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Last week Amalie told me she’s been feeling a strong urge to dress girlier. I get it: All I want right now are flowy dresses and ruffled blouses, too. I know some of you are feeling the same way, because I saw a lot of comments on the personal shopping story I published last week asking for a similar vibe. I think it’s a response to the time we’re living in right now—when you have to suit up like Charlize Theron in Fury Road just to buy Raisin Bran Crunch, the idea of an alternative that’s pretty and soft is very appealing.
As it turns out, The Outnet sale has some really excellent markdowns on super-girly stuff to address this situation. Below, read a convo between me and Amalie about what “dressing girlier” means and shop some of the best pieces I found on sale (most of which is under $200). –Eliz
Elizabeth: I’ve been thinking about the “vibe” of my dressing preference ever since you mentioned you’ve found yourself wanting to dress girlier on our editorial video call.
Amalie: I know it’s weird to couch this impulse in such gendered terms, but I guess it all kind of goes back to what makes me feel “hot,” per Harling’s recent piece. And right now the thing that would make me feel most attractive, based on my gender performance and personal preference, is a ruffled blouse or a frilly mini skirt. Whether that’s “feminine” or “romantic” who knows, but that’s what I’m drawn to right now. You know?
Eliz: I think the extravagance of “dressing girly” may be what you desire right now. You need that extra oomph during a really stale moment in time.
Amalie: Totally! Something to make me feel like I’m a character in an Elena Ferrante novel. What are some of the things that have caught your eye? Or—what are some things that you feel like are missing from your closet? I feel like I have nothing frilly or femme in my closet, especially for summer.
Elizabeth: I was actually going to bring up “character dressing!” In the story I wrote where I asked people to let me find them market to satisfy their ~needs~ a lot of people referenced characters like Marianne from Normal People and the sisters from Little Women who dress in feminine dresses and ruffled blouses from a specific period in history! It got me thinking: where is my long skirt!? Do I need one???
To answer your q: When I think of feminine dressing a lot of specific designers come to mind: Valentino, Maggie Marilyn, Rebecca Taylor, Rosie Assoulin, Zimmerman, Ulla Johnson, De La Vali, Marchesa, Chloe, Pucci… the list goes on. And through my Outnet crawl, I noticed designers whose names I don’t necessarily associate with being uber feminine having those sorts of designs from seasons of yesterday.
Amalie: That’s exciting! Begs the question of whether this impulse is really from me or whether I’m being influenced by the larger trend cycle… either way I’m not mad about it. Oooh love that dress…
Elizabeth: Yeah! Like… denim! Can denim be girly? I think so if it has the proper silhouette.
Or these Derek Lam pants—Derek Lam doesn’t make me think feminine and the check isn’t super girly but the cut is (imagine paired with a lacey cami?). Must also bring to your attention these pleated trousers, also paired with said cami.
Would that outfit scratch your itch?
Amalie: Omg yes. I’ve always wanted to be the kind of girl who just wears a lacy cami but for some reason I’ve never believed that it was the right look for me. Then in the summer I boil in cotton t-shirts like a fool. This might be the moment!!!
Elizabeth: I think it’s time. I also DID NOT FORGET you are a fan of pants for summer (rather than shorts) so I found some for you. I think any of these could be styled similarly (see: cami) and be very appropriate:
These pants are mostly all silky—so now I’ve talked about silhouette and material to constitute a specific style.
Amalie: Those Dodo Bar Or pants you styled me in for that story have been the best summer pants I’ve ever owned. I wore them to death last year and plan to this year, as well. Yes to summer pants!!! But I’ve also been really drawn to skirts, lately, since I have two in my closet and I don’t even like them very much. Skirts are always a hard find for me, but I’m imagining something romantic and long or flirty and short?? I know you have thoughts.
Eliz: I was just about to dive into skirts and dresses! Skirts first. I love a skirt for you! Personally, I rarely wear them but there are endless good ones:
I also found this one that I’d like to take a moment to dive into. It’s like an open-front apron. So while a distressed pair of jeans isn’t girly… you could suddenly make your outfit romantic with this guy over them:
(I am so tempted to buy it. Look at it on the model!)
Elizabeth: I think there is something to be said about the versatility of a really good frilly storybook skirt.
Amalie: Man, I agree. I don’t have a single one in my closet because up until now it’s just never felt right. But I really like the idea of folding more of the feminine into my closet! Because I have such neutral pieces that I feel like the balance will be really right.
I can’t stop thinking about that outfit.
Eliz: Yeah. It’s a good one, I agree. And speaking of jeans! I know you’re a huge fan… you made your case! Are you open to using denim as a base and wearing something that is more girly on top? Or even with that apron I sent you?
Amalie: Okay wow @ those Frame wide-legs
Eliz: Are you still hard no on shorts? I found these really gorgeous bloomers:
Amalie: CUTE. I’m not a hard no on shorts anymore, I’ve actually been looking at a few kind of flowy-looking white ones.
Eliz: Here are some that fit that bill! The Acne ones are $50!!!
All that being said, I do love these shorts if they’re something you’d consider:
That Stateside one—with the tiered sleeves—is so shockingly romantic for a pretty basic button down cotton shirt, no?
Amalie: Yes I looove that with the pj short. I wish I thought of things like this more often! There’s been no greater joy than when you’ve styled me in the past because you’ll put things together that I would never normally assume go together and they just… harmonize.
Eliz: You just made me blush from my home office (the couch). That means a lot! I love dressing you. You’re so open to it!
I really wanna help you with your needs here so I want to propose some extremely on-the-nose dresses.
Amalie: Please! I have maybe two summer dresses in my closet. One of which is a literal muumuu
Eliz: Here’s this one, which is puffy and pink. Then: a long one with a bow in blue! This long dreamy white one. A silky floral midi. A cute and youthful mini pink number. Embellished ones from Marchesa and this one that is a romantic dream.
Amalie: Cough, cough speaking of heeled mules…. All of my summer shoes look like, in the words of LMC, I’ve “sustained a foot injury.”
Eliz: I’m a firm believer that shoes make an outfit. Kinda hard for me right now.
You know what I was thinking when I came across these? Sunglasses (’tis the season!) can really change an outfit. Imagine wearing a cat eye with any one of those dresses, rather than these (which I also love).
A cat eye makes it just so much more flirty, non?
Amalie: Oh, both of these are so cool. I’m such a sucker for sunglasses.
Eliz: I know you are! You have the best ones.
Amalie: I used to believe that one shape and style was all I needed and then I realized that certain outfits look BETTER with the right pair of sunglasses
Eliz: I agree. What are you going to wear today?
Amalie: Ooh man. It’s 84 degrees today in New York, can you believe??? I think that calls for a Real Outfit.
Eliz: Yes because I walked my dog at 6:30 AM and felt! it!
Amalie: Haha, I haven’t been outside yet! Okay, I have a linen skirt from Uniqlo that I really really love. The only skirt I own that I like. Going to throw that on with this top, adding cat eye sunglasses, some gold hoops and some Mary Jane flats from Hereu. Inspired by: ELIZ
Eliz: That is such a good outfit. I hope you wear those sunglasses all day on your video calls.
I’m going to wear running shorts with a silky cami. I was inspired by… myself.
I really wanna wear this top but I’ll have to wait 3-5 biz days. I bought it from the sale (and this jacket). I now kind of wish I got the checkered version of the top because there are these matching shorts with it. But I digress.
Ok. I have a video call in 2. See ya on Slack!
Amalie: The checkered top and shorts are so good! Okay, I’m running out to go pick up a lizard from my friend, lol. Bye!
Feature Image via The Outnet featuring a Loewe dress.