As any focused athlete knows, the right apparel is key to performance. So when I decided to enter the dating Olympics – aka, fifty first dates, one in every state – I knew it was time to upgrade my jersey, er, wardrobe. Out with my usual first-date uniform (black shirt with accent necklace, jeans, shoes for a pop of color) and in with…well, that there was the question.
The answer? Well, that there came from ModCloth. ModCloth is a clothing and lifestyle site dedicated to curating pieces with a vintage feel. They pull from designers and manufacturers from every nook and cranny imaginable to fill their shoppingsphere with pieces that work together or separately, but often look as though they might belong to the same person (if that person had an infinitely expanding closet and an algorithmic plan for finding outfits).
For starters, I just needed basics that could hang out together on my body. So I honed in on a versatile top, sweater, and a swatch of skirts that I could tag-team out each day. Enter Meet Me at the Mull skirt (in black), and Tulle Clothing Poppy Seed Top. With the skirt hitting just above the knee and a sleeveless shirt, I was ready to layer up in case of cold weather, walk around the beach on a sunny day, or sit in a coffee shop – and I did all of these things in this outfit.
Then of course, should the mood strike, I wanted to be able to mix up how I looked (for the sake of the documentary, and for my own personal enjoyment of getting dressed each day). Hello, Musee de Cluny Skirt (a style which ModCloth carries in a variety of colors and prints). When I whipped off my heels and whipped on a less fancy top, I was literally fine to take on a low-impact hike or even take archery lessons.
And to complete any outfit I turned to the ever-present golden sweater that I wore day in and day out over every skirt and pair of pants I owned, the Charter School Cardigan in Honey. Below, I’m wearing it with one of the POPular (get it? It pops!) colors of late, cobalt, on the Grand Turi Skirt. It was really fun to play around with both the Grand Turi Skirt and the Charter School Sweater, swapping out accessories to razzle-dazzle them up or keep them casual. ModCloth sells the sweater in a ton of colors (I’ve got my eye on it in Peacock, next).
Oh, and that ever-present necklace you see throughout these photos? That’s the Grange Arrangement Necklace that worked with a variety of necklines, from V-neck to scoop neck, and a one color crew neck too. Check out how well it worked with the Ingeniously Aubergine Dress (a dress, which I have to say, looked stunning while I was having salad on the deck of a waterfront brew-pub):
Ah yes, of course, almost no outfit is complete without a belt these days. (I used to say to Megan, put a belt on it! instead of put a bird on it! I bet if we were to watch footage and count how many times I said that while getting dressed…well, nothing would happen. But it would make a hilariously strange montage.) The Can’t Leaf It Be Belt came in rather handy. I’d buckle it around another dress, too – With Sugar On Top – I liked the width of the Can’t Leaf it Be Belt better than what the dress came with. Oh, and the With Sugar on Top dress? Yeah, it bounces, flounces, and makes you look like you know what you’re doing on the swing dance floor, even if you don’t.
Anyone else notice a theme in footwear yet? Yup, those are the Right Here Heel in Brown. Just a notch above kitten heel status, they’ve got a sturdy base that are good for standing on rocks, walking city blocks, and checking out museums.
Even I couldn’t take a cross country trip with out a little black dress. I went with the Lit Mag Launch Party Dress (and no, not just because of the name, though I so wouldn’t put that reason past me). Out for a walk at Highline Park in NYC then to see Annie afterward, or out to lunch with grandparents, I paired this with the Crinkle in Time Scarf in Berry. But what was rad was this dress basically feels like wearing sweats while looking like a piece of clothing an adult professional would wear.
Naturally, no road trip is complete without a dress that you’re able to pop into the car in, sit around for six hours in, then hop out of the car and immediately be at a pub quiz with a first date in. Hola, aptly named Scenic Road Trip Dress. It’s one of those classic pieces that lets you enjoy the world regardless of what you’re actually doing.
And last but certainly not least, there is a time and place where wearing a cat sweater is appropriate. The Cats of Friends Sweater was a conversation piece in an of itself (Are those bow ties on the cats, or are they vampires? asked one gentleman) and has the feel of the early eighties but the cut of a more modern sweater. Plus, it kind of seems like it’s made out of silky smooth knit. Mmm. Feels like butter.
First date wardrobe? Done. Now I just need a spreadsheet of what I wear on each date so I don’t repeat myself too often. That’s what every Olympic-level dater does…right?
Happy shopping – and hey, they even have a Black Friday sale going on.
(Photos by the ineffable Megan Pratt.)