The other half of the best (well, way up there on the list anyway) outfit I've ever owned is the jacket that turns the pants from last Wednesday's post into a perfect, pulled-together, go-anywhere suit.
My favorite journalism professor always said every time you refer back to a story you have to apply the "desert island principle" which is to say I have to assume that many of you are not aware of last week's paean to my navy blue silk suit. En bref (briefly), as the French would say: It turned into one of those wardrobe miracles that arrive in one's life unannounced and every time we don't know what to wear, there it is. You don't know it when you buy it, no matter how much you loved it, but once you own it you can't stop wearing it. Actually, that's theoretically what we're all hoping to find every time we hand over a credit card for particularly pricey pieces. (This was particularly pricey, but it's paid for itself a hundred times over while other big ticket items hang next to it unworn.)
Last week I separated the pants from the jacket to show the zillions -- ahem -- ways they can be worn separately. As promised, with Edith's drawings, here are many, many ways (you see, I can restrain myself from non-stop exaggeration even though my-reason-for-living-in-France says I'm an "excessive") the jacket can be worn on its own.
See what the jacket can do:
1.) With my gorgeous -- I'll say it again, gorgeous -- Chanel vanilla silk crepe evening skirt. (Before you get worked up: The skirt cost considerably less than the navy suit because I bought it in the good old days when I was invited to the private Chanel sales in a warehouse someplace or other where one stands in line in the rain with thousands -- no exaggeration -- of vicious women waiting to ripe clothes out of the hands of other vicious women. At one of those sales I found a stunning navy turtleneck when I stepped on it and almost broke my leg.)
2.) A simple red dress or a brightly color shirt with a matching top to keep the chic line flowing.
3.) With a grey turtleneck sweater and gray flannel pants, equally pretty with grey flannel pencil skirt and opaque tights.
4.) White linen pants and, and what is that I see there? Yes it is our marinaière (forgot to ask Edith to add the creoles. . .)
5.) It works beautifully with navy pin-striped pants. I have a pair in linen and a pair in flannel which are the trousers for a navy pin-stripe suit.
6.) Any white blouses, T-shirts, Marcels, etc., etc.
7.) A navy blue skirt, but be careful it doesn't end up looking like a uniform. Try gabardine or flannel.
8.) Ditto for navy pants. It also saves wear-and-tear on those precious matching silk trousers because they will surely fall apart before the jacket. Navy satin would be lovely for evening.
9.) Great with jeans.
10.) Big, grey crepe evening pants, masses of gray pearls, only pretty lingerie under the jacket.
11.) Big, ivory satin pants. Same as above with masses of pearls or if you can find it, a matching ivory satin tee or camisole (I found mine at the wonderful Chinese boutique I told you about last week).
12.) Fuchsia, lime, yellow, shocking pink, on and on linen pants.
13.) A Hermes scarf as a "bustier" or halter top and then choose the bottom accompaniment accordingly.
14.) Pastel shirts (not t-shirts, no, no, no) and striped shirts in crisp poplin, collar turned up of course.
15.) All sorts of pretty camisoles and bustiers if you dare and you don't brim over -- you know the drill.
A bonus once you've identified this wonder of wonders as the best thing you've ever bought: You can start building around it and making it more and more valuable. Non-stop fun. . .
As I mentioned previously, but you know how it goes with me: If I refer to something twice I see no reason not to repeat it 10 times; if you discover quickly that you've bought a rare-in-a-lifetime outfit, rush back and buy a second bottom. I was too late and too dumb to act on that advice. And as you know my raison d'etre is to save you from my errors.