The M Dash

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Getting Your Head Back in the Game

August 09, 2018 | Filed in: Your Closet

Change is in the air: It might feel like the dog days of summer will never end, but back-to-school season is already in full swing—and offices are filling back up after the last rounds of vacation. With that in mind, we brought back the four fictional heroines who kicked off our summer collection to see how they’re preparing for the start of fall. 

Simone, Software Engineer, San Francisco

Simone wears the Naomi top in bright blue and the Morandi sweater in charcoal with the Phoebe earrings.

Current status: Simone and her closest friends had a tradition of setting personal goals for each new season, and sharing them over dinner at their favorite Italian restaurant.

“This fall, I’m embracing my inner renegade,” she proclaimed between bites of cacio e pepe. “I’m coming up with my own initiatives, setting the deadlines, and seeing them through. Here’s to rewriting the rules!”

The group raised their wine glasses in celebration.

“And what about your summer goal to go on one date per week?” asked a friend.

“That’s on pause,” replied Simone. “While I embark on my newest mission—to not check my phone after leaving the office.”

Currently wearing: A statement-making bright top (to help channel her inner renegade) and a cozy sweater (to protect against the Bay Area chill).

Catherine, Advertising Executive, Chicago

Catherine wears the Jane dress in jacks print with the Jana earrings.

Current status: Finally emerging from a major project that kept her buried in work for the better part of the summer, Catherine looked upon her suntanned, post-vacation coworkers with a sense of defeat. She typically spent a week on a tiny, electricity-free island off the coast of Maine each July, and without taking her usual getaway, she found herself heading into fall feeling tired and burnt out. One particularly hectic Monday, she decided to take herself out to lunch.

“I’ll be back at 1—hold my calls,” she told her assistant. 

Laptop gloriously out of view, she ducked into the brasserie around the corner and indulged in her first non-sad desk lunch in some time. Upon returning to the office, head refreshingly clear, she opened her calendar and set up a weekly recurring lunch date—with herself.

Currently wearing: An easy A-line with a subtle flair through the skirt. If she stares at the print long enough, she almost feels like she’s looking up at the stars in Maine.

Samantha, Litigator, New York City

Samantha wears the Shirley dress in pebble jacquard and the Dietrich jacket in dark slate with the Bezel earrings.

Current status: Samantha returned from her Moroccan vacation with a full suitcase of caftans and a renewed sense of purpose. Upon arriving home, she adopted a kitten, Rocco, having grown quite fond of the street cats that roamed the alleys of Marrakech.

“You adopted a cat now?” asked an incredulous coworker. “You know we’re about to start work on our biggest case of the year, right?”

“Actually,” Samantha replied, “I think Rocco is the best thing that could happen to this case. There’s something about spending time with him that gets my creative juices flowing—in fact, I think we should all adopt cats!”

Currently wearing: Her new favorite combo: a textured sheath underneath a tuxedo-inspired jacket that’s a fashion-forward take on the more traditional blazer she reserves for the courtroom.

Ana, Nonprofit Director, Washington D.C.

Ana wears the Fey top in merlot and the Harlem skirt in bordeaux with the Pave earrings.

Current status: After a long three months of shuttling her kids from summer camp to swim meets to birthday parties, the first day of kindergarten came as a big relief to Ana. She’d always loved the clean slate feeling that accompanied the start of the school year, and decided that this year she would use the occasion to revamp her own morning routine.

She decided to become a regular at the quaint coffee shop near her twins’ school, sitting down each morning to drink a latte and read a chapter of her book club’s monthly pick before starting her commute. She arrived at the office each morning with a sense of calm—one that stayed with her as she bypassed the long line at the office Nespresso machine.

Currently wearing: A pajama-soft, Italian jersey top and a curve-hugging knit skirt that have enough stretch to withstand wrangling her kids into the car each morning.

Shop more looks from With a Twist here.

Photographs by Takahiro Ogawa.


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Alexandra Johnson is an editorial associate at MM.LaFleur, where she started out as a summer intern. Her happy place is the room housing Monet's Water Lilies at MoMA. Read more of Alexandra's posts.


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