing go-with-everything white denim is a must.  The striped oxford does double duty as a sexy, bum grazing coverup and as a top for the cut-offs or the jeans.  The straw bag easily transitions from beach to town, though a more elegant clutch is in order for a night out.  Gold jewelry looks amazing against sun-kissed skin and it mixes and matches with all of the clothes, including the bikini.  And what’s vacation without a little lingerie thrown in?  It takes up very little room, after all.

Emamó slip dress

Jenny Packham sheer slip

Current/Elliott stretch denim shorts
$200 – net-a-porter.com

Mar Y Sol tote handbag

Bex Rox necklace

Yves Saint Laurent cuff jewelry
$285 – net-a-porter.com

BLANK stone necklace

What to Wear

April in Paris


During this season of gusty winds and unexpected rain showers, take a fashion cue from Nine d’Urso, the chic young daughter of Parisian style icon and author Ines de la Fressange, and invest in a wear-forever trench.  Rain or shine, a trench works beautifully with everything from denim to dresses and instantly makes you feel pulled together.


French singer and Bob Dylan muse, Francoise Hardy.


American Francophile Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.


Style blogger, Ahn, of 9 to 5 Chic.


Emmanuelle Alt, Vogue Paris fashion director.

My absolute sartorial crush, fashion editor Giovanna Battaglia, wearing a gorgeous but wildly impractical green leather Valentino trench. She will definitely need the umbrella should April showers arise!

Collage Items:

Saturday Styling

Saturday Styling

Most women fondly remember the shopping trips we took with our mothers to pick out Easter dresses each spring.  It is still great fun!  Using the Hermes scarf as inspiration for the color palette, I pulled the crocus purple and daffodil yellow as a nod to the beautiful bulbs blooming everywhere this season.  The scarf would be gorgeous as an obi-style sash cinching the waist of the yellow dress or tied around a sleek ponytail in either outfit.  Or my favorite way, knotted nonchalantly around a handle of the bag.

Saturday Styling

seeing green

Saturday Styling

Spring Layers

Transitioning your wardrobe from winter into spring is difficult.  We’ve all tired of dark colors, heavy sweaters, and tall boots but the proverbial March lion continues to roar.  The key is to bundle up in light layers that can be added and removed as the temperature fluctuates.  Pull out your light knits, silk blouses, and gauzy scarves in spring inspired hues, and top it all off with a fabulous leather jacket and colorful accessories.

J Crew crew shirt, $168
J Crew j crew sweater, $268
Rick owens jacket, $2,510
Hudson Jeans embellished jeans, £200
White jeans, $80
H&M flat shoes, £7.99
Rag & bone grey boots, $495
Duffel bag, $950
Chloé summer tote, £1,545
Yves Saint Laurent gold plated jewelry, $695
Monica Vinader pendant, £65
Waxing Poetic rope jewelry, $62
Mulberry chunky bangle, $320
Alexander McQueen skull scarve, £319
Dorothy Perkins green scarve, $17

Nautical Chic

nautical chic

I have great affection for the open water.  Its influences can be seen in both my home and closet, where the colors of ocean, lake, sand and dune dominate.  The outfits above were inspired by my recent trip to the sea, but adjusted for our current cooler climate.  I love the idea of mixing and matching everything, and then swapping out the leather pants and dark jeans with white denim, casually rolled or patterned shorts, and breezy skirts when the weather breaks.

Rag bone short sleeve cotton shirt
Jil Sander fitted denim jacket
Armani Jeans fitted jacket
Hudson Jeans skinny fit jeans
Rag & bone mid rise jeans
Current/Elliott punk pants
Antik Batik embellished sandals
Giuseppe Zanotti peep toe shoes
J.Crew ballerina shoes
Proenza schouler bag
Yves Saint Laurent hobo handbag
Elizabeth Cole silver jewelry
Philip Crangi steel jewelry
Burberry Brit cashmere shawl
Club Monaco intarsia sweater