(Headline with apologies and in homage to the late, great Anthony Bourdain)
A funny thing happened to me at the Hermès carré counter: I swooned, and felt as if I were about to faint. Was it Stendhal’s syndrome, in which I was overcome by the beauty of the Fleurs de Giverny and Jardin à Sintra scarves?
The Giverny pattern was a delight of soft pastels, with a wash of that blush pink that makes me buy. Sintra featured lush saturated reds, greens and blues in an impossibly intricate, almost exotic, pattern.
I walked away, which was always the plan.
You see, I have been contemplating a fashion diet, coupled with an Instagram project, in which I shop my closet – changing outfits every day for a season at least without buying anything new. And – oh the horror – I snap and post a picture of myself daily. I’ll take Saturday and/or Sunday off, if you don’t mind.
I come by the Constant Shopper blog name quite honestly. I constantly shop – it’s research!
In fact, I fell off the wagon between writing and posting this. True, I waited a long time to post but ….
Much as I vowed to wear something I already own to every occasion, I shopped for the Grand Prix gala at the Ritz, on a theme of Sahara-Middle East.
Surely, I had a caftan in my closet?
Well, yes, but not good enough.
I tried one from Suhaila Niazi’s Al Shakour line in butter silk. Lovely, but really too much of an at-home lounge garment.
I hit the shops. At Marshall’s, I found a long white shirt from Theory, quite the thing Kristin Scott Thomas would wear in The English Patient, belted with braided leather (✔ Ralph Lauren vintage belt). I even have a perfect braided bag (✔ Bally, very vintage, very fine). But I paired the white shirt with a sparkly top and white jeans. Here’s the look – I don’t think it quite fit in with the glamorama of Grand Prix at the Ritz. Most people who dressed for the theme wore body-con gold sequins or lamé.
Anyhow, I should not have shopped. My wardrobe is formidable. Stylists have come and gone, telling me to keep everything – and that NOTHING! is missing. I don’t need pants or tops, dresses or jackets and certainly not scarves. Coats? Someone who surveyed my coat closet for possible renovations to the apartment was flabbergasted at the bounty.
My clothes are a decent mix of dressy and casual, designer and not. Most of it even fits.
I can wear a different combination of stuff in my closet for years, probably, without repeating. Of course, that’s assuming I don’t gain weight, and if I drop a few pounds that’s even better. That khaki Miyake is just too tight for now.
But let’s not talk about shoes. I always need new shoes.
There are a few issues with the project:
- Winter. When the mercury dips, I simply wear black jeans and whatever ultra-warm sweater is clean. No way I am mixing it up at minus 30.
- More weather issues. How I actually dress is for the weather, and from the shoe up. I take a favourite piece, appropriate for the temp, and wear it for days, even weeks, with a combo of stuff. During these last cold days of spring, it was a scuba fabric cream blazer from By Malene Birger. It’s warm but not wintery so, and fits nicely under a leather jacket or my favourite Hoss Intropia kimono. That lightly quilted kimono gets its moment in the sun during actual spring weather. The constant repetition of items like that might make the pictures boring.
- I do believe the key to dressing well and staying young is to keep it contemporary. A bell sleeve here, a wide cropped pant there, a floral flourish keeps you fresh. Too many women get stuck in a rut. Look at Jane Fonda in the new movie Book Club. She was fabulous – and her plastic surgeon more so. But her wardrobe of leopard prints, pencil skirts and wrap dresses placed her squarely in the lady-of-a-certain-age department. For me, perhaps three months without an injection of new styles is okay. I can keep it fresh with shoes, specifically runners, but not the clodhoppers that Balenciaga and the like are promoting. That would make me ridiculous.
- I’m not a show dresser like most Instagram OOTDers. You won’t find a clash of prints, glaring white shoes or logos, big or small, on me. I favour all things subtle, with colours like blush and mud, and a splash of sequins from time to time.
- I can’t take a decent picture of myself.
So shall I take up the challenge, let’s say for the summer to start? I’d love to hear what people think. Let me know!