We Celebrate No Pants Fridays

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Some clothes create amazing stories, and others come packaged with them.

My best friend (who I rarely get to shop with, which is probably a good thing, because we know how to enable the heck out of each other), came to town recently and met me at a new local boutique I had been wanting to show her for quite some time.

We were immediately drawn to this dress, and I picked it up to try on. As we explored the store, in walked a local stylist acquaintance who was putting together an upcoming fashion show in which I was scheduled to walk.

Seeing the dress in my hand, she exclaimed, “I was going to pull that for you to wear in the show!” (clearly, she has exquisite taste).

 

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Some of us have taken Man Repeller’s decree of “No Pants Friday” to heart!

I tried on the dress, and the rest, as they say, is history. Because of the experience, I always think of my friends when I wear it.

I love a dress that picks one feature to accentuate, and with a dress this tight (as you can see from the pictures, I look 2 months pregnant if I wear it without Spanx after eating anything within the prior week), the length and high neckline keep it from veering out of daytime territory. And the exposed zipper is just sheer fun.

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This dress is also a great reminder that perfect clothes off the rack are rarely  made, they’re tailored. The slit in the back was a little higher than I preferred, but my tailor sewed it partially shut for a nominal fee (I think it was $10).

Tailoring is such a small price to pay for feeling perfectly comfortable in your clothes, which can affect someone’s “look” even more than the exact articles of clothing they’re wearing.

I highly advise creating a line item for tailoring in your annual wardrobe budget (I probably spend about $500 annually, but nearly everything I own is tailored–even if it’s something as simple as getting that perfect-length hem or a sleeve taken in just so–so you may have different needs). It will make a monumental difference in how much you love your clothes!

Unpacked:

Sheer black fishnet dress, 5th and Hall.

Cut-out heels, Cole Haan.

Handcuff bracelet–apologies, I have forgotten where I found it.

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Prest-o Change-o: Professional to Party

I think one of the biggest wardrobe mistakes women make is to have too many party dresses. Once upon a time, I had more party dresses in my closet than tops. Now I have 2. It’s not that I’ve stopped going to parties (although I’ll admit that my clubbing experiences look more like a scene from “Neighbors”’ these days), but that I’ve learned the value of being able to mix, match, and accessorize pieces in my functioning wardrobe.

Maybe it’s my skill in rationalization coming into play (on some days I believe it’s my superpower), but it doesn’t hurt so badly to invest in quality everyday pieces when I know that with a flick of the wrist, I can remix them into formidable party outfits.

Here are my keys for turning office wear into party all-stars:

  1. Invest in staples with special details. Impeccable cut, intriguing fabrics, extraordinary details-these are what make a piece easy to take to the next level.
  2. Have a few anachronistic, luxe, or just plain weird accessories on hand. The last thing I want to see at a party is someone looking perfectly respectable. I want to see your personality ringing through loud and clear.
  3. Make use of your skin. I don’t want to see your skin at the office, but once the party starts, show me your neck or arms or legs (just remember-pick ONE. The idea is to live on the edge, not to fall off it).

How to do it:

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For work, this spade scarf adds drama to a sweater and textured scuba skirt (see #1) combo. Black boots and tights create a long, lean leg in the absence of skin.

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In a matter of minutes, I’m ready for the party with a printed shoe (leopard is my favorite), a “maximalist” bow belt (#2), tsujzed-up sleeves, a vintage brooch from my grandmother’s closet, and fishnets (#3).

Now show me yours!

Unpacked:

Black Bubble-Textured Scuba Skirt, Bitte Kai Rand.

Mustard Sweater, The Limited.

Black Tights, Spanx Assets, Target.

Black Booties, Calvin Klein.

Dotted Spade Scarf, Kate Spade.

Party Accessories

Fishnet hosiery, Victoria’s Secret (in stores only).

Leopard Calf-Hair Pumps, RALPH Ralph Lauren, via TJ Maxx.

Poufy Bow Belt, Bitte Kai Rand.

Antique Brooch, inherited from Grandmother.