Sunday, August 8, 2010

He Loves A Girl in Uniform

I read an article that Tim Gunn had written once, or perhaps it was an interview with Tim Gunn, well either way, I cannot say what it was generally about other than “fashion.” But the best thing that I gleaned from it was the idea of finding a uniform. Now, this does NOT mean falling into a fashion rut. It means finding a basic outfit that you know looks good on you, that you feel confident in. God knows we girls wake up some mornings and for one reason or another don’t feel we look as good as we actually do. To illustrate this point, I would like to quote the noted philosopher Lorelai Gilmore.
Lorelai: Am I more beautiful today than I was yesterday?
Rory: Oh boy.
Lorelai: I'm just not sure. 'Cause at first, I looked in the mirror and I thought, 'Yes, definitely a huge improvement!'
Rory: Can I have my pillow back?
Lorelai: And then I thought, 'Maybe it's not that I'm more beautiful today, maybe I was just as beautiful yesterday, only I lacked the self-esteem to recognize it!'
So on these days, when we don’t feel as confident as we should, we can pull on the uniform! Because we know it looks good on us.

Disclaimer: having a uniform does not mean that you can’t follow trends or have fun with tons of styles, like I said uniform does not equal rut.

My mother is the master of the uniform. Hers is a striped Saint James shirt, boyfriend jeans, and basic sandals.

1. Saint James Meridien II Nautical Tee 85. These structured tops are very flattering, not sloppy. My mother loves them to wear to the grocery store, to travel in, just about everything.
2. JCrew Vintage Matchstick Selvedge Jean 148. She also loves these jeans, how soft and thin the material is, the slight distressing, and on her they are totally flattering. I tried them on once - trainwreck.
2. Bernardo Mistral Sandal 110.These t-strap sandals are a great purchase even if you throw out the other two pieces of my mother's uniform. T-strap sandals are a great summer staple.

I would say that I have two uniforms. Both involve the AG jeans that I have sung the praises of here. And both involve flats – see previous post for my favorite brands. The difference is in the top.

One would be: a long v-neck tee with a cardigan and a scarf.

1. Splendid V-Neck Jersey Tee 46. Really any basic tee is good by me, but the length is VERY important. Like I've said, I have a long torso, so I need that length in my tees. Sometimes I try one on and if I lift my hands above my head it becomes way inappropriate.
2. Madewell Legere Cardigan 68. Again, length is key! I have a whole variety of long cardigans in various colors and wear them almost every day. JCrew and Madewell are definitely my go-to stores.
3. The Limited Pretty Pearls Scarf 20.93. I love the fullness of this scarf and the simple but pretty pattern. I have drawers of scarfs at home, ranging from silk Hermes to the $5 pashminas you find on street corners in New York.
4. AG Stilt Jeans in any wash 130-250. I think no more needs to be said about how wonderful these are.
5. Tory Burch Eddie Ballet Flat 178. These. are. so. comfortable. They have tons of padding in the sole and it's like walking on marshmallows. They come in natural leather and patent in a whole series of colors.

And the second uniform would be a flowy blouse tucked in just in the front with a simple pendant necklace.

1. Forever 21 In The Wind Floral Top 22.80. Forever 21 is one of those places where you need to commit to searching. Not everything will fit or be flattering, but every once in a while you are able to find a fabulous piece. This top has become my absolute favorite this summer - movie nights with friends, July 4th BBQ, it's gone everywhere.
2. Marc by Marc Jacobs Daisy Pendent Necklace 58. I love simple pendents on long chains, and this one is so fun and cute!
3. AG Stilt Jeans in any wash 130-250
4. Bloch Basic Ballet Flats 130. Simple black ballet flats are an absolute must. And these have the comfort to boot!

There is no saying whether or not these uniforms are for you. The silhouettes may not work for your body type, or perhaps you work in an office and these are just not acceptable wear for your lifestyle. Or maybe this is exactly what you've been looking for! Either way, I encourage to think about your style. Are you preppy? classic? edgy? feminine? sporty? You get it. Now from there, what pieces in your closet do you feel the most confident and comfortable in - and I don't mean the sweats you pull on when watching trashy reality TV - I mean to go out in public. And you're on your way to creating your uniform. Make it work.