Five Hundred

Because I periodically go to court, I have two fancy suits.

You’ve seen them here and here.
To re-fresh your memory, I am showing you one now.
I had a couple of significant hearings this summer — in different courts — and decided that this would be The Suit of The Directrice’s Judicial Circuit (Summer 2019).
Directrice and Suit as they looked in January 2016, when the suit was already 10 years old

I tried the suit on before packing it — you always should before packing something you haven’t worn for a while* — and thought it lacked pizzazz.
So I tossed a little something extra in my bag. A weapon that TSA would never detect.
Off to do justice with the kick-@$$ belt

The Photographer labelled this photo set “Tory Runs The World”
How smart is this look?
So smart.
What’s the lesson here?
Take care of your good clothes.
What’s the other lesson?
Always be willing to consider something new. A very small change can make something old entirely new.
What’s the other, other lesson?
Be like Michelle Obama.

With regard to belts over jackets, you are going to see this look everywhere this fall. Apparently it was big in the SS2019 fashion shows. Please remember that you saw it here first.+
You did see it here first, in November 2016
You talkin’ to me?

Are you wondering about the title of this post?
This is Post No. 500. I am astonished to find that I have published 500 posts. On the one hand, it seems like an awful lot of content to have generated with only 2-3 posts a week. (Remember, in the beginning I posted M/W/F.) On the other hand, I’ve been doing this for five years.**
Five Hundred seems like a moment to ask, Is this crazy? Why am I doing this?
Every other month I think, Why am I doing this? I can’t come up with another idea! and then I do

Tell me again about how you alternate the free weights with “the machines”
I started the blog, in part, just to see if I could actually create a blog and get anyone to read it. (I also believed, briefly, that it was an interesting topic for conversation, but I soon realized that it was no more interesting — to a listener — than hearing someone talk about his exercise routine.) Upon achieving a rudimentary knowledge of WordPress and a small number of encouraging readers, the blog become a bit of a compulsion. So now I write these posts because . . . I can’t seem to stop.
I routinely think the well’s run dry, but once I come up with a few ideas, I appreciate the challenge of doing so. And I find it very soothing to write these posts. And then I am ever so gratified to read your comments. I’m a terrible glutton for comments. I always want more, so do your part and feed the beast.

Did you know that the kick-@SS belt has a partner? The Downtown Tote! My splurgey YSL purchase from 2007, which has been many places and (I believe) opened many doors.
They met in my closet.
Downtown Tote Runs the World


Don’t forget to look at Thursday’s post, which went up late.
Suit: Elie Tahari; Blouse: Tory Burch; Shoes: Tory Burch; Belt: Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti; Bag: YSL Downtown Tote

* Always, always try things on before you put them in your suitcase if you haven’t worn them in the last month or two. It would be very disappointing to discover at your destination that something doesn’t fit or is torn or stained.
+ You also saw Dress Over Pants and Bustier As Work-Wear here first. And you will simply have to take me at my word when I tell you that I invented the maxi skirt and maxi dress in, like, 1999.
** Those doing the math (52 weeks x 2 posts per week x 5.5 years) may be feeling a little ripped off. I do the best that I can.

46 thoughts on “Five Hundred”

  1. Congrats on your 500th post! Adding the belt to the suit looks very polished and yet gives just a little edge. Thank you for continuing to share your style, your sense of humor, and your tips for jazzing up an outfit.

  2. Feeding the beast. 🙂 I adore your blog! It is definitely one of my favorites and always a really special treat when your posts appear. I am not a diligent commenter though, but please do know that your creative work is immensely appreciated. I shall try, however, to do my part more often.

  3. Here’s to the next 500! (No pressure.) I don’t comment often, if ever, but I look forward to new posts and read every one. Thank you for sharing your sense of style and whimsy with us – you’re truly a day-brightener.

  4. Directrice, thank you so much for continuing to post and doing what you do! As I layered one cheap sleeveless dress over another last week to create a work outfit that drew compliments, I realized that it was your influence at work. Before encountering you, such would never have occurred to me. Perhaps it is part of your mission, to bring a bit of grace? I come from a long line of nerdy and ill-dressed women, and I need all the help I can get.

    • Dear Christine Q — I’ve read these comments several times (always a boost + looking for ideas) and yours has made me laugh out loud each time. SO delighted to be a bit of assistance as you graft a new branch in your family tree.

  5. My apparent soul sister, Christine Q, wrote above, “I come from a long line of nerdy and ill-dressed women, and I need all the help I can get.” LOL! Me, too! And similar to Christine’s experience, I tried on a slightly too large sheath dress the other day and thought hmmm, I could put a blouse under this, a la the Directrice.

    Thanks for all you do! I read every word, esp the fine print.

    • Nothing could be more pleasing to me than a blouse under your too large sheath, Bette — except your participation in this blog as a long-time and very thoughtful commenter!

  6. Good advice to check your clothes before packing. I have absentmindedly a few times, packed some clothes that I didn’t realize I should have taken to the cleaners before the trip…. sigh. Trying the clothes on too is a good idea.
    Cute outfit but perhaps add some famous Directrice color? Or even a dash, it seems a bit dark for a summer outfit although very professional.
    Keep up the blogging!!!!

  7. I am feeding the beast as I truly enjoy your posts. Its your humour and creativity that appeals and your style bravery.. I think your basic philosophy is ” why not try this?”

  8. Congratulations on your milestone! I read every post but don’t comment often. I love your fashion sense and your writing. You DO have fans out here!!!

  9. Dear Directrice, Congratulations to you and the Photographer on achieving this milestone! I believe I’ve been following you since approx. post #10 and have enjoyed them all! I adore your style, witty commentary and overall joie de vivre that you share in each post. Thank you and please carry on!

  10. As a largely silent reader, just wanted to say how much I enjoy your posts even though I don’t have an interest in clothes as wardrobe, but love clothes as art. Really like your writing (especially the captions!) and the way the photos illustrate your concepts.

  11. Your posts always bring a smile to my lips. I know I will be charmed, entertained and enlightened by what I read. What a bright spot in my inbox! I will add my voice to the chorus of faithful readers—Please don’t stop!

  12. Another faithful, non-commenting reader here – I love your accessible style and have both layered and belted because of you. Thanks for blogging, congrats on 500, and keep it up!

  13. Congrats on 500. Man, how time flies. Love your charm and wit as well as the photographer’s lovely photos and always entertaining comments. Also love your creative, beautiful and delightfully odd fashion pairings. I’ve spread the word to many of my fellow fashion geeks who may not make the sartorial leaps you do, but love to live vicariously. We all agree – you’re a cool cat. Oh yeah, and love your cats.

  14. Hello Directrice! Congratulations on this and in each earlier of your massive number of posts. Your faithful readers clearly love your work. I might try the belt over jacket idea yet. Does the jacket bunch up under the belt at all? I’se gots to know (without actually trying it myself)! If you show us this look again, please tell us how it feels to wear. My favourite dress of yours is still the black cotton Moschino. I want it so if you’re ever giving it away, though it seems you keep your clothes for decades at least, please think of me. You belted that too.

  15. Felicitations pour 500! You have such an amazing, unique style. I love your risk-taking choices. This belt needs to meet the denim dress from your previous post “Fully Loaded.” They would look smashing together. 🙂

  16. Félicitations on reaching 500 posts! I only found your blog a couple of years ago, but I adore your writing voice even more, if possible, than your style. An inspiration for any woman trying to jazz up the liberal professions with fashion and accessories that successfully navigate the line between creative and kooky.

  17. Congratulations to the Directrice and the Photographer on a successful collaboration! My life is brighter because of it. I’m so happy the kick-@SS belt has a beautiful partner in crime in that bag! Great textures in this outfit. You look smashing.

  18. Congratulations on 500! And I absolutely LOVE that you wear that to court — so many utterly blah suits in court. This is in every way appropriate but just a bit subversive and kick-a$$ at the same time. Well chuffed!

  19. 500! What a milestone. I don’t comment frequently but do appreciate every post, especially your captions 🙂

    Curious if you’ve ever loved a look in theory, but found it uncomfortable in practice? Like several pieces complemented each other beautifully as layers, but you were hot? felt constricted? the belt kept inching itself up or around? one piece kept trying to “eat” the other? there was just TOO MUCH FABRIC?

    • A good question, Cat! In my experiments at home I have definitely tried combinations and found them uncomfortable — those things don’t make it on to the blog. Occasionally, I have only realized after wearing something for a full day — Action Directrice! — that it’s not comfortable. I don’t think there are any of those outfits on the blog either . . . but I will keep it in mind as I clean my closet for fall and report back.

  20. I wish I could deliver applause, cake and confetti, but can only offer a few words: thank you for the wit, creativity and intelligence that have greatly enlivened my day each time you post. Reading the blog been a wonderful moment of calm and fun during tumultuous times in life. And so I’m in awe of your ability to produce the blog while achieving success in a greedy profession.

    • PS: If you find any k!cka$$ belts as you peruse the internet please let us know. Some of us may be in dire need of k!cking@$$ but not have your eye or your superb websearching/radar abilities.

  21. Dear Directrice, I am one of your fans! I always love seeing what you do with the pictures I take. According to Lightroom, the program we use to organize our photos, I’ve taken 32,676 pictures of you since we started, surely making you the most-photographed lawyer in Washington, D.C., if not the entire Eastern seaboard. It’s lovely that we have a hobby together, and it gives me great pleasure to help you with an uncomplicated pleasure that relaxes and soothes you. (Did that sound just slightly…oh, never mind; everyone here knows I am The Husband as well as The Photographer.) I also enjoy reading the comments, because your readers are smart and witty, and I know you love discussing clothes as much as you enjoy wearing them. (Readers, please keep commenting! The Directrice is a labor of love, not a moneymaking website, but your comments are what “pay” Tory and motivate her to keep going.) It’s been a fun 500 posts and my camera continues to be at your service.

  22. Another fan here, frequent reader, sometimes commenter. I make a lot of my own clothes and this is one of the few non-sewing sites I browse for inspiration. In fact, I finished a new shirt this weekend, went upstairs to make outfits with it, and immediately thought “the directrice would belt this.” So I tried a few, and determined I need new belts! 🙂 You’ve also pushed me to make better use of my large, primarily inherited, collection of brooches. Several ladies in older generations collected them, and I’m the only grandkid who was vaguely interested, so they have all come to me. Thank you for your blog, your good humor, and sharing your inspiration!

  23. Thank you for your blog, and may the inspiration continue; it brings me joy to read your posts, and I have no doubt that I have benefitted from your advice over the years, making my wardrobe a more interesting place to live.

  24. I’m definitely more of a lurker than a poster, but I love your blog and look forward to reading it. I especially appreciate your sense of humor. Congrats on hitting the 500 mark, and here’s to many more!

  25. Congratulations on the big 5-0-0! I’ve only been reading for about 2 years (though have happily delved into the archives on several occasions), and your writing never fails to delight! I eagerly await the next 500!

  26. Like others here, I am and will always be a HUGE fan. Thank you for giving me pause, helping me think out of the box, and showing me the greatest sartorial skills! You’re a gem! And bless the photographer too – great teamwork! KEEP GOING oxo

  27. Congrats on 500. I’ve been a long-time lurker since we met in Wyoming at the eclipse. You’ve definitely inspired me to think outside the box with my wardrobe. Now, every time I put on a basic outfit, I try to think how I could layer or add interest. My results wind up more along a pedestrian version, but I’m still pushing my own style forward! Thanks for all you’re doing to inspire and initiate conversation.

    • The Eclipse! It was such fun and such a treat to meet you, Laura. I am honored that you’ve been reading the blog since! Note: I bought a crazy Maison Margiela dress that features a silk-screened image of an eclipse on it last winter and need to show/wear it. I bought it from YOOX when I was home sick with a cold and made perfect sense at the time, but I now fear that it is simply evidence that I should not shop in bed when I am sick.

  28. First, congrats on 500!! Second, I need you to know how much I appreciate that the hardware on your shoes and bag match! I’m a bit obsessive about my hardware working nicely together and chide myself for spending too much time thinking about those details. You are my proof that it makes a difference!

  29. Congratulations on 500 posts – great milestone. Your blog is always witty and entertaining. I love the glimpses into your life! I tend to be more of a lurker, and while I haven’t changed my sartorial choices significantly, I have endeavored to feel more wit and spirit as I wear what I continue to wear! Your sense of fun and freedom is contagious.

  30. I’m usually less concerned about stains and tears than whether the pants will fit! You get congratulations for resisting donuts.

    Husband went to a conference a year or more ago and took a suit with him. Normally he works from home in his cargo shorts so this was a suit he’d worn in the early ’00 before he went rogue.
    He gets there and puts the pants on, they fit, but noticed little spots on the pants. I know this because he texted me a picture. Moths had gotten into the suit and there were holes! At the last minute he took out a Sharpee, and colored the underlying pocket black so it wouldn’t show.

    I hope your court cases go well!

  31. Heartfelt congratulations on 500(+) posts! A true record of service to your devoted readers.

    From the Flamenco Lifevest, to the Pieced Wonder (you absolutely must wear it!) to myriad and surprising uses of the bustier, you’ve sharpened our fashion sense, encouraged individual expression through fearless dressing, and inspired creativity in ways that go well beyond what’s in our closets.

    You’ve helped us navigate shopping sites, improve our accessorizing, and even given tips on tailoring! And, In your generous posts from father afield, you’ve guided us through the world of travel as well as of apparel. You’ve challenged and charmed us.

    In sum, this gentle, witty, stylish and practical blog — and its community of thoughtful fans — is a welcome change from what’s typically on offer through social media.

    And so beautifully illustrated with sparkling images!

    Kudos to you and the gallant Photographer on this wonderful venture, of which we are all the grateful beneficiaries…

    Blog on, and —
    Vive la Directrice!

  32. Hello Justine — The jacket does not bunch up. It’s not super-fitted, but is not loose — so the belt is comfortable. I’ve worn this suit, belted, for full days, including meals, flights, and train rides — which suggests to me that I am truly comfortable.


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