In the mood for tie-neck blouses


I used to seriously dislike this category of top—too prissy, I felt—but these days I’m thinking tie-neck tops are rather put-together and sexy secretary at the same time, and what is not to adore about that? I like them best untied or tied low, like the woman in the picture here (who I think looks very cute even though I don’t think I could ever attempt ankle socks with a skirt).

It’s a rare polka-dotted top that comes off as office-worthy, but this one does.

The tie on this blouse is so thin it almost doesn’t qualify to be in this category, but I couldn’t pass up that floral.


Another truly gorgeous floral.

A very appealingly priced swiss dot number for throwing on under a blazer or cardigan.

A nicely casual take on the trend.

The crazy stripes here are nicely graphic.

Just a really feminine choice.

I fully approve of pre-styled pieces, and like how this looks like you just threw on a cute top with the perfect matchy-clashy scarf.

A gorgeous blue on a well-tailored shirt.

I like the layered sleeves here.

This costs a fortune, but I’m a sucker for a star print.

A fun, retroish option.

I like that the neckline here dips kind of low.

A cool, deconstructed take.

I typically don’t like high-neck tops, but the leopard print here is just so excellent.

A pretty and very versatile top.

A silk blouse at a decent price (for silk).

I dig the tuxedo-ish feel of this.


In search of grown-up clothes at Urban Outfitters


I don’t know why I chose this exercise, especially; I suppose it felt like a challenge. And so it was: you have to wade through lots of this type of thing to get to anything good, but there are cute items to be had, for cheap as long as you can exercise a zen state of detachment regarding synthetic fibers. I’d layer this linen dress with a skinny long-sleeved tee and tights.

A poppy yellow flannel shirt is so bright and unexpected.

I love the idea of a faux fur jacket in green for weekend kicking around.

I used to dislike cable knit sweaters so much that at Lucky, the market editors knew to call them in for shoots at their own peril, but now I think I was really wrong about that. I’ve grown to very much like them, especially when there’s a little something going on to keep things interesting. Here it’s the excellent color, and the cool texture of the knit.

Similarly, I almost never show anything brown here, but it somehow fits the really good print on this button-down.

A graphic plaid sweater like this could go punk, preppy, or mod, depending on your mood.

This suede trench is actually pretty solid—retroish and classic at once. It reminds me of Michael Kors when Michael Kors was good.

Something about the idea of a red cardi as a layering piece with a pretty floral dress appeals.

I love the idea of wearing this liner jacket under a heavy coat on really cold days.

This camo raincoat is a fun alternative to the classic yellow slicker.


I do love cashmere


There is some spendy stuff in this post, but there’s a lot of cheap cashmere too, because I’ve gone cheap and I’ve gone expensive and they all get crapped up and pill at the same rate (if you know of a brand that this isn’t true of, please do by all means share in the comments). I think this is maybe the most polished hoodie I’ve ever seen.

White+Warren makes good cashmere that isn’t cheap but also doesn’t cost a fortune, and this boyfriend cardigan is nice and streamlined and not sloppy-looking, as boyfriend cardigans can sometimes be.

I like that this doesn’t look at all like it would be soft, but it is.

From Universal standard: a really good blue crewneck.

Everyone needs a basic black cardigan, and you can’t beat the price of Uniqlo’s.

Cashmere sweats were made for early morning dog walking, and lounging of all sorts.

Everlane just introduced this ribbed sweater, which comes in a few colors, but I’m liking the army green.

Meanwhile, this Boden sweater is offered in a multitude of colors, but I really dig it in rainbow stripes.

An attractive and versatile funnelneck from Vince.

A good, slouchy v neck at an amazing price.

The color combination on this travel wrap is just gorgeous.

And finally: a good, clean-lined open cardigan.



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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