Say It With Me Now...Layering for Snow

by JessieAnne D'Amico in

(Outfit details at bottom of post)

I always forget about the beauty of layering until rare situation like the current polar vortex.  Living in coastal North Carolina, it's a sparse opportunity, being allowed to dress for snow (which happens to be my favorite type of weather).  It also isn't often that I find myself in the position to pair a minidress with pants which I think is an underrated trend of the moment.  There's nothing I love more than finding the most random articles of clothing possible from my closet and somehow piling them on my body in a [sometimes] conceivable way.  I also took a much-appreciated note from a Man Repeller article yesterday on belting coats which, again, I am not able to experiment with much because of our lack of cold weather.  One of the best parts of snow is it makes for an almost-constant white backdrop perfect for contrast.  Black in a snow-cover makes for even starker contrast than usual.  That being said, it's also easy to overdo contrasting as I talked about in my black monochrome post.  Being a huge fan of fuchsia lipstick and often without cause to wear it, I took advantage of today and paired that as a statement element along with one of my favorite Matt & Nat bags.  So while my outfit may have been slightly uneventful otherwise (well, if you look past the fact that I'm wearing a dress, pants, turtleneck, and a t-shirt), with just my lipstick and purse I attempted to make it something else.  Also taking influence from one of Leandra Medine's past posts, I paired a sock with ankle length cigarette pants for a tiniest show of skin between my shoes and pants.  In spite of my mother's request, I wore one earring from a pair of my H&M earring/cuff combo and a similar stud for the other ear.  

Unconventionally layering clothing can also be an excuse not to give away that shirt you bought on impulse three years ago and have yet to wear.  Layering allows you to conceal your least favorite elements of a piece (say, ruffle sleeves) and emphasize the best parts (hello, mock turtleneck).  Sometimes even if only a hint of the piece shows, like my dress today which is on display for its neckline and mid-thigh hem, it can give the outfit a sense of closure and make it look more refined.  

Come to think of it, layering in clothing is a lot like layering in personality.  We tend to cover up what we see as flaws (I can't be productive if I know anything in my room is out of place) by compensating the positives of said attributes (because of that, my room is almost always perfectly neat).  I guess that means that snow days are kind of the comparative equivalent awkward first few weeks of a relationship—be it friendly, romantic, or professional—when you try to hide your quirks (the personality equivalent of a ruffled-2007-esque sleeve) and emphasize your best qualities.  Literal layering can do the same in the terms of emphasizing your best qualities, it provides an outlet for wearing pieces you may not be very comfortable in but still love by pairing them with something overpowering to their intimidating features.

Coat: Ralph Lauren (similar from Cycle via Farfetchsimilar from Blk Dnm via Farfetch)

T-Shirt: Silence & Noise (similar from Raquel Allegra via NET-A-PORTER, similar from Rag & bone via NET-A-PORTER)

Turtleneck: Borrowed (similar from Banjo & Matilda via Net-a-Porter)

Dress: H&M (similar from H&M, similar from Versus via NET-A-PORTER)

Pants: Gap (similar from Topshop)

Shoes: Borrowed (similar from Fendi via Bluefly, similar from Kenneth Cole Reaction via Lord and Taylor)

Hat: H&M (similar from Topshop, similar from H&M)

Socks: Unknown (similar from H&M, similar from H&M)

Gloves: H&M (here from H&M)

Belt: Vintage Fossil (similar from Miu Miu via NET-A-PORTER)

Necklaces: H&M

Earrings: H&M

Purse: Matt & Nat

Lipstick: Estee Lauder Pure Color in Fuchsia Fever (Amazon link below)

Almost Monochrome

by JessieAnne D'Amico

My harem pants and Ivanka Trump pumps are making a reappearance, and a variation on yesterday's baseball cap.


Shirt: I.N.C. (similar from Victoria Beckham Denim via NET-A-PORTER)

Crop Sweater: Vintage (similar from Zara, similar from Proenza Schouler via NET-A-PORTER)

Coat: Ralph Lauren (similar from Cycle via Farfetch, similar from Blk Dnm via Farfetch)

Pants: Silence and Noise (similar from CLU via NET-A-PORTER)

Gloves: H&M (here from H&M)

Shoes: Ivanka Trump (similar from Ivanka Trump via Lord and Taylor)

Bag: H&M (similar from H&M)

Hat: H&M (similar from J. Crew)

Scarf: H&M (similar from TopShop)

Watch: Casio (here on Amazon)

Necklaces: TopShop, Lilly Pulitzer

Bracelet: Custom

Rings: Vintage, H&M

I am all for wearing all black, I might even consider it a pastime, but I’ve noticed that sometimes people wear all black as an excuse to just not put effort into an outfit and assume it looks okay, which isn’t always the case.  In honor of my [almost] entirely black outfit I’ve decided to include my personal “rules” for entirely this often abused trend.

  1. Take the fit of your clothes into special consideration when wearing all back, the color itself is slimming but articles that are unintentionally ill-fitting can have the reverse effect.  Personally I like to contrast something more form fitting with the opposite (like today’s crop sweater, harem pants combination).
  2. A lot of people will say if you wear all black to have elements like accessories that are brightly colored for contrast but I couldn’t disagree more.  When I see the cliche black with red combo all I see is a sixth grader who attempted an Olivia Newton John look for a Halloween party.  I think the look is so much more refined and generally more “I put thought into my ensemble” when paired with subtly contrasting accessories like tan, grey, or silver accessories.  Often, though, a perfect contrast piece can be as easy as a bold or severely nude lip.  I’m also a fan of using a statement shoe, even if it’s black as well, as a contrast piece.  Today, mine was my white shirt.
  3. Occasion is important because while a perk of entirely black outfits can be the versatility of the look, it’s easy to make a daytime appropriate outfit something only acceptable post-nine p.m.  In the daytime it’s better to stick to more neutral tones and hues of pink rather than deep reds or purples when it comes to accessorizing with lipstick.  Similarly, hemlines and accessories can make something office worthy rather than club worthy.  It’s easy to find a comfortable middle and it isn’t hard to notice when something becomes inappropriate to wear during the day.    
  4. Wear various [seasonally appropriate] textures or fabrics, all black cotton looks overly-drab and completely reverses the chicness of wearing all black in the first place.  Today, I’m wearing a wool crop sweater, silk pants, and a cotton hat with a leather brim.

Intimidating Fashion?

by JessieAnne D'Amico

Overalls: Vintage (similar from True Religion)

Vest: h&m (similar from Topshop via Nordstrom)

Turtleneck: Borrowed (similar from Banjo & Matilda via Net-a-Porter)

Shoes: Ivanka Trump (similar from Ivanka Trump)

Clutch: Target - I'm not kidding, it was a great find. (here)

Hat: J. Crew (similar from J. Crew)

Necklaces: J. Crew, H&M

Rings: H&M

Bracelets: J. Crew, vintage

Watch: vintage

Nothing says Man Repeller quite like boyfriend-fit overalls, giant faux fur vests, turtlenecks, and baseball caps.  What I’ve noticed lately though is that being a man repeller (“she who outfits herself in a sartorially offensive mode that may result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include but are not limited to harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls, shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs”) tends to not only to affect men but rather everyone around me.  Maybe this is environmental influence (scratch the maybe, definitely environmental) but it seems to be getting more and more difficult to pledge my love and allegiance to some of my favorite articles without blatant stares from quite literally everyone I encounter—see overalls, jumpers, drop-crotch pants, and hats of all styles.  


As of recently, I’ve adopted boyfriend jeans as my favorite fit and as Leandra Medine says, “It confused men when women dress like it’s 1977.” Although, I haven’t quite sunk to Miranda Kerr circa 2010 level, nor do I foresee this happening.  Combined with my innate love of overalls and vintage clothing, this pair of overalls overalls are presently one of my favorite wardrobe staples.  Likewise, my brilliant (and cheap) H&M faux fur vest purchase finds itself making appearances with various outfits—appropriate or not.  It may make me look like a bear-like creature but I feel like Anne Hathaway circa the Princess Diaries 2 inauguration scene.  Another one of my favorite  outfit elements, baseball caps are often overlooked as something reserved for men during sporting events or beach days but I feel like their the perfect compliment to both a feminine theme and menswear inspired look…or…whatever I went for today that I feel turned out pretty well.


It’s no secret that an industry employing  Thom Browne and the near terrifying Acne Studios’ Fall 2014 Menswear collection can be intimidating in any degree.  Some find themselves more comfortable with trends when they are diluted to the severity of stores like Forever 21 and conversely some, *cough* Anna Dello Russo, find themselves at the opposite extreme.  While my peers here may consider me to be on the later end of said spectrum, I like to think that I actually fall somewhere in the middle.  My clothes may seem completely shocking to most of the people I encounter everyday, but they probably haven’t seen a man on the subway wearing a large top hat and feather on his head, an unknown woodland creature thrown over his shoulder, large rings appearing to be a wolf’s head, and floor length opaque cape (I have, see below).