May 17th, 2015
In The Wall Street Journal

‘In Search Of That Perfect Summer Dress’


This WSJ story by Meenal Mistry could be my story, too, and I didn’t realize to what extent until I finished cleaning out my closet yesterday afternoon.

Remember the moth and Julie Ann’s step-by-step recommendations on how to get rid of it? Well, I did exactly as she said and took EVERYTHING out of my enormous walk-in closet (it’s really a small room). I pulled out clothes, shoes, luggage, Hudson Bay blankets, shelves loaded with fabrics that I collect, boxes of photographs, and baby clothes that I cannot part with. And no joke, the very last item to come out, an adorable Bonpoint wool baby cap, was the culprit. It fell apart in my hand, having been moth lunch.

As much as I hated doing a big clean out, I now have a freshly edited wardrobe, which is fantastic. I know exactly what I have (and don’t have, tbc). It turns out that, like Meenal, I love a good summer dress—I have loads of them.  An entire rack, to be precise. Most are cotton and lightweight, some being the only colorful items I own. They are like mementos from my travels. I have dresses from the tiny shops atop the Gay Head cliffs on the Vineyard, shops along the coast of Maine, Locust Valley (when my friend’s ill fated boho boutique closed and I cleaned out all of her kurtas), A.P.C. in Paris, the year I bought the entire Isabel Marant spring collection, and H&M. And the best thing about them? They don’t seem to go out of style—I’ve worn many for years and will continue to do so.


What's New


Laser-engraved logo belt


Belted leather biker jacket

Jil Sander

Gathered Knit Midi Dress


Cropped leather jacket


Triple Francois 18kt gold vermeil earrings


Jimmy Leather Puffer Jacket


Le 57 quilted leather shoulder bag


Belted wool blazer


Blade velvet slingback pumps


Silvia silk-twill scarf


Logo-embellished leather loafers


Crocheted Cotton-Blend Midi Skirt


Braided leather bangle


Delcie tie-detailed ramie midi dress


Gate knotted leather slippers


Postcard fringed crocheted straw bucket hat

  • This is just the inspiration i need to do a wardrobe clear out.

    melanieMay 17th, 2015  6:19 AM

  • Nothing feels better than having a big clean out, and knowing exactly what you have and don’t have; Summer dresses are a must, and love that they never go out of style. I’m curious, what was Isabel Marant’s collection you bought ?

    CarolineMay 17th, 2015  6:25 AM

  • I am embarking on a closet clean now!

    I second Caroline’s inquiry about the famed Isabel Marant collection!

    LindseyMay 17th, 2015  8:59 AM

  • I bought an embarrassing number of dresses from the Isabel Marant SS13 collection—maybe a dozen, many when they went on sale. And like Meenal recommends, I bought duplicates of my favorites. I still love and wear them all (as do my daughters).

    PrestonMay 17th, 2015  9:29 AM

  • When I was reading that WSJ article I thought the same thing… summer dress styles really don’t vary much from year to year style wise. As long as there are no signs or wear and tear and the fit is good, there is no reason to retire them.

    AprilMay 17th, 2015  10:03 AM

  • This post inspired me to take a very long mountain hike this morning, rather than face my closet. I agree that summer-y dresses are completely timeless, and I used to wear them constantly when we had a place on the Vineyard, as the humidity made jeans unbearable. In LA, not so much, the dryer heat and ocean breezes still keep me in jeans in the summer, except for the occasional need to “dress” in something more festive.

    KathyMay 17th, 2015  1:05 PM

  • can we discuss why it’s so difficult to part with baby clothes? Even when said baby is well into high school?!

    KateMay 17th, 2015  1:24 PM

  • Preston,

    What is that beautiful denim dress with brIded straps???? Love

    Denim dress!!May 17th, 2015  4:55 PM

  • Orderly closets contribute to my peace & mental health, and are a source of personal pride for me. Honestly, neatly stacked scarf boxes, round hat boxes, felt bags for handbags, shoes organized according to heel height, all the white shirts lined up . . . one can really get carried away!

    Re. baby clothes ~ for me, I have kept many of them. Our home is 1920’s, was built with an actual nursery, with actual baby-size closet spaces where I can hang favorite items on small padded hangers. It is still furnished (maybe someone will drop by with a baby and need to rock/nurse/or nap?). I recently went through these clothes, had repairs done, dry-cleaned & laundered with Laundress, pressed, and tucked them away. My daughter will have a closet full of fabulous vintage baby clothing to shop. No pressure here! Most of these things are simply no longer made, and the quality is striking; small American labels now long gone, some picked up when in Europe. Not all of them were expensive, just of a quality and originality that is impossible to find today. No baby Gap back then– Or, I could donate them to a Costume Institute.

    PaulaMay 17th, 2015  11:09 PM

  • WSJ article says that the denim dress is from Madewell.

    C.MicholMay 18th, 2015  1:15 AM

  • Oh lovely dresses! I don’t have any like these .. doesn’t get hot here.
    Think I’ll look for one anyway!

    GayleMay 18th, 2015  6:25 PM

  • I must be the only one wondering what you did with all the clothes that you cleared out- I remember a post from last year about resale sites so very curious if that is the route you went.

    NicoleMay 20th, 2015  2:44 AM

  • My dresses take up most of my closet, but paired with cute sandals you really can’t go wrong. I wish I lived in a warmer climate as I really would wear one every day if I could!

    MelissaMay 20th, 2015  7:39 AM


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