What are the other top ten essential items that make up a working wardrobe?
If we have ruthlessly edited our closets (that is the really tough part) and are starting out with the top ten, then what are those other accessories or pieces of clothing that make life easy and stylish?
I believe that what we women want is style on our terms.
Fads come and go, high fashion swings and twirls but elegance, with a dash of personal flair, lives on. The woman that I picture is graceful, classic and chic. Her selections are not necessarily of the season and what she is wearing, this is the important bit, is being worn by her.
The woman I admire is not a clothes horse at the whim of a designer, however famous and a la mode that designer may be. She is real flesh and blood, someone who rejoices in her femininity. This is the woman I want to be and that is what many French women seem to get right. French women are legendary when it comes to accessories and they get the how and the why and the when of it all.
I find that the older I get the less accessories I need. My ‘essentials’ work something like this.
Number 1: The Leather Jacket
I prefer the biker style of leather jacket, without the biker adornments and in a soft pliable black leather… This works mid season and can immediately make the most classic of outfits more casual. I have had mine for years …it is soft, squishy and supremely comfortable.
Number 2: The Coat
I live in the northern hemisphere so a dressy warm coat is essential. I buy simple, mid-knee length, straight cut, single breasted and cashmere to last. I am a grey/black fan but camel is equally as practical. This cut of overcoat can work with jeans and converse or with the LBD and heels. I am also a parka-puffer-padded jacket kind of girl and this completes my trifecta of winter warmth.
Number 3: The Boots
Number 4: The Belt
I don’t always wear one and they are probably the one accessory that I use the least but I like to have them on standby. Simple buckles, various widths and in a supple leather. The elasticised belt with the front clip is another great addition.
Number 5: The Bag
The all important handbag, my one true love and a love that men just don’t seem to understand. I believe that bags are to women what cars are to men. There is no such miracle as the perfect bag, we need a selection of bags to fulfil our cravings. For my shortlist I prefer an over the shoulder generous day bag that fits everything, a small clutch for night and the pliage carry bag for my travels.
Number 6: The Scarf
Silk, chiffon and cashmere are a must if you wear scarves. I am a fan of the large square in the softs and the generous longs for a pashmina. Scarves are a collectible that never dates (the older and more vintage the print the better), they take up such little space, they feel luxurious to the touch and they change the way we look in seconds.
Number 7: The Lingerie
The inside should look and feel as good as the outside.
Well fitting, beautiful fabrics, the lace and flimsy does wonders for the morale.The kind of thinking that puts off buying lingerie because we can’t see it will never do.
Number 8: The Glasses
Sunglasses and reading glasses are the easiest way to keep up to date and in fashion. I am a vintage style of girl when it comes to frames, think Iris Apfel. French women, whatever their age, wear the latest styles, it is the most painless and the quickest way to take years off your age.
Number 9: The Kaftan
I can’t live without kaftans in summer. Long, colourful and comfortable worn with espadrilles or flip flops.
Number 10: The Jewels
If ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ then pearls must run a pretty close second. Simple or elaborate earrings, necklaces, brooches or bracelets are the signature to an outfit.
image the cherry blossom girl