Archive for ‘just the 100.’

March 4, 2011

The 100: #5 Ballet Flats

I was on a mission last week. In a dark movie theatre, I accidentally spilled a full bag of buttery popcorn all over my tride-and-true brown suede flats. Fake butter + suede = an absolutely ruined pair of shoes. (And I think Jon was more distraught over the loss of the popcorn.) I tried to wear them a few more times, but they just weren’t the same after that disaster. So armed with Nina Garcia’s The One Hundred, I decided to replace them with a pair of killer ballet flats.

But first, a history lesson: the ballet flat has been around since at least the 16th century. It went out of fashion when Catherine de Medici requested her cobbler add two inches to her wedding shoes…smart woman!

But some of Hollywood’s famous faces brought the shoes back to the masses. When Brigitte Bardot signed on for And God Created Woman in 1956, she asked Rose Repetto, a pointe shoe maker in Paris, to create a pair of flats to wear in the movie. Then, a year later, Audrey Hepburn wore a pair with skinny jeans in Funny Face. Another smart woman. Fifty years later, I’m blogging about them.

After learning about Repetto, the classic French original, I desperately wanted a pair. But $260 price seemed a little steep, and the most affordable pair I could find was at Yoox for $139…but they were sold out. Which is a shame, because look at these!

Repetto ballet flats

And no wonder they’re so pricey–check out this amazing video of how they set up Repetto’s window display in Paris (thanks to Daniella at Dress Design Decor for sharing!).

J. Crew also offers a ton of modern versions in every color imaginable. I love the poms, bows, and detailing on the vamp (aka the part of the shoe where your toes go).

J.Crew ballet flats

And of course, I’d die for a pair of Chanel flats. Can I borrow $700 from you?

Classic Chanel flats

Well, I decided to go for a more affordable version of the ballet flat. I poked around at Nine West and found a pair on clearance for $20. Sold! (And they’re sold out now, but you can buy a similar pair for $44.) They aren’t nearly as unique as the Repetto or Chanel versions, but they get the job done. Dontcha think?

Black ballet flats

What about you? Are you classic black flat girl? Or do you go out in red ones with poms? Or floral prints?

February 13, 2011

The 100: #86 The Trench

“When you’ve got a great trench on, what’s underneath isn’t so important.”

I wanted to start my quest for the 100 with the trench, because it’s one of the pieces I already have and I looooooove it. If I could only pick one thing from the 100 list, the trench would be it. Heck, it doesn’t even matter what you wear under it. You could just pair a trench with a pair of killer heels or boots and that’s that.

The original trench was created as a raincoat for British soldiers during WWI. When the soldiers returned from war, they took their Burberrys (yes, Burberrys) with them. Since then, the trench has been a British institution, a film-noir mainstay, and a style staple for men and women.

It’s definitely a classic. Just think of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, Catherine Deneuve in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

The classic trench

I go for the original khaki, but every now and then I see a great colored trench (my mom has one in a gorgeous spring coral). Nina Garcia says you could go for gold lamé, but I’m not so sure about that…have you ever seen anyone besides a grandma from New Jersey pull that off?

Miss Nina suggests Burberry for your traditionalists (surprise, surprise) and Gap or Juicy Couture for bold colors. I got super lucky with my trench: I stumbled upon an Elie Tahari version at Marshall’s, of all places. I spent a grand total of $60 on it, which I couldn’t pass up after I saw the retail price of $400. It’s lined, double-breasted, and belted, and it’s made of sturdy, water-resistant cotton that doesn’t wrinkle. It was totally worth every penny (and then some)!

For those of you who have a few thousand to spend on a trench (yeah, right), you could go for an updated version of the original Burberry. If that’s a little ridiculous (and I don’t blame you), Gap and Jones New York make some cute ones, and I’d highly recommend Tahari. You can also find a fun print from Anthropologie or Stella McCartney. But I’m a traditionalist when it comes to the trench, so I’d stick to neutrals and classic silhouettes.


1. Classic trench coat from Gap 2. Cotton twill trench by Burberry 3. Brit packable trench by Burberry 4. Trench coat by Robert Rodriguez.

February 13, 2011

Finding the one hundred

I’m starting a new feature on the blog today. It’s doesn’t exactly showcase married life, unless you count my depleting the joint bank account on designer clothes and chronicling my husband’s reaction. But it seems just plain ol’ fun, so I’m going for it.

Some time ago I stole–I mean borrowed–Nina Garcia’s The One Hundred from my mother. That’s the 100 pieces every stylish woman should own, according to everyone’s favorite fashion editor and formidable Project Runway judge, Ms. Garcia. In her own words, they are…

…the items that have been there with me season after season. They have been with me through thick and then. When trends begin to fade away, these are the items I can always turn to with confidence. Each has alternately comforted me when I’m done after a bad, grueling day, and each in turn has boosted my confident to greater heights when I’m feeling great after a good, fulfilling day. Each has its place in my heart. Each represents the yin and yang of my personal style.

Simply put, these items make me feel classic. And there is no substitute for feeling this way. Ever.

Nina lays it all out for us, complete with a few fashion history lessons and some hollywood name dropping. And while I’ve never considered myself to be a trendy person, “stylish” is something I definitely want to be. So before handing the book back to my mom, I’m taking on a little challenge.

What challenge is that, you ask? Exploring and procuring the one hundred. I’ll base my posts on Nina’s book, although I might edit a bit–she’s listed a few things that make me say, “WHAT?” and omitted others I think should be included. I’ll be doing this on a budget, which will make it less fun for those of you who are trying to live vicariously through my spending, but hopefully I’ll make some good finds. From ballet flats to the man’s white button-down shirt to the wrap dress, I’ll keep a record of it all here. So check back soon–I’ll start with some of the pieces I already have, with a guide to finding some great versions. Happy Sunday!