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Dressing Up, Dressing Down: "It's all About the Intentional Screw-Up"

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Nobody dresses up anymore—well, at least, not without dressing down at the same time. This weekend the Wall Street Journal pointed to a trend among boldface-name trendsetters who mix-and-match casual and elegant without even batting an eyelid.

"Evening dressing is traditionally dictated by Hollywood, which is all about the perfect hair, the perfect jewelry and the perfect dress. Being too coiffed and matchy-matchy isn't interesting," said J. Crew's president and executive creative director, Jenna Lyons. "I'm just dying to mess up their hair and cinch their dresses with a men's leather belt!"

In the company's November catalogue, Ms. Lyons and the head of women's design, Marissa Webb, suggest a white button-down with a crystal-encrusted collar and skirt for cool brides. And at a recent cocktail party, Ms. Lyons wore a simple denim workmen's shirt layered under a sequin wrap dress from fall. "It's all about the intentional screw-up for lack of a better word," said Ms. Webb. "You always need something unexpected to throw off the outfit, like a men's chunky cable knit with a shiny skirt. It's about mixing textures. It doesn't feel like us if it's too perfect."

· Playing dress down [WSJ]