Fashion Trends

Ask Magpie: Summer Footwear, Party Dresses, + More.

By: Jen Shoop

*Image via.

Q: Cool summer flats no one else will have.

A: These Le Monde Beryls are IT. I also feel like Vibi Venezias are highly underrepresented. I live in the canvas ones in the summer and the velvet ones in the winter. So comfortable and chic!

Unlikely “no one else” will have these, but these feel fashion-forward to the point that you’ll find yourself leader of the fashion pack by wearing them. Love the high vamp and woven material. Have heard these are insanely comfortable.

P.S. More great spring footwear here.

Q: I’m looking for a dress. I’m hosting a surprise party for my husband to celebrate an important career milestone. Evening in springtime NYC; cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, then a seated dinner; mix of friends, family, and business associates. I want something that makes my husband proud to have me on his arm.

A: This is so sweet. I know he will be! This evening sounds fabulous. My first thought was this dress from Agua Bendita, or this one. There is something about that brand that is sweet but not too sweet — sophisticated enough for discerning, colleague-present evening affairs. I also think this could be really sweet with loose, romantic hair. Can’t be the price! A few other fab options:








Q: I love your reversible spring jacket but any options less expensive?

A: Yes – this J. Crew Factory is perfect! While you’re there, you must check out these happy block-heel raffia mules. They are spectacular and around $60!

Q: Best blush brush.

A: Merit! This is one of the best recent beauty purchases I’ve made. I use it daily to blend in cream blush and bronzer and sometimes if I’m in a hurry I use it to blend concealer/tinted moisturizer/foundation, too.

Q: 30th birthday gift ideas.

A: Splurge: a really good watch. You will wear it daily and it’s a perfect milestone gift. I bought myself an Hermes H Heure when I was in my late 20s after hitting a major career milestone, and I wear it nearly every day. I treasure it so much. I would love to treat myself to a Cartier tank in solid silver (no leather band) when I turn 50. You can also find many options pre-owned on The Real Real. More reasonably-priced: a fun statement necklace from Lizzie Fortunato (I bought myself this one), a splurge-y home appliance that is completely unnecessary but will bring you joy (like GE’s pebble ice machine), a dress that makes you feel joyful, designer shades, a cheeky summer tote, or a flashy new card case.

Q: Gift ideas for an almost two-year-old girl.

A: I shared a bunch of our go-to gifts for children here, but I really love gifting the little collectible Maileg toys (they are so, so sweet and have the most imaginative details) and any of the Story Orchestra books, which my children adore and work just as well for little ones. I recently gifted my just-two-year-old niece some Calico Critters and these interactive cooking books. There is something about that age that makes little figurines like the Mailegs and Calico Critters irresistible. Just the right size? My niece immediately got to work dressing and undressing them, putting them in their cribs, etc.

Q: Black classic dress with no smocking. Chanel-like, or Jackie O.

A: Feeling like a broken record here, but you need this Staud! I also love this Reformation for summer – the neckline is so flattering.

Q: I love the look of Minnow suits for kids but can’t imagine spending that much for one season of wear. Any looks for less?

A: This H&M or this Boden for girls, and these Zara trunks for boys.

Q: Shorts for summer.

A: Love the look of these and this $25 pair! I like the look of shorts with blouses tucked into them at this phase of my life (I’m 38) — I’m imagining either of those shorts with this, this, or this.

I also know people LOVE Agolde’s Parker long jean shorts. I did order to try last summer and they just did not fit my body well so I returned.

Q: I’ve been seeing flip flops in some of the street style pictures? Are they back in?

A: I’ve been seeing them too! This (seen at top of blog) or this being the vibe — old school Havaianas! Personally, I prefer something a tad more elevated, like these K. Jacques, though.



Q: A really sophisticated outfit for a cocktail party at my country club that doesn’t feel like I’m trying too hard.

A: You’re looking for La Ligne or Veronica Beard. Like can you EVEN imagine showing up in this eyelet jacket with these trousers?! A TEN. La Ligne always somehow looks effortless and low-key but very fashion-conscious. Like, this La Ligne belongs to a woman who does not take herself or her fashion too seriously but somehow always looks perfect?

Q: DC based bloggers or influencers you like?

A: Lauren Neff! She is a doll. I have had the pleasure of getting to know her in real life and she is absolutely lovely – so warm, empathetic, grounded. Not bloggers per se, but there are some great creatives in these parts, too, including Tara Andris, Riley Sheehey, Maggie of the Green Beauty Guide, Heather Bien (she does many things), and travel writer Jacqueline Mendelsohn. I know all of these wonderful women in real life and respect each and every one of them for their intelligence, curiosity, and poise.

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6 thoughts on “Ask Magpie: Summer Footwear, Party Dresses, + More.

  1. A quick note on shorts: I just decided to try the AGOLDE Parker Longs in the Occurrence wash – they boast a finished hem (!) and, I have to say, I really love them! I was worried the looser fit might be overwhelming (I’m 5’4) but I love how they fit! True to size for me.

    Loved your answers featuring dresses — I desperately want the Staud Wells dress in their blue toile print, which is a fave of mine (I have a top in that print as well!) Might be a good birthday dress contender.

    1. Agree, great birthday dress!

      Thanks for the note on the Agoldes. I think I might re-try. But I’m just not convinced I’m a jean short girl.


      1. I hear you! It’s funny, I definitely feel very comfortable in denim — my general personal style is right at home in the casual/workwear vein (think Alex Mill). But then in the summer, I tend to go WAY more feminine with lots of floaty dresses, ruffles, bright colors, etc.! It’s kind of funny when I think about it.

  2. I feel like an idiot, but I can’t really tell time. I can with a few seconds of focus, but not that “glance at my watch and know what time it is” way. Are you aware of any attractive digital watches? I have searched high and low and can’t find anything. I don’t want an Apple Watch. Help!!

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