I think my style is progressing backwards. Right after college, one of my dear friends got a job at American Apparel. I remember sitting on my stoop talking to him on the phone about our low-paying jobs, and asking him what I needed from his new gig. “You’re kind of beyond t-shirts,” he said. And let’s just say that I smoothed my hands over the perfectly cheery vintage sundress I might have been wearing at the time and agreed.
But today I’m in love with a t-shirt (that lilac-colored one up there), and it’s the cornerstone of my spring uniform. Tuck it into a pencil skirt with a blazer and go to work. Tie a scarf on your head, slap on some jeans and platforms, and you’re ready for any kind of fun. Allow me to introduce you to my new muse, the Daybreak Tee. It’s linen jersey which feels a little grown up, and gives the fabric a streaky, almost space-dyed quality. It’s got an uber-flattering v-neckline, a scooped hem, and sweet little cap sleeves. It’s also $40: the most I’ve ever spent on a t-shirt. And this is where the cost-per-wear calculations come in. By the end of the summer, I think these little singlets will have proved themselves a great value.
And so for spring, at work and at play, I’m gravitating towards super-flattering basics punched up with quirky, personality-filled accessories and a swoop of liquid eyeliner to channel that ’60s starlet feeling. I find putting together collages like these so instructive both for shopping and getting dressed: once you have the template laid out, it’s much easier to pull it together in real life. A word about these Polyvore collages: I often choose items based on their color or shape, not because I’m actually going to buy a $500 A.P.C. trench coat. (Just felt the need to get that out there.)
What’s your uniform in this hard-to-dress-for season? Do you rely on the perfect cardigan, or a beloved trench? What do you wear on those days when a t-shirt is too little but a jacket is too much? And why did no one tell me how amazing a great t-shirt can be? (This feels like the moment when I discovered down was a bajillion times warmer than wool.)