Once, well-dressed meant never wearing white after Labor Day, dressing formally to board a plane, matching your shoes and purse, pajamas in the house only, and sweatpants staying at the gym. Things have changed.
Reflecting the morphing role women play these days, the concept of well-dressed is redefined now. The line between casual and formal has blurred, and like the women who wear them, today’s fashion must-haves for a well-dressed woman are flexible, versatile, and allow for self-expression.
Hayden Maitre, who brings her Art History major’s aesthetic, Paris department store savvy, and former buyer’s eye into the mix as manager of Rye’s Great Stuff, shared her insider’s view on what well-dressed means today.
“Defining the well-dressed woman now is not what we even thought of ten years ago. Today, it’s more daytime streetwear, casual, more active wear. And for night, a great pair of jeans and a wonderful shirt.” Fashion being fashion, trends will be trends, so a wonderful shirt has its ever-changing guidelines. What makes a shirt wonderful these days? “Details on the sleeves,” Hayden says. “ruffles, texture, lace, and sparkle. The sleeves are still a big focus.” And as for jeans, Maitre explains great as “A wider leg, not the skinny fit that’s been the focus in the past few years. And roughed-up hems, frayed at the bottoms. It’s details like this that define your style,” says Hayden.
Though fashion changes every ten seconds, there are perennials that comprise a wardrobe for the well-dressed. “In your wardrobe, you still need a great blazer, a well-tailored coat, the perfect jeans, and a flattering dress.” Unlike leopards, fashion perennials do change their spots. For example, today you’ll find well-cut blazers made from sweatshirt fabric. Right now, a well-tailored coat does not mean a conservative textile–bold colors and patterns are very of-the-moment. If you’re shopping for the perfect dress, keep these two things in mind according to Hayden, “A longer length is big. So pretty and feminine when you move. And white will be a big trend in summer. Crisp and fresh after coming out of the greys and blacks of winter.” No one would argue that we’d have to add an item to the must-have list: the classic denim jacket. It’s working overtime to sub for blazers over dresses, career styles, and party looks.
Summing up well-dressed, Hayden says, “Really, it’s about details and textures. Adding something lace or silky over jeans. Extending the possibilities with casual wear. For instance, take black Norma Kamali jogging pants and wear them with heels. It’s a great look. Or a metallic top over jeans. Your wardrobe for the well-dressed is flexible now, not so rigidly defined. Rules are whatever works for you.” Amen.
No heavy metal here, just a tasteful metallic top over jeans and under an army jacket
The JKT printed leather jacket over white jeans will take you many places.
Hayden Maitre’s favorite fashion statement of the moment is the Avant Toi Italian hand-painted silk top.
Sparkly tops paired with frayed-hem jeans.