I’ve been at my new job for 9 months now. And I believe I have pretty much settled on a work wardrobe. It’s not very big. Witness the list.
- Eight pairs of pants: Two pairs of J. Crew bootleg cords, one dark brown, one black, two pairs of 7 for All Mankind jeans, one Dojo trouser cut – heels length, one Ginger flares – flat length, one pair of black J. Crew slacks, one Banana Republic gray, one Bernard Zins gray wool with blue pinstripes, one Armani khaki double-knit
- Six tees: two Petit Bateau v-neck long-sleeved, one black, one white, one GAP long-sleeved crew neck tee, navy, three white short-sleeved tees
- Six button-front shirts in various patterns: from J. Crew, Naracamicie, Ann Mashburn, Brooks Brothers, and Liberty of London
- Six cashmere v-neck pullovers in various solid colors: purple, gray, black, baby blue, navy blue, and tobacco, from Brora, Madewell, Nordstrom, Eric Bompard, Land’s End, and TSE
- Two dresses: one photoprint shift from Dries van Noten, one dove gray 50s silhouette from Lela Rose
- One skirt, a J. Crew #2 pencil in black
- Six jackets, ranging in weight from a wool Michael Kors peacoat, through a J. Crew Field Jacket, to a knit Armani blazer, two Etoile Isabel Marant unlined tweed numbers, and a Gryphon short trench with 3/4 sleeves
- Seven pairs of shoes: three Beautifeel heels, (two black, one brown), one pair brown Steve Madden oxfords, one pair two-tone Gravati oxfords, one pair red-orange Sofie d’Hoore ballet flats, one pair black Earthies sandals
Add assorted jewelry, ranging from a strand of 8mm pearls to a diamond Hello Kitty pendant, to a green jade heart, and a bunch of hair doodads.
Because San Francisco has very little summer, we live in a sort of perpetual spring, some weeks being wetter than others. As a result, the wardrobe above spans 12 months. Getting dressed is very easy, as long as I muster up the energy to iron my shirts. I find I can dress all the way from barely perceptible style to very stylish indeed. This is helpful for workwear. One never knows when energy has to be diverted, from carrying off red shoes for example, to the job itself. But one wants to avoid boredom nonetheless.
What do I still think I might need? I say might need, because really, I could make do. Here are a few grace notes I’m considering.
- This blue jacket from Toast. The Tibi I ordered was way, way, way too big. I’m waiting for Toast customer service to tell me if their sizes run big or small, whether I’m a 10 or a 12, British sizes.
- A pair of Beautifeel heels to wear with dresses and skirts, ladylike pumps perhaps
- Some more shirts I can wear untucked that are kind to my midlife tummy. There are days when I do not feel well-treated by my tees.
- A hat, to wear while walking to work. Saving my forehead from sun. Perhaps a boater for trouser days, a cloche for dresses.
Do you have a similarly constrained wardrobe? Or perhaps even more minimal?