The Directrice Opines: Professional But Approachable

I was traveling last week for appointments that I felt were more dress than suit.

Perhaps you are wondering what the difference is? I wear a dress when I want to look professional, but approachable.
This deceptively simple Jil Sander dress looks conservative (deceptively conservative) but is ingeniously modern. Just in case the seaming is too subtle on a quick viewing, I decided to wear a slightly subversive strand of pearls.
Be assured, this is modern and subversive

Rubenesque pearls
Subversive pearls? Is that a thing?
Yes! These plump pearls are strung on a black leather cord.

I found these pearls in Santa Fe at the Sugarman Peterson Gallery. The more I wear them, the more I like them. They look very nice with a tee-shirt and jeans.
I really like the irreverence of this necklace

In addition to my clothes, I needed to bring a laptop and a couple of binders of material. Altogether, it didn’t amount to more than a carry-on suitcase of stuff but because I wanted to review the binders during the flight, I had to pack my things in a three nesting bags: a handbag, a tote, and a hardshell, carry-on suitcase.
The handbag fit inside the tote; the tote fit inside the suitcase; then, I swallowed the suitcase

I have everything at the ready — except for my pajamas, which are in the suitcase that I was forced to swallow to meet the carry–on baggage limit.
The Directrice wears handbag and tote Rambo-style

Even though I didn’t want to wear a suit, I knew I’d need a jacket because of the excessive air-conditioning that is now standard everywhere. Whisk, whisk, whisk through the closet looking for the right jacket to wear with a navy dress. For those of you who are vexed by small differences in shades of black or navy when you try to combine separates, remember that those differences will disappear if the pieces are made from different fabrics. Here, a taffeta jacket and wool dress appear to match perfectly.
Suit-of-separates is very A-line
The silhouette doesn’t make me look slim, but I think it has a certain chic

Perhaps you don’t like to travel with jewelry? Personally, I would never put jewelry in a checked bag.
A scarf is a smart alternative.
I have an idea

Of course, I consider my vintage Liberty scarves as valuable as jewelry and wouldn’t put them in a checked bag, either. But a 24 x 24 inch scarf is very small when folded and can easily be tucked into a handbag. And then swallowed if necessary.
Such a clever traveler, so many tricks

I must admit that this particular scarf was an inspiration just before we headed outside to take photos. I was putting extra hosiery away and noticed it at the top of stack in the drawer.
I love this bronze color with navy.
Note: bronze scarf relates to mirrored gold heels

A lucky inspiration
Why does this scarf look so good with navy? There is no navy in it.

Ah, the magic of the color wheel.
Come closer and take note of all the non-navy colors that are in the scarf. Do you see that cornflower blue? Did you remember that the lining of my jacket is that exact shade? MFEO.
A serendipitous combination

Dress: Jil Sander; Jacket: Carven; Shoes: Tory Burch; Handbag: Marc by Marc Jacobs; Tote: George Gina & Lucy from YOOX (my tote seems to be sold out, but many other cute bags); Scarf: Liberty (vintage, found on Etsy); Necklace: Alice Bailey Designs at Sugarman Peterson Gallery

11 thoughts on “The Directrice Opines: Professional But Approachable”

  1. I love this dress still. Maybe even more now, considering the tenor of our times, which make me want to be subversive yet demure. This is the perfect dress for that. Pearls or Liberty scarf go well with the theme of subversive yet demure.

  2. The whole outfit really looks fabulous and tells your wardrobe story as well with collected pieces playing nicely with others. Wish my scarves had more flexibility with colors but I tend to buy without thought to coordinate. Your travel look rocks. The shoes are a big “yes”.

  3. love the subversive pearls, Directrice. and the fact that your clothing – and even accessories- are apparently all edible.

  4. Looking at this post again, there are two things I envy:
    1. That pearl necklace.
    2. Your facial expression in “*Such* a clever traveler, so hilarious.” I am going to practice and practice until I get it right.


Leave a Comment