Designer Stacy Lomman, who has been giving me wardrobe therapy, was flummoxed by one characteristic of my closet: a dearth of tops and a plethora of bottoms. She expected to find twice as many tops as bottoms, but I had the reverse. Tops are usually the hot item in stores. She explained, “It’s just easy for women to buy a new top and change a look completely (keeping the same bottom). And generally, there are just so many more options and categories when it comes to tops — sweaters, fine gauge knits, cut & sew knits, woven blouses, etc.”
She added, “Usually, [designers are] happy to introduce maybe one new ‘fashion’ pant or skirt per season which will become a big hit in addition to their more ‘staple’ or basic bottoms they offer over and over (and sell season after season).”
But I’ve got rainbow skirts, chartreuse skirts, word skirts … and a whole lot of black t-shirts that I’ve relied on for everyday wear since I left the corporate world. The question is, what the hell did I wear above the waist before? I haven’t gotten rid of that much. In fact, I have nearly all my suits, which Stacy has been busy restyling for me. I have do have some tops that were purchased to go with specific suits. I also have various black, non-t-shirt tops which I wore with anything, regardless of fabric weight, texture, and so on. After reviewing my old suits, it seems to me that I have a lot that button up high enough so that I could wear them with no shirt under them, per the first photo in this post. I now think I should write a memoir called Topless at Lehman Brothers or maybe I Lost My Shirt at Lehman Brothers. That’s sure to be a best-seller.
Anyway, Stacy told me I had to quit going topless and go shopping instead. Last week, we swung by Bergdorf Goodman for an hour while on our way to visit our designing friend Zang Toi, who has a showroom across the street. Our immediate goal was to get something to finish up the outfit that Stacy wanted me to wear to the Columbia Media Conference on Saturday. One of the conference hosts was Columbia University’s undergraduate newspaper, the Spectator. I’m the chairman of Spectator’s board of alumni trustees, plus MrB was one of the speakers on the first panel. (To my amusement, the Spectator student editors booked him for their conference without enlisting my assistance. Very independent of them!)
I have a horror of “crisp, white shirts” and “shells,” so Stacy tempted me with a neon-pink, sleeveless top by Ramy Brook. She knows I can’t resist neon pink. I’ve been in love with it since 1984.
She paired the new pink top with pieces I’ve had in my wardrobe for years.
When I’m not moving around, that top has a nice, sharp v-neck. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a stylist to tape it down and make it perfect for this photo. Alas! I still felt great. I’d worn these pants with one of two simple black sweaters till now and it was good to see it jazzed up with color.
The next night’s outfit didn’t require any new purchases, but it still felt fresh to me. We had dinner with author Cheryl Tan (formerly a fashion reporter at the Wall Street Journal) and her husband Mike Hale of the New York Times. It was a good excuse to dig out a Wall Street Journal-printed top that I rarely get to wear. Stacy put this with a glen-plaid skirt from a suit that I haven’t worn since 2004 and finished it up with my crazy robot-sneaker-looking shoes.
What Wendy Wore – Stacy Lomman Outfit #7
Top: Unlicensed Wall Street Journal top (2002-ish)
Skirt: Lolita Lempicka from Allan & Suzi’s (1993-ish)
Tights: Who knows!
Shoes: Hogan (2009, recently seen here)
Purse: Prada (2007)
Before the wardrobe therapy sessions, I only wore the Hogan shoes with jeans. People occasionally admired them, but nothing like what has happened recently, when I’ve worn the shoes with skirts. Cheryl noticed them right away. More surprisingly, when I wore the shoes to my meeting with Vogue last week, my doorman, various construction workers and the dude who loiters on my corner were all in awe of my footwear. And, believe me, I don’t normally talk shoes with those fellows. Nice work, Stacy.
If you’re in the New York area and want to book Stacy for wardrobe therapy, you can get in touch with her through Cross It Off Your List. If you live outside the tri-state region, you can email her for a Skype session through her website. She’ll change your life!