I ran this post last February, but like cleaning out your closet every season, it’s a perennial approach to one’s style and wardrobe. The one difference: I am crossing my fingers and toes that we are about to get back to getting out a lot, and dressing like we mean it. More in-person interactions, more reasons to celebrate.
I love this image of French designer Alexandra Golovanoff’s mother, because it’s proof that timeless works at every age (and that leopard print is always a good idea). As I work with women to streamline their closet and learn to live with less and sharpen their style, it becomes more and more obvious that the pieces that we hold onto are well-made, often iconic and timeless in nature. A good trench coat, a classic bag (not the one of the season), a classic loafer, black pants, red lipstick….you can never go wrong with these kind of pieces and you are never get too old to wear them (or too young for that matter; you just might style them differently). With the pandemic, I think most of us have understandably been thrown off course when it comes to getting dressed–all-day Zoom meetings mean your bottom and top don’t have to match, whatever is coziest seems most appealing (I love a good blazer, but who needs that right now), and we’re all longing for a day when we can get dressed again but right now rarely get the chance to.
I’ve written this before, but I will share my philosophy again: There are two words that I often use to define how I want many aspects of my life to be, they are small and exquisite. Perhaps a better word choice would be edited and exquisite. What does mean? Whether it’s the handbags and shoes in my closet, or the home I live in–-I try to keep the number of things I bring into my life to a minimum, and when I do, I try to make them things I truly want. But it takes patience to wait for the right thing. Sometimes I’m good at it, other times I’m not. And exquisite in my eyes does not equate with money, it’s something that is the purest essence or ideal of what you are searching for. It can be as basic as a gray tee.
If you are embarking on a closet clean out and following my Wardrobe Project (see video series here), or are starting to want something fresh in your wardrobe as Spring pieces start to trickle in (me), I suggest you keep the idea of longevity, edited and exquisite in mind.
Even if you are lucky enough to be in relatively good place financially right now, wasting money on clothes that will sit in your closet is just that, wasteful. If you’re strategic, you will create a long-lasting wardrobe that stands the test of time and age.