It is a common and revered staple for every modest girl’s wardrobe and we are always keeping our eyes open for the most perfect version of this foundation piece: The Shell. I have steered away from using it as a top on its own as of late, but it has not become any less integral for me and my dressing needs. For reasons of tznius (modesty), a shell provides the necessary inches for covering elbows and collarbones, and proves invaluable in completing certain pieces in our closets. What’s a girl to do if her favorite vintage maxi is sleeveless? Or she needs a basic layer to don under a blazer and scarf combo? And so the shell remains a beloved item in our lives, for the simple reason that it allows us to wear the otherwise impossible, and grants us a degree of sartorial freedom.
When I tried the CHI CHI shells, I found them to be soft, with a generous stretch, and provided the perfect coverage for the dresses I was wearing. When I try a shell for the first time, I want comfortable sleeves for my on-the-go life as a ‘Yiddishe Mama‘ (as my friend Sharon of Fashion-Isha puts it), and that it yields a seamless blend with the clothing I am topping it with. The CHI CHI shells fulfilled those requisites and were simply a relief to have in my closet when I needed to grab a layer and run.
I attended a Chanukah celebration at my kid’s school, and it was the perfect occasion to finally wear my white MIMU MAXI Cascade dress. I am proud to call the MIMU girls my friends, but I also have to say, they do know how to design a versatile and beautiful dress. This piece served me expertly, as I completed Chanukah projects and decorated donuts, all while covering knees and keeping me chic.
I obsess a perfect white dress to pair with black leather accents for Fall, but this will be equally prodigious in the warmer months ahead; seasonally transcendental, as are most of the MIMU MAXI designs. A modest fashion girl’s year-round must have. I was able to keep the rest of the outfit classic with simple accoutrements, and allow the volume and drape of the dress to stand out.
By now most of us have seen (and gasped over) the caped creations presented at the Valentino Couture show in New York. While the message was definitively bride-worthy, the universal sartorial inspiration was palpable and left me no choice but to don my own modest rendition. This cloaked coverup can be worn in virtually any style capacity ranging from formal, à la last week’s Valentino, to cozy like a Chloé girl off the 2014 Pre-Fall runway. Part of the allure of a cape is that what you wear underneath is almost irrelevant; your outerwear is making the greater statement. All the other details are your personal expression of style that make the look your own.
I find myself reaching for one of the capes in my closet most mornings, in an almost instinctual attempt at keeping warm yet retaining my wardrobe aesthetic. This morning I chose to wear it buttoned-up, with a green (faux) leather skirt and completed the look with a vintage broach from My Mother’s Armoire.
By now the alleged fashion faux pas of simultaneously wearing black and navy together has been deemed undeniably antiquated, and completely inaccurate. Pairing the two creates a fresh, and modern contrast of color, and brings an element of the unexpected, which can prove invaluable when picking your pieces; they don’t need to be detailed or intriguing, simply because the dark disparity of color does all the work. Subtle, yet effective. Part of what has been so exciting about fashion recently is the breaking of rules and the license for creativity and expression. There are not too many sartorial laws that are still applicable at present, and the trends seem to be turning towards a cleaner, unhampered approach to getting dressed. We are editing our wardrobes to make ourselves happy, rather than to fit a certain mold or style du jour.
I wore this outfit for a Sunday at Barnes & Noble with my kids, and it provided a perfectly comfortable and chic ensemble to chase small children in a teeming bookstore. The whole outfit felt very 60′s, so I wore my wig with bangs and round oversize sunglasses.
Fall is beloved. We pine for it, plan for it, shop and blog for it. It can also allow us a wider margin of options within our modest closets, and for that we are grateful. Yet somehow in our haze of crunching leaves, crisp air, and our favorite knit, we tend to forget that too soon after Autumn comes Winter. The trends remain, but the large (albeit fabulous) coat thrown over can slightly obscure our efforts at achieving sartorial freedom. So while the chill is still tolerable, now is the time to indulge in the best of the Fall fashion we’ve been coveting.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve worn a few of my favorite trends of the season, including stark white shirtdresses, fall florals paired with paper-thin turtlenecks, monochromatic chunky sweater and leather skirt combo worn with suede boots for texture, and matching printed separates.
Shirtdress: Theory Runway / Hat: H&M / Belt: Chanel / Booties: Christian Louboutin / Sunglasses: Fendi