Friday, March 14, 2008

The Search for Small Perfection

This is my favorite t-shirt:

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I feel a little silly saying that I have a favorite t-shirt, because t-shirts are such basic items that one wouldn't think there could be much variation in them. Au contraire, mes amies. This t-shirt is so perfect in its small way that it has become a garment I do not want to live without, and every time I take it off the hanger I kick myself for not buying more than one. It's Simply Vera by Vera Wang from Kohl's, part of the very first collection she did for them. (One part of its perfection is its extremely reasonable price -- I got it on sale and it set me back less than 25 bucks. I assure you I've gotten my money's worth.) I wear it by itself, I wear it as a layering piece under sweaters & cardigans, it even looks great under a fabulous cap-sleeved tiger-striped vintage shift dress I adore.

What's perfect about this shirt? Well, the fit is fantastic. I'm long-waisted and this t-shirt is nice and long. It is actually tuck-in-able, or comes down over the waistband of a skirt and does not hoik up in the back when you sit down. (I HATE futzing with my shirttails, don't you?) The fit is slim but not skin-tight, and the fabric is a super-soft 90% modal/10%silk blend that has washed beautifully and is thin enough to layer but not so thin it looks tacky on its own. (Modal is a cellulose-based synthetic, similar to rayon. It's popping up a lot these days.)

Last weekend, attending a wedding, I fell in love with a bright yellow cotton cropped-sleeve waist-length jacket that a friend of mine was wearing. It was absolutely adorable, and when asked she told me it was Vera Wang from Kohl's. Monday I hit the Kohl's website to look for a photo to post here. They didn't have the yellow jacket, but they did have this, which got me all excited:


Another t-shirt! And they're on sale! Woo-hoo! This shirt isn't exactly the same as the black one -- it's apparently 100% cotton, not the silk/modal blend, but I'm taking a chance. I ordered it in white and this color


which is called "Violet Night." (What?? Honestly, who comes up with these names? The white isn't even "white," it's "Simply White." As opposed to "Complicated White." Oy.) I have no idea how this color is going to translate in real life -- my experience is that the Kohl's website is not a faithful representation of the color truth, and Wang's palette is a notoriously muted, dusty one, so this may wind up being deathly on me and going back to the store. But I'm hopeful.

There are several great items in this line right now; some really good basics that are wearable and yet still infused with Wang's design sensibility, which tends to the cocoon-ish and semi-dark. Her shapes may look a bit off to some people because they are not usually sharply tailored, but those well-placed pleats and gathers make for comfortable clothes that flatter less-than-perfect body types. I have a skirt from the first collection that I've worn a bunch, and it still looks great after several machine washings. Up close, no one is going to mistake these clothes for high-end designer, but for the price point I think they've done a great job with them. They're at least as good as the Mizrahi stuff for Target.

I'm expecting the t-shirts at the beginning of next week, so I'll report back. In the meantime, let's hear about your small perfect items. Do you have anything in your closet that isn't a "wow" garment, but is still perfect in its own small way? Tell me about it!

Have a good weekend, everyone!


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Anonymous said...

A black cashmere cardigan from Land's End. My sister purchased it for me after she walked off with my favorite black cotton one. It's soft, fits perfectly, works over Tshirts, under jackets and by itself. I may need another one in white....for summer, you understand...!

StyleSpy said...

Darling, no justification is needed -- there is no such thing as too much cashmere. And good on your sister for the replacement upgrade!

Deja Pseu said...

Anonymous beat me to it, but my Land's End cashmere cardigan is dark heather grey. Ditto what she said about softness and layerability, and it dresses up or down. It's probably the most frequently worn piece in my closet, and I'm wearing it now.