The Perfect LBD

A woman can never underestimate the power—and utter practicality—of the little black dress. Versatile and timeless, the right one can take you from day to evening with a mere change of shoes and accessories.

I’ve owned a few LBDs in my lifetime, and the Vanessa ruffle sheath dress from Banana Republic is one of the best ever.

Trust me…it’s not as short as it appears on this 5’9″ model, so baby boomers need not fret. I’m 5’5″, and it hits just at the top of the knee—a universally flattering length.

I’d love to be able to take credit for this find, but my friend Tyler Fisher gets it all. He’s a sales associate at Banana Republic in Roseville, California—the kind of guy who lets you hang in the dressing room while he brings you armloads of great clothes. I told him I’m going through a sheath phase—my husband loves them on me, bless his heart—and Tyler said, “Hmmm. There’s a dress you have to try.” He showed up with the Vanessa, and it was love at first sight. I bought it instantly.

If you’re ever in the nabe and find yourself in the vicinity of The Galleria, stop by Banana to see Tyler—and prepare to be dazzled.

Falling for Fall

OK…it’s official…I’m done with summer. We’ve had enough beautiful days and sweet, cool nights here in Northern California, and I’m ready for crisp, brisk air and changing leaves. And sweaters. And tights. And scarves. And boots.

I get this way every year, and while it’s true that fall is my favorite season, it’s also about the clothes. I love the look of black tights with chunky (yet girlie) platform shoes when the temperatures dip. A recent find on fits the bill perfectly.

This is the Cole Haan Stephanie Air Platform Pump, and Endless has it marked down from $297.95 to $131.25–not bad for a shoe whose Nike Air technology guarantees comfort no matter how high the heel (and these are a whopping 4.25 inches). It comes in grey and loden suede, but, alas, I am a creature of (black) habit. I wore them around the house all day today with my cycling capris, and while the look definitely suffered, the comfort was there.

So bring on the falling leaves. I’m ready to welcome autumn with style.