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Welcome.

My name is Margot Austin and I am the editor-in-chief of The Design Edit, a collection of the best design stories I encounter in my life as a stylist and design communications specialist. Read on to meet top talents, get inspired by beautiful spaces, find out about innovative products and  maybe even try one of my dead-easy DIY projects. I look forward to connecting with you, a fellow design hound.

A COS Dress with Scroop

A COS Dress with Scroop

Pleated back dress (back view), $125, COS Stores.

Pleated back dress (back view), $125, COS Stores.

Here's a little story about a recent acquisition and why I love it so much. It's called the Pleated Back Dress, because, you know, it's a dress with a pleat in the back and the people at COS Stores like to keep everything super simple Simon. It's why I love them so. It's navy, which is my fave summer neutral, but the best part of all is that is has scroop. Do you know scoop?  Scroop is one of one of the best English words and it refers to the rustling sound that some fabrics make — especially some silks and cottons. This dress is made of crisp pure cotton poplin and it gives good scroop. Not since my dusty rose taffeta prom dress have I experienced such a degree of personal scroop.

The cut of the dress amplifies its scroop-factor. Wide sleeves and the floaty A-line cut give it movement that encourages the sound and increases the frequency with which your limbs brush the fabric. Scroop. Scroop. Scroop. The other bonus of poplin is that it resists wrinkling remarkably well. 

The sleeves are fun to play with and roll and style in different messed-up ways. By the way, no shots of me in the dress — I'm proceeding with caution with such matters here at The Design Edit. This is a real go-to dress and I know I'll wear it a million ways. Here are a few.

Special Occasion

Here's how I wore it for my recent speaking engagement at Cocoon. I accessorized with my new floral Louise et Cie Hermosah pumps plus a ceramic and rubber necklace (which is also COS but from Feb 2015). The statement pieces bring a sense of occasion to the plain frock. I like how the shapely feminine shoes play against the boxy minimalist dress.

Working from Home

If I'm having a working from home day — which is to say most days as a freelancer — then I wear the dress with pretty gold flats and I might pop on my gold knot cuff. It has been a learning curve adapting my dressing style to the new reality of a freelance career. I just can't do the full liesure wear thing, even on days nobody will see me. When I walk over to my desk and begin a day of work I need to FEEL like I'm at work. Dressing in a way that is comfortable but polished is how I achieve that feeling. As a bonus, I still look put together if I need to dash out to a press preview or client meeting.

Weekend Getaway

While I generally observe a personal policy against the baring of my toes in public, sometimes I let it slide — like on the weekends when we might just road trip it out of town to visit family or go to the Tweed House. A dress is a great choice for a road trip — or even air travel (closed toe shoes for that though for the love of Pete). Wearing a scarf with this style dress is advisable since the accessorizing helps clarify to the world that it is in fact a dress and not a nightgown.  

Cos dress over jeans || The Design Edit

Just add jeans or skinny trousers and this dress becomes a tunic. I'm 5ft 2in tall and technically have no business wearing a long tunic, but lately I subscribe to the WWTFYW school of dressing, so yes, I add pants, specifically light wash distressed denim or skinny black pants. Mixing navy and black feels very French to me (read: eternally chic) and also the epitome of WWTFYW

**a note about my COS Stores hyperlinks above: I've connected you with the US web site because it shows the full range of product to browse. Those of us with Canadian IP addresses get routed automatically to the lesser Canadian site, which just has a seasonal lookbook and not product info. I find it incredibly frustrating. (Hello COS, are you listening?). But, with a few tries, deleting extensions from the domain and specifying your location as US you can get to the site with the full product offering and info. Mind you, Canadian stock will vary, so of course a visit to the Bloor St. store is strongly advised ;-)

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The Most Versatile Chair in the Universe

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