Our Lady of Little Things

Let it never be said that your Directrice, despite being a greedy little thing herself, encourages you to buy, buy, buy.


When I am wearing something that is available in stores, I’ll share that information. Once or twice a year, I’ll tell you that you should buy a specific thing.  See, e.g., Anthropologie’s universally flattering Somerset Dress (only in solid and cotton prints, not silk or other fluid fabrics). But mostly, this blog deals in ideas — concepts that you can reproduce in your own closets.

Are we agreed? Also: these JCrew flats are currently available and really great

Here are a few little things for you to ponder.

First, consider this beautiful Ulla Johnson blouse that I bought on The RealReal some time ago and hadn’t been able to figure out. I was drawn to the watery tie-dye print in rose tones ranging from Capezio pink to cranberry. The sleeves were originally voluminous — too big to fit under a sweater or even a blazer (as I originally intended), so I had them tapered to the manageable circumference you see here.

Then I found that the silk was too delicate to assert itself as a Statement Blouse and too pretty to cover up.

What to do, what to do I wondered, and then I realized: This blouse needs a layer underneath that can create volume and structure.

Remember this peplum tank from 2015? Things live a long time in my closet

My blouse now has a petticoat; the petticoat makes the blouse
Made for one another, no? The peachy pink of the tank matches some of the faint stripes running through the blouse


Washingtonians have been ready for spring since March 1, but the weather hasn’t been willing to meet us where we are. It’s been (or seemed) unseasonably cold and yet one wants to lighten up.

Here’s the compromise: Lighten up some. (For those keeping track, that’s Little Thing No. 2.) A medium-weight cashmere cardigan with a sleeveless top, light-colored pants, and black-and-white brogues seems right.

Maybe this is more fall than spring, but it’s definitely transitional

This top looks best under something


In this plaid Brogger top, like most (all) Brogger clothes, volume is the point.  This particular top, however, needs some restraining element — a belt or, as seen here, a fitted cardigan — to keep it from flying away.

I think I can get away with this bow IF the top is under a cardigan.

The ties were much longer, but I just snip snip snipped them to a more manageable length. If I decide this bow should only be a square knot, I’ll trim a little more away. I’ll ask the seamstress at the drycleaner to hem the ties tidily when I bring the top in for cleaning.

It’s not a pert bow; a pert bow would be insupportable

Are you going to say something about the brooch?
I think it speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

I’ve added a white brooch, another light touch, which I found at Please Do Not Enter.

Just trying to give my colleagues something to think about.


I have a second brooch that reads “CONFIDENTIAL.” That feels vaguely suggestive to me and possibly NSFW.

There’s no real explanation for SAMPLE; it just is


Stay with me just a little longer, Directorate, for one more little thing.

Navy and white is always fresh for spring. If you want to rush the season, do as I’ve done here and combine a navy merino sweater with white jeans.

Wear the right fabric for the temperature and the right colors for the season

Large tunic under sweater is just right with these not-entirely-flattering white jeans

I think I confessed some time ago to buying this Marques Almeida sweater in three different colors/weights/fits? Such a Greedy Little Thing.

Because I bought them second-hand, we don’t know if the differences in weight and fit are due to the laundering practices of previous owners or were the designers’ deliberate choices, but I love all three. This navy one is soft, heavy, and longer than the other two, seen here and here

Come closer and take a look at this brooch — a handmade safety pin loaded with painted wooden charms. This brooch, by Morgan Hill through Ombre Gallery, is dynamic and fun + super lightweight. The charms move around over the course of the day.

Unfortunately my favorite charm — the coffin — is hiding in this view

Flats: JCrew Quinn Square-toe Ballet Flat

3 thoughts on “Our Lady of Little Things”

  1. Yay for the flats! These are perfect.
    I also admire the funky cerebral jewelry. I completely enjoy a staid outfit with that twist – the bow and the brooches.


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