must have monday: summer clothes

Has it really been an entire week since I last wrote? Apparently, I need a ghost writer or at least to prepare extra posts to share on days I don’t have time to write. Sorry to be MIA. I’m surprised I didn’t get any panicked emails wondering if I was about to slip into cyber-oblivion like I did in February and March.

I have no excuse considering how much time I spent on my computer over the weekend. I created outfits for Kassie’s Closet. I did some work for my day job. But mostly, I scoured the internet for good weekend summer wear.

Today’s “must have” is not focused on an item I cannot live without, but on items that I desperately need: summer clothes.

Frankly, I hate summer. I melt in whatever I’m wearing. While I have a nice selection of professional summer dresses, I’m bereft of casual summer party wear. My clothes either scream Monday-thru-Friday or are too don’t-go-out-in-public-y. I don’t have any middle of the road wear. The deficiency is of my own making. I hate sundresses. I hate shorts. I hate capri pants. I hate bathing suits.

That doesn’t leave a lot of options.

Yesterday, I cruised the web, site after frustrating site, determined to find summery dresses. Why do all the dresses of an appropriate weight and material have an elastic waist, which is just deadly on me? Or spaghetti straps, which require a strapless bra? Why do the dresses in the styles I like only seem to come in either very synthetic (i.e. hot) fabrics or those I’d prefer to leave to office attire?

By way of example, pulling from my standby, J. Crew, this Kimono-sleeve maxidress would be perfect if it were cotton. But it’s rayon. The Villa dress in stripe would look cute with my coral wedge espadrilles but for the elastic waist. And what is with all the strapless options? Raise your hand if you really and truly love strapless dresses. Or do you just wear them because it’s all they make?

The bottom line is that I am still looking. Ideally I want three dresses and a couple of skirts that can take me from little league games to BBQs or out for weekend drinks and/or dinner with friends. Today I want your suggestions.

Don’t make me go to the next social gathering in jeans.

 

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five things I won’t wear

I get asked all the time what I will and will not wear. I don’t have a ton of rules, but I do have some fashion nos.

1. Yellow: So few people look good in yellow. In fact, I think maybe 10 people, including Halle Berry and Michelle Williams that one year she wore canary yellow to the Oscars (though it was a love-it-or-hate-it dress). That leaves eight non-celebrities who can carry off this tricky tone. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pastel or the neon hue that’s so omnipresent right now, I think it casts a sickly glow. It probably doesn’t look good on you either.

2. Boyfriend Anything: No boyfriend blazers for me. They are too boxy and too long for my frame. I also stay away from boyfriend jeans. Even if I had a boyfriend, I wouldn’t wear his jeans, so why would I buy jeans that are meant to mimic his? I’d rather wear yoga pants. And the only thing worse than a boyfriend cardigan is a grandfather cardigan. I like clothes that fit and have feminine detail. Some women (tall, willowy ones) can carry off the boyfriend this or boyfriend that look spectacularly, but it isn’t for me, and I won’t cave to trend.

3. Nude Pantyhose: In the winter, I wear opaque black or gray tights, and occasionally, black silk stockings if they are Wolford. I splurge on one pair a year, and literally that one pair gets me through my winter needs. But otherwise, if I’m wearing an outfit that can’t take a dark tight, I bear leg it. No matter how cold. Let’s be honest: nude pantyhose aren’t really the color of actual skin nor do they provide any warmth value. So why keep up the charade?

4. Messenger Bags: After all, I am not a messenger. The one possible exception is if you consider the Proenza Schouler PS1 to be a messenger bag. But there is neither a reflective patch nor a gore-tex seam in sight on this amazing bag that my fashion fairy can feel free to leave on my doorstep (work though please where someone is here to sign for it).

5. Strapless Dresses: I wore a strapless dress to my cousin’s wedding two summers ago and within 15 minutes, I swore I would never wear that style again. Frankly, most women look uncomfortable in strapless. There’s nothing worse than having to yank your dress up all night except perhaps watching someone else yank her dress up all night. The options with strapless seem to be (1) fall out of your dress; (2) spend all night preventing such a fashion disaster; or (3) bind yourself in so tightly that you can’t breathe.

These don’t wears of mine are very personal and aren’t meant to insult anyone. My advice when it comes to style is that if it feels wrong on you, it probably is. However, if it feels right to wear a boyfriend blazer over a yellow strapless dress with nude pantyhose and carry a messenger bag, I might identify you as needing a fashion intervention.