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The Boston Globe

Magazine

Style Watch

Stepping out in pleated dresses

Folds and bright colors add oomph to these looks

Tina Sutton

EMILY FORCE

  • 27, Boston

  • > Force may work in the engineering department at WHDH-TV, but she looked like a Hollywood starlet at a recent Boston Museum of Fine Arts gala. Juxtaposing bold black asymmetry on top with romantic, pleated red chiffon on bottom, this dazzling Alexis dress caught her eye in the window of Intermix.

  • > Also on Force’s radar was this limited-edition Chanel patchwork bag she spotted in a magazine. Bloomingdale’s managed to track one down for her.

  • > Force goes elegant and spare in her choice of footwear — delicate YSL high-heeled sandals (from Barneys) — but sports nine(!) earrings in her left earlobe alone.

  • Favorite stores: Intermix, Neiman Marcus, Helmut Lang


Tina Sutton

JULIE ANN OTIS

  • 35, Somerville

  • > As a poet, singer, songwriter, Otis merrily channels the big band era in this fetching retro ensemble. The pleated blue satin dress actually is vintage, altered at the neckline to suit her figure. Giving the skirt its period pouffy shape is Grandma Rose’s white petticoat that she wore square dancing.

  • > Also fashionably pouffed is Otis’s bouffant hairdo secured by a delicate gold headband (from Magpie). The antique fan brooch is an old favorite from an estate sale in Nebraska, with the filigreed gold bracelet and ’50s metallic clutch from Second Time Around.

  • > Vampy gold sandals (Guess from DSW) are one last gilty pleasure.

  • Favorite stores: Buffalo Exchange, Found, Second Time Around

Tina Sutton

CARA LLEWELLYN

  • 31, Boston

  • > It comes as no surprise that Llewellyn is a senior designer at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and prominent Boston Instagrammer, as her sense of fashion is both graphic and artistically playful. This showstopper dress (from BCBG) combines inventive color blocking with tiered pleating. “It’s sheer in just the right places,” she adds cheerfully.

  • > Equally original is Llewellyn’s choice of footwear: a taupe suede “shootie” — half ankle-strap shoe/half open-toe bootie — from Banana Republic. “They’re so comfortable, I wear them all the time.”

  • > Refreshingly low-maintenance, Llewellyn carries nothing but an iPhone (in a cool wood case from +Recover) for a night out on the town.

  • Favorite stores: Good, Vince, Viola Lovely

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