The Highest Application of a Minor Art

Here we are, at the end of the year again. A time to look back and consolidate our gains . . . whatever they may be.

I offer you an outfit of casual elegance which I think may plausibly be presented as the highest application of my minor art.*
Top to bottom we have: a neutral sweater, a white blouse, a brooch, and pin-striped pants. But nothing is as simple as it might seem.
Note: I am wearing my rainbow Nikes with suit pants. I feel that black sneakers with white soles and fancy stitching are, today, congruent with modern brogues. This will be the subject of another post.
It’s never as simple as it seems, is it

The blouse is from Jessica Trosman in Argentina. It’s over-sized white cotton voile that is somehow stiff and crushable. It fits easily under this sweater as well as one of a much finer gauge (which you shall see soon), but maintains a defined shape where it peeks out. Also, it is finished with contrast stitching. The sweater seems fairly straightforward from the front, but as you will see very soon, it is not.
The sweater has hidden depths
Deep depths

Come closer, the better to appreciate the back.
This sweater has a pretty shape in the front — due to the vertical seam under the bust and the decision to run its stitches horizontally across the bust and vertically below.
This backless sweater was shown on the model without a top underneath. Can you imagine anything more preposterous?
Luckily, I am here to mediate between the world of fashion and the real world.
Backless sweater exposing bare back in the winter? to what end?

Now that you know the sweater’s secrets, come closer and re-examine the front.
Charming, isn’t it?

Last, but not least, the brooch was a find in Buenos Aires at the Autoria Shop — a delightful boutique dedicated to South American handcrafted goods, located in the Retiro neighborhood. As you can probably imagine, I loaded up on interesting, witty jewelry made of non-precious materials.**
This brooch looks like it’s made of pearls, but it’s painted cotton and weighs nothing — which is why I can wear it with a sweater.
So clever

Blouse: Jessica Trosman Camisa Galio; Sweater: Le 17 de Septembre Open-back Ribbed-knit Turtleneck; Pants: Elie Tahari suit pants; Shoes: Nike Air Max 97; Brooch: Paula Zuker from Autoria
* The art of dressing for work.
** These pieces will be featured in 2020 posts!

9 thoughts on “The Highest Application of a Minor Art”

  1. By the way, that blouse by Jessica Trosman does not cost $6,160 in U.S. dollars! Those are Argentinian pesos. The exchange rate is very favorable for U.S. residents right now, so if you are tempted, now is a good time to buy Argentinian goods and to travel there. The Chilean peso exchange rate is also favorable. Now that we’re back from Patagonia, I’d say it is easily the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my life, and well worth seeing.

  2. This is so perfectly you. I cannot help but marvel at the wonderfully tied bow on your sweater — can you really do that behind your back? Or does the Photographer help?

    • I did it myself! The Photographer helps with hard to reach snaps, hooks, and zippers, but tying square knots and bows is not his strength.

  3. I’m enjoying the slow rollout of all your Argentine treasures. The chic yet cheeky sweater is delightful. The brooch is fun! Would you consider wearing light-colored pants? Right now the outfit is sporty, but it could be quite elegant.


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