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Urban Essentials

Four New York editors offer their dream versions of this spring’s uniform.

  • Dream Outfit No. 1

  • Harriet Mays Powell, fashion director

    I love Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz’s idea of femininity. It’s sexy modesty, not sexy naked. This is the little black dress made modern (Barneys New York, $1,935). It doesn’t have a season, and it’s all-year-round—I can wear it in the winter with a sweater. A white coat (Barneys, $2,460) is glamorous and showy, and the high ribbon belt is another feminine touch. The YSL bag ($1,295) is oversize but structured, not sloppy floppy. I decided to go for an elegant Jimmy Choo ($520) shoe, instead of a big chunky one; what I put on my own feet is a different thing than what I do for fashion. And the gold Tom Ford sunglasses (Henri Bendel, $290) are just great—crazy and oversize.

  • Dream Outfit No. 2

  • Aja Mangum, market research editor

    The J.Crew tank top is the perfect length; it’s not too clingy and has a built-in sports bra ($18). They’re thick enough that you can wear them by themselves but not so thick you can’t layer. I have 20, 25 pairs of jeans, but these Earnest Sewns (Cantaloup, $198) were love at first sight, and the black-gray shade is perfect. The Alberta Ferretti jacket (Bergdorf Goodman, $780) can transition from work to going out to the weekend, and the shape is great: It makes you look like you have a waist. Louis Vuitton shades ($455) are big and glamorous. The peep-toe flats are from Tod’s ($375), and they come in a lot of different colors and skins; of course, I picked gold. The Fendi Spy bag (price upon request) in multicolored python has a lot going on, which is why I love it. It has all these cool compartments that will hold all my crap.

  • Dream Outfit No. 3

  • Amy Larocca, style writer

    There are so many great designers living and working in the city right now. They really understand the needs of a city woman as well as the subtleties of taste. Warmth isn’t your top consideration with a trench, so it all comes down to cut; this coat by Derek Lam ($1,790) is so simple, yet exactly right. It can be put over whatever I’m wearing, however catastrophic, and the total effect will still be great. The Sari Gueron dress (Bergdorf, $1,350) is perfect for dressing up or down, and it’s navy, not black, which I vastly prefer. A Chanel quilted bag ($1,750) is another thing you should always have in your closet. The necklace is by Ten Thousand Things ($9,165); the small beads add just a breath of texture. The Diana Broussard shoes ($540) are snakeskin, my favorite neutral, and they have a perfect heel. It’s solid and not too high. I’m over the stiletto, and I like to be able to walk without resorting to flip-flops.

  • Dream Outfit No. 4

  • Janet Ozzard, Strategist editor

    I like balancing complex and simple and messing with classics. I also like a little rock-and-roll edge, but I’m also essentially a fashion wallflower, so the details need to do a lot of work. Junya Watanabe’s deconstructed trench and white tuxedo shirt ($1,420 and $290, Comme des Garçons) are tough but crisp, with all sorts of intriguing details. Nicole Farhi's tailored trousers ($395) fit perfectly right off the rack and wear like iron. The Georgina Goodman sandals (Eric Shoes, $485) and Henry Beguelin bag ($1,100) have an artisanal, straight-from-the-workshop quality that I like in this concrete, squared-off city, while the Faraone Mennella chains (Bergdorf, $3,800 to $5,200) keep the outfit from getting too serious.

From the 2006 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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