We now return to our project clothes horse discussion, already in progress.
My father first called me a clothes horse some 30 years ago. I know by age 14, I had two closets, two dressers bigger than I was, all overflowing. I’m not precisely sure how it happened though, because I distinctly remember being 11 0r 12 and having a specific outfit for each day of the week. It’s a far cry from seven shirts to a wardrobe that overfloweth, and I seem to have made the transition in record time.
Here’s a factoid about me: I’ll NEVER be a minimalist. I get itchy in hotels and even friends’ homes when there’s nothing but furniture, walls, a smattering of art… and nothing that can pass for clutter. I need to have a magazine or photo album to flip through in the name of entertaining myself, or a curio cabinet to ponder… SOMETHING.
But I can admit that I want and need to plan my wardrobe, for a host of reasons, and since almost nothing fits, it’s a good time to make a plan.
Tim Gunn’s 10 Essential Items Every Woman Needs
• Basic black dress
• Trench coat
• Classic dress pants
• Classic white shirt
• Day dress
• Cashmere sweater
• A comfortable alternative to a sweatsuit
Knee-jerk reaction… that’s a perfect list for almost every woman. It’s certainly a great start for me. Yes, I said start. Capris aren’t on there, nor are basic tees, just to name a couple of things I have to have in my wardrobe, at least for the next 6 months or so.
I can honestly say I don’t have a single one of those items that fits at the moment, so I’m going to link to at least one of each item so that when I am ready to shop, I have somewhere to start…
LBD. Hold on a minute… Let’s talk about how hard and fast we should hold to Mr. Gunn’s list. I suspect I’ll always own a LBD, but honestly, basic black and stark white aren’t my best colors. What say you? I do realize the basic LBD is a stand-alone fashion icon, but would Mr. Gunn shake his head if I bought a little navy dress or a little brown dress?
Macy’s even has a separate category for LBDs, as do several other websites. The one I’m showing here would almost assuredly suit Mr. Gunn. It’s truly timeless, classic and black. It also comes in an oatmeal color, which would be worse than black on me…
Trench. I actually have a cute, turquoise trench, but alas, it’s too big and not worth altering. I’d definitely consider this LL Bean Commuter Trench Coat in china blue, but it’s hard to argue with basic black or stone for an all-season jacket.
Jump on in. I want your thoughts on the list as a whole, on individual items… whatever. I’m pretty sure Mr. Gunn realizes that not all of us need a day dress every single week, and I’ll debate any of you – and call in my pal Alison as soon as she’s feeling better – on the cashmere sweater. Everyone – man or woman – needs a cashmere sweater. Thrift it, knit it, or pay full price, but unless you’re allergic, there’s nothing like it. Soft, warm, and … Gretchen and I are both big fans of the lofty, light, warm fiber.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Next on the list is classic dress pants. Bah. I do own navy, black and camel, but I don’t honestly believe I’ve ever had a pair of slacks that fits correctly. I assume Mr. Gunn means something like these Talbot “Seasonless Wool Straight Leg Pants“? Short inseam aside, there’s something about my very muscular thighs that yields unsatisfactory results with every single pair of dress pants/slacks I’ve EVER tried on or worn. And don’t tell me to try boot cut or wide legs; I wear a size 6.5 shoe, and I have serious problems with a pant leg that swallows my foot, shoe and all!
White shirt. Okay, I did say stark white is bad for me, but like the LBD, I lurvers me a crisp white shirt, especially in the warmer months. I love a no-iron, touch of stretch, 3/4 sleeve blouse. That outfit on the left is virtually a 4-season classic, no? (Minus the shoes. They say Roman gladiator meets 1970 to me… sorry.)
Can I talk to my busty buds for a moment? Do you wear blouses? See… I haven’t for a couple of years now, as a general rule. If I get them big enough that the placket doesn’t gape, the shoulders slide down too far, even on my broad frame. Le Sigh. I’m hoping that the girls fade just enough that I can enjoy crisp blouses again, because this shirt is the type of thing I would own in every single color, with duplicates in white and red and…
Which brings us to Mr. Gunn’s skirt. (That sounds wrong. Mea culpa, fine gentleman Sir.) I’m pretty sure that cute, full denim number above I adore with the white shirt isn’t what he means. I’m thinking he means a very standard, tailored, slim skirt, like this pencil from Coldwater Creek. I’d order the petite though, so that it hits me above the knee. I’m not a true petite; I can only wear petite skirts and once in a while, a dress. Yes, I’m under 5’4″, but just barely, and if you don’t know by now that the size charts are NEVER really accurate, well… I just gave you a good tip. Hem.
Okay! That’s half the list, and I think that’s more than enough for one day. I’d like to thank Mr. Gunn though, because he’s reconnecting me with my preppy, classic roots and I think that’s my happy place. I’m ready to go shopping now… but I won’t.
What’s on your weekend agenda? Kids in the Kitchen it my big deal. I’m not even linking, because everything the three locals who read my blog need to know is tomorrow, free, Albemarle HS cafeteria, rain or shine, 9-1. And no, there won’t be pictures because I feel very strongly about not posting photos of children on my blog, since it is a public blog. I won’t be there the whole time, so if you’re going, email me so I can be sure to see you!