Sunday, December 12, 2010

Less is More and Other Half-truths

Because of my recent closet downsizing, I have started living by the "less is more" mantra when it comes to my wardrobe. For instance, what is a better purchase- ten $4 tank tops that will fall apart after the third wash, or two $20 tanks that feel like butter on your skin, fit perfectly and last forever? Over the past couple of years I have been converted to believing the latter. And the most surprising result of this change is a sense of luxury and indulgence I feel when I am dressing, packing or fussing over my wardrobe. I don’t require the quantity of items I once did to get enjoyment out of dressing and creating outfits. Even more surprising is the fact that I actually spend less on shopping trips these days, purchasing fewer items but spending more time considering each piece that makes it into the increasingly tight knit family of my wardrobe.

All of that being said, I thought it would be fun to start a running list of the items I think every gal needs in her core wardrobe. Here is a hint, if something is on this list, I would consider it justifiable to spend a little more for better quality, a fabulous fit, and a basic that will outlast trends and crazy washing machines. And in no particular order here are my first three:

A Nude Heel (well actually two, one for each foot)

Because of my extensive work travel, nude heels have become my best friend. They go with EVERYTHING, every color, every silhouette which means I only have to pack ONE pair of shoes. They elongate your legs by blending in to your skin and not breaking up the line of your leg. I’ve worn the heck out of two pairs this year. One a nude patent pump, and another peep toe pump. I talk about nude shoes so much with my friends (I have an obsession) that one of my girlfriends just bought me a pair of Franco Sarta’s she found on clearance at Marshalls! I think it’s the first time I’ve ever gotten shoes as a gift but I was thrilled!!!!

A little known secret to buying comfy heels is that if you get one with a small platform (I’m talking .5 an inch or less) it will dramatically increase the amount of time you can survive strutting around in those babies!

Dark Wash Jeans

The right cut depends on your shape and your preference. My personal favorites are a very slim boot cut. If you get them dark enough and pair them with the right items they can be work appropriate if your industry will allow it. They can also easily transition into a surprisingly glamorous evening outfit, almost passing for a sexier version of the basic black pant.

The key things to consider when choosing a good pair are the following:

Length- Are you planning to wear with heels or flats? I’ve decided it’s worth it to have pairs specifically for both. I hate it when I ruin a good pair of long jeans by dragging the hems all over the world when I’m in flats.
Material- I prefer a thicker, tightly woven, low or no stretch material. I find they hold their form better and don’t stretch out after a wear or two if I’m on the road. Again it depends on your preference and your lifestyle.
Rise- Butt cleavage isn’t sexy. Ever. Period. Make sure the back of your jeans doesn’t dip to inappropriate lows when you sit, bend, lean, stand etc.
Wash- I know I said dark is best if you were only going to have one great pair of jeans, but there are a lot of variations of wash that would fall under “dark wash”. I find that I prefer an even wash without a lot of “sit lines” on the front, and without much “fake wear”.

The jeans in the photo above are Joe’s Jeans brand. They aren’t cheap, but I found a pair very discounted at a Neiman Marcus Last Call in Houston and have been wearing the hell out of them every since.

Soft T-Shirts

Comfy, cozy t-shirts is one area where I don’t believe “less is more” all the way. I think its good to have a bit of an array of colors to suit your different moods and needs. However, I am a firm believer in “stocking up” when you find something that you love. For instance:

I have fallen in love with “Thread for Thought” tees. They are super soft, made of organic cotton, and only about $10 each. Check out their killer website I wear these to sleep in, to work out in and with jeans to travel. They are very long so I never have to worry about overexposure (see above under “rise”). The deep V-Neck cut is very flattering and highlights the face. This particular cut is very slim and figure flattering as well! I can’t live without these.

Whether its my brand or another you discover for yourself, having a few super soft, cozy tops in your wardrobe is like the adult version of a comfort blanket. And if you pick one in the right color and fabric, you might even manage to feel both comfortable and sexy!

More wardrobe essentials coming soon!!

image one, image two, image three

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