I sometimes wake up craving a severe, restrained look like this. Hair sleek, lines simple, fabrics luxe, colors muted, face stark, accessories minimal. I often associate this kind of austere, controlled elegance with Ralph Lauren, who does it so well.
This craving may be attributed to a severe mood, an ungenerous mood, or perhaps it is a display of control to balance some hidden lack of control (surely there is no shortage of this). Or something less traceable.
Usually I prefer, like J Crew’s Jenna Lyons (good interview), to leave something (or many things) undone to give reality and warmth to the look. An air of carelessness. There is something especially armour-like about heavily polished, curated looks, however, something impersonal and impenetrable that has its own peculiar appeal (though it runs the danger of being completely charmless, even if technically well executed). The transparent purposefulness of the approach also sidesteps the phenomenon of spending much time and effort to look as if you have not spent much time and effort, though this too is compelling in a bizarre way.
I couldn’t want to do this sort of look every day but it is occasionally satisfying.
The tooling on this bag is lovely. Ralph Lauren, fittingly. A thriftfind.
Ralph Lauren bag (thrifted), thrifted silk tank, Victoria’s Secret linen beach pants, Birkenstocks, 10mm pearl studs (of course, it had to be pearls) from Pearls of Joy, vintage Geneva watch. On the lips: Stila liquid lipstick in Beso.
I am often looking rather severe, which is either me being horribly serious or just my face, doing its thing. I don’t think there’s any way to tell them apart.