Three Hundred Posts

Here it is: Our 300th post!
Trumpets! Confetti! Cake!

A few months ago, I received an email from a D.C. lawyer who, like me, has a secret, Internet alter-ego dedicated to style: Caroline Ashford.
Friends sometimes ask me how I find the time to write this blog in addition to my work, household, and gift-wrapping responsibilities. You know what? Turns out a blog is practically nothing. Caroline is designing and manufacturing shoes.
Caroline made the shoes and handbag
Caroline made my shoes and handbag*

Let’s take a closer look at the elegant shoes without forcing The Photographer to lay on the ground.
These are so well-designed: a low heel (provides presence while ensuring comfort), an almond shaped toe that is squared off at the tip (which reminds me of my pointe shoes), and a vamp that is perfect for work (not too high, not too low). Gold accents add a little glamorous punctuation to the understated design.
A closer look at the  elegant shoes
A closer look at the elegant shoes

Technically, she didn't make them; she made someone else make them
Technically, Caroline didn’t make the shoes and bag; she made someone else make them
Caroline’s initiative in conceiving and then executing this venture astonish me.
I’ve thought about incorporating a design business (Directrice Interiors LLC, a division of Directrice Global Industries Ltd.) so that I can get trade discounts at the Design Center . . . but have been too lazy to actually to research the necessary filing and reporting obligations.
While I have been daydreaming about trade discounts, Caroline has been attending trade shows and working with vendors in Spain and Italy.

Caroline decided to launch this business because she could not find elegant, low-heeled shoes to wear with business clothes. Caroline’s aesthetic is classic, understated, and stream-lined. Once she decided to make shoes, matching handbags were a natural follow-on. And then gloves.
To read more about Caroline, and her shoes and handbags, visit her website:
Or, if you just want a closer look this minute, cozy up to me.
Come, let's be cozy
Come, let us be cozy

Graceful satchel
They say that necessity is the mother of invention
We have previously discussed my suedefear (fear of witnessing the destruction of suede,
generally at the hands of rain**), but suedelove is stronger than suedefear.
This suede is particularly fine, possibly the softest and finest I’ve ever touched.

This camel shade is beautiful — warm, but not yellow — and will work beautifully with ivory and, as we move into hotter temperatures, white.
Camel up close satchel
Is that just another way of saying, Do I have to do everything around here myself?

So, the bag and shoes are beautiful.
I am a bit uncertain about the rest of this ensemble and I need your help.
I am wearing a dress over a blouse. I saw the dress on The Outnet several months ago and felt compelled to buy it. It ticked all the boxes:

  • printed filmy patchwork top reminiscent of blurry Polaroid nature shots;
  • filmy, see-through fabric;
  • pleated metallic skirt, likely impossible to launder or dry clean;
  • loose, dropped waist;
  • slippery straps.
My uncertainty has grown
Are you thinking, Those are your boxes?

Uncertainty now engulfing me
It all made sense at the time
What was I thinking?
Well, the dress is filmy and dreamy and futuristic and that all seemed very appealing — indeed, irresistible — two months ago.
The Outnet showed this dress over a tissue-weight turtleneck. That’s a possibility. Perhaps it needs a belt above the pleated skirt? A blouse with longer short-sleeves? An overblouse? A short cardigan?
This, dear readers, is our greatest challenge yet. Let’s figure this out.

I await your wise counsel. If you have nothing to say about the dress, feel free to post some trumpets, confetti, and cake to celebrate the 300th post, or a few words about what you hope to see in the next 300 posts!
Dress: MM6; Blouse: Y3 by Yoji Yamamoto; Bag: Clarison Washington; Shoes: Clarison Jackie; Sunglasses: Illesteva Leonard
* As required by the FTC, let me disclose that the shoes were a gift from Caroline to me, lawyer/entrepreneur to lawyer/influencer. The bag I borrowed for the photos.
** Hands of rain? I crack myself up.

22 thoughts on “Three Hundred Posts”

  1. Methinks it needs some structure to ground it, like a lightening rod! What about a leather hip bag? Or perhaps three slim belts, not matching in color/style but coordinating, of course.

  2. Congratulations, Directrice!!!

    I love the outfit as is, but how about a more structural underblouse? My first thought was that a belt could cover up the weird middle, but upon reflection I think you should embrace the weird middle and strategically amp up the weird via the blouse.

  3. Congratulations on your 300th post. I love the blog. Not fond of this dress though, sorry. In the first picture I thought it looked like a too big dress that was falling off your hips. Usually I adore your outfits. We all have different tastes. I do like the shoes and bag. I will check out her website.

  4. I agree with Erin….a trio of thin belts would ground this outfit. I also might add a soft ’tissue-weight’ short sleeved ‘t’ in a solid color, the blurred Polaroid offers many choices. Caroline’s shoes and handbag are wonderful! Congrats to you and the Photographer on your 300th post !!!!

  5. Three hundred posts of wit and insight! This is something to celebrate!! I’m afraid that I’m struggling with the dress, however. The shoulder straps are too narrow and don’t balance the dropped waist. I don’t see a remedy to the situation.

  6. Give me a minute while I swoon over POCKETS! I love the dress but the blouse is perhaps a bit fussy. Maybe a sleeveless solid shell or tank?

    Congratulations on your blog milestone. Love it!

  7. Here’s to cake and confetti, not to mention your wit, whimsy, and inclination to take the leap when it comes to outfits. In terms of what you’re wearing, the dress doesn’t read as one, but as a skirt and top, with the skirt looking a bit too big in the waist. Perhaps simpler on the blouse? The tissue thin turtle neck you mentioned or something like it appeals, and with that, a belt to add structure. As for your posts, love each and every one. Looking forward to at the very least 300 more.

  8. Very cool fabric on the skirt, however, to my eye the waistband looks too big for you and has fallen down below your waist. I don’t think it flatters your beautiful figure. The fabric doesn’t look like it would drape if the waistband were taken in, b/c of the pleats, which look stiff in the photo.

    Congrats on 300! I don’t know how you do it!

  9. Interesting dress, it’s got kind of a flapper dropped waist vibe to it. I don’t think I”d have put that particular blouse with it, but I have to say it looks very signature you.

    It goes well with the shoes which I really like a lot. I saw some similar at H&M but they were so stiff and cheap they’d have been a waste to buy even at a low price. These look much more comfortable and worth the money.

    • Flappers ! Well-spotted, that’s exactly what Directrice looks like in the first pic, marcel waves and all.

      Congratulations on the 300 and looking forward to the next 300 to come.

  10. Congrats on this milestone. You, among all other fashion bloggers, select unique items and combine them in a very thought provoking way. Didn’t like this dress on first glance. However, after looking at it several ways, it has so much potential! I think a belt is needed, perhaps dark amethyst or mustard. Sheer top
    would add to the overall effect. Watch out for the “hands” of time.

  11. Congratulations on your milestone! I absolutely love the shoes and think your compatriot is on to something — I, too, can never find low-heeled, elegant shoes for work. Heading over to her site, thanks!

  12. Congratulations from Kate and celebrate making time for all of us along with nourishing your hobby endeavor. Thank you. Interesting and pretty outfit..

  13. Palomino! The color of the bag and shoes is palomino. So very beautiful. I love the shoes and bag. Kudos to Caroline.
    I find the dress utterly charmingly, no belt needed. I’d be afraid a belt would sit awkwardly on that dropped waistline. I do like the blouse with it. So I’m no help in the tweaking department, merely an enabler.

  14. Congratulations and thank you for 300 pleasant breaks/excuses to stop writing/tips and tricks! I look forward to the next 300.

    Since you asked, I will give you my thoughts on the dress. It’s kinda weird, but in a good way. I find the blouse placket distracting, since there’s already so much going on in the three parts of the outfit. I like the idea of a solid, tissue-weight shirt underneath. I could also see some kind of bolo jacket/sweater instead of the underneath shirt. I wouldn’t add a belt because it seems counter to the intent of the drop waist. Plus, you’ve already got three distinct parts.

    Also, the shoes are very fabulous and elegant, but maybe something wilder to go with the wild dress would be more harmonious.

  15. Congratulations and throwing celebratory confetti in honor of the 300th post! I really like the shoes, very classic and look very comfortable for work or dressy occasions. I looked at her website and spotted the gloves, nice!!!! Thanks for sharing these products with us.
    I am not fond of the dress. I don’t think it looks good at the waist and I am surprised it is part of a dress as it looks like a separate skirt.


  16. Congratulations to you and the photographer. Your blog has shown, with the amount of time and effort you have expended, considerable respect for your readers. Your blog has been creative, lnformative, and fun. Thank you.
    The bag and the shoes are marvelous. I will definitely look at Caroline’s site.
    The dress has possibilities. The suggestions your readers have made are worth experimentation. I like the side view of the dress, but the front view could use some help.

  17. Congratulations on 300! Sending thanks and a virtual pièce-montée to celebrate with 😀

    The dress… the complete clash of undertones between top and skirt parts bother me, for once: I just can’t see that it is a thought out dress. Belts on a charleston waist are impossible. I’m with Hope on the placket; a linen T-shirt maybe? – with a cowl neck if you want to dress it up a bit. Sorry to be a downer on a party day, but I think this might be my first true ‘miss’.

  18. Well, I do like the dress – very much, in fact. I think a different under-blouse would work better; it seems to me that this one it too structured & androgynous. I want a lower neckline, and either plainness or feminine detail in the blouse. Sleeve length looks fine to me – as is, longer, or shorter, I don’t think that’s a deciding factor. Part of me would be tempted to separate top and bottom of this dress – not because I don’t think they work together (I think they do), but because then each could also work with other things. Perhaps a wide elastic sewn stretched to the back of the waistband could bring it in a little all over?
    Congratulations on 300 posts – you definitely give us a taste for more.


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