When It’s Hot, But You Want to Look Polished

With the days getting  warmer (understatement of the year), my wardrobe is trending towards lighter colors and fabrics.

ivory and white dress on back patio

Since it’s already hot enough to break a sweat when I walk from my house to the garage, I rely on tailored but loosely-fitting clothing that drapes and allows a breeze or two of relief.

ivory and white on back patio2

Perfect for an afternoon birdwatching sesh on the back patio.


Ivory dress, via Hattie’s Branches.

Vintage shoes, Bally.

Tiger’s Eye earrings, Sorrelli.

Gold chain bracelets, street markets here and there.


Good, Fast, & Cheap


There’s an old saying: in the trifecta of good, fast, and cheap, you may choose any two.

Generally, if something is good and you can get it quickly, it’s not cheap. If something can be gotten quickly and cheaply, it’s usually not very high quality. And if a high quality item is not that expensive, you’ll probably have to wait a while to get your hands on it.

Everyone has the parts of the trifecta that are most important to them, and we begrudgingly adjust our purchase patterns accordingly. I’ve always had a nearly dangerous love affair with “good,” and my means have many times required me to choose “cheap,” which means I’ve spent much of my life developing patience (not an easy feat for a Pisces, I assure you; in fact, my mother used to sing a little song to me that began, “Be patient, be patient, don’t be in such a hurry,” but I digress).

I’m still perfecting my patience skills, but what little I have acquired paid off big time in a pair of Gaimo espadrille slides I scored for $40 (!) at my local T.J. Maxx last weekend. I’ve been looking for an honest-to-goodness, handmade-in-Spain, chic-but-comfy (it is summer after all) pair for the past two summers, and had yet to find a pair that met my quality standards.

On several occasions, I’d nearly caved and bought a cheaper pair, but I’ve always tried my darndest to invest in fewer, higher-quality pieces (a philosophy to which I’m clinging even more tightly since reading numerous articles, including this one in Vogue, on the damage fast fashion is doing to the planet and my fellow human beings).

As soon as I stepped into the cushy leather and jute soles of these neutral-hued (read: immediately going into heavy rotation) darlings, I knew I found my new Pair of Summer Shoes (everyone has that one pair…). And because they’re so well made, I know I can count on them for several summers to come.

While I’m elated my patience proved fruitful, you can get a similar pair here (I especially adore the orange wedge and the brown suede fringe versions) if your tendencies trend toward “good and fast.”

Warning: it will be excruciatingly difficult to change them out for heels on your next day in the office.

Splurge or save? A tale of DIY Gone Wrong

I was so smitten by these metallic foil tees that I saw at Zadig & Voltaire; I wanted one immediately.

But let’s get real–a tee shirt for $98? The “I’m a mom now and I’ll have to pay for another person to ‘find themselves’ at college” part of me balked. I became that annoying person you hear at every art festival–“I could do that.” I immediately spun visions of recreating them with fabric paint and a sponge.

That turned out to be a big ‘ole pile of Nope.

plain white tee

Thank goodness I tried this on Target t-shirts, which only set me back $12 each (their drape is great; I’d recommend getting one and then NOT painting it).

gold paint

If you really have to have it, sometimes the real deal is the way to go.

zv foil tee

Image courtesy Zadig & Voltaire.

How to Wear: Dress Over Pants

Dress over pants looking at hat

Sometimes what we need to push us out of our comfort zone is an accident or necessity (the old mother of invention herself).

I purchased this lovely lightweight summer dress on sale, but when I put it on at home and started moving around (and sitting down) in it, it felt way too short for my tastes. I couldn’t return it because it was final sale, so what to do?


Dress over pants with hat

You may have seen the recent street style trend of wearing a dress over pants. While it’s not my natural inclination, I decided to give it a go with these leggings I picked up last week.

I know you thought I had a abhorrence for wearing yoga pants in public that rivaled only my animosity towards slow drivers in the left lane, but leggings and yoga pants are not the same. Leggings are a fantastic complement to a flowy top and I fully endorse donning them at every possible opportunity.

So how can you determine if that pair of stretchy pants you’re reaching for are polished enough for everyday wear? Here’s a handy comparison to help you out:

Yoga pants:

  • Are usually made of performance or moisture-wicking fabric.
  • Have brightly colored or bold athletic designs.
  • Are sold with a matching sports bra.


  • Are made of soft fabric representative of real clothing (yes, I said it).
  • Resemble a slim-fit pair of pants.
  • Have intelligent details that clearly elevate them to pants status. Sophisticated design, regular seams, pockets, zippers, buttons, lacing, trim, or–my favorite–studs often differentiate leggings from their sporty counterparts, giving them a leg up (no pun intended) on the fashion food chain.


These leggings from Population are softer than a baby bunny, so I anticipate they’ll enjoy a heavy rotation in my wardrobe.



Dress, Greylin via Hattie’s Branches.

Leggings, population via Babe’s Shoes & Apparel.

Shoes, Cole Haan.

Hat, Brixton via Bearcat & Big6.

Earrings, TJ Maxx.

Necklace, Polk Museum of Art Gift Shop.