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Advancing Style: Alice Carey

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I’m about eleven and wearing a Lord & Taylor navy cotton dress with white linen handkerchief pockets decorated in numbers one to six in red.
Daring for its day when one went to Catholic school.
I’m about seventeen, on my way to Ireland.  I’m wearing a Mark Cross blazer and carrying a COACH bag.  Note the white gloves.  I thought I looked swell.

I’m about twenty in the highlands of Scotland wearing a kilt and the same navy blazer from Mark Cross.

I’m in my thirties and in an Off-Broadway play.  The dress is a John Kloss from Bendel’s.  The shoes are Charles Jordan.  I still have them.

I am in my thirties.  This is taken at dawn (for the Eastern light) in Cherry Grove.  I’m wearing a 1920’s silk chiffon Tea Dress covered in lilac pansies  that I found thrown out in the Village.
Photo by Ari Seth Cohen 2013

The marvelous, Alice Carey is featured in our second "Advancing Style" series. If you are a regular reader of the blog, than you will surely recognize Alice's signature mix of menswear pieces with great vintage accessories. Read more about Alice's style development below and in the captions above. 

Check out her wonderful novel HERE.

My Mother was a maid for Broadway producer, Jean Dalrymple, who wore wonderful clothes. From an early age I knew SAK’S was good and Bergdorf’s was better.  I was exposed to wonderful dresses all the time.  And because Miss D. was small like me, I got the discarded cashmere because it was stained or ripped.  For fun, I’d roam 5th Avenue’s wonderful stores, hoping one day I too could dress like the women I saw.  And I do.  The only difference is, I buy my Bergdorf’s at thrift shops.  

I was educated in Catholic schools where we wore uniforms, a mode of dressing I still find useful. Depending on the weather my daily dress is that of a man because it’s stylish, warm and comfortable.  I combine tweed jackets with cashmere sweaters and paisley scarves, Marks & Spencer skinny black pants and Doc Martins.   If it’s rainy I rely on my worn Barbour and the same Doc Martins.  In summer I wear Vintage cotton dresses and ditch the Doc’s for sandals.  I do not wear hats.  I wear earrings and always without fail – red lipstick.  In a word, I’d say I dress Spiffy!

As a writer I work at home.  Yet I dress up every morning, lipstick and all, because it pleases me.  If you saw me eating breakfast and reading the paper in one of my Village hangouts, you’d never suspect I go home to sit at the kitchen table.  I am a contributor to Huffington Post and ‘be the good Lord willing’ my memoir, I’ll Know It When I See It, will be updated and published in Ireland next year under a new title.