My taste leans toward fairly simple clothes — clean lines and classic styles — generally. But sometimes one wants something a little more . . . directional, as they say in the industry. And when I feel that impulse, I look to 3.1 Phillip Lim, where I found this dress:
I like this dress because it combines the traditional (the window-pane check) with the avant garde (the Frankenstein-ian mashup of two dresses — one wool challis and the other satin) and is made of very fine wool and silk. If you come a little closer, you can perhaps make out the details:
Now the tricky thing about this dress is, when should it be worn? It’s black and wool, but sleeveless. Probably the ideal time to wear it is late September or early October (which is why it was on sale in December), when it’s still warm, but the season has turned. But I didn’t want to wait 9 months to wear it. So I poked around the Internet to see how others had styled it — cardigan, jacket, blouse? — for colder weather. This is what I found:
So, I learned from my research that I could layer this dress in any way that I want, with improbable shoes and bizarre accessories, and Phillip Lim would have no grounds for objecting. I decided on a lightweight cashmere jersey underneath (a very useful layering piece) and 40-denier (not sheer but not completely opaque) Hue tights. And a smile.
Dress: 3.1 Phillip Lim Shadow Dress (sold out, but try Ebay and similar consignment sites); Sweater: Eileen Fisher (ancient, but see Featherweight Cashmere Three-quarter Sleeve Ribbed Tee at JCrew); Shoes: Kate Spade: Tights: Hue
P.S. I must admit that the model wearing the leather jacket and Victorian half boots looks pretty awesome. In an alternate universe, I am wearing the dress as she is on this Earth.
UPDATE: To see my posting on the inverse of this dress, click here.