Wednesday, August 12, 2009

If Only I Had Known. . .

Have you ever noticed, when you buy the best thing you've ever owned -- ever -- you didn't know it when you bought it? 

You had no idea this item, this particular outfit would be the go-to solution for every occasion for years. Of course you really, really liked it when you plunked down your credit card, but chances are you didn't envision the potential of a full-blown love affair in the purchase.

That's what happened with my navy blue silk suit (drawn throughout by Edith bien sûr [the lapels are not white, but of the same material and color, however in order for us to see the lapels Edith had to perform that minor manoeuvre]). 

I thought it was chic, versatile, season-less and as my-reason-for-living-in-France likes to point out, "it's not black(!)" Considering it was a major investment I had aspirations, but never did I imagine what these two simple, classic, easy pieces could do for me. 

Dark navy can be treated with few exceptions exactly like black except it is slightly kinder to most complexions. I'm not saying a little navy dress could replace a little black dress mind you, that would be blasphemy. 

My only regret is that had I know, but of course I didn't and when I did it was too late, I would have bought two pairs of the exact same pants. Since one tends to wear pants separately more often I'm afraid they'll fall apart before the jacket. In fact, I think they are.

Here is how I have, would and will wear the trousers. (In a Part II soon to be released, we've separated the jacket to show its independent possibilities.)

1.)  Bare with masses of pearls for a cocktail party.

2.) A navy Chanel cashmere sweater this time with piles of coral and turquoise beads.

3.) A wing-collared linen shirt/tunic -- I also have one in white, pale blue, bright pink, purple and lime. (Can't remember where I found them, but they cost nothing and I scooped them up and never looked back.)

4.) A beaded linen tunic in navy from Landsend. 

More options:

5.) Shirts, sweaters, tunics, jackets in sapphire, amethyst, coral, fuchsia and on and on.

6.) Deep V sweaters, twin-sets.

7.) A "boyfriend" V-neck cardigan in gray or navy over a blouse or a t-shirt.

8.) Fine cashmere or cotton V-cardigans layered in two colors, i.e. lime and navy; fuchsia and plum; charcoal and light gray; yellow and navy -- you get the idea, endless.

9.) A white poplin blouse, tucked in with a belt of your choice in the existing loops.

10.) A navy satin boat neck tunic. (Bought this one and the other two from an extraordinary Chinese boutique in Paris.)

11.) A light gray satin tunic.

12.) An ivory satin tunic. And in all cases pile on les bijoux.

13.) Bustiers. 

14.) Camisoles with bright ribbon as a belt. 

15.) For 13 and 14 take along a shawl, wear the jacket or with the camisole a well-chosen cardigan would work.

16.) A white frou-frou chiffon blouse with poet's sleeves; major bling-y drop earrings; a ribbon or a brightly colored belt; a tiny evening bag in the same color; high-heeled sandals and voila. Gorgeous or what?

17.) All sorts of t-shirts and blouses in silk or cotton. 

18.) The pants are cut sufficiently large and straight allowing everything from a peasant blouse to a white long-sleeve tee to look chic.


Marsi said...

I would love to get a peek inside of your closet! Your tops sound so fabulous.

knitpurl said...

Oh wow, can I send you my closet contents for total purging? But then I'd have to win the lottery to purchase new everythings (except shoes). I appreciated the hints towards bargains you found.

Bonjour Madame said...

How do we know when it's going to be the perfect piece? It's so rare when you try on something that is just perfect. I think when that magical moment happens we should all consider buying more than one.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ God's Princess said...

These are nice graphics. This is also a a well-researched article :-)

I've just happened to write a series on French women on my blog. You can find them here;

tish jett said...

Ahhhh, Marsi. . .

I have collected so many beautiful pieces over the years, particularly when I was really, really in the thick of things with the collections, designers, products and all the attendant parties. I needed lots of clothes and tops were always the solution.

No one really remembers the bottoms.

The white poet's blouse I mentioned is so beautiful and so beautifully made I wish I had an occasion to wear it. It was designed by Louis Feraud and came with a long, knife-pleated chiffon skirt. The "collar" is a long sort of scarf of chiffon which can be tied in a bow, as a girl scout knot, wrapped around the neck, etc. and there is a peplum so it can be worn in or out.

Actually, Carole, there is nothing I would like better than to go into women's closets and pull together outfits. You'd be surprised at the few things you'd have to buy to make everything new again.

I know, Stephanie, that's the problem. In my experience I never knew until I kept returning to it over and over once it was in my closet.

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