Casual Friday: A Simple Plan

This outfit is so simple that you might be wondering why I’ve even bothered. I’ll give you four reasons.

First, while a white blouse and jeans is the easiest outfit in the world, its value should never be underestimated.

Chic! Crisp! Timeless!

A simple plan
A simple plan

Simple but complete
Simple but complete
Second, you can create a great silhouette with these two simple pieces. It all depends on which white blouse and which jeans you wear.

This blouse is sort of ridiculous, but I love the cinched, high waist and the bell shape below the waist.

It’s charming, right?

My blouse is old, but you could probably create the same look with the popover shirts JCrew is currently selling and a skinny belt.

Third, a white blouse becomes more intriguing if it is layered over something that shows through or beneath it, like this silk, floral camisole. We’ve discussed this before.

This top is a mid-weight, opaque poplin. The camisole only faintly shows through, but peeks out at the hem.

You see

The simplicity of a white blouse and jeans is something we all need from time to time.

Hopefully, getting dressed is never too difficult, but some days it should be completely effortless.

The Photographer says I look very approachable in this photo; what does that mean
The Photographer says I look very approachable in this photo; what does that mean

I’ve perched up here to give you a look at my shoes, but it seems like an opportunity to strike a meditative pose.

After years of trying to persuade me to give up caffeine (I can’t do that) and sleep more (I can’t do that either) my doctor is urging me to meditate. He tells me that there will be tremendous benefits.


I believe him.

Left to my own devices with unoccupied time, I am more likely to perseverate.

You would think that a word built from “persevere” would be a good thing, but perseverating is bad. To perseverate is to continue, to an undesirable degree, to re-live or examine a thought or experience.


The silver shoes
Let’s put aside dark thoughts and perseverate about these shoes!

I bought these in late May and they have been surprisingly useful — with dresses, skirts, and jeans — which may be a little surprising, since they look like an antique mirror.

They are comfortable and irreverent, which are two excellent qualities in casual footwear.

Come closer
Can shoes be irreverent?

Yes, shoes can, and on occasion should, be irreverent
Have a fantastic weekend!

White blouse: JCrew; Floral Camisole: Theory; Jeans: JCrew; Shoes: Cole Haan ZeroGrand Wing Tip Oxford in Marble Ivory Court Shoes; Bag: Tom Tote from Les Toiles du Soleil; Watch: Michele CSX with white alligator band

10 thoughts on “Casual Friday: A Simple Plan”

  1. I love your style. I am inspired.

    However, I have one question. You often wear your pants a good deal longer than I would. Have you somewhere laid out your theories backing up this choice? I can only imagine they would be very interesting, and I hope the Internet manages to convey my deep respect and my puzzlement at once in a warm and friendly manner:).

    • I have not laid out my theories of pant length in a post, Lisa, and am not certain that those theories would withstand scrutiny. Of if they even qualify as theories. I was a teenager in the 1980s and the pegged, ankle pants of that era have left me with a profound distaste for tapered trousers as an adult. That severe tapering was, almost certainly, the 80s recoil from the bell-bottomed pants of the 70s. Through the 1990s, I purposely wore my pants a little short because I thought that my shoes should be seen. And then, almost overnight, I realized that I preferred my trousers with a break in them. I do think that a break in the trousers is very elegant. It also provides a little flexibility for a low heel (1-1.5″) and a little weight gain. The pants you are seeing on this blog may not, however, be reflecting a coherent ideology. The reality is, if I buy a pair of pants that are pretty close to the right length, I may leave them alone — a bizarre exception to my general inclination to fiddle with everything. (You may remember I find pants profoundly dull. Necessary but dull.)

      But now I will provide the explanation that may blow your mind. The Directrice does not own a full-length mirror. Perhaps if I did, I would wear heels more often and shorten all of my pants. But for now, when I want to see how I look from head to toe, I roll a Kik-step from the kitchen to the foyer and look in a large (4′ h x 3′ w) mirror that hangs there. The Photographer thinks this is very pathetic and has threatened to start a GoFundMe campaign for a full-length mirror. I just don’t care quite enough to buy one and have it hung on a door in the master bedroom.

  2. I love the rhyme of perseverate with meditate! Lawyers are wordsmiths.

    I’m here to tell you that meditation is excellent for calming the anxious mind. However, my meditation sessions often turn into perseveration sessions punctuated with momentary awareness of this circular process. I’m told these punctuations constitute mindful awareness and I enjoy them before plunging back into the perseverating abyss. That’s “monkey mind” in action.

    I hope you persevere in your meditation attempts.

  3. I think your outfit is super accessible – many figure types would be flattered when wearing this. Irreverent is my favorite kind of shoe!

  4. Your outfit suggests vacation to me, carefree and whimsical. The shoes are abit of elegant whimsy and the layered tops are inspired, mating two similar tops. You keep it cool with the fabrics which works well. Looks cute on your petite person. Kate

  5. Extremely appealing outfit, from head to toe, including bag. I have the matching makeup bag, which I use as a tiny clutch in the summer.

  6. I absolutely love the peek of color under your blouse! I also adore the shoes. Speaking of shoes, I am of very petite stature (5’1) and look very squat in flats. I love wearing open toes in the summer but I am afraid that they are too casual for the work house. Do you have suggestions for a professional, yet stylish open-toe for the summer?

    • You ask an excellent question, Sarita! If you are wearing a sundress or top and pants, I think a pair of sandals with a platform or wedge heel are permissible. But the first principal of dressing for the office is . . . not being more casual than your co-workers. So this may depend on what everyone else is doing. I am a big fan of Donald J. Pliner and have recently been looking at two brands quite longingly: L’Amour des Pieds and Fly London. At least 1/3 of the foot should be covered. I just made that up, and I’ve broken that rule myself. See The Last Gasp of the Woman in White. If you are wearing a worky dress or a jacket with pants, I think your choices are limited to a small open toe (see Back, in Black) or a sling-back.


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