By Shelley Budd
Dressing for anything one-notch more glamorous than a dinner at Hapa Izakaya can easily progress into a decoration of the lamps, ceiling fan and an entire one-block radius outside my apartment with tossed and toe-holed leggings and inside-out dresses that just don’t look right. So why not coach the closet into providing the necessary elements to make it a synch to pull together a chic outfit in a pinch? Let’s learn from what works.

There’s yet to be a Wikipedia entry for Polina Frantsena, Moscow born Twenty-Something Girl #1 in the new Sex and the City movie, and model paired with a winning designer on Project Runway. Both her career and style are fresher than fish at the market. We love her, because she rocks this simple and classy look, the components of which can be the go-to blueprint for a dinner date or noteworthy event outfit, and we hope there’s more of her to come.

There’s an effortless elegance in this fusion of business casual and girlie-flair, and the colour understatement is mature. I love the neckline of this dress, since higher tops keep my lack of cleave under-wraps, but the length of the dress keeps it young and flirty. Easy combination: blazer, dress, tights, heels – but for some reason the look has never gracefully jumped out of the closet and on onto my body that nicely. Next time an occasion calls for a touch of the fancy, put together a blazer over a tiered or lacey dress with black tights and heels, and top it with classic red lipstick and some dangling neckwear.

Here are the elements to put together a similar look…they’re all online!

The Dress,
by Finders Keep on Pixie Market.

The Blazer, by Silence and Noise on Urban Outfitters.

The Shoes, by C Society on Pixie Market.

The Extras; still essential:

Pantyhose from the pantyhose haven, American Apparel.

Oh-So-Canadian pendant from ifoundgallery11 on Etsy.

Valentine Red Lipstick, from Shiseido available at Sephora.