Week of requests: the 8 best brands for button-downs


The original request was specifically for white button-downs, and all the brands featured here make great ones. But I am not a skilled enough writer to come up with varied and creative descriptions of a bunch of items as essentially identical as classic white button-downs. So I broadened my search to include all button-downs, and a good place to start is Frank & Eileen, specifically with the Joedy shirt, a roomy boyfriend-cut number that comes in a number of good colors and weights.

I’ve never been disappointed in an Everlane button-down. The cotton is consistently high-quality, and I can always find a cut that works for me. Right now I’m liking this silky cotton striped number.

Nili Lotan makes divine (and, I know, stupidly pricey) button-downs, and I mostly buy them on resale sites. But very occasionally I’ll splurge on one, usually because it has something cool or interesting going on. Like this this perfectly slouchy tuxedo top. (Here’s simething similar and much, much cheaper).

J Crew offers a whole ton of decent button-downs, most of which go for a little under or over $100. I like this white one for times when I want my shirt to be roomy but not too roomy.

Xirena makes a fabulous button-down—great shape, lightweight but not so much so that it’s sheer, and in some fantastic color options, like this excellent purple.

I like how Alex Mill has fun with color and pattern, like on this cool shirt with contrasting stripes.

I go to Sezane when I’m looking for something in a floral, like this outstanding specimen.

And finally, I own Cali Dreaming’s perfect Ace shirt in four colors, and wear them endlessly.


Week of requests: caftans!


I love the fact that so many of you are as delighted by caftans as I am, even as I recognize that there are also many of you who think they fall somewhere on the tacky/frumpy/I give up continuum. I believe they can be very chic, but I also like them for lolling about at home, and they make me feel infinitely more glamorous than my same old sweatpants-and-tee combo does. It’s not really caftan season, so I suspected it might be tough to round some up, but I was wrong. For starters, I think this rainbow stripe number is just adorable.

This one, from Rag & Bone, also comes in a very pretty floral (click through to see) but I’m digging this tiger stripe. I’d even wear it out in the world, layered over a black silk slip.

This is probably the most sophisticated of the bunch—the print and color combination are both just so good.

A gauze option in a particularly pretty teal.

This henley version with shirtdress-like details is just so far up my alley that I might have to go for it.

This is so pleasingly graphic.

Here’s one that’s a bit pricier than the others, but has a simply unstoppable print.

And speaking of prints, I’m pretty crazy for this awesomely loud one too.

This pale pink confection is a delight.

I’m kind of on the fence about this one: it’s a whole lot of print, in bold hues too, and I’m not sure I could pull it off. But it reminds me of vintage Pucci, and I like the handkerchief hem.

The dark stripes here are fantastic: I’d wear this layered over a turtleneck now, and on its own later.

A preppy, striped version that looks ideal for lounging.

And finally, my all-time favorite: this excellent specimen from Emerson Fry. It’s feather-light, and the very definition of breezy.




Week of requests: crossbody bags


Welcome to the week of requests, which will probably—as it usually does—end up being two weeks of requests, because you all had so many good queries and I’d like to get to as many as possible.  Here’s one that was both after my heart and took me out of my comfort zone: “I’d love your suggestions for simple but stylish crossbody bags,” writes a commenter named Megan. “On the smaller side, to hold the essentials.” I rely on a crossbody bag every day, so it was a delight to go browsing for more. But small ones, which Megan asked for, just kind of arbitrarily give me the ooks, and who knows why. I did find some fun specimens, though, like this checkerboard number.

This has such a cool, vintage-y look. Here’s a smaller version.

I dig the combination of canvas and leather here.

And here’s a cheaper leather/canvas option.

This chic, slouchy suede bag has annoying branding on it—though it isn’t too obvious—but is otherwise pretty perfect.

This mini pouch bag is a dead ringer for Mansur Gavriel’s (much more pricey) cloud bag.

Such a chic, simple nylon sling.

Why not a bright green bag, I ask you?

And if that green is too much for you, why not try this subtler shade? (It also comes in some more neutral hues, and here’s a smaller version.)

I have praised Claire V’s Gosee Clutch many times, and deservedly so: it fits so much more than you think it will, and has such nice, clean lines.

And here’s something similar, for just a hair over $100.

This quilted bag from Allsaints makes a statement, but not too much of one.

There is more hardware going on here than I usually go for, but I love the contrast between the nylon and the chain handle.




Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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