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Friday Fancies: Classic Basic Pieces

October 3, 2008

First, I have been accused of being a LIAR by one of my dear readers, and YES YOU ARE RIGHT OK ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? I meant to post but of course ended up being busier with actual paying work type writing than I had anticipated, and whatever, you don’t care. But here I am.

So I’ve been watching Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, and thinking about getting one of those “here’s what you need for a basic wardrobe” kinds of books, because what I generally end up doing is buying a bunch of pieces that catch my eye but don’t go together, so then they sit matchless in my closet and never get worn. I also have, like… no basic wardrobe at all. Every time I leave the house it’s a frantic scramble to figure out what the hell I’m going to wear. So the idea of having some things I can just mix and match and expect to look reasonably decent? Yeah, that’s appealing.

So, until I decide to bite the bullet and get, like, the Lucky Style Manual or whatever, I think Tim’s list of 10 items is a good place to start, right? The major issue for me, right now, is that I don’t want to spend big money on quality since my size is changing, so it kind of puts me in a pickle. It’s that whole living in limbo ’cause I’m fat thing, which I hate. I’ve just started eating low carb (amg, seriously, ME? WHAT?) for reasons that have nothing to do with weight loss, but I anticipate such a radical change will make me lose weight even faster. And meanwhile I’m stuck with my stupid mismatched wardrobe, 90% of which doesn’t even fit anyway.

Sorry, that was a tangent. At any rate, I thought I’d share Tim’s list here, and link to a few items that I would love to get if I wouldn’t feel guilty supreme for spending money on things I’m likely to undergrow — and really, there is only so much a tailor can do, so… yeah. Anyway. Here we go.

1. The Basic Black Dress, aka the “little black dress,” etc. I do not have one of these. I never go to the kinds of events where wearing such a dress would be even remotely appropriate. Therefore, I am in no great hurry to acquire one. Actually, that’s another reason that I keep putting off acquisition of “the basics” — maybe I live a weird life, or something, but a lot of the items don’t seem appropriate for me, you know? If I were to buy such a dress, I think I’d like this one from Bon Bon on Etsy. I know, it’s not black. So sue me.

She does custom sizing, too, and seriously, at that price, that’s kind of amazing. I think the dress would be nice and flattering on me, mmhm. I also love that her shop shows MOST dresses (but of course not this one) modeled on an Actual Plus-Size Person, so you can tell what it’s going to look like realistically, know what I mean? I think I’d go with the chocolate brown on this, or possibly the grey. I really like brown, though. I guess you could always pretend you were going to dye it black. I’ve used acid dyes on silk yarn before, but never on an entire garment. Anyway, moving along:

2. A Trenchcoat, which honestly is something I’ve always coveted anyway. I like fitted coats. The one I decided to share is not, in fact, a trenchcoat, but a redingote (apparently) — but damn, I think it’s fabulous. More custom work, this time from Vigilante Labs on Etsy. Tell me this isn’t to die for. It makes me want to wear crinolines under knee-length dresses exclusively.

I’m torn about which color. The grey is nice and all-purpose, but the burnt orange is gorgeous and kind of statement-making. Also I like the teal. And the camel. I want this coat, now.

3. Classic Dress Pants, i.e. things I don’t like to wear because I KIND OF hate pants. They feel weird, and usually the waistband cuts right across my fattest tummy bits and makes me look like I have two tires strapped to my torso, and also? That kind of hurts. I’ve always wanted a pair of high-waisted buttony sailory pants, though. These aren’t quite what I had in mind, but I think they’re cute; more Etsy! this time from EndlessKnot:

These are navy; I’d probably have them done up in black, brown, or grey, but I think they’re cute. The leg is kind of cutaway on the side, which looks like a neato feature. For all I know, I’d look like a circus tent in these, but whatever. On to:

4. White Shirt — OK, I hate white shirts so much I didn’t even feel like finding one that I thought was minimally acceptable. Does this make me a failure? I hate the way they gape (and no I don’t want to have to use Hollywood Boob Tape or whatever every time I wear a shirt) around the boobs, I hate the way they feel, I think I look stupid in them, I hate collars, bleh bleh bleh BLEH. Someone convince me there’s a white shirt I might find acceptable, and I’ll look at it and tell you why you’re wrong.

5. Jeans are my exception to the pants-hate. I like my ass a whole lot, and there are very few things that show off the ass better than a truly excellent pair of jeans. That said, I have yet to find a perfect pair, and anyway, shopping for jeans online seems kind of stupid to me, and any pair that was perfect for me would PROBABLY be wrong for you, no matter what Glamour says once a year about “JEANS THAT LOOK GOOD ON EVERYONE” — they’re lying, k?

6. Cashmere Sweater. Now you’re speaking my language. I knit, it’s true, but knitting a fine gauge plus-size sweater? I’d lose my mind. I want a low v-neck, so I can show off my collarbone, and a color that’s going to last for years. Plus if I bought such a sweater and it pilled I would be SO PISSED. I found one I like at Lands’ End:

I like. It’s a deep purple, which is trendy THIS SEASON AMG but also seems like it will hold up nicely for a while because it’s not, like, chartreuse or something.

7. Skirt. I like skirts. I like them a lot. They’d go so nicely with the redingote, above, which I like to pretend I might own. Mostly I like high-waisted a-line foofy skirts that do nifty things when you spin in circles. Apparently these are called “circle skirts” and I have about 80 of them, mostly from Anthropologie… and none of them fit now. Not even the silk stripey one, and that makes me a sad panda. I tried to find just one skirt for this post, but it was impossible to narrow them down, so I am going to do a separate Post about Skirts soon. I love skirts.

8. Day Dress. I also love dresses, but I feel bad about not actually giving you an item for so many categories. So I forced myself to narrow things down here. I. LOVE. this dress, which again comes in custom sizes, and which I think is totally reasonably priced, considering. It’s from Miss Braches on… no, really. Etsy.

This dress makes me SQUEE. It comes in other color palettes; I really like Summer. Look at the cute details! I love those straps. It looks like they’d hide a bra strap really well, doesn’t it? And the skirt! It’s so swingy! I admit that I want the shoes the model’s wearing, so that doesn’t hurt, but IT’S SO CUTE! This is right up my alley, for real. Look at Bon Bon and Vigilante Labs for other dresses I like, too. OK?

9. Blazer. My initial reaction to “blazer” is “ew ew ew keep it away from me.” Then I remembered that I had a close-fitting denim jacket I actually liked, so maybe there is hope for the concept of the blazer. I really like this one from Vigilante Labs. Apparently I like their coat-style.

I’m not in love with the color, or the fact that it’s denim, so I’d probably see if I could get her to do it up in some nice wool fabric or something, but I think the cut’s super-sweet. Plus it’s like the opposite of corporate 80s shoulder pad-ridden disgustingness, which is what I usually think of when I think of blazers.

10. Sweat Suit Alternative. Here is where I would link you to Sandmaiden’s jersey knit custom stuff, but she’s on a maternity leave break right now, so her shop’s closed. But these are certainly what I’d go for. Lots of nice lines and great-looking shapes. She’s coming back in November, and I can’t wait, ’cause I’m totally going to order something then.

So there you have it; a post. From me. To you. I wrote this last night when I was falling asleep and have been too lazy, frankly, to go back through and edit it — more deadlines, you know. So I hope I didn’t say anything really stupid or make horrible Freudian slips or whatever. And seriously, I’m going to try to do better on the updating, but this weekend’s kinda packed. I’ve got knitting to catch up on, and 300 more trivia questions to write, and a lot of articles. So. Bear with me, and I think you will be rewarded. I think I have a giveaway coming up soon. Mmhm. Also, you never know. Sometimes I write other stuff if I feel like procrastinating….

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. jolie permalink
    October 3, 2008 3:15 pm

    you are still a liar, but at least you posted. is the white shirt part of the list specifically referring to button-down white dress shirts? i’m a fan of button-down dress shirts, but agree that it can be a serious pain in the ass to stave off boob gap syndrome. the problems i have with white shirts (of any style) are 1) the color; as pale as i am, white can be really rough, and 2) keeping it clean; it seems no matter what i do i end up with grayish white or yellow pit stains or random mis-colored spots.

  2. Christie permalink
    October 4, 2008 6:56 pm

    damn, i didn’t think i’d make it this long without a post!

    hmmmm. i hate my wardrobe, too. i actually hate shopping, as well, even at my thinnest (which isn’t now). i’m sort of a need-based shopper, and then, like you, i just impulsively buy whatever i like – usually at old navy because it’s cheap and i don’t have to drive all the way to burbs to get to it and … yeah, pretty much just that it’s cheap. also cheaply made, though my weight fluctuates so much that i can hardly ever fit into something long enough for it to last me more than a couple seasons anyway.

    ANYWHO. nice update, binks.

  3. Christie permalink
    October 4, 2008 6:57 pm

    AND i’m refusing to buy new clothes until i get a BFP! i can’t wait to maternity clothes shop, for frakks sake. being pregnant means nothing looks bad on you because everyone’s focusing on what’s INSIDE there, anyway.

  4. sheryls permalink
    October 6, 2008 10:45 am

    homg i love miss brache!!! i want the spring halter dress like it is NO ONES BUSINESS.. i dunno what that phrase means, exactly, but i’m going to use it here.

    also, re: jeans that flatter EVERYBODY. well. okay. you wanna show off your fabulous boo-tay? give these a whirl: http://www.buckle.com/product/product_detail.jsp?bmUID=1223304252477&prd=88165991646W&sku=1261512032&N=23+146+43

    ❤ ❤ ❤ silver, and i swears, they really do flatter everybody. Buckle has a hell of a return policy, so if i’m wrong (WHICH IM NOT) you can always send ’em back. they even do custom alterations for freeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  5. anonyma permalink
    October 6, 2008 3:34 pm

    *waves at jolie*

    Hi, jolie! It’s might…um, Erin…um, anonyma!

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