WWMOD: A Belt Underneath

I am already missing Michelle Obama. I am such a fan.
I am hoping that we will see her around town more after she leaves the White House, and not less. In honor of her eight exemplary years as First Lady, all future posts in which belts play a central role shall be titled “WWMOD” or What Would Michelle Obama Do?

How charming is this blue oxford blouse tipped with black? I say: Very Charming. It is, however, charming and voluminous. Possibly, voluminous yet charming.
It’s easy to manage volume with a belt, like so.
A simple belt
A skinny belt manages this particular volume

Cute blouse, right?
Cute blouse, right?
A black belt would have been a logical choice. A solid choice.
But I like this yellow-orange against the light blue field.

The voluminous yet charming blouse includes a surprise: a dip in the back. I tend to think this back is a little low for office wear. Perhaps it would be OK at the height of summer (with a white eyelet skirt?), but now that we are into fall, I think I need to cover up.
A disqualifying attraction
A disqualifying attraction

Done! That was easy!
I borrowed the jacket from my black workaday suit. It’s a nice light wool gabardine, suitable for wear year-round. Given that it can be worn year-round, I should take it out of my closet more. I wear the suit pants frequently and if the suit isn’t worn as a suit often, it does make sense to wear the jacket with some regularity so that the jacket and pants may visit the drycleaner as a couple and degrade in tandem.
Problem solved
Two problems solved with one jacket

Note turned-back cuffs, glimpses of interesting things, self-satisfied expression
I like this simple outfit, which is actually a little complex.
We have: a ruffled blouse worn belted and under a blazer. Some might say that the essential purposes of the ruffles and belt are defeated when worn under something, but I disagree. The blazer is loose enough to show the structure of the ruffles, as well as the shaping that the belt gives to the blouse. It’s subtle, but glimpses of interesting things are revealed.
Uncharacteristically, I’ve turned back the cuffs of my blazer to show the lining. It’s not really showing up in these photos, but it’s a grey and white striped silk.

At this time of year, a blazer provides enough warmth for cooler mornings and evenings while sparing me the trouble of carrying a trenchcoat.
Perhaps I am a little chilly when walking to Metro early in the morning.
What to do? What to do?
I am a little chilly, and I haven't gotten a flu shot yet
I am a little chilly, and I haven’t gotten a flu shot yet

We’re back in scarf weather, my wheelhouse.

Nothing can hurt me now, right?
Nothing can hurt me now, right? See earlier post on therapeutic properties of scarves
Do you remember this scarf? None of the colors in the scarf matches any of the colors I am wearing (except black), yet it works. The robin’s egg blue in the scarf relates to the blue of the blouse; the lemon yellow in the scarf relates to the gold belt.

I love this black suede bag, but I’ve been noticing a little color transfer from the bag to my fingertips. If that’s what I’ve noticed, it’s probably coming off on my clothes, too. I mentioned it to my tailor and she tells me she has a fix. It involves wax and steam. I am extremely excited to learn about this process, which I am ready to trademark in her name: Fatimalizing!
Suede bag, looking forward to Fatimalizing
Suede bag, looking forward to Fatimalizing

She tells me that color transfer is an issue with suede unless it is treated in some manner. Have you experienced this problem? I assume that a waterproofing treatment would also prevent color transfer.
Everything is old and from JCrew, except . . . Blouse: JCrew Ruffle Top in End-on-End Cotton; Scarf: Tory Burch; Bag: Marni; Shoes: Lazio Collezione

10 thoughts on “WWMOD: A Belt Underneath”

    • Thank you! I did think this was a rather thoughtful (within the Directrice-spectrum) post. Hope the school year is off to a great start for the Jabberwockies!

      • Thank you for remembering! The school year is off to a great start, though I was dismayed to learn they changed their mascot to “Dragons” a few years back because, get this, it is hard to fit “Jabberwocks” on t-shirts and sports jerseys. This is the kind of practicality that leads to sensible shoes, I suppose. But the son is writing for the “Dragon Tales” newspaper, so they have not lost all sense of whimsy.

  1. Love the WWMOD thought — she is fabulous and I, too, hope to see her around town. More relevantly, I often wonder if I’ll see YOU around town. How would you feel if a reader approached you?

    • I would be delighted, so I hope that if any reader sees me around town, she’ll stop me and introduce herself. Be advised that I am often deep in imaginary conversations (imaginary, heated conversations with opposing counsel; imaginary conversations explaining modern inventions to Thomas Jefferson; imaginary conversations about clothes with my best friend — it really varies) when I am walking around town — so I might look unfriendly/animated/crazy. But I am very friendly!

  2. In the immortal words of What Not to Wear, it doesn’t have to MATCH, it just has to GO. Michelle (and Stacy and Clinton from WNTW) would be proud of you!

  3. I love your WWMOD inspiration for style this season. Michelle Obama is such a style icon for modern women and I love how she has made the fashion of the First Lady accessible and affordable. As always I enjoy your blog and musings. Thank you.

  4. Would love to have seen the blouse alone re: its volume, so we could see the difference the belt makes. I followed the JCrew link and, at least on the model, it didn’t look voluminous to me. The outfit is a charmer.


Leave a Comment