KEEP IT SIMPLE
I have always admired people who adopt a uniform as a way of dressing. Not only is it a signature statement, it makes life much easier.
Long before it was chic to wear white pants in the winter, my friend Bobby Levithan could always be counted on to show up in white jeans and a gray or navy top of some sort. His shopping is easy. His look is clean and chic, and it yells Bobby.
A lot of ink has been given to Vogue fashion editor Tonne Goodman. She is also known for white jeans, though she also wears black ones. She tends to pair them with black or white tops. I love the way it looks. I was reading a piece on her and she said she could go off to fashion week in Paris with just a carryon. I was envious.
So, I started thinking about my own look. I had too many different things going on. It took me too long to get dressed. I really did not want to devote as much time to contemplating what I was going to wear. I was sick of twenty things piled on my bed while I tried to find one that worked.
While I am not too fussy a dresser I can be swayed by trends. I might find myself in some oversize silk camouflage pants, and a ripped t-shirt looking like I got lost on my way to Coachellla.
I went through a heavy duty Indian phase. So I have a masses of things made out of saris and Indian prints. Nothing looks sillier than a middle age white woman in a sari with a bindi on her forehead.
But despite my forays into the land of colors and prints, I would normally reach for a pair of black pants or a grey skirt and a neutral top. It’s what I feel best in. It never let me down. It’s the look I gravitate to in magazines and on websites.
And then my final decision was made based on two Instagram sites I follow. They are the yin and yang of what I have been grappling with.
I follow a site run by two twins out of Canada, called the Beckerman Twins. Now they look like lovely girls: Sweet and funny and warm. They have two adorable dogs. They love their mom. They look like they would be a hoot to spend time with. They are wildly popular, get flown around the world and rep designers. They are unique. Except they tend to dress like clowns. I started to cringe when I saw photos of them. Too much neon, too many patterns, way too kitschy.
Around the same time I found the Beckermans, I also started following a young woman called Haley Carrere.
I didn’t just land on Haley. I went to nursery school with her mother Adrienne.
But I didn’t meet Haley until recently. She is sixteen with the most incredible fashion sense. All neutrals, a lot of black and white. She always looks perfect. I found myself at 56 taking my fashion cues from a sixteen year old. She has 11,000 Instagram followers, so I am not alone.
So between being made dizzy by the Beckerman girls and impressed and visually relaxed by Tonne Goodman and Haley Carrere, I started unloading all the color and chaos from my closets. I have to say my friend Kendall Conrad’s pared down style influenced me as well. Anyway, the color went, the prints went. I was left with grays, white, beige, navy and black.
It has made my life very easy. It takes me a few minutes to get dressed. I have managed to buy what I need for fall without over buying – only adding to a really well edited wardrobe. I open my closet and a wash of calm comes over me. There are never days when I regret what I have put on; Because I now only wear what I like.
I know it’s going to make packing easier, travelling easier and my upcoming book tour easier.
And I think having a version of a uniform is much more of a unique fashion statement than following the latest trends.
Tomorrow– How to really edit your closet and where to give or sell what you don’t want.