Back, in Black

Last week I showed you my pink, loose-fitting summer dress and warned you that I bought it in a second color. Here it is!

I wore the pink dress (a few of you more precisely called it “salmon”) unbelted, which is how it was designed to be worn.
But I had a vision for the black version. In all honesty, I stole my vision from this incredibly stylish woman who sometimes greets people near the cosmetics counter at the Friendship Heights Neiman Marcus. Ostensibly, she’s handing out perfume samples, but I think she’s actually come from the future to teach us how to dress. Back to the vision: blacks of different finishes — glossy, patent, and matte — together.
I did make one original contribution to the ensemble: a navy blue patent bag, which adds a little color contrast.
One view
Matte poplin dress, glossy calf-skin belt, patent leather shoes

The skirt of this dress is bias cut and asymmetical; one side is fuller than the other and the hem is uneven, which you can see in this picture. The great thing about a skirt like this is it provides coverage without being dowdy. In fact, it’s very graceful. When I walk, the skirt swishes (it even makes soft swishy sounds) and when I sit, it billows and then falls gently into place.

another other
A swishy skirt is a kinetic and audible delight
How flat are these flats? Flatter than a 13th century globe.
How flat are these flats? Flatter than a Bronze Age globe.

Come closer so that you can see the cut of the cap sleeves and the awesome belt.
I do want to acknowledge that the cinching of the dress would look better if the waistline were fitted. But if it were fitted, it would no longer be my loose-fitting summer dress, would it? I am suppressing my inclination to tinker and leaving this dress be, so that I can enjoy wearing it two ways — loose and cinched.
sleeves belt
Razor sharp sleeves, kick-ass belt

Black belt
Black belt
This belt is totally adjustable, but looks very trim because it has two sets of buckles — thus no overly long end that needs to be tucked or otherwise managed.
Many weeks ago, I suggested that cozy sweater dressing (an open cardigan and knit pants) could be elevated to business casual suitability by a great belt. This is my great belt.

Dress: Jil Sander from YOOX; Belt: Philosophy di A.F. from YOOX; Shoes: Tory Burch; Bag: Coach Poppy Tote. Unfortunately the belt is sold out, but there are many other great belts still available at YOOX.
The Making of the Directrice! A friend was visiting and took a few snaps with her iPhone.
The Making of the Directrice: a friend was visiting and took a few snaps with her iPhone

13 thoughts on “Back, in Black”

  1. Very nice. A suggestion, could you show the side of the shoe so we can see the heel as well? I know these are flats but still nice to see how the shod goes with the outfit. The salmon color could also be coral pink, I suppose, for the other dress. Nice idea with the belt. I was at the hairdressers the other day and a woman had a wide belt on over an A type dress that she was showing us. It was really wide but I think that type of belt only works on a tall person. The one you have looks good on the dress as shown. Thanks! And I love cap sleeves.

  2. Tres chic! Black on black cannot be beat. I would go so far as to say that Black is the new black. But my favorite thing of all about this post is the glimpse of the Making of the Directrice! The photographer looks VERY professional. Is there a wind machine? And does he shout encouragement as you work?

    • No wind machine — Directrice Global Industries, Inc. invested all of its capital in a dry-ice machine for the foggy/hazy effects. My devoted photographer does shout instructions — but I can’t hear him because he’s too far away. Perhaps we will one day invest in one of those super-fancy camera lenses, so that we don’t have to stand so far apart to shoot pictures . . .

  3. That black on black really works for me. It seems to evoke Audrey Hepburn with no effort. The belt is killer here for sure. It looks cool, feminine, and classic. Love these outfits!

  4. I just discovered your blog during my (endless) rambles through the style jungle, and I absolutely love your sense of humor. I’m a native Washingtonian living in upstate NY now, and I’ve been redefining who I am as part of the obligatory midlife crisis of a mom/writer/city lover stuck in suburbia. So – thank you! I’m enjoying your style, thoughts, and the occasional reference to very familiar stomping grounds.

    • Hi Hope — I am so glad you are enjoying the blog! When your mid-life flirtation with suburbia is done — you can always come back to D.C. We’ll all be waiting. (Toward the end of the work day, or the end of a business trip, my husband often sends me the following message: “Come home! All is forgiven!” It always cracks me up.) Thanks so much for stopping by.

  5. I love this outfit. So pretty but also modern and very cool. Grown woman stylish/cool not temperature-wise, though that too really. I’m going to wear a version of it (mentally ransacking my wardrobe … pausing and gazing upwards to my right as I type) on Monday. Many thanks Directrice.

  6. I love this! And my 5-1/2-year-old son says he loves your purse. So there you go.

    I’ve been enjoying your blog SO MUCH.

    • Violiniste — I am so pleased to hear that you and your son have been enjoying the blog. (Who doesn’t like a glossy bag?) Tell friends about it, if you think they might like it, too!


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