floral dress

What You’re Shopping For: June 2021, Vol II.

So many requests for dresses this month — special occasion, wedding guest, Baptism, photo shoots! Cheers to celebrating life anew. I’m sharing lots of dresses below, but had to point you in the direction of this festive and Zimmermann-inspired floral for $170. I’m half-inclined to buy now just so I have it on hand for an event as-yet-to-materialize! It is so good!

Q:  I have a son who is a couple months younger than micro. I was wondering if you knew any brands that sell shorter shorts for toddler boys? I am not into the longer knee length shorts that sooo many brands carry for boys.

A: Totally understand this question.  Why are so many of them so long and baggy?!  My favorite brands for shorter shorts on boys are Cadets (size up a full size — no joke!  they run tiny tiny tiny; Hill can sometimes still wear an 18 months in certain brands because he’s slim, but he needs a 3/4 in these and they still seem tight), Minnow (run TTS), TBBC Sheffield shorts (but only the Sheffield style – their others run long and baggy), and Ralph Lauren’s chino shorts.

Q: Summer sweaters to wear over semi-casual dresses (e.g., nap dresses).

A: How timely! HHH just launched a new desk sweater two days ago. I also included a bunch of options in this recent post! I am specifically drawn to this J. Crew in the pale blue or this trim-fitting style, which I own in about ten colors, for a more tailored/polished look, and would love to splurge on a Le Lion with a custom crest.

Q: Healthy cookbooks and meal planning help.

A: We have and love this vegetable cookbook! This description in the copy is spot-on: “If you’re finding pantry cooking to mean too many uninspired pots of beans, might I suggest Six Seasons? [It] both highlights a perfectly ripe plant . . . and shows you how to transform slightly less peak-season produce (yes, the cabbage lurking in the back of your fridge right now counts) with heat, spice, acid, and fat.”

In terms of meal-planning help, my sister uses a pad like this to keep meals organized in her home. My mom did the same thing growing up. I remember her eating Crispix and cutting coupons out of the paper as she’d plan out the week’s meals on a notepad. Another sister of mine swears by an app called “Plan to Eat” to help with meal planning and grocery shopping, and my husband’s approach is to sit down on Sunday with a stack of his favorite cookbooks and go through with post-its to mark anything that catches his interest. Then he adds all the groceries he needs to the “Reminders” app on his iPhone (which is handy, as he has shared the grocery list with me, so whoever does the shop that week can get everything needed) and keeps a running list of what he’ll be making in a “Note” on his iPhone. In that “Note,” he also keeps a running list of “backlog dinner ideas” in case he’s uninspired or in a time crunch.

Q: New outfit for interviews.

A: Good luck, friend! I know how trying that process is. My principle advice is to wear something that makes you feel empowered. For me, a tailored shirt dress, ironed/steamed to perfection, is just the ticket. A few stunners:

STRIPES FROM ALEX MILL OR RALPH LAUREN

EVI GRINTELA

PRINTED TUCKER

BOLD GREEN FROM ZARA*

STRIPED BROOKS BROTHERS

*Use your discretion as to whether more artful/bold clothes will be well-suited to the work environment. You might want to dress more conservatively if interviewing in the legal/finance fields, but wearing something artful to an interview at, for example, an art gallery might make sense.

If a shirt dress will make you feel fidgety and uncomfortable and not-like-yourself, though, go with pants instead! Back when I had a more conservative work environment, I invested in a few Theory suits/trousers and they are cut beautifully.

Q: Date night dress or skirt/blouse combo.

A: Enjoy!! I love this cheery pink mini (under $100), this pretty Reformation, this sunshiney Wayf, and this tiered style. I love the idea of a skirt/blouse combo and shared a bunch of gorgeous matching sets here, but Reformation just launched some new sets that are also worth a gander! I think my favorite is still this polka dot maxi with matching top!

Q: “Airport outfit” to meet my boyfriend after his 10+ month deployment!

A: Sending him thanks for his service! Wow, what a special reunion. Some of the date night dresses above might be just the ticket, but I immediately imagined wearing this gorgeous Reformation in the white floral. So romantic and feminine but not too fancy. Could be worn with sandals or mules. So sweet.

Q: Guest dresses with sleeves for Church ceremony. Will change for black tie after.

A: I love this Self-Portrait, this Vampire’s Wife, this Saloni, this Hunter Bell, and this Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini.

Q: Tricky one: slim college-aged daughter needs cute swimwear suitable for a 32DD.

A: I know a number of women who love Summersalt because many of their suits offer more coverage and support than other brands. Solid and Striped has many styles with underwire cups that might be appealing for her, too — I love this style and the print is so fun! I have several suits from Solid and Striped and the quality is great! She might also check out Cuup — they have simpler styles but are focused on properly fitting all bust sizes, and a classic black or white suit never goes out of style.

Q: Beginning of October wedding in mountain. I’m a guest!

A: This is absolutely perfect. For something a little less formal, I love this! The Aje Mimosa dress in the emerald color would also be spectacular, and how fun is this little golden drop?

Q: Newborn family pictures (inside) — just need something for myself, the mom!

A: Congratulations, mama! My first thought was this lovely J. Crew floral (also a great option for a Baptism!), and just on the heels of that, this nap dress, which is just so beautiful and flattering in the blue botanical or pampelonne prints! Both are also nursing-friendly! I also love this happy white dress; this floral from Daydress; this ByTimo; this Sleeper; this Caroline Constas; and this Seraphina London.

Q: Best hair product to help hold my fine beach waves.

A: I also have fine hair and I love DryBar’s Money Maker hair spray. It holds wave/curl but never feels crispy. The scent is great, too!

Q: Golf outfits for an eight year old boy and five year old girl.

A: I would look at CPC and Busy Bees — both of these brands are basically made for country club sports. If more athletic wear is permitted, Cadets has an athletic style of short that might be perfect for your boy. I shared some cute tennis finds for littles here that might also be good (or a good starting point) for your children, too. I also always love classic Lacoste polos with Polo shorts — great for on the course or just everyday play!

Q: Cute outfit to fly overseas in!

A: I might be a broken record, but a nap dress layered beneath a soft cardigan sounds perfect. So comfortable and non-constricting, and you can slip into mules and go straight out to dinner upon arrival!

Q: Neutral flat sandal!

A: These have been a top-seller this year and would go with so many cute summer outfits. (Under $50, too!) I also personally think the Hermes Oran is worth the investment. They last forever and only get softer with time. I have traipsed all around Chicago and Manhattan in them for the last six summers. But you can get the look for less with these! If you’re on the preppier side, Jack Rogers (favored by Jackie O.!) are always a good bet, and Talbots always has really great styles at a reasonable price, like these and these (which I own!).

Q: Casual dresses with pockets — maternity friendly.

A: I was just thinking how much I like my India Amory dress because it has pockets. The fit is roomy so I think it could work through second trimester. Shirtdresses are also a good non-maternity maternity dress because you can adjust the self-tie waist and many have pockets, including this pretty one!

Q: Dress for a woman of substance.

A: I love this question. Truly, I think a woman of substance should wear whatever empowers her most, but this Mille dress immediately sprang to mind as the perfect way to communicate sophistication, femininity, and strength with (thanks to that bold shirting stripe). I ordered it for myself! Something about the stripe just feels right to me — also love this classic stripe from RL.

Q: Nightstands and dresser to go with the Ballard Designs Katherine idol frost headboard.

A: Ooo so pretty! Splurge would be Frontgate’s Etienne nightstand and dresser — the French blue! I also like Ballard’s Sidney or Grace styles in white or gray, and then you can pick a dresser in the same finish. I have a similar upholstered headboard in a gray color and we have mirrored side tables and the S&L grasscloth dresser — so don’t feel you need to match the side table to the dresser if you find one or the other that you love but that does not come with matching nightstands.

5 Comments

  1. So funny that Mr. Magpie & I have the same meal planning method — a stack of cookbooks on Sunday + grocery list in the Reminders app (a trick that my brother turned me on to!) We have a giant bookcase full of cookbooks in one corner of our kitchen, and it’s actually such a pleasure to meal plan. I actually do it twice — I grocery shop on Mondays & Fridays, so Sunday and Thursday are my meal-planning nights! I’m curious about Six Seasons, btw — looks so great and I didn’t realize that McFadden is behind Ava Gene’s — SUCH an amazing stop if you are ever in Portland, OR!

    For the beach waves question, I am a huge fan of Ouai’s Wave Spray. It makes my thick, leaning-coarse hair wavy, so I’m not sure if it would work for fine hair, but I think it’s so great. I buy it in bulk 🙂

    xx

    1. LOVE Ouai products — and they all smell spectacular!

      So funny you have the same process as Mr. Magpie. If it works, it works!

      xx

  2. I actually really love the Target Cat & Jack shorts for toddler boys! Great price point for running around and getting messy and they have the shorter length I love!

    1. Hi Em! Do you have a link to the shorts you like at Target? I also am looking for shorter length shorts to romp around in and would love some I don’t mind getting dirty. Thanks!

    2. Good to know! Per M’s note above, send a link when you have a minute! I checked and there are a few shorts styles but I couldn’t decide which one was the pair you’re referring to!

      xx

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