Fashion Trends

Ask Magpie: Shells, LBDs, + Raffia Bags.

By: Jen Shoop

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Above: my new Celine sunglasses, excitedly unboxed in my car.

Q: A boxy sweater tank or linen shell-type thing to wear with long/midi skirts. I had a few cropped sweaters that made my skirts work in winter, and I need the warm-weather equivalent. Tucking a fitted tee works but feels a bit flat to me.

A: I love the Julia Amory Antibes shirt or silk shell for this application! Julia styles them both frequently with cute skirts, jeans, trousers and looks incredible. Selling out fast, but this sleeveless Banana style is fab, too. If you’re open to a different silhouette, SoldOut has gorgeous cotton basics, like this tank, that feel elevated and look like a million bucks, and I’ve heard a few people rave about this Everlane mock neck tank for this purpose, too.

Q: I hate rain boots, but need shoes for rainy weather, to be worn with professional clothing. (Real estate agent who will need to show interior of homes — can’t waste time switching in/out of shoes.)

A: Weejuns has a rubberized version of their popular loafer that might be just the trick. I know you hate a rain boot, but have you explored the chelsea-style ones? Much less obtrusive — Target does a great one in minimalist chic colors for $20. And this one from Marc Fisher is sleek and simple, too — no logos, not overly chunky. Finally, Blondo is known for its waterproof boots-that-don’t-look-like-rain-boots, but I typically think these are better suited for chilly / cold weather.

Q: A simple black midi dress for European capsule wardrobe. Sleeveless please.

A: OK, this is not technically sleeveless, but I’m convinced this La Ligne is the answer. (10% off with code MAGPIE10.). If you’re looking for something with a slimmer-fit silhouette, consider this under-$100 steal. If you like a shirtdress / have a Diane Lane vibe, this or this (upgrade pick: Co). And if you’re looking for something that can be dressed up for cocktail attire, this is insanely flattering! (I own in pink!)

Q: Accessories to pair with Farm Rio Flowerful Birds red dress? Shoes, bag, jewelry.

A: Fun! I would wear a strappy sandal (I own and adore my Ancient Greek Eleftherias — they came to mind first) with a woven mini bucket bag or clutch. I have one of the Cesta Lunchpails — that’s what came to mind for me! Look for less with this Clare V or this Pam Munson. I would keep the jewelry simple — a pair of gold hoops!

Q: Recs for gifts for the priest who baptized me and my Baptism sponsor.

A: What about a beautiful notebook set with their names on it? Who doesn’t love a space for journaling, note taking, prayer, etc? Alternately, a food gift is always lovely. Eataly does beautiful baskets with high-end products.

Q: 8th grade formal graduation dress. She’s a PXS/00P and 5’2.

A: Ahh! I’m hoping moms can weigh in with good teen/tween brands in the comments. My top thought was the Wells dress by Staud, which comes in a 00 — available in a pretty floral or various solids. It’s not technical “formal, formal” but on a petite gal, it will be a tea length. Reformation also runs small and has some younger looking styles, like this.

Q: Maternity style please.

A: I would stock up on all the Mille dresses as we head towards warm weather! Not maternity but very bump-friendly. The Saffron is my favorite. Mirth also has gorgeous breezy pieces, many of which come with a self-tie belt that can be removed if desired. How gorgeous is this?!

Q: Casual dress to wear to our at-home newborn photo session. Would like sleeves.

A: I would wear one of the Asha caftans (come in tons of great colors – blue is classic), the Julia Amory caftans, the Lake brunch dress, or one of the pretty embroidered Mi Golondrina dresses. All three look perfect with bare feet, snuggled up with baby!

Q: Do you have that raffia twist link bag on your shopping list?

A: I think you’re talking about this Khaite bag! Look for less with this, this, or this (<< under $100).

Q: Packing ideas for a long weekend in NY in two weeks.

A: Chic flat sandals (I love these Margaux and these Eleftherias), a cute dress for dining out (preferably something silky like this or this), a denim jacket, white jeans in a slightly baggy or retro-cool shape, a great little bag that will take you from day time exploring to evening cocktails like this, this, or this.

Q: I’m in search of a summer formal dress for a wedding in Greenwich in June. I’m a shorter gal.

A: I am really loving the silk options from Doen, like this or this. Look for less with this, which is already in my closet and SO gorgeous on, and splurge pick here. If those don’t feel right for the venue (e.g., if you feel like everyone will be in head to toe black tie or very formal wear), you might consider the styles from Damaris Bailey, like this or this. I own the latter in pink and she’s spectacular on.

A few other dresses that turned my head recently: this Sir, Silvia Tcherassi, this Agua Bendita, this Rhode, this Lee Mathews, this Fanm Mon.

Q: Rainbow striped caftan you were wearing on Instagram stories the other day?

A: Emerson Fry!

P.S. More recent Ask Magpies here and here.

P.P.S. What song do you secretly love?

P.P.P.S. Running into myself at every cross-street.

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6 thoughts on “Ask Magpie: Shells, LBDs, + Raffia Bags.

  1. Hi Jen! For you next post, could 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. Thanks 🙂

  2. I too am looking for a dress for a formal summer wedding—though more urban setting than Greenwich. I was excited to see the Q but kind of surprised by the suggestions…SO much white and pale colors, I’d feel way too awkward and like I was overstepping on the bride. Do others think about that when dressing for weddings or am I old fashioned?

  3. My 5’0″ daughter needed a pastel formal gown for 8th grade graduation last year. We found one at a local consignment shop and had it altered. I’m pretty sure it was someone’s prom dress originally.

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