What do you think I should wear to work tomorrow?

The Key Set, Part I: The Chic Bits

It’s a little satisfying to look back over the content that I’ve generated for this blog because: So Much!

But I am concerned that this oeuvre isn’t as navigable as I’d like and that the most important posts (cannot believe that I just wrote that: the most important posts on my hobby style blog) are not immediately obvious.

I’ve dug deep into my brain and borrowed an idea, taken from something I saw at the National Gallery some ten years ago: I’ll create a Key Set.*

The Key Set is comprised of the 40 (or so) posts that exemplify my style. These are my favorite outfits — the ones that I reach for on a regular basis or the ones that I reach for when I want to look my best.

Today, we’ll start with the chicest things I own. Click on the photo to enlarge, click on the link in the caption to go to the original post.

But this is the cleverest thing I've ever done

But this is the cleverest thing I’ve ever done

Jacket in hand is from Anthropologie but has been a key player in my closet for 10 years

Jacket in hand is from Anthropologie but has been a key player in my closet for 10 years


Transcending boundaries during the shoulder weeks of seasonal change

Transcending boundaries during the shoulder weeks of seasonal change

Textured dress with cool jacket

Textured dress with cool jacket

This seems very Directrice to me

This seems very Directrice to me


The best jacket: Vanessa Bruno

The best jacket: Vanessa Bruno

From a galaxy long ago and far away

From a galaxy long ago and far away


Although this isn't my most comfortable ensemble, it's awfully cute

Although this isn’t my most comfortable ensemble, it’s awfully cute

The Photographer calls this "Miro Dress"

The Photographer calls this “Miro Dress”


And now, a few of my chicest casual things.

This top with a pair of sloppy khakis and platform sandals = chic

This top with a pair of sloppy khakis and platform sandals = chic

Same goes for this one; with a crisp white blouse underneath, anything goes

Same goes for this one; with a crisp white blouse underneath, anything goes

Skirt unloved by everyone but me, but my love compensates for all other deficits

Skirt unloved by everyone but me, but my love compensates for all other deficits


Exceptional third piece

Exceptional third piece

I may not look great in this thing, but it's so advanced

I may not look great in this thing, but it’s so advanced

How could one not feel great in this combintion

How could one not feel great in this combination

Thursday, we’ll look at Dresses.

* The Key Set refers to the collection of Alfred Stieglitz photos that Georgia O’Keefe curated for the National Gallery.

9 thoughts on “The Key Set, Part I: The Chic Bits

  1. Supreme mastery of unexpected layering is what comes to mind when I think of the Directrice signature, so I am very happy to see plenty of it in the Key Set. I also imagine you and the Photographer, years from now, getting such a kick from this fabulous archive, testament to the beauty and style of one, the admiring gaze of the other, and the goofiness, quirkiness and creativity of both. Thanks for having us along for the ride !

  2. What a great idea! I’ve been following you for a while, and I would comment more, but for some reason commenting often crashes on my phone – on my laptop today, rare occasion! Some of these looks are definitive Directrice, for sure. Crop tops/jackets; peplums; layers; and origami construction. These are all things I associate with your outfits. This is a great exercise for anyone to do – thanks for the inspiration (I guess, thank Georgia really…)

  3. I cannot thank you enough for the Key Set. I have trolled through older posts willy nilly, but always felt I needed direction to get to the heart of Directrice style. And now you have supplied it! I will enjoy going back and reading about each example featured in the set when I have more time. There were a number of items in the set I had never seen, including your chicest outfit. DoP—my favorite look ever and one I wear often. I love that particular dress with the charming back cutout. The Miro top is another I had never seen and an instant favorite.

  4. I’m in agreement- although I’m also a sucker for your shoes, jewelry and your bags you feature. And your apron-like garments.

  5. As others have noted, your mastery of layering is what sets the Key Set outfits apart. Try as I might, even with the guidence of your photos, I still can’t quite figure out how to do this. I suspect many of us would much appreciate a post on your thinking process when developing a layered outfit.

  6. Love these! The white shirtdress is growing on me. And I second the request for more insight into the Directrice’s thinking process for layering. How you know when too much is just too much, for instance.

    • You ask an excellent question, Regina. I think that one has overdone if one feels any discomfort — when a layer is creeping up, or requires adjusting, or (and this one is pretty obvious) when you can’t bend your arm. In general, I think three garments make an interesting outfit. Four is probably the outer limit unless on the number is a camisole, in which case you can wear five — i.e., camisole, tee shirt, cardigan, blazer + pants. These numbers do not include scarves or jewelry. I tend to keep jewelry pretty minimal — one piece (a brooch OR a necklace OR a bracelet) plus a watch and my engagement and wedding rings.

  7. Thanks for curating these together! It’s interesting to get a sense of your favorites, and as a new reader, I’m interested to go back and catch up on them.I particularly like the shorter sleeved, cropped jackets, and so it’s giving me some wardrobe inspiration! And I like the grey skirt! :)

But what do you think?