Q: A versatile dress that can work for a bunch of different occasions this summer.
A: La Ligne’s Daisy, seen on La Ligne’s founder, Meredith Melling, above! Pair with Porte & Paire sandals for day, platforms for a gathering, and statement heels for evening. This dress does it ALL. I own this in navy plaid and wore on Christmas day with heels, then with booties and flats beneath a cable knit cardi for more casual affairs. It is so flattering and the sleeves so dramatic — the tailoring is exquisite. I will say the smocking is very tight. In general, the dress runs TTS but the smocking is pretty intense in my size. If you’re between sizes, I would go up just for the sake of comfort in the waist area.
Q: Any clothes you would choose for a South African safari? They recommend neutral colors so animals don’t notice you as much.
A: You are in luck — utility-chic vibes are everywhere these days! I’m specifically liking the idea of linen-blend shorts or Nili Lotan pants with cutaway tanks and Lack of Color hats, paired with whatever hiking boots are reasonable/recommended (I’ve personally always lusted after a pair of Danners with their telltale red laces). Finish with some unexpectedly fashion-forward shades, like these in the ochre, just to let everyone know you have a perspective (ha!). It’s giving Jurassic Park vibes, with a hint of Karen Blixen. This romper is also adorable and could be a contender, and you must somehow work this utility shirt into your repertoire.
Q: All white sneakers for a boy’s Catholic school kindergarten fall uniform.
A: Exciting! I guess it depends on your vibe — I have a tolerance for a tiny bit of edge in the form of Converse Chucks with velcro closures (get the look for less with WeeSteps) or Vans. More classic would be Supergas, and then the sporty option would be stark-white Nikes.
Q: Chic work dresses.
Q: Pink bridesmaid dress! Black tie optional, under $400. July in Atlanta, so it will be hot.
A: I love this elegant and modern style (make it your own with statement shoes and big earrings, hair in a low chignon), this dramatic Vera Wang, this cool-friend La Ligne, this Gwyneth-Vibes column dress, and this Reformation. Above budget, but wanted to throw out there this dramatic Sau Lee (!!!!) and this elegant Zimmermann just in case.
Q: Looking for a daytime Bar Mitzvah dress — I am a guest — taking place in early May.
A: Fun! I love this Fanm Mon in any of the colors and this Emilia Wickstead — I own it in a different pattern and it is so chic and flattering! I also love this cheerful Derek Lam, this elegant polka dot ($120!), and this SEA (I saw a chic pea wearing it to Easter Mass and she looked luminous in it!)
Q: Girl’s trip to Barcelona.
A: FUN!!! Loved Barcelona. We stayed at Hotel Omm and the people watching was fascinating (chic chic!). I would pack day-to-night dresses like this, this, and this that you can traipse around in wearing flat sandals, and then still feel chic in when you inevitably stop into a couple spots for pintxos and vinho verde. Not that you necessarily need to conform, but I found (could be outdated, this was like six years ago) that a lot of the chic Spaniards wore cool jeans and tops versus dresses, so maybe pack some trend-forward denim to pair with simple tanks and fun blouses, too.
Q: Bump-friendly summer dresses. Not too fancy, but just to wear out to dinner, etc.
Q: Floral bridesmaid dress. We get to choose our own.
Q: 9×12 rugs for kids’ rooms — soft, durable, and neutral.
Q: Gala gown. Pastel or bright. Here’s the kicker: five weeks post partum. Need chest coverage.
A: This Staud! In a heartbeat!
Q: Pastel clothes for a family shoot.
A: For you: this dress in the peach, this boho floral (requires slip), this Loretta Caponi (my dream dress), this Aje, this Carolina K. I gravitated in each of these selections towards dresses with some sort of sleeve (mostly short given summer), because I personally find more arm coverage is more flattering from more angles. However, if you’re happy with sleeveless, also love THIS. For littles: I always love the styles from Sophie and Lucas, Luli and Me, Il Porticciolo, and La Coqueta.
Q: Dresses for a Caribbean getaway.
Q: Exposed button fly skinny or slim jeans that come in short lengths.
A: Try Madewell in the petite sizes!
Q: Boy’s nursery art! Something that doesn’t look babyish and can be an investment.
A: Jonathan Adler has some really great art finds that are playful but could totally work in an adult room, too, and you might also consider St. Frank — they have cool textured surf boards and framed textiles that are beyond fab. (If you like the surfboard situation, check out MOMA’s selection, too! They have some Warhol reproductions on surf boards — so cool.) I also always love maps as an alternative — find a vintage one of an area with personal meaning to you and your family, or check out Etsy for cool finds, like this letterpress Chesapeake Bay one. We’ve had luck searching Saatchi over the years, but it does take some commitment. You can find amazing original paintings like this (abstract) or this!
Q: A trip to London in September! Looking for items in the $100-$300 range.
A: Hm – I like the idea of smart denim and button-down blouses with a soft trench, and tailored dresses like this Daphne Wilde, this mini, and this twill trench (could be layered over a turtleneck if chilly). I feel as though knits by La Ligne would translate well there, too, and could you somehow work these dressy shorts into the mix? With a cashmere crewneck sweater? I also spotted Caitlin Fisher wearing a Marta Scarampi cape all over London and I liked that vibe!