Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The 20 Item Wardrobe & Your Questions

























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. 

A demain.

9 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Interesting post. Diane

cigalechanta said...

I like Petit Bateau T-shirts

quintessence said...

Must tell you that the Audrey Tautou bordeaux velvet jacket is haunting me - I think I may have to find a seamstress and fabric!!

Anonymous said...

If you can't get your hands on Petit Bateau, Target and Old Navy both have pretty well made, inexpensive cotton t-shirts. Target's are very long in the sleeves and waist--nice for taller women. Old Navy has a much better range of colors, but they tend to be cut a lot smaller.

Anonymous said...

Just loving this series, Tish. Thank you.

I am an avid reader of your blog, although have never commented before. Just love it, and it has helped me to recreate myself into the woman i am really meant to be.

Mathilde

Margaret said...

How do you resolve the problem of differning shades of black when buying separate pieces? Or even when selecting pieces to wear together from your closet?

I've been reading your blog daily for the past two years and enjoy it immensely.

Margaret

Cindy Sue said...

You sound like you would be elegant even in a pair of sweats. I'm really loving what I am reading, it's helping me to understand better what are some good pieces for me even though I don't work and at home most of the time. I must admit, I'm tired of not feeling like I'm not 'put' together for my day to day life. Any other advice for a stay at home empty nester, but still in my mid 50's?

Beth - In My World... said...

Thank you for the tee-shirt suggestion - I will try Gap as my are in desperate need of replacing. And I want the Audrey jacket, too!

Juliet said...

Love, love, love the blog.

Also love Spirit of the Andes pima cotton T-shirts. Different colours each season but wash and wear really well.

http://www.spiritoftheandes.co.uk/

I can recommend the "ink" colour as the BEST dark navy/ midnight that I have ever found.

They emailed me about clearance bargains at lunchtime today & I ordered another two T-shirts in ink! No ownership connection but I am a long-standing customer.

Best wishes from Berkshire, UK

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