Fashion Trends

Ask Magpie: Blue Dresses, Bachelorette Gifts, + More.

By: Jen Shoop

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Q: Gorgeous blue dress you’re wearing with the Ancient Greeks. Where can I find it?!

A: It’s a past-season Julia Amory shirtdress! She releases them in lots of patterns — this one is very similar and on sale. (Reader: the photo she was referencing is here.)

Q: You featured denim shoes but I can’t find them – do you have a link?

A: I think you mean either these TBs or these A. Solianis! (More great denim finds here.)

Q: Gift for bachelorette guests. In our late 30s. Spa/winery weekend — relaxation vibes!

A: OSEA products — I’m obsessed with this body butter and this salt scrub. (10% off with code MAGPIE10.) Wrap one up in cello with a big ribbon for each! Alternately, Mr. Magpie and I love these incense sticks from Aesop. Immediate relaxation for both of us! Finally, I’m absolutely obsessed with my new ice roller. I texted my sisters and my best friend insisting they order one! They come in fun colors, so you could pick a different one for each attendee and wrap up in cello with ribbon. Could be cute to bundle this something like a lip scrub, eye masks or sheet masks, or lip/cheek balm.

Q: What is a different style (i.e., scandi, minimalist, cottage core) that you’d like to try?

A: Such a fun but challenging to answer question, because I don’t think about the way I dress as a particular formula / style, and would never designate something as “off limits” or “not me” — I mix it all in. That said, I suppose one aesthetic I’ve always liked on other women but never felt quite at home in is the super simple, minimalist vibe — black trousers, white tee kind of thing. I’m a maximalist at heart!

Q: Cocktail dress for a future-themed party?

A: This stumped me for a minute, but I keep coming back to the idea of something that looks metallic / robotic, like this Simon Miller, or this paillette number. (Look for less with this.). Other options in this vein: this, this, this. I would style with heavy mirrored/silver accessories, like these bangles.

Q: What to wear to an indoor country concert?

A: Slip dress and jean jacket with suede boots or strappy sandals! Or a dress like this!

Q: Beach/pool bag to carry kids stuff?

A: I typically use this in the largest size for pool. It’s not waterproof but it’s super roomy, has a liner, and has lots of handy pockets for sunscreen, etc, and also a zippered part where you can keep wallet / keys separate and dry. If you’re worried about things getting wet, I see lots of chic moms carrying the largest Bogg bag size, and my husband uses the L.L. Bean Hunter tote, which is water-resistant outside and in!

Q: How to style chino shorts?

A: I own and love these and like to pair with tucked-in blouses / button-downs for a polished look. I’d reach for something like this, this, or this.

Q: Inviting friends to a picnic and would love your thoughts on what to serve, esp. novel items.

A: I like snacky lunches for picnics — things you don’t really need forks/knives for, because you’re often balancing a plate on a knee, sitting in a weird way, etc. I would probably visit Organic Butcher and/or Bread Furst stock up on their fun things — really good baguette (pre-sliced at home) and fancy seeded crackers, fun dips (I know Bread Furst carries pimento cheese dip and muhamarra dips and both are delightful), cured meats, an interesting local cheese, spiced or truffled nuts, dried fruit. I would likely supplement with a pasta or couscous salad made at home or a bucket of good fried chicken or chicken tenders (thinking Korean fried chicken tenders) delivered from a local spot, and bring a homemade dessert. I specifically remember this lemon cake I made from an Ina Garten recipe that I brought to an outdoor picnic concert, and we devoured it! Another thought that just came to mind: Mr. Magpie likes to serve good melon cut into wedges with prosciutto and drizzle the platter with a bit of olive oil, anise seed, and licorice-flavored liquor (just a splash). SO good.

Q: Would you help me find a dress to wear to a wedding in Healdsburg, CA (Sonoma area!) where the dress code is “wine country semi formal.” I’m thinking maybe something from Farm Rio but really have no idea what direction to take this dress code. 

A: My immediate thought was something from Sir — this, this? I feel like wine country calls for something that is at once sophisticated and not too fussy. Other possibilities: this SEA, this CocoShop.

Q: Favorite items to order online from Eataly? Hosting an Italian dinner party and would love your recs.

A: Dried bronze-cut pasta, San Marzano tomatoes, capers in sea salt, olive oil packed anchovies, and olive oil!

Q: If I may poll the scent enclave – on the hunt for a new to me perfume for my November wedding!

A: Leaving these open for my scent enclave girlies! Please share your thoughts in the comments.

P.S. April’s Amazon finds.

P.P.S. Starlings and saudades.

P.P.P.S. On building friendships through motherhood.

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15 thoughts on “Ask Magpie: Blue Dresses, Bachelorette Gifts, + More.

  1. Oh my goodness – so much to chew on already from the scent enclave! Thanks for opening this up, Jen. I want to find something I can wear for the wedding and then for dates/anniversaries/special occasions thereafter – scent is so evocative, and I know it will bring me right back every time I put it on! I LOVE the idea of shopping in person, either with my fiancé or my maid of honor – we are going to visit my MOH in London in June and I may have to add that to our agenda!

    As for all the questions: the wedding is early November and relatively formal (black tie optional & full Catholic Mass). It’s in Boston and on the water, so the weather will likely be chilly. I don’t have the bouquet finalized yet, but will be mostly greens and white (white roses, and I am insistent on having a cabbage!). My favorite everyday perfume is Jo Malone’s discontinued Wild Fig & Cassis – I tend to be drawn to more fresh and citrusy scents, but these don’t feel quite right for November. My fiancé loves more florals on me (Peony & Blush Suede, as well as Replica On a Date).

    Headed for the Nose Paris olfactory portrait now – thank you all!

    1. Hi Mary Kate! Commenting a bit late to say that if you like fig, you might want to test DS & Durga’s Debaser — it can be a lot (in a good way!) but it’s very fig-forward. I have loved wearing it over the years when I want something a little different (as my usual go-to is something lighter/herbal — my fave of the last decade is DS & Durga Coriander)

      Congratulations on your wedding!

  2. Thank you for the picnic recommendations! Bread furst is a great idea- I’m excited to try their dips. I typically get pastries/cookies/bread there and haven’t tried their refrigerated items, but I’ve been thinking recently of picking up salads and soups on Sunday trips there for easy lunches during the first 2-3 days of each week.

  3. Love the wedding perfume question! My best friend/maid of honor scheduled a day just the two of us to wander around all the boutiques and department stores – we picked a scent together and then went for fancy cocktails. It was such a fun day together – felt like we were back in high school – and really amped up the anticipation and excitement for the wedding. the scent still, these many years later, instantly brings me back to my wedding day. I don’t wear it everyday – i prefer to mix it up – but I like that i had this one special scent for my wedding day.

  4. for the wedding day scent q – i had my husband pick out a new perfume for me for our wedding day (+ i did the same, with a cologne for him). it was such a nice surprise to see what he selected and the scent still instantly transports me to our wedding + ensuing honeymoon. i’ve repurchased and continue to wear it in rotation, almost seven (!) years later and it brings me the happiest memories – chanel’s gabrielle perfume.

  5. I love this question! My perfume girlie sense is tingling!! okay, what will the weather be like at your wedding location in November? will it be a formal wedding? are you looking for a special on-off scent or something you will continue to wear to extend the experience/memories? These are things you may want to consider when choosing a new fragrance. I would suggest ordering samples: luckyscent, twisted lily and perfumology are good sites to get started. Nose Paris: allows you to register and then complete an “olfactory portrait.” The site then generates recommendations based upon your answers. I have found it to be accurate and fun. Rather than something new, I wore the scent I wore on my first date with my now-husband: Happy spritzing and congratulations!

    1. So fun, Sara! My my preferred olfactive families were: floral / fougere /oriental / woody
      Suggested fragrances:
      Santa Maria Novella: Cinquanta
      Trudon: aphélie
      editions de parfums frédéric malle: rose tonnerre
      Juliette has a gun: juliette
      Bibbi: radio child

  6. I love thinking about perfume!! For a wedding pretty much anything by Byredo. Specifically Blanche comes to mind. It is beautiful, sophisticated, yet youthful. I adore Gypsy Water and Mojave Ghost, with Gypsy Water leaning a tad more towards fall. My other favorites come from Francis Kirkdjion. Aqua Universalis is gorgeous! And if you want to go big, just buy Grand Soir. It is winter in a bottle and my all time favorite perfume. Not for the faint of heart, but to me it is creamy, warm, rich, a little decadent, and yummy.

  7. Ooooh I love this scent question! Can I ask, what flowers will be in your bouquet? Are you looking for something like a normal scent you wear, or something specific to take you back to a moment?

    If you want something effusively romantic and flowery, I like Flower Market by Replica Maison Margiela. Lazy Sunday Morning by the same brand smells like warm skin. Or a body oil from Herbivore Botanicals (thinking of their jasmine spray on legs specifically) could be beautiful. Or if you want something moodier for fall I’m a forever fan of Jazz Club.

    I wore this Fragonard for my own wedding:

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