110 Staples to Add to Your Wardrobe

This New York Magazine feature is fun, especially in slideshow mode.

While the skirts are too short for me, I was impressed by the wearability of the pieces, priced from $30 to $1000.

This summer I noticed the ubiquity of neutrals. Could be the sign of a lingering recession, but I think women are buying for longevity, whether at Old Navy or Chanel.

Shown above, sapphire cashmere cardigan with georgette ruffle trim. DKNY, $195.

The autumn "must have" according to many is the camel boy-coat, which is at least a classic, unlike the weird open-toed boots of last spring. However, my mother wore this coat (actually several identical models) for at least 30 years, and I'm not able to even try one on.


Rubiatonta said…
I'm not loving the camel for myself, either. I know I'm going to be much happier in my lovely purple melton coat -- and since I got it at the very end of winter, it still has that "new coat aura"! (The down coat I wore all last winter, however, may have its days numbered. Don't know if I could even look at it!)
I love how Camel looks on others but it completely washes me out...I bought a black wool last season minimal detail from Olsen, a European line...and I love it.
I hope to get many years of wear out of it...I too am looking to the future when I purchase new garments.
It could be that I am of that certain age...and padding my RRSP's!
Frugal Scholar said…
I love camel, but it needs a lot of dry cleaning, especially if you live in a city. I think a lot of people realize--the horror, the horror--that they have too much stuff. I'm going to see how long I can go without buying something new. It's not a "no-buy-pact" or anything--just a recognition.
Frugal Scholar said…
Oops--second part of my comment was in response to YOUR comment about basics. I think people either have or will buy nice basics--at all price points.
Mardel said…
I love camel on others but not on me. In a camel coat mixed with the grays of winter I look like the slush on the side of the highways; not a look I am going for. But I understand about buying personal neutrals even as I think that justifying a purchase because it will "last forever" is buying into a myth.

The slideshow was cool though, and made me think and reassess a bit.
materfamilias said…
Like your other commenters, camel doesn't really work for me. I've got a charcoal cashmere (100%, really, got it at BR -- their "Heritage" line -- on sale two or three winters ago) "boy coat" that I love wearing for a "smart" look, and won't be swapping it out for camel . . .
william said…
Dear Duchesse,

Just a note to thank you for your wonderful blog. I discovered it a few weeks ago and have been enjoying your writing very much. You have such an appealing, thoughtful perspective.

And to say that I love the camel boy-coat, which reminds me of my winter coat in early elementary school. In those days we wore crinolines and their fulness did not go well with the lines of the boy-coats but my sisters and I wore them together anyway!

LPC said…
I haven't worn camel in donkey's ages but I seem to remember it worked OK. My mother had/has a thing for capes. I won't be wearing those:).
Duchesse said…
Rubi: Where did you find purple melton?

hostess: I'm the black wool type, too.

Frugal: So true and so 'you' to point that cost factor. (Absolute worst is a white coat.) Re your non-pact, hope you'll keep going to Goodwill b/c you have amazing stories.

Mardel: I can imagine from your photos, you would look half dead.

mater: Imagine you could only wear a cool camel w/out yellow in it. (Wait...is that taupe?)

Francie: Finally a commenter who can wear camel! And welcome!

LPC: Capes, oh god... shall I post on them or will you?
LPC said…
We should both do it:). I am sure we have different but entertwined reactions...
Belle de Ville said…
I'm thrilled to see camel back in style. But, anything double breasted is not going to make it into my closet. I find that anyone with less than a supermodels figure, looks paunchy in double breasted blazers and coats.
Anonymous said…
I can't wear camel either though my teenagers have been steering (forcing) me towards grey and navy rather than my usual black/white/red. I have however only bought small items to supplement what I have rather than major ones.
Rubiatonta said…
The purple melton's from Calvin Klein -- it's what a friend of mine calls "pet me" fabric. Very scrummy.
Tiffany said…
I love camel and have been getting plenty of wear out of a new(ish) camelhair jacket ... I did enjoy looking at some of those NY mag pieces.
Do we need 110 staples? Seems a lot of clothes!

Camel works for some, but a coat in a neutral that works for you can be a piece that is kept for years.
Camel hair is a beautiful fabric, but I confess I don't like its natural colour with my complexion. Whom exactly does it suit? I love black woollen coats too, though my favourite in recent memory remains my charcoal-grey loden coat -alas the moths got to it.

I'm also fond of red coats - whether a true but rather deep red or a more maroon or burgundy.

Yes, that is far too much in the way of staples. Why are all the skirts so short? Their readers aren't all 20-somethings, and NYC isn't exactly tropical.
Duchesse said…
Belle: Single breasted is enough!
Alienne: Grey is everywhere here but I always look for a rich grey, toward charcoal, as some grays are so sad.
Rubi: Calvin K, have been doing very good work recently, lucky you!
Tiffany: Real camelhair fabric is incredibly durable and so luxurious.
Imogen: Think it's intended as a selection but years ago I took 110 to heart.
lagatta; I've seen camel glow on those with peach undertoned skin, and some camels are far yellower than others; some camels actually have a pink undertone, close to flesh.
Yeah, short skirts! Not for me either and just try to find longer in NYC boutiques.
Maggie said…
Welcome back Duchesse! I trust that activities during your hiatus left you rested and refreshed.
As to the camel polo coats, I always feel bad when a true "classic" runs into trendy. Somehow for me it spoils the cache that these items always exude. I once saw a great photo of the Kennedy siblings (on the lawn at HyannisPort of course, tossing around a football) wearing the required rugby shirts, corduroy trousers and ivy league scarfs. But what I loved most was the fabulous camelhair polo coat on one of the girls. Big pockets, wide lapels, mother of pearl buttons...the full monty. They were a rakish lot, but certainly had style. The shot was taken in the early 50's, long before these simple items became a trend that walked down every runway. Whether it flatters you or not, I find camel and the right shade of grey to be luxe looks that never truly go out of style.
Duchesse said…
maggie: They were exemplars of that classic luxury. I am amused to see what was called dowdy a year or two ago is now a "must". Oh dear, do you think they will glom on to my beloved duffle coat next?

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