Suddenly, I’m intrigued by sweater vests

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That’s because suddenly they’re everywhere, and also because they are right up my preppy/tomboy alley. I like the idea of them worn over button-downs, but they also look fantastic with long-sleeved tees. This one is the just-right amount of oversized to look slouchy (and not so oversized that it looks sloppy).

This one from Madewell has just the hint of a sleeve, which I dig.

The checked pattern here is fun, and the fact that it’s in pastel colors makes it comparatively  subtle.

This ribbed number from Cos has a nice, deep V.

This is an alpaca blend, which ought to be nice and cozy, and it looks pretty luxe for something that rings in just under $100.

I must admit that I’m tempted by this pre-styled option: the shirt details are part of the vest

An elegant choice from H&M that’s just the tiniest bit cropped.

A Fair Isle pattern is nicely autumnal.

And finally, this button-up number might be my favorite. I’d layer it under a blazer for a Lady Professor look.

 

 

16 white button-downs with a difference

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I endlessly love (and wear!) classic white button-downs, but occasionally I find myself in the mood for one that isn’t so classic, but instead has a detail or two that sets it apart. Like for instance, the ruffles here, which are a bit deeper than you usually see.

And relatedly, I like the spiff tuxedo ruffles on this one.

The drop shoulder and voluminous sleeves on this pleated tunic from Cos give it a romantic vibe.

Meanwhile, the band collar and slightly cropped hem here are rather spiff.

An elegant popover with a just-deep-enough neckline.

This boxy short sleeved button-down looks cool in every respect.

And here’s another good boxy shirt with a clean and flattering A-line silhouette.

The touch of eyelet is quite winning on this well-priced top that looks like it could be Nili Lotan.

A seersucker top with a little extra length, for those times when butt coverage is the order of the day.

The tonal plaid print on this ruffle pintuck top is a nice, subtle touch.

This tie-front top just looks so breezy and cool.

The big front pockets on this utility shirt from Alex Mill are standout.

I’m slowly getting used to the puffy shoulders trend—for others, not for me—and everything else on this top is so straightforward that I feel like one could wear it without feeling like one was in costume.

A sweet, sheer-ish blouse that’d look great with a black bra underneath it.

The barely-there cheetah print here is just kind of fun.

And finally: an embroidered button-down that is so very quietly sexy when paired with a cami.

I do love a good shirtdress

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I don’t wear dresses for much of the year, but when the weather gets warmer they’re all I want to wear, and the ones I reach for most often are shirtdresses, because they are such a simple, one-and-done way of looking put together. I especially like how clean and crisp a white one looks, and this one from J. Crew is pretty perfect.

I think the terra cotta hue on this Alex Mill dress is quite sophisticated, and I dig the band collar too.

This animal print number is slightly snugger-fitting than your average shirtdress, but I like that about it. And the color combination is just so fun.

Lavender stripes are so sweet and summery.

And I like this red and white striped poplin specimen too: it just looks so easy.

This one is a slightly more feminine take on the silhouette, and the lace panels are a cool touch.

Here’s a denim dress with a nice amount of stretch to keep things comfy.

I like the slightly fuller skirt here.

This flared dress is just desperately cute, and would be perfect and cool on a really hot day.

This three-quarter sleeve dress also comes in white, and I’m having a really tough time deciding which I like better.

A pretty lattice floral against a rich red background: sublime.

This one from Rag & Bone looks like it’s on the shorter side, but I think that might just be because of the model’s height. I am crazy for the stripe combination: blue and black, my favorite.

The subtle pinstripes on this maxi-ish dress are a nice touch.

A light chambray dress that I’d wear with some layered necklaces.

I like the khaki hue of this tie-front dress, and the fact that it dips slightly lower in the back.

This babydoll silhouette reminds me of something I might have worn in around 1989 and purchased at Street Life on lower Broadway.

A gauze dress that’s probably sheer enough to require a slip. Or it could make a great beach cover-up.

Blue gingham with a little flounce at the hem is just a touch of fun.

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About

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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