Manhatten and martini at Cheever’s Cafe. Not a closet requirement. Necessarily.
I had a lovely time at The Motherhood today, talking about shopping your closet and how to avoid the dreaded Mom Jeans look and why pashminas are the Best Things Ever. The full chat will be permanently archived, in case you missed it, but I have one thing to share with you here. Before the chat started, I wrote out my Ten Must Haves, but then the formatting got all messed up (wah) and the list was hard to read. And since I am
a little bit type A organized and love a list, I’m republishing it here so you can see it all nicely numbered. You’re welcome.
Disclaimer: This isn’t everything you need, it’s just a starting place — these are building blocks. Start here and work your way out to a really functional closet.
1. Mid-rise, dark-rinse jeans, in a cut that flatters your figure and works with the other pieces in your closet. A boot cut is typically the most versatile, although my go-to is a skinny jean.
2. Day dress, again in a cut that flatters your figure, and in a fabric that works for your life. A sheath or shirt dress works for virtually everyone and can be dressed up or down; a wrap dress is good for the office. Cotton and cotton blends can be machine washed, as can silk blends, which makes them really versatile.
3. Black pants or skirt in a dressy fabric (not chino or denim, please) for occasions — job interview, funeral, dinner out — that call for something more than jeans. Choose a shape that flatters your figure and works with your closet (my go-to black pants are cropped velvet; I wear them with EVERYTHING).
4. One great blouse. This can be something tailored (the classic menswear-inspired shirt, for example) or more feminine (a Liberty print). This year, you can do both, with ruffled menswear shirts everywhere. But keep in mind that too much of a good thing is, well, too much — opt for ruffles OR a big print.
5. A fantastic t-shirt. This can be basic white or a fun color or a funky print — my favorite tee is embellished with beads — but it should fit you perfectly and be in pristine condition; no pilling or yellow armpit stains. Seriously.
6. A really great bra. Actually, you need at least three really great bras, and by “really great” I mean the right size, for starters, and a color that works under everything you own (skin tone is best, but skip white at all costs). Give your bras a rest between wearings to keep the elastic from stretching out.
7. A trench-style coat. Honestly, as much of a cliche as it is, the trench is the Best Coat You Will Ever Own. It goes with EVERYTHING and is always appropriate.
8. Yoga pants. Are you shocked? Because I said you needed yoga pants! Tim Gunn talks about the Sweatsuit Alternative, and while I like that idea, let’s be honest: Most of us just need one pair of yoga pants for all those Saturday morning errands. Make sure your yoga pants fit properly and don’t cling in the wrong places.
9. A beautiful, versatile bag. Choose one that is big enough to hold what you need to haul around but not so big that you can’t really carry it.
10. A pair of pretty, versatile flats. Driving mocs, ballet flats, peep toes, whatever — you want a pair of shoes that are NOT athletic shoes. Wear them with your jeans or your dress pants or a skirt — they’ll go with everything (EXCEPT the yoga pants — athletic shoes with the yoga pants, please).
And now I’ll tell you something hilarious: Wade and I have a(nother) date on Friday night, and I have no idea what to wear! Ha ha! So funny! I also have no time to shop between now and Friday, which means that I will be compelled to make my Carefully Edited Closet work for me — or else. So I’ve got that going for me.