Part of my prejudice against dress shirts is the perception that it is too corporate, too preppy, too "classic," too stiff and uncomfortable. I'm trying to challenge myself to convert these shirts into outfits that I am comfortable with and fitting with my style. I started doing that on a very hot Sunday with a loose-fitting and light white shirt that I picked out from a Robinsons-May clearance rack for $7 a good number of years ago (I think 6-7 years ago), when I was still not completely versed in the art of finding a shirt that fits properly. I haven't worn this dress shirt in ages because it is too loose, but the looseness is perfect for a relaxed outfit on the weekend. Also, a conservative shirt allows me to wear less-than-classic pieces--shorts and my new sky-high Pierre Hardy sandals--without looking like a streetwalker. As a fan of color gradients and geometric forms, I just love the straps of the sandals--very edgy, but also ageless. A "modern classic," if you will. The back closes with a Velcro strap, which is an unexpected touch.
Pearls (real or faux) have a conservative bent, but I've always enjoyed designing jewelry by combining pearls and other materials to create sleek contemporary baubles. I don't have any time to design jewelry these days (though I hope to start making things again once an upcoming trial is over), but I do have time to wear them. Wearing pearls with a white shirt is a bit too classic for me, but juxtaposing pearls with a contemporary metallic piece results in a look I want to achieve--timeless, but seemingly ahead of time. A cauldron of contradictions.
[Valerie Stevens shirt, Ben Amun necklace, faux pearls that I took off of an F21 tank and converted into a long necklace, various rings from Etsy, Gap shorts, Pierre Hardy sandals.]