01 March 2007

Wardrobe staple alert

You must follow my lead and invest as quickly as you can in the sure-to-be-worn-multiple-times-a-week, slight-pouf, cap-sleeved silk button up from Ann Taylor I discovered yesterday after work. It comes in three colors, only one of which - creamy ivory - however, is worth your $68. The others - dusty rose and lavender - are sobering reminders of why Ann Taylor is, has been, and always will be a more-for-Mom kind of store.

Even so, sometimes, like yesterday, when I brave the bitchy, tired looks from the over-45 crowd with their uncared for split ends and three-inch cuffed, high-waisted-but-not-in-a-good-way poly-blend trousers, I can find wardrobe staples so powerfully versatile and so powerfully me they shake the very foundation of my outfit rotation.

Unlike similar silk cap-sleeve oxfords I've tried on over the past four months at Banana Republic, Barney's Co-op, Club Monaco, Nordstrom and various vintage boutiques, this AT blouse is tailored in such a way that when I tucked it into my DVF Marple skirt this morning on my very first try, I didn't have a single side pucker or errant material jut. It slid in as quickly and cleanly as...well, let's just say it was a good moment.

Not before this morning has it ever happened that I can't decide what to wear because I have too many favorable options. Usually, it's the case that something isn't dry-cleaned, something isn't ironed, or something was tragically left behind in a hurried 3am departure from an adjacent-to-the-White-House five-star.

But not today.

Today, doing my best back-when-she-was-hot Elisabeth Shue impression standing in front of my closet in nothing but every woman's first, second and third order wardrobe components (i.e. peep-toes, bra and Brazilian Tangas), I couldn't decide among my new blouse and wide-legged black trousers, my new blouse and an at-the-waist black pencil skirt, my new blouse and an at-the-waist chocolate brown pencil skirt, my new blouse and dressy black bermudas, and so on. Finally, I turned to the fashion sage that is my 19 month old Jack Russell pup, and gave him a look that plainly said, "help."

Understanding the gravity of the time crunch his mother was under, the 13-pound style soldier pivoted on his back left paw, strode over to the row of below-the-waist items laid out on our bed, and after a few minutes of silent thought, he honed in on the black Marple skirt. Turning to me, he gave a subtle nod that indicated his decision had been made, and after kissing the paw in gratitude, I slipped on my favorite designer's silk jersey bow-accented masterpiece and was on my way.

I would provide you with a picture of my new discovery, but unfortunately, it's so new, so reasonably-priced and so fabulous, it's not yet listed on Ann Taylor's website. In case you're confused about what the style of this shirt looks like, this Banana Republic one comes pretty close, but as you might recall I discussed at length in a previous posting, that even when I tried this top on three clicks above my normal size, the fit across the chest made me look almost as unfortunate as the keyhole disaster that was Sela Ward at the 2002 Golden Globes.

My advice to you is to skip that trip to Cosi today, heck, skip lunch altogether, and head straight for the AT nearest your office. For those few of you who don't already know, the mirror rewards those with rumbly stomachs. And think of it this way, the $8-10 you don't spend on the Gorgonzola-filled salad and piece of side bread you don't really need, anyway, can be better invested in shoes, accessories, and appetite suppressants like gum and caffeinated beverages.

Diet caffeinated beverages.


Anonymous said...

"something was tragically left behind in a hurried 3am departure from an adjacent-to-the-White-House five-star."
True Story?

Anonymous said...

At last the truth comes out. Monte picks the outfits.

You put the shoes on before you put on your clothes?

A piece of work.


Johanna said...

Sadly, in reference to the beloved, now gone items in question, yes, it is a true story.

Couple times over, actually.

1 carat Garnet stud
Black pouf-sleeve BCBG bolero

Anonymous said...

scandalous! ;)

Johanna said...

And yeah, I put my heels on just after my unmentionables. My feet don't feel like, well, *my feet* unless they're cradled in a tall, skinny heel.

Just ask anyone who's gotten ready to go out with me. First step: shower; second step: lotion; third step: unmentionables; fourth step: heels.

And no, for once, I'm *not* being tongue-and-cheek!

nyc admirer said...

That's SO you in the Elisabeth Shue picture, except you'd be baking cupcakes instead of frying eggs!

bff in chicago said...

cupcakes *or* sugar cookies!

Anonymous said...

I remember that dress at the '02 GG. What a frickin' mess.

She's a hot older woman, too.

pvd admirer said...

that is a great picture of the former Adventures in Babysitting star. It's great mainly because I picture you in that outfit standing before your closet.

In this image, though, you're already fully made-up with fake lashes and bright red lips. Is that realistic to expect?

west coast devotee said...

For a 1 carat Garnet (or a BCBG shrug), I would've endured the walk of shame back to the five-star to reclaim my losses -- how come you didn't?

Or did you?

a johanna fan said...

Monte should have his own style blog!!