Somehow I managed to let this series slip by the wayside, so it's time to get back on track! We've covered footwear, accessories, and baubles so far, which are lots of fun, to be sure, but hardly make up the backbone of a closet. Today, we take a look at the category that probably makes up the bulk of most women's wardrobes; it certainly makes up the majority of the 50 classics for your closet.
- Cashmere V Neck Sweater
- Cashmere Cardigan
- Classic tee shirt
- Long sleeved tee
- Striped boatneck
- Cotton oxford
- Silk blouse
- Polo shirt
- Long wrap cardigan
- Dressy tank
- Silk camisole
A cashmere sweater makes every must-have fashion list, and nothing is more classic than a v-neck. In my skinnier days I used to have a nice collection of cashmere sweaters, almost all of them v-neck and all of them from Lands End. Now, I have one. Firstly, since having kids, I seem to run "hotter" and so I tend to find cashmere too warm for anything but the coldest winter day here in Perth. For those in cooler climes, this is clearly not a problem. Secondly, I have been finding it harder and harder to find quality cashmere at an affordable price. While I used to love Lands End's cashmere, now I find it thinner and more prone to pilling, and I have heard mixed reports about J Crew's. The few quality pieces I have seen are well over $500, and thus, well beyond my price range, especially since I am in the process of losing weight.
Instead, I take the idea, and modify it for my circumstances. Instead of cashmere, I have purchased quality merino and cotton sweaters. As always, buy the best you can afford, and I think a top quality merino sweater for $200 makes more sense than a mediocre cashmere sweater for the same price. As for colours, you always hear black, but I say buy for your colouring and personality. Black looks good on me, but I prefer navy and charcoal. Ladies with lighter colouring may look best in oatmeal or winter white. Once you have your basic neutrals, then start adding in pops of colour - I like jewel colours for my colouring, but pastels and gelato colours look great on others.
Everything I said for the cashmere sweater goes for cashmere cardigans as well. With the cardigans, make sure you are guided by your body shape. I love the little crew neck boxy cardigans like Jackie Kennedy wore, but there couldn't be a shape worse for my curvy, busty hourglass! Instead, my cardigans are almost all v-necks that hit at high hip. A three quarter sleeve is universally flattering, but for cooler weather a long sleeve may be more practical.
What makes up a classic tee shirt? I don't know! I am going to assume they mean a plain, unadorned tee in a "classic" colour. If you are a follower of my What I Wore Wednesday posts, then you will know that I almost never wear tee shirts, even with gym wear. I find tanks much more practical for layering in Perth's weather, and I have never been able to find a tee shirt I've found truly flattering. If you are going to wear tee's, and they can look great styled the right way, then make sure they fit (not your hubby's tee, please!), are a good fabric that is not too sheer, and have a neckline that suits your shape (the v-neck is again universally flattering). Know that an awful lot of tees have a cap sleeve - this is probably the sleeve that is the most unflattering for the most women.
The cotton oxford is another item that I think is marvellous in theory, and disastrous in reality. Think about it logically - this shirt was designed and cut for a man; feminine curves just throw it all out of kilter. You can find ones that will flatter if you search hard enough, but they tend to be very pricey, and I still don't think they are the best look for most women. At home, over not very much at all, is a totally different story, and is even better if the shirt does actually belong to your husband and the kids are at the grandparents!!
Check in next week for the second half of the classic tops for your closet.