Saturday, March 10, 2012


Icons from top: Tory Burch, Kate Middleton, Alexa Chung and Hanneli Mustaparta.

Recently I’ve embarked on the task of streamlining my wardrobe, using the adage of “quality over quantity” as my guide.   I’ve paired down to the essentials and decided that a personal style philosophy of “less is more” may suit my post-graduate mindset. Perhaps it’s the uncertainty of what comes after academics, or maybe it’s a desire to travel light wherever I end up. Either way, trimming the fat off of my collection has given me a sense of control and taught me an attachment to material is pointless. (Note: this has not quelled my obsession with fashion and design.)

I like to think of this as a return to not only the styles of the 50’s, but also the method of dressing. Back then, walk in closets, and the fear of being photographed in an ensemble twice were not widespread, so people recycled outfits. If I remember correctly, Audrey Hepburn had only two shirts, one pair of pants and five scarves when she first moved to New York to be a dancer. She wore the same black base every day but styled things up with the colorful silk scarves. Talk about budget friendly elegance.

The few items left in my closet now have the responsibility of making an impression all on their own. As an outfit in a single piece, dresses have become the go-to. They must be the best quality budget will allow, in classic silhouettes, tailored to within an inch of their life, and kept in excellent condition. Think Joan Holloway on Mad Men.  So this one goes out to the unsung heros; the tailors and the sweater combs. Tailors have arguably been praised in European dressing for quiet some time, so it’s my own fault that I didn’t catch on sooner. I will say though, not all are created equal and some research on the best in the area is a good idea. As for the sweater comb, it’s an impulse buy I’ve never regretted. I can keep sweaters from pilling and revealing their age.

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