I went to Target. Someone in Target’s top management is wearing smartypants and sources goods that speak to most everyone. Their tees, in my experience, are top notch, albeit with a somewhat abbreviated lifespan.
My haul cost all of $31. My family fortune, as I have said, is fading. My desire to turn myself out well, is not.
A marinière. Some 70s style. I am telling you, we wore the heck out of cowl-necks in the 70s. How else to balance the long skirts and boots? And if I want to call that a marinière, don’t break my heart. It’s much less baggy than it looks. Check it against the real thing here.
The third overwhelmingly fashionable item I bought was a new navy tee. For $8. What am I talking about? Jeans and a navy shirt count as minimalist, monochromatic dressing. Jeans are navy. They are.
Add pearls, and a pair of non-trivial black flats, and you’re quite presentable. A triple-strand may seem a little much for an $8 tee. Impunity, my friends, impunity. And recently I’ve been wearing the heck out of my 80s vintage mabe pearls. Those big buttons look good for the first time in years. Mine came from my sister, but you can find others at Beladora, here.
Alternatively, gold is always a good accessory for navy.
The watch doesn’t have to be a Rolex. Frankly, it’d be a better outfit were this a vintage man’s timepiece of a lesser-known brand. Or a Russian ladies’ watch with Soviet implications. The earrings are from Chinatown, small discs with a dragon engraved, noteworthy for the tell-tale coloration of 24K gold. Again, gold-plated would look just fine. Square, for example, but simple. The point is to enrich a blue monochromatic outfit with fairly subtle variations across the yellow spectrum – yellow-brown, red-brown, gold, bronze.
You will note signs of fraying above. The Manolos’ heel and the watch strap’s #1 loop are both in need of repair. This Sturdy Gal approach to classic dressing requires spending almost nothing on what you’ll wear for only a season. Conversely, one spends a reasonable amount on that which should last several years, i.e. blue jeans, and invests a fair amount of time and money to maintain what’s worn for decades.
I wear my shoes for 10 years, sometimes. Rubber half-soles, and heels, are our friends.
The Sturdy Gal approach also requires us to have faith. So we won’t be buying Jean-Paul Gaultier’s version of the marinière. It’s not necessary.
Last week I walked up a hill in San Francisco, in jeans, pearls, Ferragamo Varinas, the striped tee I will persist in calling marinière, and a James Perse peacoat. A street person asked me if I designed clothes. I said no. “You dress well,” he replied. I took it as a compliment, even though I knew he was angling for a donation. Which I gave. I suppose you could say I felt like a million dollars.
No compensation has been taken, yet, for any of these recommendations. However, a relationship with Beladora, vintage jewelery extraordinaire, is in the works.