Each week, the Open Thread newsletter will offer a look from across The New York Times at the forces that shape the dress codes we share, with Vanessa Friedman as your personal shopper. The latest newsletter appears here. To receive it in your inbox, register here.
Happy November. It’s the New York City Marathon minus two. Yes, we have successfully gotten through Halloween — not to mention the upheaval at Burberry, and the brouhaha around Paul Manafort’s bizarre shopping habits. Now it’s time to put on our running costumes.
And I am not talking about the superhero or Cyndi Lauper-esque outfits some entrants wear. I am talking about the leggings!
Also the sneakers, arm warmers, knee socks and color combinations on display. For anyone in search of a sports wear/athleisure fashion show, it doesn’t get any better.
Not being a jogger personally — I favor flying trapeze for exercise, which for me involves black leggings and old T-shirts — I have never actually wanted to participate, but every year I go down to the street near our house to watch the crowd trot by.
Part of the attraction is the sense of camaraderie and excitement in the runners and their supporters, but part of it is unquestionably professional curiosity.
You can learn an awful lot about trends and the way they percolate outward from the professional to the armchair athlete (is that an oxymoron?) when watching approximately 50,000 people run by. And now you know yet another one of my secrets.
To take your mind off your preparatory stretches, however, dip into this unexpected interview with Breitbart’s fashion editor (yes, they have one), take a gander at the President’s new official portrait and, post-World Series, check out the best Astros haircuts in Houston. Then load up on some carbs.
Sinuous Jewelry: This season’s pieces bend with the body and gleam against the skin. See more sculptural accessories that are true to form.
Q: I’m a 22-year-old professional who’s been on a quest for the perfect blazer for nearly six months. It’s a dark, solid color; unpadded in the shoulders, or so lightly padded I can avoid the “Why do I suddenly resemble a refrigerator?” moment; preferably silky, so it lays well against generous curves; professional enough for work, but sleek enough for drinks on the weekend. And I want to wear this thing for years. In trying to “fake it ’til I make it” into adulthood, I feel like this blazer is essential. Any advice? — Anna, Colorado
A: You probably already know this, but it’s always dangerous to embark on any shopping expedition, online or in-store, with that specific a goal in mind; you’re almost guaranteed to come up empty. I have innumerable personal stories of trips to buy a cocktail dress, or a winter coat, that resulted in my discovering, for example, the perfect … sunglasses. Or something.
That said, a great blazer is, indeed, a necessary part of a wardrobe, and for the basic black go-to garment, I think Theory is pretty much a no-brainer (pun intended). But here’s a tip: I wouldn’t assume you need to limit yourself to a dark color. One of my favorite jackets is a silver sari fabric style from Dries Van Noten that I bought in 2009 and have been wearing relentlessly ever since.
But don’t just take it from me. Malina Joseph Gilchrist, T’s women’s style director, says, “I find that Stella McCartney cuts some of the best blazers if you’re not afraid to take out your wallet. Look to her doubled-breasted blazers or longer cut ones with single buttons as classic perennial pieces. The Paris-based Pallas is another great brand that specializes exclusively in tailoring. If you are curvier, try for an elongated cut blazer with single buttons.” — VANESSA FRIEDMAN