As far as the seasons go, my friend Krissy says the socks are off — but the stakes are still too temperate to settle into the jacuzzi completely, so during the famed liminal season of neither here nor there, uniform not yet established, template not yet secured, when every day is like Adam Sandler’s life in 50 First Dates between us and our closets, here are 3 styling principles, informed by 3 heroes, that can help you start rooting. The first hero is:
(The alliteration missing above is: “From plates to pleats.”)
1. A pair of red shoes
The easiest uniforms to sink into this time of year are often full to the brim of basics — you got your jeans, your white shirt, your trench coat, your classic bag, your panoply of black, white, grey, and blue separates, and you look perfectly fine but sense that there is an edge missing, something rough to indicate that you understand the rules but by no means adhere to them obediently.
What I have noticed the past bunch of weeks is that red slippers or sandals (any form of flat that suits you best) have done a really good job of adding a bit of life to any look that reads too beige (it’s the dark side of quiet luxury!) or boring.
Here, for example, you’ve got a solid look on your hands — perfect for the precise transition that demarcates cold mornings from toasty afternoons what with a trench coat that you will inconveniently have to carry once the sun reaches peak high, but which you will stomach regardless because you’re wearing something great under it. Any shoe could conceivably work, but the red is like lemony salt on a tomato salad. It just makes it better, you know?
Interpreted another way, you can also exterminate the big nautical energy of a blue/white combo by adding red slippers like-a-this:
These, in particular, have become a blanket hero of the season — they are a great complimenting agent to heavy pants, baggy pants, voluminous dresses, or Bermuda shorts.
I’m going to get into it in a mesh slipper deep dive soon but if you’re going to get a pair of red shoes to accommodate this unit number, I recommend you go for a glove-style flat like this, or a pair of classic, rubber bottom flip flops like these.
The latter are an easy, unexpected, inexpensive (except if they’re The Row, lol), and surprisingly cool foil to a more dressed-up look.
(I can also get behind something more adventurous, like these.)
This next one is kind of like a two-for-one because the red shoes are present, but they’re not the point. The point, really, is two-fold.
2. Kooky sunglasses
The task order here is to create a style contradiction with your face by pairing kooky sunglasses with classic jewelry.
The guidelines on getting this right really don’t have to concern your outfit — you can be wearing something more put-together or a look that is highly practical like the above but one thing I’ll mention about the specifics of the look before we get into the facial pairing is that playing with material ratios has been helpful lately.
So if I’m wearing a “heavy” bottom, like the above pants (you can consider any pants that serve the same get-down-and-dirty purpose as jeans “heavy bottom” in the warmer months), I prefer a lightweight top — could mean a tank top, could also mean something precious and delicate and dramatic like this.
Another example you could imagine would reverse the light and heavy, like this:
With an organza skirt that has a lacy texture on the sides and the spring equivalent of last winter’s fishermen's knit.
As far as shoes for the above, you are going to want to go for something on a wide last (like these fisherman shoes from Grenson, or these sandals from Soeur) or something that is barely there with a knee-length something — both kinds of shoes do the best thing for your lower legs. But before I end this digression:
One more look! At the look in motion. Now let's go back to the jewelry and sunglasses:
The conventional pairing for a fancy necklace and “refined” earrings (could be studs, could be small hoops; pearls are fair game too) is either no pair of sunglasses at all or an ~elegant~ pair: think classic cat eyes, Olive People plain janes, etc, etc. The kooky pair, which have so much personality, add an edge without knocking you off the terrain of your character altogether. This pairing works particularly well if you’re wearing something that leans more simple or classic. Here are a few pairing suggestions if you’re into it:
To further my point about the kooky glasses as a foil to classic jewelry and clothes, I present the third hero of the fifth season but first:
One more example of how your pairing can play out! Your earrings don’t have to be studs — they can totally look like a pair of vintage Bulgari drops. The bracelets are not essential and don’t need to be obtained, but if you have anything similar, they do add something. Onwards to the finale:
3. A button-down vest
This hero is the ideal foil to a skirt that is a-line, pants that are wide-leg, and on and on.
Also though, sometimes, you just want to wear a top. And what I find is that a vest is a good balance between the masculine button-down shirts I depend on and feminine blouses that I’m inching closer towards lately.
There’s a structure about a vest like this that creates a nice contrast on say, pajama pants like these or the above skirt pants from an old collection by Rosie Assoulin.
I’ll also add that for best result, you probably want to find a vest that flares out — the shape is more accommodating for most bottoms than something cropped.
See how the vest sort of flows out into the rhythm of the above skirt, for example? They’re in harmony and that creates a dynamic compatibility.
I used to think two things (or people) really had to be the same to flow together, to make sense, but more and more lately, it’s so obvious to me that the best unions are the ones you have to venture a little bit deeper under the surface to see.
Also, my bag has a lighter attached to it. Perfect for make-it-fashion sage burning ceremonies, of which I am always a willing participant, organizer, onlooker, etc.
So in conclusion that’s:
as the first heroes of the 5th season. Any comments, hit me up! Signing off,
Definitely not as cute! I think I will have to splurge for the other ones! I really enjoy reading your articles. It is my short escape during my busy day. You are ever so stylish and have a way of communicating that is so much fun. Keep up the great work and thank you!
I like your round sunglasses and I think you look like an inter-war intellectual in them.