I am so delighted that you are here. I launched this blog in late February and am surprised to find, 14 weeks later, that persons who are not related to me by blood or school ties are reading it.
I know a little about you in the aggregate. There are a few hundred of you reading regularly and you are geographically dispersed around the globe. (Greetings to Lesotho, Slovenia, and Singapore!) I am deeply curious to know more and therefore am taking this opportunity to ask you to tell me a little about yourself: your line of work, what (if anything) you find useful or interesting about this blog, and any topics you think I should address in the future. Please send me an email (email@example.com) or post a comment, if you have a minute.
It seems appropriate to also take this opportunity (because I don’t see any award ceremonies on the horizon) to thank a few people who have contributed tremendously to this blog: Dina Kuhar of Visual Content, who took some very vague instructions from me and built this lovely site from them; Anne Kelley Looney and Lauren Ackil, two talented D.C. photographers who took photos (look for their credits) and explained how to shoot pictures of clothes, which is not the easiest thing to do; and my husband, Michael, who decided to learn photography when I decided to learn WordPress. Michael took all of the uncredited photos of me on this blog and has added immeasurably to my enjoyment of this project by lending his newly-developed skills and offering encouragement.
One last thing: I am still working out some kinks on the technical side of this undertaking, so I appreciate your patience if and when you find the website slow or inaccessible. And again, thank you so much for reading the posts. I am truly honored that you are spending a little of your time here.
31 thoughts on “A Micro-Poll to Celebrate the 50th Post”
I discovered your blog a couple of months ago through Stylish Murmurs. I am decidedly not similar to you–I am a freelancer who works out of my house, not someone who works in an office in a staid profession; I cannot afford many of the specific items you feature; the climate here in New England is rather different from DC’s; and many elements of your style would look just awful on my body type. But I appreciate the intelligence and wit of your writing, I enjoy seeing what you come up with (and idly wondering what your suit-clad colleagues in court or across the conference table think), and the images go into the maw of my mind, perhaps to emerge in my own wardrobe in some fragment or combination or variation at some point in the future. Vive la différence.
Hi Sue, Andrea and Engineer — I am so pleased you found my blog and are finding it useful and entertaining despite the differences in our individual styles and workplaces. This really delights me. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment.
Like the Directice, I am a lawyer, but there the similarity ends. I do not care about fashion one whit, and NEVER plan my outfits in advance. Of course I like to look nice, but I have my own definition of nice, which generally consists of black yoga pants or a good pair of jeans and a simple shirt of some type and–of course–interesting jewelry. And a good black jacket. (Only one is necessary.) So why, then, do I read this blog? I read this blog because I’m constantly amazed to learn of the strange things that “fashion” is throwing our general direction. I read this blog because I occasionally get to glympse The Directrice’s beautiful cats and to hear about their latest physics experiments. Most importantly, I read this blog because The Directrice is charming and she makes me laugh. Viva the Directrice! Congrats on the 50th blog. Keep them coming.
I also discovered your blog through Stylish Murmurs and have been loving it. I’m at the very beginning of an academic career, and have just started buying my ‘adult’ wardrobe. I need a wardrobe that I can teach and go to conferences in, but that also feels like me. A lot of the style blogs I’ve been checking out are too corporate for what I do, but I love the way you manage to bring a quirky, individual style into your professional clothing. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for, and I’ve been enjoying reading about your style philosophy. As a young woman, I’ve also been looking for guidance on how to dress so that I’ll be taken seriously, without having to give up my love of fashion. It’s inspiring to see that you manage to do this, while also being a lawyer. In my job it’s important to establish intellectual authority, and it’s sad that this so often involves aping the way men dress or downplaying the feminine, something which I don’t really feel comfortable with.
To Nora and Rhizopera — I can imagine the challenges of dressing in a university setting, where you are mixing with students and senior tenured faculty and trying to establish your authority within both groups. But universities value independent thought and creativity, so that’s a lucky starting point. So glad you have been reading and enjoying this blog.
I discovered this blog through Youlookfab blog, in a Link Love post. I’m a sewist and I was initially drawn to the quirky cuts of some of your clothes, then I was drawn to the sense of humour that comes through in your writing. And of course you’re a cat lady…that’s a bonus! Keep up the good work.
The cats are my ace in the hole! Someday when I can’t think of anything to write, there will be cat movies . . . Thank you so much for reading.
I’m an engineer in a IT management position, and as such I am severely overdressing – and in a deconstructed post modernistic way:)
I like some of the individual pieces you own and feature, although your style is very different from mine. I like your ‘voice’ and your emphasis on fit and sensible suggestions regarding reuse and tailoring to optimize a wardrobe.
I usually shop for clothes a couple of times a year, and generally only local designers – most everything I own is by Danish or German designers, so I don’t really get inspired in the specific, more in a general sense.
I like people who has something intelligent to say about clothes, and who haven’t their eye firmly fixed on the next fashionable trend. Professionel, adult women who consume and dress consciously.
I think I must have gotten here via the Youlookfab Link Love post, too. Like your first commenter above, I am also a freelancer who works from home. So I have a much more casual style than you do and rarely have to worry about office-appropriate attire. But, also like Sue says above, the wit and intelligence of your writing keeps me coming back. Because your posts are so thoughtful and well articulated, they spur me to think through: what can I glean from this post? I suspect I actually get more style inspiration and knowledge from that process than I might from just looking at images of a blogger who was a better “match” on the surface for my lifestyle. Does that make sense? All that is to say I hope you keep doing what you’ve been doing!
Lately I’ve been pondering accessories. How does one build a collection of accessories (especially jewelry, I guess) that harmonize without being too matchy-matchy? Would love to hear your take on that.
Hi Sarah — This is a great idea for a post and one I will work on: how to collect efficiently, coherently and intelligently! Thank you for the suggestion.
Greetings from Paraguay!
How I got here: I have no idea, but after reading the previous comments I think it must have been via a youlookfab link.
Why I stayed: you’re the only style blogger that I know of (and I have read quite a few) that manages to dress creatively AND in an office-appropriate way (a law office!).
I have no dress code restrictions since I’m a 40-year-old freelancer who works from virtually anywhere, but at this point what I’m looking for in a style blog is not an outfit catalog to copy, but someone with a distinct style that inspires me in some way. I love clothes but I’m bored by “Fashion”; I’ve never cared much about what is on trend, but I’m always fascinated by those women that are dressed in an unexpected way, not necessarily fancy but always unique, that combines things I would never have thought of mixing but somehow looks perfectly put-together and natural and almost effortless once they’ve come up with it. I know better than to try to replicate their outfits; what I admire is their intuition, or creativity, or style-savvy or whatever it is called.
I probably wouldn’t wear many of the clothes you show, either because they would look awful on me, or I couldn’t afford them, or simply they don’t appeal to me, but I always find them interesting and am often inspired by things like the way your scarf matches your bag or the ruffly shoulders of your blouse peek from underneath your jacket.
Thanks for your blog!
I’m a school administrator at a state school for the Deaf. Your blog tends to be a “happy moment” for me in the midst of a chaotic week. What drew me to your blog was your hair – I also have a mass of curly locks, although mine are mostly silver. We are similar in age and have similar taste in clothing. On a daily basis, I attempt to look creative, original yet modest and tasteful. Your outfits inspire me to try new combinations of colors and proportions.
I am on the hunt for the perfect pair of patent black ballerina flats… Because of you.
Please keep posting!
Sharla — I will keep posting, until I run out of ideas. I am so glad this blog is a fun break from your work, which is so important!
I discovered your blog by way of a link. I no longer remember where, but I do know it was not youlookfab, because I loved your post (on trenchcoats) so much I hurried there to link to it. On that first visit I searched out and read every post. You have such an amazing voice and refreshing take on clothes!
My fashion history is kind of like a quilt: doctor’s wife, stay at home mom, medical writer, academia, politics, and airport public relations director. That was before I retired. Now I write erotic fiction and attend literary conventions. So I still have reason to dress well and in interesting ways. Your style doesn’t match mine 100% but that’s part of what I love about it; I love seeing new ways of “doing” clothes. Also, I adore your professional style because it is so interesting. Coming from a strong public relations background where looking interesting was always an element of the game plan, I appreciate a smart personal style. You’ve got one of the best I’ve seen. And same goes for your blog: your writing style is so strong and your voice so lively and fun, I feel like I know you. I love stopping in the morning, while sipping a big cup of coffee.
Also, I do click on lots of the items you feature. They’re different and distinctive and sometimes they shout “I could be fun!” Yesterday I bought a black blouse you showed in a post.
Thanks for being such an interesting person!
Linda — I love your resume; you are one thousand times more interesting than I am. We should all spend our retirement writing genre fiction! Thank you for reading.
I am in love with your blog and so disappointed on the days that you don’t post. I love your grown-up but quirky style. You are a layering genius! I appreciate your sensible, intelligent take on fashion. Plus you are funny. And that hair! And you look adorable when you pose.
I am an almost 60 preschool teacher living in New York.
Since you asked what else we would like to see, I would say some more casual weekend outfits would be fun, but that is only because you asked.
Hi Nicky — Thank you for your feedback here (and on other posts) — I really appreciate it. Good to know that people like the casual outfits, too — I wasn’t sure if they would be useful or not, so I will continue to include them on a regular basis.
I think I also found you via YLF. It was your post on trench coats that I saw first. I like the fact that you feature work wear as not many blogs do. I also like to see your more casual outfits and your hair is lovely. I also enjoy seeing your beautiful cats. live in the UK and work in local government. I like to dress well for work but a lot of people in my organisation are much more casual than me. I was accused of power dressing yesterday because I wore smart wide legged trousers, a shirt and a waistcoat. I felt good in it so I wore it!
Hi Marie — Your approach is absolutely right. You should dress to please yourself and who knows, perhaps you will inspire some of your colleagues. Thank you for reading.
Like Andrea and others, what draws me to the Directrice is how you dress in a creative and business-appropriate manner. As others have said, there is no other blogger whose style is business and business casual and yet interesting. And of course the witty and charming repartee is a delightful way to start the day!
I’m a R1 academic scientist and a woman in field dominated by men. I’ve always striven to dress well, but have stayed well-clear of even the edges of creativity for fear of being seen as “not a serious scientist.” I was recently tenured, and so am finally free to dress creatively. But have 15 years of graduate school, post-docs and tenure-track bred the creative gene out of me? With inspiration from the Directrice, I hope not!
At the moment I’m looking for inspiration on how to develop authoritative and creative ensembles that can withstand the sweltering heat. In my 100+ degree climate light colors and fabrics and a hat are a must for trudging across campus, and a topper is necessary for the AC inside. And how to do this while looking authoritative?
Your blog was recommended to me by a friend who follows you and thought I would like it too. I am also a lawyer (up in Boston) and have a love of clothing and fashion while being in that “staid” profession myself. Truthfully, my small suburban office gives me pretty wide berth to veer casual, though the occasional trip downtown to Bar events reminds me I still need to look like a lawyer from time to time. My style, shape, coloring and almost everything else in my appearance does not really resemble you, and that’s fine! I appreciate your voice and wit and thoughtful commentary. Your style and outfits are deceptively simple — at first blush they can seem straightforward, but on closer examination and reflection (and your style warrants viewing more than once) it is clear how careful you are with balance and juxtaposition, how much attention you pay to shape and drape and fit, and you manage to strike a perfect middle ground between serious and whimsical. (I would not be surprised to find out that your legal writing hits that same “deceptively simple yet persuasive” balance). I would not ask you to do or focus on anything in particular — do what motivates you and stay true to your voice, that’s what makes a blogger appealing.
Hi Bubu — Thank you for the feedback and generous praise! I like to think that my legal writing is persuasive, but it’s never funny — so this blog is a an outlet for me. The name for the blog was inspired by one of my favorite books about style: A Guide to Elegance by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux. The book comes from another time and place (Paris, 1964) but much of the advice remains valid and that which is not is very amusing. Mme Dariaux had a long career in fashion and was the directrice of the salons at Nina Ricci; she saw her job as making sure that her clients looked their best, and characterized dressing well as “a minor art.”
P.S. I am curious as to how and why you picked the name for your blog.
I found you through the Stylish Murmurs too. I’m always on the look-out for real people’s style blogs, and with real people I mean people who don’t blog for living. I’m also not interested in teenage or 20-something style…so it was very nice to find this blog. I’m a mother of three living on Long Island, working in the financial industry in NYC. Long commute equals long days during the week, but luckily I’m able to work from home too to balance things out. I was born and raised in Finland and still have that nordic simplicity in my style. I don’t like anything too complicated and I’m allergic to anything uncomfortable. For work I like to look put together and like I made a little effort. For home I like to dress casual but nice to please myself and for self expression. I love the way you repurpose clothing items and change them to get more use out of them – it just appeals to the Scandinavian pragmatic in me. My fingers are actually itching to sew something, but time is hard to find.
I think your husband sent out an email to his colleagues inviting us to subscribe to your blog so I signed up. I like your style of writing and the photos accompanying the blog are great visuals of what you describe. Your top preferences are not what would look good on me due to a vastly different body type, smile. I do appreciate the discussion of styles and glad to see we are not stuck on following fads but what looks good on us. I am in the Sacramento, CA area but lived and worked in DC for years before moving out here to Sacramento. Keep up the thoughtful style and dress blogs and photos!
I don’t remember now how I found your blog but I’ve been reading it and enjoying it every day! I’m a medical professional in Central New York and need to dress well, although I can look more casual than you most days. Your style choices are intriguing, and give me food for thought. Your color choices are different than mine most of the time, but I think you have impeccable taste and could see myself wearing similar versions of everything you have posted. Your photos are excellent! Keep up the good work!
I found you through a mutual friend (I’m pretty sure we were at the same party on March 14th, although I hadn’t heard of the blog at that point). I work in a place that is VERY casual and pretty much everyone wears jeans everyday. I also have very little money or time (2 little kids) to spend on clothing, so you’d probably cry at my “wardrobe.” Even though I can’t use your wise counsel at this point, I enjoy your voice so much that I check in every now & then to see what lovely things you’re wearing. I think if I was at a point that I could think/spend on clothes I would still be a little more “classic” (that sounds better than boring, right? 😉 ) than you are, but you offer such interesting ways to think about clothing, that you might just push me out of that style. . .a little. 😉 Oh, I also went to and currently work at the same photo school that one of your photographer friends attended! Yay, Lauren & WSP! So, as far as the questions you asked: I’m the Business Manager at the aforementioned photography school (which has recently morphed into a full fledged Art Center: Washington ArtWorks). I just like to read your clever writing, even tho I can’t use most of the ideas. I guess I’d like to see more about what to wear with jeans. 😉 Great work!
Hi Talley — Hopefully our paths will cross again! So glad that you are enjoying the blog. Others have said that they find the Casual Friday posts useful, so more jeans will be forthcoming. Thank you for reading.
I found my way here through FaceBook (apologies for any whippersnapperish connotations) — a friend posted a “check out this blog; she’s the wife of a colleague of mine” link, perhaps a month ago.
I’m at a…shall we say, “less established” stage of life, in part because my day job is in academic [ditigal] publishing in a DC suburb. My office is purely casual-casual, though I do have a self-imposed “no flip flops” rule, for which I probably pat myself on the back too much. (I still feel rather unkempt when riding the elevator with anyone who works on a different, fancier floor in my building.)
I find myself checking in because I enjoy your narrative voice, as well as insight into how a person might better curate a wardrobe. I also love seeing the layering/accessorizing inspiration, though I’m considerably less petite in every way — you just have such an eye for detail, construction, and texture that there are always things to think over.
Shauna – I love the image of you in the elevator (I am picturing you in Bethesda) — I think you should make a button that says, “I work here, too!” So glad you found the blog and are enjoying it!
I discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago and have been avidly digging into the archives. I am just your age, work in state government, do theatre (and sit on a theatre board) on the side, and live in the ultra-casual Northwest. I love it here and would never live anywhere else, but I am decidedly out of step with the norm in that I like a bit of formality and flair. My style tends to swing haphazardly between ladylike and tomboy, so I am drawn to your blog because you mix ladylike with ease in a wonderful way. I can’t wait to read more!