Fashion Trends

What You’re Shopping For, May 2021: Vol II.

By: Jen Shoop

The first installment for this month’s series is here! I will be published a third volume next week!

Q: Fun rehearsal dinner outfits for a bride.

A: Congratulations!!! This dress is what I would reach for — white, sweet, with an exaggerated bow. I love the way it walks the line between sophisticated/classic and flirty/young. For something a bit more casual, I love this Emerson Fry, this Wiggy Kit, or this Veronica Beard (in white). If you want to show some leg, this Suboo and this ASTR are too cute! With any of these dresses, might be fun to add a pop of color in the form of this sweet blue and white mule.

If you are not wedded (ha!) to white, I have been drooling over this Agua Bendita since I first laid eyes on it. A total knockout. I also love this printed Rixo, this tiered Azulu, this blue Aje, and this pleated self-portrait.

Fun accessories: these gorgeous Jennifer Behr earrings, a statement headband like this or this, Nicola Bathie earrings, or this cute clutch.

Q: Gift for my husband to celebrate a promotion — no watches, ties, cuff links please.

A: I would put some thought into things he is currently “making do with” in the work arena. Maybe an attractive new desk chair (assuming he is still WFH?) for comfort, a brass task lamp for better light, shades to block sun from the screen at a certain times of day, better at-home coffee gear, or a sophisticated piece of art for his study. I have to say that Mr. Magpie has consistently given me gifts along these lines — i.e., new desk lamp, new art, new down comforter, new computer screen, and I am always SO grateful for these items I use daily.

Alternately, some new gear for a sport/pastime he loves along with a sweet reminder to remember to blow off steam when he needs to — a new tennis racquet, running shorts, a beautiful dry fly box.

Q: A chic bucket hat.

A: Let me first stop and thank you for this question, for which I have been waiting patiently for the past two decades. I really committed to the bucket hat in my teens and have lived through years and years of gentle to aggressive ribbing from friends for this fashion decision, which I continue to stand behind. (I still have a Gucci bucket hat and a Christian Dior one in my closet!). My first thought was this on-trend woven style — so chic! A great crossover between a sun hat and a bucket style. For a more conventional fabric bucket style: I like this floral Gucci, these ones from Lack of Color, this painted gingham Lele Sadoughi, and this Loeffler Randall.

Q: A cute but flattering bathing suit for this postpartum mama headed to the Bahamas!

A: Congratulations, mama!! Well-deserved. I would probably reach for a black one-piece — this one is smart because you can adjust the neckline to your comfort level (I think it would also be nursing-friendly) and this ruffle-top one is just SO up my alley. People also go wild over these OSFA Hunza G suits — super-stretchy! And Maygel Coronel has these fantastic, dramatic styles I’ve been loving, too.

Pair with enormous black shades and you are made in the shade!

P.S. If you’re thinking “black shmack,” there are loads of other cute suits here. From a flattering fit perspective, I know MANY Magpies have raved about the Tory Burch Lipsi and Marysia’s skirted style.

Q: A nude/tan wedge. Not too clunky and under 4″.

A: No hesitation: Castaner!

Q: A comfortable and stylish everyday sandal. I’m normally a white sneaker gal!

A: I love a simple banded leather style like this or this (which looks a lot like Hermes’ Oran style). Versatile, easy to wear, unfussy, and grown-up. If those are a bit too staid for your taste, I get a TON of wear out of these Loeffler Randalls (so fun with the trim!) and Talbots actually just sent me these fun raffia sandals that I anticipate wearing a lot — a more festive take on an everyday sandal. And lots of people LOVE Birks for everyday casual wear. I love the way they look styled in white or metallics with blockprint dresses like these.

Q: An affordable everyday Panama style sun hat.

A: Hi! Chic sun protection, yes ma’am. I would go with Cuyana (love the white!) or J. Crew.

Q: Pantry essentials after a big move.

A: Congratulations on the move! Now onto the fun part! I have shared a ton of my favorite organization gear for pantry here. These Tosca bins are fantastic (and attractive) for bulky items like chips, bags of pasta, etc., and I like clear pantry bins like these or these stackable ones for corraling or decanting similar items together in a specific section (i.e., all sauces, all fruit pouches, all oils/vinegars, etc.). Random, but I just came across this under-shelf drawer that I thought was clever for a pantry or utility space for stowing smaller relevant items you want to keep on-hand, i.e., sharpies, bin labels, and chip clips.

Q: Wedding guest dress for 65 degrees that accommodates a small baby bump.

A: Congratulations!!! So exciting. I am smitten with this floaty Faithfull or this tiered botanical Meadows. Pair with a delicate kitten heel mule and an updo and OOH LA LA. On the splurge end of the spectrum: I just love this Cara Cara in the blue pattern, and this one is nice with the sleeves, too, given the slightly cool temp, and OH this Caroline Constas! The cut of this Rebecca Taylor (Markarian-esque, no?) would also work with a bump. (You would need to pack a cashmere wrap or pashmina once the sun goes down!). If black tie, can we all drool over this MAJOR MOMENT from Azeeza?

Q: Dress for black tie wedding in June, preferably under $500.

A: I don’t usually advocate for black (and you do NOT need to wear black to a black-tie wedding!), but THIS! I just ADORE the shape, the sleeves, etc. Though it’s not a proper gown, I think it works because it’s black when paired with an updo, big earrings, and a great high heel. If you’re committed to full-length, this somewhat similar style from Rebecca Vallance is on crazy sale for like 60% off, and this Fame + Partners steal is very va-va-voom. In the NOT black category: this tulle confection is under $100 somehow and JUST gorgeous if you imagine it with some fantastic heels and great earrings, and I adore this Marchesa Notte and this gorgeous Saloni (on super sale!) as well.

Q: Formal, traditional dining room sconces and chandelier. The walls are deep red.

A: I love the idea of this handsome chandelier with sconces like these or these against a deep red wall! More chic lighting here.

Q: Any suggestions for updating my office-appropriate footwear?  I work in DC in a corporate government relations shop where I’m not required to wear a suit (thankfully), so I tend to gravitate towards dresses (sometimes dressy, sometimes shirt dresses, always polished), skirts + blouses, and pants + blouses (sometimes with a jacket or cardigan, other times not).

A: I love a pointed toe flat or loafer — perfect with dresses, skirts, and pants alike. If you feel comfortable taking a bit of a risk or voicing a fashion perspective (only you will have a pulse on this — I always felt totally fine wearing color, patterns, statement shoes, etc. at work but worked in non-profit and then start-up environments), I think you could spice up your shirtdresses with fun flats like these textured flats, these floral mules, these polka dotted beauties, or these gingham flats and still look very polished.

If you are after a heel, I am a traditionalist — these Elsie pumps in black or nude or both will take you everywhere. I LOVE these and own in about five or six colors. They are the perfect proportions, perfect heel height, etc. Lovely!

Q: Crisp luxury bedsheets.

A: My favorite sheets I’ve ever had are Boll & Branch. They are satin-y cool to the touch and they somehow only improve with time — I have found mine have softened with use in the most delicious way. They launder much (!) better than my Matouk (I have their scalloped set) and Hill House (I have their Chancery Lane set), whose styles I slightly prefer, so I would still recommend you consider both of them. The other brand I would suggest looking at is Yves Delorme. Absolutely beautiful bedding used by some of the finest hotels! I have some of their towels and they make beautiful products.

Q: Toddler boy wedding shoes — something to go with a Feltman Brothers outfit.

A: Depending on your style, I would suggest either La Coqueta t-bars (very European royalty) or Elephantito loafers.

Q: An outfit for a disco-themed night!

A: This Marchesa Notte! BEYOND! Like a fashionable disco ball. I would for sure re-wear that to a wedding or special event! Or pair these platforms with something in your closet!

Q: A designer bag!

A: Ooh what a fun investment! My lust list bag has been (forever) a Fendi Peekaboo. I first saw it in the Fendi boutique in Aspen, CO and I awkwardly hovered around it and caressed it for like thirty minutes. It is SO beautiful in person. I have actually had this Tory Burch Lee bag (very similar in style to the Fendi!) in my cart for weeks now — I adore that one and more reasonably-priced! Other miscellaneous thoughts: I feel as though the Loewe straw bag is a major It bag at the moment, a classic quilted Chanel is a forever investment (wear mine constantly), and those decorated Goyard bags by Hathaway Hutton I mentioned the other day are so fun and personality-filled for everyday wear.

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12 thoughts on “What You’re Shopping For, May 2021: Vol II.

  1. I love these posts — they always get my style wheels turning! I am so glad someone asked you about the bucket hat — my 5th-grade stepdaughter is super into them and recently told me “three is a trend, so I need another bucket hat” (hahaha!) I’m going to consider the Loeffler Randall option for her upcoming birthday!


  2. Love these posts! Also, hi to a fellow DC-corporate-GR-world person… I spent a few seconds wondering if I had written that q and promptly forgot; always good to see kindred career spirit on this site!

  3. Thank you so much for answering my question! I wasn’t sure if “chic” and “bucket hat” was an oxymoron, so I’m glad you support this fashion decision. I love all of your suggestions—now to decide!

    1. Yay!!! Go for it! I really love those Lack of Color ones. I recently saw Nellie Diamond’s mother wearing one — so, so chic! (Nellie Diamond is the founder of Hill House, aka inventor of the nap dress!). It made me want to dip my toe in the water, too!


  4. Hi! I’d like to add to the list: SPF long sleeves shirts for little toddler boys? Also, any toddler sunscreen recs? (I remember you sharing these on IG ages ago and wish I could recall the brands.)

    My little boy has the fairest skin, the blondest hair, and refuses to wear any type of hat for me or his father. Naturally, he wears hats without hesitation for Grandma 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Ooh how timely, Joyce! Working on a post now with all my favorite sun protection finds for us and our littles! The short answer is that I like the Babo spray for squirmy little bodies:

      And I like these sticks for faces:

      I actually just also added this SPF hair spray for my son’s equally fair little head:

      He’s been into wearing baseball hats, though, so far this season. I wonder if you could have him pick one whose design he likes??


    2. Thank you so much, Jen and Stephanie!

      Bought the sunscreen this morning and will look into City Threads now! Feels exciting to be preparing for summer 🙂

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