Here’s To the Ladies Who Lunch






By Michelle Crowe


Carolyn Murphy and Narciso Rodriguez in Harper’s Bazaar.


In like a lion, likely out like a lion too, but no matter the weather March ushers in one of our favorite micro seasons in Chicago–spring luncheon time. Yes, those glorious days spent in the city’s grandest ballrooms and prettiest private clubs to raise money for all the causes so dear to those in our community. This is what the ladies who lunch have been plotting for through the gray days of January and February. This is the time for pretty sherbet shades and graceful pumps to replace boots and chic but tired turtleneck sweaters.  


Lela Rose Spring 2020 is filled with fabulous frocks.


Suits once ruled supreme. Now they share the scene with dresses, glorious dresses and sleek trousers paired with dreamy blouses. So many glorious options. As long as it’s appropriate, anything goes.


Tory Burch Resort 2020. A boxy cardigan is always a lunchtime winner.


I did the tiniest bit of consulting for a wonderful small designer last fall and in our work, she spoke about being properly dressed, meaning pulled-together, pretty and fashionable without being too avant garde. Her best seller is a gorgeous midi dress with three-quarter sleeves in luscious silk prints that she designs herself. It’s the always-right choice that never fails her loyal clients who order it every season.


Zimmermann Resort 2020. Neapolitan Collection in Winnetka offers the best edit of this lovely collection.


Sleeves are nice because they free up any worry about a squashed arm in a photo not accurately showing off all that hard work in the Pilates studio. On the other hand, pose well and receive all the admiration due the results of that effort.


Oscar de la Renta Spring 2020


Great luncheon clothes transcend age. The boxy jacket that looks so elegant on a young woman looks equally graceful on her decades later. This just might be the key to why there’s nothing as lovey as a lunchtime fundraiser. When women fill a space to do good and support one another, the energy is infectious, and the beauty shines forth and envelops the whole crowd in the best kind of glow. Multiple generations, old friends and dreamy clothes, there’s really nothing better than ladies luncheon season.


Tory Burch Spring 2020