Fabulous fashion finds. . .how irresistible, even for those of us who do not particularly like to shop.
The only explanation I have ever been able to understand about that autumn urge to add something new to our wardrobes is the lingering back-to-school excitement that is imprinted somewhere in the deep recesses of our minds that tells us: “Now is the time.”
Not only that, the urge comes with that familiar sweet frisson of excitement.
I love fall, it has always been my favorite season and autumn/winter clothes have always been the most appealing clothes — coats, sweaters, scarves, (maybe a dress!), what’s not to love?
Recently Halsbrook asked me to select some of my favorite finds and of course I couldn’t resist the challenge. Autumn is the one season where I actually like to shop.
In the chapter on style and dressing in my next book, I talked to a bevy of stylish women in the fashion industry all of whom have direct exposure to some of the most gorgeous clothes on the planet. I would think that with their access they would buy and buy and buy, but they told me that’s not the case.
One explained that she always abides by a 85/15 rule in her closet: 85 percent classic/15 percent “fashion.” She did point out, as others did, that “classic” is what they love and upon which they can build outfits that perform for them. Each defined her classics according to her lifestyle, taste, and figure.
I thought working off of the 85/15 ratio would be an interesting, fun, and intelligent way to approach our fall shopping excursion.
Let me explain my definition of classic, with a little back story. An American friend and I were having lunch in Paris recently and we started one of those inevitable conversations about dressing and fashion. She knows that I am only comfortable in very classic clothes and she countered that she understood completely and was drawn to classics as well. Then she said something interesting: “I think many women have preconceived notions that ‘classic’ means boring. It conjures up ideas of certain staid looks and the retailers who specialize in them, so women are sort of put-off by the idea (or misconception).”
Until she started citing examples I was at a loss to understand what precisely she was trying to tell me. Then, epiphany(!): I got it. Basically she explained that some women see classics as the same-old-same-old and not worth a shopping excursion because, well, what’s the point?
Here’s the point: Classics are magic. They are anything but boring. My definition of classic is crisp, well-tailored, pieces that fit well and flatter always. Classic clothes may, once a woman has established what works best on her body and for her lifestyle, are the confidence building staples that make her feel good about herself.
Maybe we buy the same jacket style over and over because it “works.” But, that same jacket can be several jackets, one in velvet, another in tweed, flannel, linen for spring and summer, a tuxedo — any material, any color.
With that concept in mind, I’ve pulled together wardrobes that reflect the two most important considerations we should be making when shopping: classic and quality. When the two criteria are combined a woman can build a high-functioning wardrobe that will serve her well for decades.You’ll see.
It’s all about options, options, options built upon a basic — read classic. Then, just because it’s absolutely irresistible, top it all off with the absolutely out-of-this-world Schiaparelli pink coat by Tara Jarmon. (You will note, you cannot get any more classic than the cut of the coat — it’s the color that changes absolutely everything. You see what I mean?)
Included then in my two collections are news from the runways, but I think you might not notice the fact that the news is in the colors and the fabrics, not the shapes. As is my wont, I’ve built upon a black pencil skirt that should be in all of our closets and a stunning pair of crepe trousers that can be worn day or night. Imagine the trousers with the gorgeous velvet blazer, an absolute must in every wardrobe, and, joy of joys, everything that can be worn with the skirt also works with the pants.
News from the runway, translated into our real world wardrobes above:
- Wide-leg trousers
- A peasant-y blouse with a small print.
- Black (I know, isn’t that exciting. . .?!)
- Victorian blouses
- Structured handbags
- Signature necklaces
It’s all here and more. . . And, best of all, every-single-item we will wear for years. (BTW, a red bag with the pink coat is ultra chic.)