dress quest: the white maxi

I’ve been searching for a great white summer dress for decades now, it seems. Somehow it’s eluding me.

I’m imagining a drapey (a heavy silk-like cotton blend, imagine) white maxi dress with a casual Grecian look. Something like this, though this dress only looks the thing from the side, and upon investigation is no good.


Last year I picked up this ‘Goddess Maxi’  from Victoria’s Secret. No longer on their site but you can still find it around. It’s a bit too formal, though, to meet the criteria of the quest. The fabric itself is a little fussy, heavy and stretchy with a slight slickness, and the gathering detail in the front also feels fancy to me. Pretty, but not the one.


I considered their knife-pleat maxi, too,* but decided it’s better in color (I like the navy), and anyway it doesn’t come in white.

*I usually find Victoria’s Secret hopelessly tacky but once in a while I really like a piece of clothing, and I like their bikinis and their simple cotton underwear, too.


Anybody have a recommendation for me?

I could also happily turn in the direction of a 40s midi dress, I think.


If you see one like this, tell it I’d like to meet it.

images via pinterest

classic: basic black pumps


So, yes, I was looking for a comfortable pair of heels, and naturally wanted to find that basic, quintessential, serviceable black pump.

I knew exactly what I wanted, which often causes problems for me. A wide, rounded toe, no platform, 3-4″ (really, 3. Keeping a 4″ heel was a surprise to me), leather, flattering lines, no embellishments, comfortable. A lot to ask, and I’d turned down every candidate until this shoe.


They even look basically cute without any feet in them, which in a size 10 is truly not the standard. They are not insanely comfortable, I admit, but they are not unfriendly (especially with insoles), which is, in the context, high praise. In a way, this is not even relevant, I think of them more as props than as actual functional items. Sort of in the same category as faux bangs and fake glasses…fake shoes. Or, only real shoes for a limited time on any given wearing. I’m not going to try to walk very far in them, as the feminist in me balks at this. Why should I suffer in discomfort? In the realm of my tableau-creating, though, I want them as an option. I understand their limitations, and I am still interested in the silhouette they make possible.

I keep incorporating them into future visions (you know, fashion visions), and dub them powerful additions to the closet. It seems so sensible and efficient to add one [collective] item capable of effecting great, versatile change rather than several lesser items. This is a very French stance, and also very me. At least, it is very me on my practical, intelligent days.

What I’m taking away from this experience is: the Cole Haan Nike Air line is worth checking out. Steep at full price but not bad if you can find them in great used condition, which is what I did.