I would never dare say I know a lot about fashion. It’s true, I’ve traveled because of fashion and my great passion for it, I’ve seen a lot and have met people, who mean something in this world. Most of all, they’re the ones controling it, but knowing fashion is a different thing. To me it’s like a chameleon, changing all the time, leaving us powerless to catch it and stop it. But then again, that’s the charm, well, at least it is to me, because I have been in love with fashion ever since I can remember. For the past few days, I’ve been roaming the streets of New York and I am realizing that style is a timeless thing. It’s probably also something that starts in our minds and only then translates into clothes. High up on Madison Avenue, where the houses turn into the most luxurious residences, I meet people in the street, mostly ladies with style. It’s a mix of Chanel bagsand Prada shoes, but it’s really much more than that. It’s beyond fashion and money, more like a way of life, mode of conduct and also having a few timeless pieces in your closet, which you know how to wear. It’s not about choosing a safe wardrobe, far from it, because even jeans, the everyday staple of simplicity, can pose a struggle, if we’re not wearing the right model or just don’t feel right wearing them.
Finding great style is somehow easier in New York, because certain parts of town have combined the so called upper class with people, who have money as well as affection for fashion. This is not a matter of vanity or frivolity, as some may think (unfortunatelly there are quite a few of them where I’m from, but that’s another story), fashion is actually a message we give to the world. As the wise Miuccia Prada once said, fashion is the quickest message in an instant world, where we have less and less time for meaningfulrelationships. So, my darlings, I’ve been busy watching, making notes, taking in this amazing energy that I miss so badly elsewhere in the world. And my diary is already full, but not so full that I couldn’t share some of it with you. So I’ll conclude by sharing with you not what’s trendy, but what’s timelessly fashionable; which are the must-have pieces, what good style really is, the one I personally like and keep seeing here. And don’t roll your eyes, if you read about the little black dress again, because I’ve fallen in love with it all over again, and here’s why.
So, the LBD
It has a certain charm and I love it on women who are no longer in their teens. I also admire white, red, pastels, and a bright red here and there, but you can spot a little black dress from a mile away. Just like Audrey, into whom it actuallyturns every woman wearing it, that alone beingpriceless. Around here, it’s worn in a very classic way: with a bun, dark sunglasses, ballet flats, and pearls. They add a top bag, predominantly Chanel, and a bold lipstick, which isn’t necessarily red. LBD is knee-length, well tailored, with a pronounced waistline. For the office and for everyday; I repeat: not as a safe choice, but as a super chic one.
New York has a thing for white men’s shirts and I’m the first to admit, I’m no exception myself. I find a man most attractive when he’s wearing a basic white shirt and I imagine that a woman is sexiest when she’s wearing a white men’s shirt with lace lingerie. Well, this is a common sight in New York. Knee length pencil skirt, not even with heels, and an oversized men’s shirt that’s tied at the front or cinched with a large pin in the back, which comes as a big surprise, because you really don’t see it coming. It’s unbuttoned just far enough so you can see, or rather sense, a bra, which is white, of course. Red lipstick is a must, not exactly matte, but not glossy either. Speaking of glossy, shiny things, I’ve seen a lot of glittery midi skirts in combination with a basic white men’s shirt. Superb.
It’s sold everywhere. One of my favorite brands is JCrew, which has a whole series of cashmere sweaters, which are also part of the summer collection. It’s quite warm outside these days and it’s cold in the stores because of air conditionining, so all these beautiful women have cashmere sweaters thrown casually over their shoulders. A proper cardigan is an excellent choice sometimes, especially for slim women, because it looks beautiful on a flawless figure. Cashmere sweaters look good no matter the color, although white is the top trend at the moment. You’ll probably remark that wool is a delicate material, it lints quickly, driving us crazy. I know and I agree. I won’t give you any shaving advice or anything else that might prolong it’s lifetime. I’ll just say, buy it, wear it and then change it, that’s the only thing you can do.
Jaw dropping jeans
Do you know what infuriates me? That I have trouble finding jeans at home (or in Italy, for that matter). They’re all so skinny I look like salami, and I’m a size 6. It really doesn’t feel good. I’m not even going to start on the length or the rolled-back trim, because I know you already got the point, right? In America, jeans are just another item of clothing. You go to Gap and there’s a million models, I try on 50 and they’re all okay. So I skip the skinny tag and they actually fit. Jeans are important on any woman and we should all be able to find our own pair, but I know this is a major problem. Well, it isn’t a problem here. Jeans and the white shirt I mentioned earlier is a top choice. Styled with a Chanel bag and ballet flats, again. Every woman looks gorgeous : high waist, the right color, excellent cut, not a rip in sight. Ripped jeans can be interesting, but keep the rips to a minimum and as discreet as possible, because we’re no longer 20. Unfortunately. Or not, depends on how you look at it.
We probably all agree that a woman looks her best in high heels, but we also know that it’s not easy wearing them all day long. They’re neither comfortable nor healthy. Ballet flats are a wonderful option, but they should never ever be worn out or deformed. I swear I’m throwing at least five pairs away as soon as I get home, because I understand now that they’re unseemly. I know, they wear out quickly, they stretch, so they should be changed often. Shoes are important and ballet flats are integral to good style. If they’re high quality, you’ll be able to wear them up to two seasons, after which you should get new ones. Tory Burch is undoubtedly the most popular brand, it’s not as expensive as Chanel and Dior, but it’s still super chic. And the two tone models are actually very, very nice.
Men’s watch and diamonds
New York women don’t wear a lot of jewelry. I notice some diamonds, Tiffany’s probably, and men’s size watch, very simple. The models look like Daniel Wellington or other brands that don’t exaggerate with embellishments. Diamonds complement this male philosophy perfectly with a shine. The watches are black or brown, I notice a powder version here and there, which is very feminine; they’re beautiful, because their larger shape stands out nicely on a woman’s delicate wrist. It’s interesting, I’ve been walking past amazing jewelry boutiques, standing in front of shop windows, which almost make me want to wear my sunglasses because of all the shining, and yet I somehow get the feeling it’s all meant for the red carpet, for a special occasion,butfor everyday only a few selected accessories.
Okay, this is a sore subject. Whatever I see is insanely expensive and in the evenings, Africans hit the streets with imitations spread out on sheets; I’ll admit I’m tempted by the Dior, YSL and Chanel replicas, the thought crosses my mind and then leaves, because it just wouldn’t be the same. I wouldn’t want to fake it, I’d rather stick to Rebecca Minkoff and be just as happy. I have realized that I spend a lot of money on cloths. It would be good for me to limit my purchases for four months and buy a good bag instead, because I know I would wear it for more than a year, far more. What I’m trying to say is that “It”bags really defineyour style. Even if a woman is wearing jeans and sneakers, but has a small Gucci shoulder bag, you simply notice her. Especially, if it’s red. Think about it, because you have a good opportunity to make a savvy purchase, when it’s time for sales, provided you’re quick enough and are skillful with your computer mouse.
Sophistication really is simple. And remember, it’s about more than just money. All the items I mention, apart from the It bag, can be very reasonably priced. It only matters how you wear them and how confident you feel in them.
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