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Every day romantic fashion curation

Published: August 10, 2020

When it comes to dressing, I’m a romantic. Give me puff sleeves. Give me florals. Give me a dress that screams “Jane Austen heroine about to reject a wealthy suitor’s proposal.” Or, was. Because that describes me in the before-times, when I used to flounce into the subway on a random Monday morning in a frou-frou dress, kitten heels, and a bow in my hair, my airpods blasting a soundtrack to my overdressed, outrageous life.

But then the pandemic hit, and I stopped wearing those billowing blouses and feminine frocks. I felt ridiculous dressing up for just myself. And, well, sad—pieces with this much character, I felt, deserved to be shown off in streets in New York. Not regulated to the saggy beige couch in my studio apartment.

I remember this one day in March—March 28th? March 29th? March 298th?— I snoozed my alarm clock six times, didn’t bother to make my bed, and threw on a “Winter is Coming” T-shirt fished out from the bottom of my laundry hamper. It had more wrinkles than a Shar Pei and smelled like Rao’s canned marinara sauce, because, well, it was stained with Rao’s canned marinara sauce. Bill Cunningham has this famous quote: “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.” I had stopped wearing mine.

It took until June for me to bring bright and beautiful things out of my closet again. Part of it was New York’s reopening—cautiously yet optimistically, I wore a gingham Batsheva dress to sip Aperol spritzes on a sidewalk with my sister. Part of it was the warm weather—the white flowy dress I’d haggled over at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, it turns out, held up much better in a heat wave than Lululemon leggings. But part of it was driven by an innate desire for normalcy and transitively, frivolity. To indulge myself in my beloved pastime of wondering what to wear. Because while we all use fashion for a different means to an end, I use it for escapism. For fun. And I can’t think of anything I need more right about now.

Below, I chronicled five outfits I wore for work at home this week. Are all of them a bit much for the situation? Sure. But I’m a bit much—and I love being back in my armor again.

Monday

Hurricane Isaias is about to hit N.Y.C. But right now, grey, humid, and about 90 degrees. And there’s only one dress in my closet that says “I want to feel fabulous but I also don’t want to feel sticky”: this Marques Almeida t-shirt dress, lined with feathers. Oh, that slight breeze in my hair? Maybe I’m born with it. Maybe it’s my air conditioner.

Tuesday

In case the vast interiors and bar seats didn’t tip you off, this is not my apartment! It’s actually the study at the Inn of Canandaigua, a new resort in the Finger Lakes that’s opening in a few weeks. (However, Inn of Canandaigua, if you’d like to let me live here like a grown-ass Eloise, I will consider your offer.)

Part of my job is visiting hotels for potential coverage. Travel is a tricky beat right now: after all, it contributed to the original spread of COVID-19. And so many of these small town tourist destinations don’t have the medical infrastructure to support a large scale outbreak. But it’s also a fascinating one—how are hotels pivoting? How are American travel habits changing? What is the future of the post-covid vacation? How does life, and leisure, move forward? Can it?

Ugh, sorry, forgot—you came here for the fashion. I’m wearing a dress from Luxe Provence x Provence Poiriers’ collection, which is inspired by my friend’s Samantha Varvel’s beautiful pear farm in the South of France. (I invited myself there this summer, but COVID-19 ruined my shameless finagling.) The one I’m wearing actually uses an archival print from Pierre Frey, a dream for a design-fiend like me.

Wednesday

Why has no one joined my Zoom meeting yet? Checks calendar—ugh, I’m accidentally five minutes early. So there’s only one thing to do to kill the time: check myself out in the camera. (C’mon, we all do it.)

I’m wearing a LoveShackFancy Dress, which is light, airy, and perfect for this August day, and some Tom Ford lipstick. The latter, in about an hour, will get all over the inside of my mask.

Thursday

All of my interviews today are over the phone rather than Zoom—which means I’m desk optional. So instead I’m alternating between my bed and the couch in this beautiful blue dress by Brock collection. (A firm pillow is the same as a standing desk, right?)

Friday

This Friday I’m wearing this bold dress from Staud, which sure, probably would look better on a fabulous boat somewhere. But, hey, an Adirondack chair on a deck is not a bad Plan B.

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