Fashion & Beauty

One and Done

September 15, 2015


MY MOTHER ALWAYS SAID the Jewish holidays made her sad because when everyone gathered around the table to celebrate Rosh Hoshanah or to break the fast Yom Kippur, she remembered all the people she loved who weren’t there. Now it’s my turn, and I’m thinking about my mom not because she was a great cook (she wasn’t) and not because she was the most compassionate person and street-smart person I knew (she was), but because she had unfailingly good fashion sense. And God forbid if you didn’t show up at our surburban synagogue decked out in your best fall outfit (even though it was 75-plus degrees).

Mom had an eye for color and a knack for knowing that a navy blue jacket and taupe camp shirt (great deals from Loehmann’s ) and a brown, black and blue-striped skirt from Calvin Klein would fit together in one knock-your-socks off ensemble. Alas, I didn’t inherit her skill. Oh, I can assemble a few pieces, and they’ll look fine, but the result won’t be as imaginative as hers and furthermore, it would take more thought than I currently have patience for.

I suspect I’m far from the only one who wants to fuss about what goes with what before they have to head for an early appointment or otherwise rush out the door.  So, let’s hear it for the simplicity of dresses — just a zip or a pull over the head. And jumpsuits for the more adventurous. Some suggestions for the season.



Opening Ceremony ups the ante on a basic black ribbed stretch jersey dress by layering the top with a cobalt textured knit. Well done.  $245. Buy it here.



Rag & Bone’s polka dot cropped silk jumpsuit with notched collar has the luxurious look of a man’s old-school dressing gown, but reinterpreted with a feminine twist for an easy-to-wear one-piece outfit. $655. At Saks Fifth Avenue.




Suede everything is ruling fall fashion. This Halston Heritage figure-hugging dress ($595) adds interest with an asymmetrical hem and bold magenta hue. Find it here.





Mixed prints — like this melange of stripes and florals ($277) from Clover Canyon— continue to appeal.  A simple silhouette in a figure-forgiving blend of polyester and spandex.



A work uniform by day or, with heels, a going-out-for-drinks option, this crepe Madewell jumpsuit ($150 at net-a-porter) with an elasticated waistband for definition satisfies our search for simple solutions.




According to New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham in his weekend column, fit and flare dresses have been a big hit with women who value the simplicity of one and done.  Brooks Brothers’ tartan-plaid flare dress ($198) ticks all the boxes.


–Janet Kelly

2 thoughts on “One and Done

  1. Nancy says:

    Love dresses just for this reason. Not sure I’m trying the jumpsuit thing again, though. Didn’t look so good on me the first time around.

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Try some more jumpsuits; I bet you can find one or two very flattering ones. Lots of choices out there.

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