We’ve all read the articles listing the essentials every stylish woman needs in her wardrobe. The must-have, universally chic, items that ensure a woman will be well dressed. I’d like to toss a little sand on 5 must-haves and explain why they don’t work for every woman.
Entire books have been written on this subject and they’re bestsellers because many women prefer the shorthand version of what they need to dress stylishly. It’s often not that simple.
Here’s why they don’t always work.
Classic White Shirt
I love a great white shirt. Many women don’t like wearing crisp garments. Structured clothes aren’t comfortable for them and feel stiff. Most white shirts are pure white which is too stark for many complexions. Women whose style recipe includes soft, feminine, romantic, delicate, etc will not be comfortable wearing a crisp white shirt and should choose an alternative.
CLASSIC AND NOT SO CLASSIC WHITE SHIRTS
Classic Trench Coat
Most lists reference a Burberry as the classic trench coat. This is often a double-breasted coat with epaulets in a utilitarian fabric. Double-breasted adds bulk which is not flattering for well-endowed women plus those buttons are usually front and center which can look like beacons. Epaulets are overkill for most women with broad shoulders. Many women prefer soft detailing and more elegant fabrics. A trench coat is a sporty style that many women aren’t comfortable wearing. I prefer trench coats with soft details and no buttons.
TRENCH COAT OPTIONS
Classic Camel Coat
The common shade of Camel looks dreadful on many women. Its traditional warm tone leeches the life out of their complexions. True Camel Hair fabric is often stiff and scratchy which irritates sensitive necks. I’ve been on the hunt for my perfect camel coat for 40 years and never found a flattering tone. I did find one below but the shape wouldn’t flatter me so my hunt continues. A woman whose style recipe includes dramatic, creative, or alluring would not enjoy the classic Camel coat.
Classic Black Leather Jacket
Real and faux leather motorcycle jackets usually top this category and are said to look great with everything. The truth is leather is not flattering on older complexions because its smooth and often shiny texture accentuates every wrinkle on our faces. Suede or fabric collars soften this effect. The woman whose style recipe includes elegant, soft, feminine, refined or conservative will not be comfortable wearing a classic black leather jacket.
BLACK LEATHER JACKETS
Classic Striped Breton
Many women can’t or won’t wear horizontal stripes. These make well-endowed busts look larger and broad shoulders look wider. Its classic crew neckline is not flattering for many silhouettes. This sporty garment won’t feel natural on women whose style recipe includes elegant, unconventional, sophisticated, or original.
STRIPED TEE ALTERNATIVES
Women can’t be typecast or squeezed into a category. We need to wear what we love that feels authentic for us.
What “essentials” do you not wear?
Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident and fabulous.