Correct me if I'm wrong. What is more every day wearable; wardrobe foundation building; goes with everything than black and white?
I'm right; right?
Not necessarily. And once again, this is where our tres, tres chères amies demonstrate style may start with the obvious, but it blooms from one's unique personality. Think about the fuchsia skirt the big, egg yolk yellow trousers for example. Who would have thought they could be turned into basics?
The white, light silk crepe skirt with black polka dots was Edith's other summer purchase. At first glance one might hesitate, on second inspection one might think: "Aha, a neutral with which I can wear absolutely anything and everything." Wrong.
The beauty of this skirt, apart from its exceedingly feminine flouncy finish, is it's not so easy to top it off. It needs some considered thinking and creativity. It has more restrictions than one might think. Curiously, working with it requires a certain restraint. One must rein-in errant impulses to couple it with any old color. The skirt deserves more respect than simply relegating it to the go-with-everything black and white category.
Avoid colored t-shirts. A black bustier would be beautiful; a red bustier could be slightly tacky whereas a structured red linen jacket would be superbly chic. I admit; it's tricky. A fuchsia, yellow, electric French blue, plum jacket -- by all means.
Here then follows our list of perfect pieces for the polka dots:
1.) A black or white linen, close to the body Spencer or peplum jacket with big white buttons on the black; black on the white.
2.) A black cotton twin-set with white ribbing around the neck and two white bands around the wrist of the cardigan. (Edith owns it and often wears the duo with black jeans. Whatever. . .)
3.) A black Marcel with a big belt. Not a white Marcel, it just doesn't look right. Not a red one either, don't even think about it.
4.) Black t-shirts in every imaginable neckline and sleeve length, always belted. When this skirt is worn with a t-shirt it needs that polished finish.
5.) A black "men's" vest or a red, fuchsia, plum or black and white striped one if you can find it (maybe even black and white polka dots, why not?).
6.) Any white blouse tucked in or worn out, but in both cases always belted: wide inside, narrower outside.
7.) White t-shirts (thought no Marcels!) -- same rules apply as with black, but be creative with belts and jewelry without which the look could be boring.
8.) Black bustier with a shawl of just about any color except perhaps yellow, orange and any insipid pastel.
9.) Deep, deep black or white paper-thin summer sweaters worn out. If they reach the top of your thighs it's your call about "to-belt-or-not-to-belt."
10.) Layer two ultra-thin V-neck cardigans in different colors so one peeps out beneath the other at the neckline and wrists. Start with black on the outside and work from there with colors like coral, lime, white, pale gray, fuchsia, etc. on the inside. I think you could make the exception here for a red on the outside. White is simply blah.
11.) Black polished cotton shirt.
NOTE: Jewelry is particularly important -- and fun -- with all these combos. Note the slightly over-the-top, but perfectly wearable peasant blouse ensemble. (Peasant blouses also come with long sleeves, FYI. . . Few women don't have pretty shoulders.)