Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Three Necessities.

It's safe to say that I'm constantly surrounded by fashion. Whether it's in a magazine I'm flipping through, a television program I'm watching, a website I'm surfing, or a store that I'm shopping in, I'm always an arm's length away from something fashionable. Needless to say, I've learned a lot about what I really like, and more importantly, what I don't like.

Visible darting makes for a perfect fitting garment. Gray denim always looks more interesting, is more versatile than the traditional blue, adds instant drama and sophistication, and is incredibly easy to dress up. Outerwear that is fashion forward, durable, and well tailored will carry you from year to year, rather than just season to season and is actually a good investment for your staple wardrobe. Vintage leathers, especially jackets, shoes, and belts, seem to add a dash of character and charm, while also bringing warmth and elegance to any look.
The three must-haves of the moment are from three of my favourite stores. Not only do these places always seem to hold my attention and interest, but they constantly provide amazing service and an awesome experience.
(in no particular order)

Company: Guess Jeans
Price: US$108
Name: Lincoln
Colour: Voodoo Grey Wash
Fit: Low Rise, Slim Fit, Straight Leg
Design Elements: Five pocket design, Whiskering at hips, Repair details, 100% Cotton
Special Instructions: Machine wash cold

Special Notes: I first saw these brand new jeans at the St. John's Town Centre in Jacksonville. Tony, who knows I love all things grey, immediately pointed them out to me. The cliche love at first sight definitely applied to these jeans. Their whiskering is the perfect balance - not obvious, not unnoticeable, and not overdone either. The slim fit is perfect for the season (and quite honestly, is my ideal cut for year round wear - it's not overly tight, and it's definitely not baggy). And their distressing looks like something that would have happend naturally to your favourite jeans anyway - without the years and year of waiting. Needless to say, when I returned a few days later to look again at the denim, Chanell only had more great things to say about the jeans I thought I already had to have. (Side note - I think Tony and Chanell could sell ice to an Eskimo - they're always en pointe, know exactly what new styles have arrived, and are always thinking outside the box for both me and my clients.)

Company: John Varvatos
Price: US$595
Name: Coated Cotton Plaid Trench Coat
Colour: Flint
Fit: Slim Fitting
Design Elements: Double-breasted trench is made from coated cotton and is water resistant. Constructed with shoulder loops, corozo buttons, button neck extension, belted cuff and welt pockets, and a 100% cotton poplin lining.
Special Instructions: Dry Clean.

Special Notes: I love John Varvatos. His designs are the perfect mix of vintage cool, with fashion forward fits, and the fabrics and colours you only dream about. Never flashy, and never understated, Varvatos is everything you want to own. The perfectly broken in leathers. The softest tshirts. The coolest sunglasses. If you closed your eyes and imagined your dream closet - it'd probably be filled with all things Varvatos. A few years ago, I stopped in the West Hollywood store and met Paul. I was just in college (and subsequently not able to buy nearly as much as I would have liked), but was so impressed with Paul's understanding of the collections, his obvious love for the brand, and his ability to mix and match the collection with ease and creativity. I took his card, and whenever I'm in Los Angeles, I try to stop by. For all of your Varvatos needs, I definitely recommend his services. And if you're not in Southern California - you must at least visit the website and listen to the perfect musical mix that is indicative of the brand: simply amazing.

Company: Emporio Armani
Name: Slim Fit Shirt
Price: US$177 (discounted from US$295)
Colour: Black
Fit: Slim
Design Elements: Small stiff collar, one button at cuffs, small rear yoke, 100% cotton

Special Notes: Giorgio Armani is undeniably one of the world's best designers. His deep understanding of how a garment should drape, paired with his impeccable tailoring, flawless design aesthetic, and brilliant creativity only further this notion. Each season, there's an odd familiarity with each piece, yet the Maestro always leaves us wanting more - to see more, to know more, and to have more. One of my favourite Armani boutiques is the Emporio Armani store in Beverly Hills. You'd expect true white glove service from a shop just a few steps from the famed Rodeo Drive, and at Emporio Armani - Jason is your man. Friendly, helpful, and a great sense of style - the triumvirate qualities in a sales associate. He's not pushy, doesn't mind offering his personal (and very well informed) opinion, and knows just why la moda italiana is famous.

These three pieces aren't just seasonally appropriate - they're wardrobe staples. The Guess Jeans would look great paired with the Varvatos coat and the Armani shirt, but would also look great with your favourite tshirt and flipflops during the summer. Or even a great white dress shirt, black skinny tie, and tuxedo jacket for a stylish night on the town. Just as versatile - the Armani shirt looks great with gray wool trousers in the office, or matched with denim and vintage boots at the pub. And that Varvatos coat will be a necessity during stormy weather for years to come.

These pieces have much in common. Quality. Style. Value. Next time you shop - think of these qualities, and you're sure to stay en vogue.

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