Monday, June 29, 2009

The Supreme 21-Piece Multitasking Summer Wardrobe

You know, I just love lists of items every woman should have in her closet. There is something so fulfilling and reassuring about actually having the items they consider "must haves" in my repertoire (one thinks they must be doing something right). I also find it amusing that no two lists are exactly the same! Tim Gunn has an amazing, yet well edited 10-piece list; while his Project Runway cohort, Nina Garcia, has a book outlining 100 (yes, one hundred) things every woman must own. To meet somewhere in the middle, Vogue's June 2009 issue narrowed it down to 21 pieces, both classic and trendy, that comprise summer's supreme multitasking wardrobe. As an added bonus, everything in this list can be worn with at least one other listed item.

1. Tailored Blazer - A closet staple regardless of season; wear it all year.

2. Romantic Blouse - In my book romantic most likely means floral (ick), so I am going morph this to mean soft colors, softer lines, and softest fabrics.

3. Dressed-Up Shorts - Nice Bermudas (not in a chino-type fabric) and possibly with a nice cuff. Perfect for summer office with a nice top or button down.

4. Floaty Tunic - The key here is to keep it skinny/short on bottom and floaty on top. I love tunics with embroidery or beading that look like a treasured find from a far off land.

5. Sequined T-Shirt - An unlikely choice, but I must admit to being mildly obsessed with the sequined shirt. My friend, Heather, has a vintage-looking gold sequined sleeveless top that looks perfect with skinny jeans and heels. It adds a high-power oomph of sparkle but is always grounded by the bottom half so as to not look like a Vegas showgirl.

6. Sleek Bustier - Sexy, so be sure to have something to cover it up with unless you have a red carpet moment or have decided to join a burlesque troupe.

7. Sporty Tank - A summer must. I love the choices at American Apparel.

8. Cropped Khakis - I think khakis in general work here regardless of the length. But, always go with ankle length over capri to thwart the dreaded "Mom" summer uniform of a T-shirt, sandals, and capris. Just look at any Kate Gosselin photo to scare yourself away from capris forever.

9. Metallic Jacket - As you can see there are a lot of jackets in the summer wardrobe for those of us north of the Mason Dixon line. Get a short parka-inspired jacket for a sporty look to take you into fall.

10. Dotted Blouse - Notice it doesn't say polka-dot which would have me shoving a toothbrush down my throat. Dots can be artfully done and quite modern with the right print. Swiss dot is my fav for a more preppy look without screaming Palm Beach.

11. Black Pants - Wardrobe staple that should fit perfectly.

12. Classic Button-Down - Can be cotton, silk, whatever....just make sure it is tailored.

13. Textured Skirt - I think this is a throw away. I am just not a skirt person.

14. Boyfriend Blazer - Could double as item #1. I think over sized blazers look sloppy, but then again, I am not into the progressive hipster look. Keep it tailored in a neutral and add some style chops by incorporating bracelets or a chunky watch and pushing up the sleeves.

15. Two-Tone Oxford - I am not a huge button down fan, but this is a very smarty pants i-banker inspired choice and may do double duty with #12, the classic button-down.

16. White Jeans - The ultimate summer staple. Just remember to wear skin colored knickers.

17. Bold Shouldered Top - Everyone has Blamain fever, so get ready for every fast-fashion retailer to try to unsuccessfully knock this trend off. Unless you can throw down the coin for a well made jacket or top, don't go there. You will look like a cheap fashion victim.

18. Pastel Cardigan - This is something I need to get. I get stuck in the neutral rut, and this would be a great way to add color to a neutral dress. I love the cardigans at Uniqulo.

19, 20. Print Day Dresses - Prints don't have to mean floral, and I think the most important idea is to find a few great dresses you can throw on when you need to look like you put forth a bit of effort.

21. Tudexo Vest - Proceed with caution: I was in Scoop this weekend and already saw them on the sale rack. It's Le Smoking with a twist, but remember to belt it.

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