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At Ease

This dress segues from a knit top half into elaborate, randomly draped layers of silk georgette. Though it's a natural choice for a party, you're just as likely to reach for it in place of jeans and a T-shirt on weekends. The off-white color invites standout accessories: a black silicon and silver-plated lariat necklace , patent leather belt, white-gold-plated bracelet, and supple leather ballet flats.

Take a closer look:
  • Construction is a style element all its own. Workmanship is completely hidden (buttons disappear into a placket, zippers run alongside seams) or overtly exposed (seams appear to be inside out).
  • Silhouettes are either starkly linear (with an abundance of geometric shapes) or organic (flowing, lavishly draped).
  • The palette is mostly neutral (black, white, tan, silver), with splashes of strong, deliberate color.
  • Materials are high-tech and futuristic (often shiny and synthetic) or natural and barely processed (cotton, leather).
  • Stripes are about as much pattern as you're going to find. They look more graphic (exaggeratedly wide or narrow) than nautical.
  • Asymmetry is a hallmark—the hem of a dress, the cut of a neckline.

Dress, Max Azria, $338. Necklace, Noritamy. Belt, Meredith Wendell. Bracelet, Replica for Jennifer Miller Jewelry. Ballet flats, Yosi Samra.

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