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Bonfire of the Vanities

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All right, New York, we need to talk. There's a reason that I moved here, and it wasn't because I have some inchoate desire to live in say, Death Valley or the Mojave Desert. The temperatures you've been leveling at us these past few weeks have been obscene, and are pulling an unacceptable number on my sartorial choices.

Summer is a deceptively easy season to dress for. Seemingly, summer outfits would be comprised of less clothing, less fuss, and less stress. Yet for those of us more inclined towards what I'll call Blair Waldorf fashion, and less inclined towards Serena van der Woodsen "chic" (or God forbid, Jenny Humphrey's choices) dressing for the city in the summer can be a dispiriting affair.

Paging through the usual roundup of fashion magazines offers no relief for girls looking for the inferno-appropriate iteration of camel coats, fur scarves and Repetto ballerinas. No, thank you, I am not interested in a navajo-print romper and technicolor Wayfarers, and after a brief Jane Aldridge inspired flirtation with leather shorts, I have left leather shorts to Jane Aldridge, who pairs them as they are meant to be paired, with YSL cage heels, a toile Lillith blouse, and a Prada bag.

Herewith, my summer shopping list, for the days when all you want to do is jump in the Hudson River, but are headed to the office instead.

1. The loose shift dress. Far from being an option, I would call it the only option for those who would like to avoid the ubiquitous J.Crew silk blouse, twill skirt and Tory Burch ballet flat look so rampant on scads of newly minted undergrads fleeing campus to their first job at that PR/advertising/marketing agency. The loose shift, preferably in a neutral like cream, navy or camel in cotton or jersey is effortless, elegant and best in its 3/4 length version.

2. Tom Ford Bianca sunglasses. Bang bang, end of story.

3. Gap white straight legged jeans. Because nothing says middle school/Serena so ardently as spending $180+ for the back pocket of your jeans to have status stitching.

4. Footwear is especially challenging in the city in the summer. A proponent of the ballerina at all times, I'm going to push the best shopping decision I've ever made, and extoll the endless virtues of these. As I'm pretty sure someone on Sex and the City once said, Chanello!

5. Dying to go open-toe? K. Jacques, please! A company created when St. Barths was just a fishing hamlet now counts everyone from Bridgette Bardot to Angelina Jolie as fans, and are what everyone from Marni to Bottega Veneta to Steve Madden knocks off.

6. Massive raffia sunhat. A friend just clued me in to Hat Attack in Washington DC's Georgetown, and although I'd replace the bow with something a little less arts and crafts, I'd also probably push this until October, or until it flew off a boat.

7. On that note, really, the most important thing any Blair needs in the city in the summer is a weekend bag to get out of it. And for that, while my French friends will tell you they all show up with a rainbow of Longchamp weekenders at the train station and the LL Bean tote has it's merits (like, as a laundry bag) nothing beats T. Anthony's weekender for packing Calypso caftans, Eres swimsuits, and the aforementioned K. Jacques.

Bon weekend, Blair, and don't let the rompers hit you on your way out!