This is not a good time for someone (especially a woman) to begin creating a classic wardrobe. I was even considering writing a post called "2010, you are no 2004." Given the general capriciousness of almost all vendors, we may wonder, how do we maintain a stable look over the years?
The answer is, to some degree, gentle stockpiling. When I see something I love, I try to get a few (or sometimes more) exact duplicates of it. I store them in a clothes pantry.
This technique is not without risks, however. Here are guidelines for stockpiling well:
- Wait until your own taste stabilizes.
- Don't hoard. Keep everything visible and accessible. Know everything that you have.
- Maintain your weight. (Stockpiles keeps me on top of my own weight, as I do not wish to waste clothes that I like.)
- It is best to stick to the core items, so that subtle trends, of which one may not be overly aware at the time, do not make something unwearable five years later. ( I have such an item - a J. McLaughlin Navy Blazer that looked great at the time, and now seems absurd with its longer cut and somewhat padded shoulders).
- If you think something may go on sale, wait until it does before buying additional copies.
Approaching the Fall of 2010, we are at a discordant time when many vendors' PR and advertising are screaming "classic" and "traditional" even "vintage," where their actual products are still ugly, flimsy, and trendy. Hopefully their design and manufacturing will catch up. Until they do, I will be visiting my closet quite a bit.
Because a reader asked, the colors are:
L.L. Bean Items: Navy (Norwegian sweaters); Sky Blue (Boat and Tote); Glen Green (Boat and Tote); Oatmeal (Ragg Sweaters, Men's); Warm Pink (Boat and Tote)
Polo Shirts from Ralph Lauren: Maui Pink; Kelly Green (on left); and Oasis Green (right pile)
Other Ralph Lauren Items: Cable Sweaters on Top Shelf: Nantucket Pink; Kayak Green; French Navy. Cable Sweaters on lower shelf: Pale Kiwi; Chopin Blue
Pants and shorts: Khaki; Stone; Light Khaki.