Oct 2, 2012

One statement piece...three scenarios

Designer pieces can be a worthwhile investment - provided they can be incorporated into a range of outfits and contexts.


I’m very attached to the designer pieces in my wardrobe, but they need to be workhorses. Expect for a handful of dresses I got for prom and other formal occasions, even (especially) the nicest pieces in my closet need to fit into a variety of contexts without looking incongruous. So this series focuses on how to incorporate an item that may at first sight seem like an extravagant purchase into completely different contexts – starting with this paisley-print skirt (wool and silk) from Sea NY.



The accompanying clothes and accessories, though taken from current collections, are classic wardrobe essentials which can be combined with pretty much anything.



1. The statement piece: wool and silk paisley-print skirt, Sea NY.

2. "Plum silk" / cotton sweater, Jigsaw – previously featured as a fitted knitwear item.

3. Triple-strand freshwater pearl necklace and matching stud earrings, Astley Clarke – as the other items here this is an absolute classic which I have in my own wardrobe. I found a perfect triple-strand pearl necklace at a second-hand shop in Berlin about 8 years ago for an absolute steal, which makes even skinny jeans, with a nice top, look quite formal. And though I basically work with former frat boys, I haven't yet had a snarky "Nice pearl necklace" comment (to which I'd hopefully have a better retort than "Thanks, I got it from your mom.").

4. Mocha wool-lined leather gloves, Roeckl.

5. Gray silk / cashmere scarf, Chan Lulu – again, inspired by an item that I own. In this case my item is a much-babied pashmina my parents got me in Udaipur, India (famous for the floating hotel) over ten years ago. It has a few minor rents in it but is holding up well, and the charcoaly-gray color means it goes with anything.

6. Peach wool coat, Jaeger – some may consider the color a bit too spring or summer-like for gray fall days, but the fabric and cut toughens it up a bit while providing a respite from the usual dark shades of the season.

7. Chocolate natural leather “Ted” messenger bag, Mulberry – this is actually a men’s briefcase, but it’s the perfect size for carrying laptop, folders and other meeting materials, a snack, shopping, shoes...it basically means not having to commute with five separate bags (cause we’ve all seen the commuters with their purse, laptop bag, tote, gym bag, and carrier bags).

8. Fuchsia wristlet, Lanvin – how perfect are wristlets? I don’t want to bring my work bag when just going out for lunch and switch bags a lot on different days, so wristlets are the best solution for keeping together phone, public transport passes, bank cards, ID, key cards, cash, and other small essentials (I hate cash but carry change for taxi rides and smaller purchases).

9. Gray croc-print leather ballerinas, Pied a Terre – for commuting on non-rainy days and wearing around the office for people who don't like wearing heels (like me); previously featured as a recommended plain ballet flat.

10. “Bordeaux” round toe suede and leather court, L.K.Bennett – for client meetings.

11. Rose gold / stainless steel “Imperiale” watch (388541-6002), Chopard – the metals, though differently colored, harmonize well, which allows the piece to go with gold as well as silver / platinum jewelry.

12. 70-den black tights, Falke – they’re warm, functional, fairly snag-resistant, and still look sleek and professional.

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