The Edition: No. 223

May 4, 2021

There is always something to lose. But maybe more to gain. // John Christopher

+ Welcome to Team ‘Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome‘.

+ Strawberry-prints and sunshine at Ann Taylor.  Love this dress!

+ Also, this Mini Strawberry Sheet Cake is the perfect size.

+ NYDJ for all your white denim needs.

+ We Are Childfree: A community for women who chose not to have kids.

+ Do not miss these maxi-dresses with plus-size options at Nordstrom Rack.

+ My Life as a Woman in Tech, Told in Three Beverages

+ Dull skin? Exfoliate and then use Purple Cabbage Serum.

+ Oh, please, do not revive the French Pedicure.

+ Cute swimwear: Seafolly’s navy bandeau and printed bottoms.

+ How to make your brain work better working from home.

+ Madewell now ships worldwide, so there’s no reason to miss this necklace set.

Fun Read. The 13 things Vogue editors bought and loved in April.

Simple question to help your editor plan spring and summer content in a semi-post pandemic world where everyone’s needs are so disparate now, she doesn’t know where to start.

What do you need for spring/summer?

Some readers have DM’ed that they need dresses for weddings.  Others need WFH attire.  Some need tips on how to dress body-types that aren’t the same ones they started the pandemic with.

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

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  1. Allison says:

    I want to be sure that my summer wardrobe feels fresh and current, but age appropriate-sh, as in not just reflecting 20 year old tik tok trends. I feel odd being a carbon copy of two summers ago, I feel like my style hasn’t evolved since 2019 because I don’t see people, don’t want to look dated.

    • Hh says:

      This.

    • Laura says:

      A thousand times this. I’m not really interested in dressing like it’s 1995 like the kids are doing, because it didn’t look that good the first time around, but I don’t want to look like a suburban mom even though I am, in fact, a suburban mom .

    • Argie says:

      Dressing like 2 summers ago falls into the “sustainable” fashion bucket. You aren’t chasing trends, but instead are wearing whatever you already have and like.

      Let the 20somethings chase the trends. This 30+ is happy to wear what she likes. Why am I chasing the approval of the 20 somethings (or whoever decides what is trendy?)

      • Allison says:

        Are you trying to shame me, on a fashion blog, for wanting to look fashionable? Um no, unsubscribe. You can point your lady on lady hate somewhere else. I also specifically stated that I don’t want to be a trendy 20 year old, also never said I was trying to buy a whole new wardrobe, just refresh, which can definitely be done with wearing your current pieces differently. And also this *isn’t* a sustainable fashion blog. So yeah, peace, love, and adios to you.

        • Amy says:

          ???????? Also- I’m with you on content requests, Allison. Ways to update my summer wardrobe to be more current & fresh would be much appreciated!

        • Argie says:

          That was reading a lot into my statement. So let me rephrase – how about posts on how to update what is already in our closet with one or two things. What have been popular trends in the last 5 years that are still in the closet that can be worn and still not look dated.

          So, how to wear skinny jeans with whatever new shape that Fashion is putting out to chase Gen Z.

          Fashionable doesn’t have to equal chasing trends. Fashion blogs can help fight fast fashion. Why is something that is only 2 years old considered dated?

      • Nadine says:

        I also do not care if my wardrobe looks like it stalled in 2019. At this point I want to look good, but I don’t care if I look current. You’re not prying those high-rise skinny jeans away!

  2. CLD says:

    Work appropriate clothing that allows me to take meetings outside in the DC swamp. In person meetings are coming back, but I think it’ll be a while before they’re inside again.

  3. Alex says:

    I am so glad you posted this, I desperately need a dress for a formal, black tie wedding I’m attending in August. I would love your help as I forgot how to dress for any wedding, let alone black tie!

  4. KAtie says:

    Thank you for posting the HBR article. BRB while I go share that with every woman I know.

    Looking for feminine, semi-formal and formal wedding outfits that are flattering on a body that got more curvy during the pandemic, but are not super voluminous. Some of the styles right now (eg night gown dresses) feel like they highlight weight gain…

  5. Rachel says:

    Definitely wedding guest dresses, but maybe also some casual/weekend looks for summer? I’m stuck in a rut of solid v-neck tees and jeans/shorts, so maybe some fun summery tops?

  6. E says:

    Summer sneakers please!

    • Emily says:

      Yes please! My puppy destroyed one of my Vejas and I have decision paralysis trying to pick a replacement pair.

    • Jill Harris says:

      Ditto, and also casual flat sandals.

    • AB says:

      Yes please!! Summer sneakers and any supportive, breathable, preferably closed-toe summer casual shoes.

    • e says:

      100% and also styling them. I bought some cute Keds last summer but haven’t quite gotten the sundress-with-sneakers look yet. But after a year of not wearing heels, I can’t go back to the simplicity of a nude heeled sandal (those went with everything!).

  7. HH says:

    How to create outfits from basics that many of us already have, but in a fresh way. Basics like: Breton striped tees, field jackets, tee dresses, denim shorts…

    And/or more posts like the one you did with the updated jean styles you’re looking at. I feel like all of my basics could use a refresh.

    • MB says:

      I agree with HH!

      • Kris says:

        I agree! How to freshen up basics, looking stylish without being trendy, and comfortable summer shoes to go with those looks (I don’t think I’m ever going back to heels post-pandemic – I want to be comfy but still look cute).

        Also, what pedicure colors are in style? I’ve been wearing berry colors on my toes for about a decade and it feels stale and out-of-date to me. Are people doing neutrals? Metallics? I would love your suggestions!

  8. Carissa Holmes says:

    Outfit ideas, but also your capsule wardrobes have always been really fun. Basically, 2 ways! 🙂

  9. ANNA says:

    I need help with jeans. I like the idea of the thicker, looser fitting jeans that are more trendy, but there’s no way my 35 year old butt is wearing high-rise, pleated, ripped, cropped jeans. I’d love more posts on how to make these trends work in a way that’s flattering and age-appropriate. The last jeans post was a great start, but sadly the cropped look doesn’t work for me.

    PS
    The thought of a return of French-tipped toenails makes me shudder. Why do you want your toes to look like fingers? Whyyyyyy???

  10. Kathleen says:

    I echo the previous comment in needing dresses for outdoor cocktail and formal weddings. I’d love to see your suggestions for dresses (and shoes!) that will work for formal/cocktail attire AND being outdoors.

  11. AM says:

    Outfits for vacations with friends and family! Lots of weekend trips coming up to the beach, mountains, lakes, etc. and I can only wear jorts so many times…

  12. FAN From boston says:

    Travel and hanging out attire for family get-togethers. Our crew is prioritizing reuniting grandparents, cousins, etc., and the centerpiece is a gathering at a rental house in the mountains (New England) to celebrate my in-laws 50th anniversary (a gathering that was postponed from last summer). It is an unfussy group, thank goodness, but I’d still love a few easy but fresh new pieces. I suspect that a LOT of photos will be taken!

  13. Kayla says:

    Please oh please talk about dressing (and feeling good) about a body that is drastically different than a January 2020 body. My body feels foreign to me and styles that were tried and true for years are letting me down.I really don’t recommend breaking your foot and heading into surgery during a global pandemic… it doesn’t do great things for one’s confidence or style.

    • E says:

      I’d second this. I didn’t get injured during the pandemic but I definitely gained way more weight, way more quickly than I’d anticipated and I also don’t recognize my 2021 bod. Kayla, you’re not alone, hon.

    • Clara says:

      Plus one to this.

    • Anna says:

      At least you can blame it on your injury. I’ve got no one to blame for these extra pounds but my own laziness.

    • Amanda says:

      This feels extra hard in a shopping world that’s more online – I struggled to find jeans and pants that felt like they really fit well in February 2020, and even two-weeks-post-vaccine I am dreading venturing back to a dressing room with a stack of denim to figure out what fits and makes me feel good.

  14. Shannon says:

    Not only do I have an outdoorsy child, but most of my socializing will take place outdoors for the foreseeable future. The problem is that I hate being hot, and I live in a miserable, sweaty, roasty part of the country. I’d love to see ideas for outfits in breathable, lightweight fabrics, with practical features like pockets, that are still stylish. I have no idea how to dress for heat without looking like a sloppy college kid.

    • Laura says:

      I didn’t see your comment until after I posted a similar one – yes yo breathable fabrics!

      • Shannon says:

        Yes, it’s so hard! Because young children won’t be vaccinated for a long while, any socializing we do as a family will likely involve chasing my daughter around various parks and backyards. I’d like to not drown in sweat, flash people, or look hideous while doing so.

        And while I’m grumping about clothes, I wish shorts for girls were longer! My daughter is tall for her age, and shorts barely cover her bottom. I get her things from the boys department.

        • HH says:

          Not sure you’ll see this, but have you checked out Primary? Looks like the shorts might be a bit longer since their clothing tends to be gender neutral.

          And I so agree with you on this – am chasing a toddler around and last week I wore white jeans to an outdoor get together with food and a playground. Was surprisingly unstained at the end of the day.

    • Jenny says:

      Shannon, I have completely embraced rompers for being out and about with my very active toddler. There’s some style there but still sporty enough to give chase. I found some pretty inexpensive ones at Nordstrom. Sizing a bit all over the place (esp because one was I think from the juniors department) but there are some great styles that just skim the body, very comfy. Also Lou and grey had a great romper last year.

  15. Ashley says:

    Yes please to “dressing a body type that is very different from the one you started the pandemic with.” I don’t know how much weight I’ve gained since my scale’s battery died and I never replaced it, but I’m in a size 10 from a size 6 a year ago, and a lot more bottom and mid-section heavy than before. Help?

  16. Cindi says:

    Hi! One of my all time fav posts was how to dress for a work related pool party. It beats repeating, especially for those of us with COVID bodies.

    I’d love a mix of WFH and social outfits for summer type events. Also – any ideas you have on how workplace dress codes may have changed bc of the pandemic. How to adapt or update a WFH wardrobe or start over with office wear in a different size. You showed a couple of skirts when you were in session that had this theme.

    Also – I loved the women in tech article. When men in my office used to ask me to get coffee I’d always tell them I had a traumatic experience accidentally dumping super hot coffee in a man’s lap and its prolly not a good idea. (This was in the 80’s) no one ever pushed it.

    • Amanda says:

      I love the idea of adapting to changing work dress codes. We’ve been back in the office for several months, but I’ve had plenty of days where I never change out of my commuting sneakers because I’m Zooming from my desk or in my office for the entire day.

  17. Sierra Delta says:

    Never wearing HIGH heels again! In search of 1 1/2″ inches max and/or wedges or flats that will work with formal attire and won’t put my current free-range toes in a vise grip. Need something that is NOT a bathing suit to wear poolside while I supervise the grands in our condo’s swimming pool. Lightweight pretty duster or kimono-adjacent jackets to wear as third layer in aggressive AC venues. Sun hats that are crushable, washable, and chic. A self-cleaning house.

  18. SAmantha says:

    I definitely need some helping dressing this post-pandemic body. I’m a little rounder than last year and I’m struggling with dressing in a way that makes me feel good/confident.

  19. Cait says:

    I’ll echo other comments about needing to re-learn how to dress for outdoor social events! Where I am, people are just starting to dip toes back in to the social scene and the pretty weather means LOTS of outdoor gatherings with nebulous dress codes. I feel like a lot of social shorthand for what everyone else is wearing is gone. It used to be that if I was meeting friends for drinks at 6pm on a weekday, I could assume we’d all be in work attire. If I was going to a family gathering outdoors, I’d assume that “outdoors” meant casual so I’d wear shorts or something I could be active in.
    Now an outdoor family gathering is the equivalent of a sit-down dinner, just in the yard or on the porch, but there’s a chance someone will pull out a cornhole set. Sometimes the friends grabbing drinks jump at the chance to put on “real clothes,” but other days we’re deep in a pandemic funk and doing good to leave the house so leggings it is. I feel constantly in a state of wearing the wrong thing and having nothing to wear that feels appropriate!

  20. CarRie says:

    Recommendations on what to buy for a true capsule wardrobe (basically to replace a wardrobe due to gaining/losing weight but not at a final number yet). So maybe enough items for 5 or 6 looks that stay on the casual/WFH side of things (shorts, summer pants, maxi dress, etc). I need to get a few new things to fit my current body but I don’t know where to start and I don’t want to buy a bunch of stuff.

    • Emily DeYoung says:

      I second this! I haven’t worn work clothes for more than a year, return to full time in office and office travel in January. Looking to start over. I am on my way down from my pandemic weight gain and one motivator for me is to build a new capsule style work wardrobe with quality pieces. A big closet edit is in my future and I’m excited but also a little frightened!

  21. lauren says:

    Would love tips about stylish summer shoes flat and lower heels!

    Any people with great style in their 30s or beyond you like to follow?

    Also, maybe a bit of a formula on how to update things…Do updated accessories make an outfit look new enough? one new, one old, one trend?

    Also any updates to make up/nails?

    • Diane says:

      Yes to summer shoes! I think I’ve acquired the maximum number of Rothy’s I can own for now, and would love to see some comfortable low/no heel shoes I can wear to work. I don’t even know where to look for comfortable shoes anymore and have severe scrolling fatigue when every retailer has a hundred options.

  22. SM says:

    Here’s one: what to wear when you’re meeting a significant other’s family for the first time. Kinda goes hand in hand with the summer socialization comments below.

  23. Diane says:

    I need cute casual tops for summer. I pulled out my go-to this past weekend and realized I bought it in 2014.

  24. E says:

    An overview of plus-size retailers that are stylish and quality. My 15 pounds from COVID pushed me from the top end of “straight sizes” into a 20/22/2X and it was a lot of boxes trying to find new brands that fit. Winners so far have been Lands End (washable wool dress in 20 and swimwear in 20s), Target (Ava and Viv and A New Day) dresses with structured waistlines, Boden wrap dresses in 22, Charter Club from Macys pull on straight leg jeans, some gap items in an XXL (but they have to be cut generously, mostly tees and some pull on linen blend shorts). Losers: Eloquii (quality was horrible and fit was not great), Talbots (just looked super frumpy on me), other Target dresses without the structured waistline.

    • Steph says:

      As a size 16, I can vouch for Madewell and Universal Standard as well as the options you’ve already identified. On the spendier side, Trandlands is a casual brand that carries up to 4X. And speaking of expensive, I’m getting ready to try out some MMLaFleur thanks to Belle’s post about Second Act (their resale site) – they carry up to +3 which is their equivalent of a 24, I think?

  25. Laura says:

    I live in Texas, so spring/summer is about wearing clothes I don’t mind sweating in! Would love some refs for affordable, casual dress and top options, preferably in cotton or non-poly fabrics.

  26. Emma says:

    I’m transitioning back to the office so I would like to see updated business casual pieces. I’m looking for an easy fit that will look good now, and later when I shed the pandemic pouch. I want to avoid buying a bigger size in cheaply made clothing that I will only last a season or two. Natural fibers and sustainable options are always a plus.

  27. Emily says:

    Makeup tips, please! I get overwhelmed and am still applying makeup like I’m in my 20s (I’m not…) Your 5 minute makeup video on break things was helpful, but I’d love it in article form…what brushes to buy, what makeup to buy, etc. Thank you for all of your awesome work!

  28. Staci says:

    This strawberry dress has shown up in my Facebook feed. I love it so much. I keep going back and forth on whether I’m too old to be wearing a strawberry print dress. It brings back memories of the Strawberry Shortcake dolls I used to play with. Someone tell me that forty isn’t too old to wear this dress.

    • Jess says:

      I’ll be 40 in June. Here’s my advice, wear the hell whatever you want!!! And who cares what anyone else thinks?!!! My style in summer is boho dresses, and winter totally prep. And dang if I don’t rock it!

    • STEph says:

      To be honest, nobody knows you’re 40 but you. I’m 30 and frequently think folks in their 40s are in their early/mid-30s. Wear the dang dress.

  29. Eleni says:

    Some first date outfits for outdoor hot and humid weather! Thanks!!

  30. EMMY says:

    I’d love to see casual, work appropriate clothing/outfits for summer! I feel like my tolerance for formulating outfits and wearing less than comfy things went down significantly in COVID, but I still want to look put together on recess weeks this summer after suffering through business formal attire when Congress is in session.

  31. jen h says:

    Self Control.

    I want to buy every damn thing linked on this page, and yet my world is still very locked down. Such gorgeous stuff! That strawberry sundress!!

  32. Sarah Lauer says:

    You know you want to do an article on how to look stylish and not die of heat exhaustion at an amusement park. 🙂

    • Belle says:

      Is a parasol out of the question? 😉

      Best advice, a knee length t-shirt dress in a not-black color and a cool backpack to haul stuff in. Get a pair of d’Orsay sandals instead of flip flops. And bring a packable straw hat so you can put it in the backpack when you’re on the rides.

  33. Kate says:

    I’ll add my name to the many asking about flattering and comfortable clothing. Since my weight has only gone *down* since high school, I feel like I learned some things earlier rather than later. For example, light summery colors do a lot to make your outfit feel fresh even if you have 3/4 sleeves in August; wearing a full body Spanx with shoulder straps is more comfortable than just the bike shorts; high cut swimsuit bottoms often are more flattering than full coverage; the 2/3 rule for proportionate dressing. But I’d love specific clothing recs and tips of this nature.
    As a city resident, I’d also appreciate cute and distance-walkable sandal recommendations.
    And lastly, how to adopt a more breezy/chic/comfortable work style. Because I don’t think I’ll be immediately diving into sheath dresses and heels (literally half my closet is fancy work clothes, but they all look and feel so stuffy now!)

  34. EMM says:

    Would love shoe recs – sandals, heels, white sneaks, that you can actually wear for more than 15 minutes and feel supported, no blisters, etc. I (finally!) have some upcoming trips scheduled in late summer/fall and would love functional but chic footwear options for roaming new cities.

  35. EET says:

    Above/at the knee casual/semi-casual summer dresses? I’ve noticed most of the dresses I see here, which are beautiful, are typically midi or maxi length.

    I’m ready to show some leg after most people have only viewed me from the waist up for over a year haha

  36. Molly says:

    Would love some recommendations for cute swimsuits (preferably one pieces) with high neck coverage. I don’t want a rashguard, just a cute suit that will help protect my chest, which is covered in sunspots (despite very proactive sunscreen application). Thank you!

  37. Kate says:

    Looking for maternity friendly summer tops and dresses. Finding maternity clothes is terrible! There’s little variety in maternity lines and few stores even carry maternity-plus the best ones are overpriced for something you will only wear for a few months.

  38. BN says:

    I second nearly every single one of these and add two more: 1) forgiving shoes that don’t look it. (Who here has only worn flip flops for 14 months and is worried real shoes will destroy her? Just me?); and 2) wrinkle solutions that actually work. The stress, the lack of a work/life balance, the worry, the late nights, the inability to find time for self care of any kind, and constantly pivoting in several aspects of life have left their mark (literally) all over my face, neck, and chest. My skin aged more than a year this past year 🙁

  39. MitrA says:

    I would love some help with denim shorts. My old ones don’t fit and I have struggled to find cute and comfy 5-inch inseam shorts. Bonus points for white denim shorts that aren’t completely see through!

  40. Mackenzie says:

    Here’s what I need for the summer:

    I’m going back to the office occasionally and I’d like to know how to style the new, roomier pants – like what kind of top shapes for high waisted, pleated pants, and what kind of shoes?

    I also always have the hardest time with summer casual clothes because I live in Texas and when its f-in hot outside I basically go all summer in sandals, the same couple of tank tops that aren’t expensive because of the sweat, and a pair of j-crew shorts. I’d like to have clothes that wear well in heat (like linen) and look more put together even when its hot.

    You used to share a few updo styles for professional wear, so if you have any of those to add for summer time or a nicer looking way to wear my hair up besides a pony tail, I love those suggestions.

  41. Melissa says:

    I know as we go back to the office, our dress code will be more relaxed. I’m looking for suggestions on more…not business casual, but maybe “smart casual”? How to make athleisure work for the office, combining dressy and casual pieces for an appropriate look, that sort of thing. Thank you!

  42. Amy says:

    I really need new running shoes (and am struggling to find something that fits well and is comfortable) and new swimwear (again, so hard to shop online!) Also casual clothes (to wear of the house) that is not activewear. I am also looking for innovative and user-friendly items/methods for home organization in a small condo. Not sure if any of these are what you are looking for, but thought I would add my two cents! 🙂 Thank you for continuously excellent content!

  43. Lisa Hall says:

    Ooh, perfect timing! Have the wedding dress, need a short white one for shower, bachelorette, rehearsal. In petite would be ideal

  44. SC says:

    I would love ideas for law-office day dresses in lighter colors and some work-appropriate prints. I feel weird wearing bright florals to the office, but in July I don’t want to wear a black pinstripe doubles-as-my-funeral-dress dress either. Please help me find the happy medium!

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