Your questions about my 20 item wardrobe are fascinating. So, without further ado, let me respond to your comments and queries.
Since my journalism professors drilled the “desert island” theory into our heads, i.e. never assume readers know what you’re talking about (that they read last week’s 20 item wardrobe series for example), tell them up front what your subject is.
Now you know in case you’re just joining us.
Q: Do you actually own many of the items in your capsule wardrobe or own some and aspire to others?
Dress by Narciso Rodriguez.
A: I own everything in the 20 pieces except the Klein blue jacket and its matching satin blouse and the Audrey Tautou Bordeaux jacket. As I said, I would have them made. I know exactly what I want.
I could have stayed in my closet, heaven knows there is more than enough in there to choose from, but I would have ended up with more black and gray. I have two black velvet jackets, one a Spencer, the other a blazer. I also have a red jacket in a heavy silk. But, I wanted to add some color for me and for you while staying on my basic — and impossible for me to abandon — black/gray theme. I also have navies, but that would have made everything more complicated.
At the moment, I don’t like red and black together. I know most women do, but I find it harsh and somewhat dadame. It’s just me. That’s why I didn’t bring my red into the mix.
Q: I am completely serious with this question: when everyone says, “buy the best cashmere you can afford” what exactly does that mean?
A: How I wish I could answer your question. Only you know how much you can spend on quality. I can tell you that I feel there are a handful of areas where a woman should spend more than she can afford — cashmere, shoes (you don’t need a closet-full), haircuts, for example — because, and I know you’ve heard this before, over time they will pay you back 100, 1000 times over.
Investigate cashmere quality, look for markdowns. Yes, even black and gray sometimes make it to the sales, but you must be quick on your feet. Women seize the opportunity to buy back-ups and replace the old with the new.
Q: What are your favorite T-shirts?
A: T-shirts are not an area where I spend great sums of my wardrobe budget. Even the most expensive white T-shirts by their very definition — “white” — are condemned to be tossed the second the word no longer applies.
Therefore, I buy my T-shirts from GAP and Uniqlo. The ones from Uniqlo are tissue paper thin and feel sensuous against the skin. They also have a tendency to stretch out. Hot water helps rein them back in, but not forever.
Another thing, very important for me, GAP makes tall T-shirts so for once in my life the sleeves are long enough and curiously, the Uniqlo models are extremely long and since they are so light the sleeves can be pushed up with no bulk.
If you have found the perfect tee, do let me know.
I have some in silk, but they aren’t practical for every day and were therefore not included in the top 20.
*What I’m wearing today: Same gray flannel pants as yesterday (well, obviously I only have one pair to wear), same gray suede Chanel ballerines and a gray T-shirt beneath the gray cashmere cardigan. Just for fun, because I don’t want you to be bored, I added a strangely shaped gray pearl pendant that hangs off of a silver wire.