Archive | April, 2009


11 Apr

While I have a strict personal rule to not repeat an outfit in its entirety more than once in 45-60 days, I do very much endorse buying certain items in doubles, triplicate, and even quadruplicate.  Why? Because there are certain pieces of clothing that double and triple in their use.  Here’s what I mean.

Multiple-Item-#1: Stretch Leggings

Cotton/Nylon/Jersey/Modal leggings (with spandex!) are one of the most basic pieces a woman can own and apply to different ensemble scenarios in a multitude of ways.  Simple black leggings can be worn as pants under a long tunic or sweater with boots that reach the knee (more funky risk-takers will wear them with old-school kicks).  Thicker versions (that don’t run the risk of becoming transparent when you bend over…ladies you know this awful sight) can be worn with shorter, loose-fitting tops and pumps.  Pair them with comfortable ballet flats and you’re ready for running errands, seeing a movie, shopping or visiting family.  Or, just wear them to lounge around in your house or apartment on a rainy Sunday afternoon (as I am, today).  Now that we are approaching spring, however, cropped leggings are a great alternative to the longer version.

Leggings Tip: The more expensive they are, the better they’ll hold their shape. After all, cotton is just cotton…not magic.

Multiple-Item-#2: Ballet Flats

The simple flat is such a versatile shoe and can go from work to home, commute, shopping, travel, and back again.  I love the ballet flat because the round toe and non-existent heel makes it a blank canvas just about any outfit.  The colors and fabrics are endless, making them primed for multiple purchase and endless use.  And, the beauty? They come in a range of price points! Once you find a brand and style that’s comfortable for you, buy them in multiples pronto! I’d suggest a black (or even two pair of black since they’ll be your most worn pair), of course. Then, choose a metallic like a silver or a gold; these colors can be used as neutrals and worn with any color(s). Last, try your hand (or foot) at a fun patent leather pair in a bright color. The happy color will bring simple jeans an element of surprise and is an easy accessory that will make you smile everytime you look down. Ballet flats are great with chinos, dresses, skirts (either bare-legged or with tights), trousers, walking shorts, and (if age-appropriate) mini-skirts.  Go crazy and plie your heart out.

Multiple-Item-#3: Jeans

Today, the word “jeans” equates to more colors, styles, and price points than countries on a globe. My suggestion is that you buy the best jeans your budget can afford. The more you pay for denim, the better your as$ looks and the less you have to do to make your outfit look amazing.  For some of us, that means the price point tops out at $45. For others, it could be $350.

First find the right cut to give your figure the most flattering silhouette.  After you determine this (boot cut, straight leg, trouser, etc), choose several washes or colors in that same cut.  And, if you want to take it one step further, buy two pair of the exact same pair and have them altered; one for flats and one for heels. Denim is an investment that goes on and on. I have a pair of jeans from Armani|Exchange that I’ve owned for 5+ years.  They look as good today as the day I bought them. I have a pair by Citizens of Humanity that cha-chinged in at $200 (post shortening). Guaranteed, I look like a super-model every time I put them on.  My experience says that a few (though there are tons) brands for curvy women is Joe’s Jeans (style: Honey) or, Kut, and classic Levi’s . No matter if you buy your jeans from the Gap, Bloomingdales, Banana Republic, or an outlet on the outskirts of your hometown, ensure that they are comfortable when you sit, stand, and lunge (yes, lunge in the dressing room!).  At least 2% spandex is essential for the crucial “snap-back” after you’ve been wearing them all day.

Conclusion on Multiples:

There is nothing wrong with repeating as long as you swap out key elements. Wear those ballet flats all week but switch up your pants or dress.  Sport your new jeans on casual Friday and movie-Saturday-afternoon; one day with a blazer and simple t-shirt and the other day with a silk blouse and heels.  Go and buy, again, again, and again.

This’ll be a “to be continued” feature.  There are a great many more multiple-worthy pieces to be had.  Stand by…