Fall is here and the weather is going to get cooler – we think. At Last!! Time to put away the summer clothes. 😦 Of course now that I’ve said this the temperature will go up to 80 degrees and we’ll have a longer Indian Summer that will last until the end of October! Whatever – you know what I’m really saying: Fall is great because we get to WEAR our clothes!
You’re standing in your closet (or, like many of my clients, just outside your closet because you’re afraid to go in) looking at all your clothes asking the same tiresome question from yesterday: “what am I going to put on?” Ugh! “Why is it so hard to be fabulous?” Maybe there’s a reason. Maybe it’s the way you shop. Did you build your wardrobe? Or, did you look up one day and the closet was full? Remember, a full closet is not the same as a well rounded wardrobe. Closets hold all your impulses – wardrobes have a plan and it starts with basics!
Without basics in your wardrobe you don’t really have the support, a place to start. Your house has support. Your favorite Jimmy Choos have great basic support. What are the basic supports of YOUR style?
I’m aware that some of us already know this, because we had the good fortune of someone giving us this advice. I’ve posted a few suggestions. Navy blue is a good color that will fit nicely into your wardrobe. I’m not judging just making a suggestion. Back to the “Wardrobe Basics” What are they? Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
The Basic Black Pant – with a flattering fit (and a great fabric) you can wear Black pants with just about everything. Theory, Ann Taylor (back on the fashion track again) now provide a nice selection in different styles and fits. Remember if you save a few bucks on this purchase not to keep them in the rotation too long (more on value shopping for pieces later).
Classic cut white button down – The outfits you can put together with this one are fun easy and always in style! We did in school and now it’s got a name: the boyfriend look! We do it with Blazers (see my thoughts below) and it looks great. A working mom, Kelly Ripa (who’s stylist has great taste), does this and it’s fantastic. And let’s not forget everyone’s favorite gladiator, Olivia Pope (the newlywed Kerry Washington) who can use this in the office and at home. I have a whole new RESPECT for my husband’s old Brooks Bros. button downs. Great new cuts in women’s stores like Anne Fontaine are making the cuts even more flattering. Love the basic white shirt! See my post “White Shirt Right Shirt.”
A Pencil skirt (doesn’t have to be black and glossy) go with a texture. A Houndstooth fabric is very classy (after we get through basic building blocks we’ll talk about fabrics and how they take your wardrobe to the next level. Ever wonder why the Italians look so great? It’s fabric.) This is the ultimate piece to go with the button down white shirt. Great selections at Lord & Taylor’s , Ann Taylor and of course, J. Crew. Take the time to get your skirt properly fitted. If you have one – get to the tailor and make sure it fits properly.
The Blazer, works with everything: slacks, skirts, jeans. Ladies please don’t go with a boxy fit. Get the blazer altered to fit your frame (even if you have to go a size up or down) If you have a good tailor – great! If not, sometimes your local dry cleaner will be able to help without a huge fee. Trust me – it’s a much more flattering look when it fits properly – and the compliments and comfort will be worth the money. 🙂 Men get their suits altered ALL THE TIME! 🙂 (click to see my post “Enthrall” new boyfriend blazer)
The Day Dress – Doesn’t get as much play anymore, since jeans somehow became the dressy casual by just adding a pretty blouse. But, a sophisticated shift is the easiest “go to” and most appropriate for luncheons, recitals, semi-formals and afternoon bridal or baby showers. Nice break from your black pants. Looks nice with flats, boots, heels. Perfect Desk To Date basic and it’s easy to dress it up. Take off your blazer add jewelry and heels (don’t forget your lipstick)!
Now my favorite basic is a great place to shop. My favorite is of course, Saks Fifth Avenue. Running a close second for me is Bergdorf’s! Don’t judge me yet, I said MY favorites. I live in New York – no malls nearby (thankfully – we’ll talk later about how big box stores limit your choices and dull our senses). Your favorite place has to be near you, has to have a friendly staff that doesn’t try to sell you every time you stop in – it has to make you comfortable. You need to spend time there, know the staff, know when the new seasons roll in to the store. It’s a key you’ll rely on in times of crisis. If I can make a suggestion for more affordable options, look to the old guard, Lord and Taylor’s (Marshall Fields in Chicago was great but alas it’s gone, even some Kohl’s) is a great place to buy affordable dresses by designers such as Calvin Klein, Nanette Lepeore, DKNY, Zac Posen to name just a few. The department store has a function – it has to provide a broad selection in various departments – you can use it to stock your basics. they will have some names you know and some designers. Probably nothing too fashion forward but we’re talking basics here. The shoe department in a department store well, “not so much”. Don’t love the shoe department, but that’s just my opinion. L&T has changed since my grandmother use to shop there – all these stores have. Grandma will also be happy with the upgrade! Go check them out!
If you don’t like to shop, hey it happens! Busy lifestyle, no matter what it may be. Family, jobs whatever. There is always the one on one personal attention of a Wardrobe Consultant/Personal Stylist (insert shameless plug for my services). 🙂