The Return of the Maximalist

We’re half-way through the summer and so far I’ve been a model of restraint and subtlety.
Plainly, that will not do.

Summer is lawless in D.C. — one’s Metro card feels more like a three month get-out-of-jail-free pass on the standards of business casual — and we must take advantage of the situation.
Why, you ask, this suspension of standards? Well, before the widespread installation of electricity, people abandoned the city in the summer. That heritage has enduring power* — everything is air-conditioned now and the city keeps working, but it feels like we shouldn’t be and therefore we act like we aren’t . . . to the greatest extent possible. Also, with people coming and going on vacation, it’s never entirely clear who’s “here,” who’s “out,” and who is in-between.
Some of my colleagues may be asking, Directrice, what are you talking about? There are still rules

The line between vacation and work is blurred during the summer; telecommuting helps confuse the situation
Added to the nostalgia-fueled tension are the physical effects of high temperatures. Heat stroke + dehydration = impaired judgment, hallucinations. Again, the opportunities for mischief abound!

Despite the fact that I might, might, be able to get away with a halter dress like this (which I think would look very chic with a belt), I don’t push the envelope that hard.
I am content to show my shoulders, wear fun sandals, and engage in advanced pattern mixing.
Not simply content here, thinking of something funny that The Photographer said earlier today

This top is kind of brilliant. It’s blue, cream and taupe on black — which means it goes with everything. The fabric is a whisper-weight chiffon, double-layered to create opacity and then finished with a heavy, ribbed trim along the hem — which weights the chiffon down.
Such a clever fabrication

Hair is alive; who knew I had short hair?
In the previous photo, it looks as though the wind is blowing my hair around. But it looks exactly the same in this photo. So, it isn’t wind. My hair is just standing out from my head at strange angles.
When I last visited my stylist, we had a very intense conversation about haircuts, style, and trends during which he referred to my cut as “short.” I had thought of it as a mid-length, but he says no, mid-length is chin length or longer.
I have short hair!

Back to the outfit. Taken altogether, we have an abstract print top, a striped skirt, and color-blocked sandals. It’s a busy combination, but not too busy. Indeed, it’s comparatively understated. I thought about adding these pearls, but pulled myself back from the brink. These pearls also might have looked nice.
Transparency not entirely apparent here, but hand is glowing

I went inside briefly to change and left The Photographer on the sidewalk where he captured this dreamy urban street scene . . . which is two ambulances.
The Photographer goes into a dream sequence

Although the top is dressy, the ribbed trim reads sporty, so I thought a denim skirt was a plausible alternative to the silk skirt.
Denim quiets things down

Such a fan of the denim skirt
A glossy, navy tote seemed like the right choice to me — better than black.

And . . . scene! I have no more commentary to offer.
Action shot! Clearly something has caught my eye — probably a dog

Top: 3.1 Phillip Lim; Ivory Skirt: Ganni; Denim skirt: Eileen Fisher; Shoes: Wonders
* I have a little more commentary! Consider the siesta in modern Madrid or Barcelona. Most workers seem to be working through the afternoon, and yet everyone acts as though the siesta happened and eats dinner at 10:00 p.m.

12 thoughts on “The Return of the Maximalist”

    • Trish McEvoy has discontinued Essential Pencil No. 10 (Plum Brown), which I have worn regularly for more than 10 years! This color is my replacement: Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in . . . FIERCE. I was testing colors without my glasses last weekend at Blue Mercury and sent the clerk off in search of another shade — “HOOK” — which she could not find in stock because, I realized today, the color I thought was HOOK is actually called ROCK. Should have put on my glasses, but I think those are equally ridiculous, implausible names for a lipstick.

  1. Ooh, I love the denim skirt! I can never make the ‘tube’ shape work for me, but your pairing with the demure ruffles is giving me ideas!

  2. If you’re still into subversive pearls, I suggest you check out Kojima pearl. I’m obsessed.

    I also love the shape of that top.

    • Love the Kojima pearls — thank you for recommending, Rb. The loose pearls make me want to launch into a jewelry making project!

  3. Both outfits rock; my favorite, the light skirt. It just has the look and all your accessories make the look with quiet grace. Warm weather is difficult to negotiate with dignity but you have it! And with forward style!


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