Another Great Basic

Taking its place as a close second to the little black dress is the little grey dress. This wool sheath from Banana Republic is the perfect piece to transition from summer into fall.

Again, as with most Banana Republic dresses, it does not fall as far above the knee as it appears here…unless you’re 5’9″, of course.

This little number is incredibly simple and basic, inviting you to accessorize to your heart’s content. I’d scrap the nude shoe shown here for a pump in black patent or red to give it some punch…add a chunky silver necklace…and you’re good to go. For fall and winter, I’d complement it with a brightly colored cropped cardigan. This one is on sale at Banana and is disappearing fast.

Finish it off with a floral scarf and you’ve got a look that combines the best of ’60s retro and contemporary style.

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Back to Basics

Those of you who follow my blog may have seen the photos of the two little black dresses I posted on February 19. I have never in my life owned a proper LBD, so finding just the right one was a big deal to me.

I ordered two styles, each in two sizes, from Nordstrom, and this one was the winner hands down:

Alas, I do not look quite like the model. I look like this:

My head isn’t cropped off to maintain any sense of anonymity. The truth is that the flash gave me devil eyes that could not be remedied by the red-eye setting in iPhoto, and I look downright terrifying.

The Little Black Dress

I will be attending an authors’ event in two weeks, and, as is my habit, I’ve been obsessing over what to wear. Business attire is encouraged, although event organizers have made it clear that attendees of this annual fundraiser often show up in cocktail dresses. The dilemma: do I risk getting too dressed up and possibly look like I’m trying too hard? Because I’m one of the authors—not a paying guests—is it better for me to knock it down a notch or two? The answers I’ve finally landed on are “no” and “yes”…in that order.

And so began my quest for the perfect little black dress. A woman can rarely go wrong with the LBD, since it has the advantage of being dressed up or down as an event dictates. Change the jewelry and shoes, and the look can go from meeting appropriate to night on the town.

I found these two on the Nordstrom Web site…both very similar and classic in design.

Donna Ricco Ruched Matte Jersey Sheath Dress

Adrianna Papell Pleated Jersey Sheath Dress

Since they’re not available in the store, I ordered them both.

Um…

Well…

That’s a little misleading. What I actually did was order them both in each of two sizes. (Thank you, Nordstrom, for having a don’t ask/don’t tell return policy.)

Before you dismiss me as a dimwit, I do have a rationale for purchasing four dresses with the intention of keeping only one.

Clearly, the dress needs to fit close to the body on the top half, yet shouldn’t be too terribly clingy on the bottom half if hips are an issue. Translation: there’s a very good possibility that the top of one size and the bottom of another may actually be just right, which is a common occurrence with a sheath and the primary reason why God made tailors.

If you care, I promise to report back. The dresses are due to arrive in about a week, at which time I will hold my own private little fashion show for my profoundly tolerant husband.