I have a major weakness for fashion magazines and books, and many of my favorite articles have been those detailing the “must haves” of a proper wardrobe. I am a major list fan, and have never enjoyed prolonged window shopping or wandering in stores to try on lots and lots of items. My dream scenario for shopping would be receiving a magical list every season that would tell me exactly what to buy, and it would all end up being perfect for me. I might not even mind paying full price for all of it!
I’ve read countless “closet classics” lists, and many of them have been very helpful for me in thinking about what to buy. Over the years however, I’ve noticed that there are certain so-called “classics” that just haven’t worked for me – and not for a lack of trying. Here are three “must haves” that have not found their way into my closet!
1. The crisp white shirt. How many times have I read about the classic crisp white button down blouse being a mainstay of any closet? You can wear it like Audrey Hepburn with little black pants, or like Sharon Stone with a ball gown skirt, or with your jacket and pants for a professional look. I can’t remember how many times I went into Anne Fontaine looking for that one perfect starched shirt that would take me from work to play…I was convinced that once I found it, dressing would be a breeze. Unfortunately, crisp starched white shirts never look good on me, and I feel uncomfortable in them to boot…the resulting combination is that I end up looking like I’m wearing the “Puffy shirt” from Seinfeld.
Now I do have some white button downs that have made their way into my rotation – a soft oxford, a white silk which I rarely wear as I’m terrified of stains, a swiss dot pullover. But the classic starched cotton white blouse? Not for me.
2. Khakis. This one particularly pains me because I am a very big fan of those older Gap “Swing” commercials (remember them?). I have tried many times to find a pair of classic beige khakis that work for me, but they all look dreadful on me. I look like a dweeb.
3. Pencil skirts. I’ve tried so many times on this one. I just don’t find the traditional pencil skirt style comfortable and it’s a shame because I so admire them on others. Every season, a great one seems to come out and catch my eye (like the leather version above). I even tried to incorporate a few very comfortable models into my wardrobe last year. But I still never wore them, I just didn’t feel like “me” when I put them on. Additionally, most pencil skirts are knee length, and that length just doesn’t work for me, no matter what the skirt’s shape…I look like a stump. So no more pencil skirts for me…I’d much rather wear a dress, or an A-line cut.
So now I’ve shared some of mine…how about you? What are some so-called “closet classics” that just haven’t worked for you?