The Summer Code

Summer! It is upon us. Best case scenario for most of us is temperatures in the 80s. Best case. For those at the lower latitudes or trapped under a temporary heat-dome, temperatures will be in the 90s . . . or higher.


If you are wondering how to dress for this, I have two words for you: Dresses and Fun Tops.

Perhaps that’s four words, or 3 words (the nouns) + 1 conjunction.

That’s four words, Directrice

Some of you may be asking, “How is this different from your winter advice, Directrice?”

Are they really asking that? Has no one internalized my teachings?
They are asking, and we must answer


The winter code is very different. During the winter, the two words are Smart Jackets and A Third Piece.

In the heat, there isn’t going to be much layering — except for whatever jacket, sweater, or wrap you bring to work to protect you from Testosterone Indexed Air Conditioning. When the temperature is high outside, a dress is the easiest way to get dressed.

The winter code is, technically, six words — but I think we can agree that it’s only two concepts

And thusly begins the parade of summer dresses! Many of you may remember I feel guilty for publishing posts about dresses because, beyond selecting one, there isn’t much creativity that goes into wearing them. I will do my best, however, to compensate with tips regarding alterations and accessories.

In early May I saw a woman at Metro Center wearing the most beautiful navy midi dress. It had short sleeves that seemed to be partially gathered on the top side and flared on the underside, creating a shape a little like a trumpet or y-joint. Sort of like the sleeves on this fun jacket.

I should have asked her where she bought her dress, because my Internet search that evening did not uncover it.*

Greed Giant was overconfident and consequently a little disappointed

Seek and you may find; Banana Republic Factory for the win


I did, however, find this navy dress which was similar enough and had the unexpected virtue of being inexpensive.

The dress had a partially buttoned placket but I wanted something a little more severe looking, so I added two snaps. Now it closes at the collar. I also found that by closing the placket, the bodice and sleeves were drawn into a more interesting shape. Vaguely Shogun.

A diversion: After reading a review of the new Shogun adaptation, The Photographer and I discussed whether we should watch it. He had seen the original (with Richard Chamberlain), which he remembered as very good, but I was too young to watch it during that network airing.+ Over dinner, I got him to tell me the entire story (1152 pp. reading or 12 hours viewing) by just saying, “And then what happened?” over and over. I thought at some point he would lose patience, but he was so astonished at how well he remembered this epic television event of 1980 that he took me all the way to the end. So, I know how it ends, but I won’t spoil it for you.

Deeply cut armscye does not appear to be revealing undergarments; don’t know how or why, but that’s good 

How much does an elevator weigh?


In the photos above, I’ve used a black patent leather belt to accentuate the waist. That’s the safe option.

But I wore this dress to work with the Weight Securing System. If an elevator cable breaks at office, my belt can hold it (as well as anyone in the elevator) in place while we wait for the fire department. Assuming I can tie a fast knot. 

You only know how to tie one knot — a square knot — and that may not even be a sailor’s knot
Something to work on this summer!

* I also should have paid this woman a compliment and made her morning. Who doesn’t like to hear that she looks chic on her way to work?

+ This post, about a vaguely Shogun jacket, received comments about Shogun, which of course led directly into The Thornbirds. Enjoy!

Dress: Banana Republic Factory Tie Waist Poplin Dress; similar ones from Tuckernuck here (I really like the sleeves) and Everlane here (in black, not navy); a seamstress could easily remove the collar


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