Happy birthday, Mom

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My mom Eve turns 80 today. Here is a picture of her and my dad that I’m guessing is from some time in the 70s. A family friend posted it on Facebook just yesterday, and I’m including it not because of the wonderfulness of my parents’ union—they divorced—but because I think she looks so beautiful here. My mother is—cliche but true—a beautiful person both inside and out, a person whose only ambition for her children is that they be happy and make their own dreams come true. She charms people wherever she goes. I’ve been inspired by her independence, her engagement with the world, her humor, and her kindness. She took up meditation in her 70s. And—admirably—did not crater when my stepfather died, but stayed active and beyond lively: last New Year’s Eve, she went to three parties—that’s three more than me—and does not want for suitors, even though she’s got little interest in them. For over 30 years, she’s been my only parent: I haven’t always been easy, and she’s handled the worst that I can dish out with grace and dignity. I love her a lot, and you would too. She reads this blog every day, so join me in wishing her the best, won’t you?

15 Summer dresses under $150

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There are several sleeveless options here, which I don’t usually do, but—as I have noted before—that is what a cotton cardigan is for. And I think in general summer is a time to make peace with your upper arms and bare them with impunity: despite the fact that I am now doing yoga five times a week, mine are far from toned, but I can’t be bothered to cover them up when it gets really hot, and neither should you. (Meanwhile, there are a number of sleeved items to choose from here as well.) I am crazy for this dotted dress: the shoulder ties make it so feminine.

Striped dresses can be tricky and hip-widening, but this one gets all flowy on the bottom half, which is nice and forgiving.

This neon pineapple print is just good fun.

An elegant black silk dress that is just the right amount of sexy.

The wide waist-tie on this shirt dress makes for a trim silhouette.

Of course I like the black embroidery on this blue dress, because black and blue together is the best. Also, this looks insanely comfortable.

The ruching on the sides of this plus-size dress keeps things from coming off too boxy.

This also comes in black, but I think the white is so fresh.

Just a really flattering, easy shirt dress.

tank dress just made for kicking around on the weekend.

Really simple, but very pretty.

This tassel-front dress is very Ulla Johnson.

A lovely Liberty of London floral on a very femme-y dress.

The tiered look here is very chic.

This one would be tricky if you needed to wear a bra—and I know that most of us do—but I think it’s so damn cute I had to include it.

Because you asked: What I wear on dates

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Last week’s post on dating led to a couple of requests for me to tell you what I wear when I go out, and while I don’t think I’ve even begun to get it down to a science, I’m more than happy to share. I subscribe to the philosophy that you should go for a look that is just slightly sexy on a date: I should probably go with tighter clothes, but I almost always wind up wearing a loose top and tighter pants, because that is what I own (I almost never wear dresses, at least on first dates, for no particular reason). On a recent first date that went very well, I wore a white, collarless cotton Isabel Marant button-down, half-tucked, of course. Nothing makes me feel more sexy and confident than a white button-down. This tuxedo shirt from Nili Lotan is a nice stand-in for the Marant—or on the less pricey end of the spectrum, this button-down from Everlane.

I paired the button-down with leather jeans, which can be a little too little forward for a first date if you’re wearing them with a risque top; the shirt subdues them, makes them come off as the (very sexy) classics that they are.

I had two dates over the long weekend, and on one of them, I wore this Ulla Johnson top.

I paired them with slightly cropped black jeans. The date went horribly—truly one for the books—but I looked all right.

It’s too cool outside in the evenings to go out without a jacket right now, but I hate when I carefully assemble a look and then my outerwear shlumpifies it. This Iro jacket, which I just acquired at the Net a Porter sale, keeps things snappy. I wore it on the date with the grey top and the black jeans.

On the second date of the weekend, I decided to go more casual,wore this Everlane button-down.

And these R13 grey jeans. That date was kind of fun.

This may look like a clunker of a shoe, but I promise that on it is really quite alluring—even my brother who hates my taste in footwear approved. They dress up jeans nicely.

I bought these heels recently to wear to my mom’s upcoming 80th birthday party, but find that they’re working well for when I’m feeling like dressing things up a little on dates, too. I never thought pumps could be sexy until I tried these on. It’s the ties that do it. Also, they are surprisingly walkable given the height of the heel.

I try to carry a smaller bag on dates; my everyday bag just feels too clunky and workaday. This one fits all the essentials and is pretty cute.

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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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