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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ashamed

Before I go forward with any other posts regarding The One Hundred, I have to correct a serious error I made in a previous post.  Oh, I could have gone back and corrected the error but this is so serious, I must confess it openly and honestly.

I have always loved Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel.  She contributed to fashion in ways we will never fully understand.  She designed c o m f o r t a b l e clothes for women.  Although she is know for her classic, collarless suits, and the little black dress, she also was a rebel; she wore pants and cut her hair in a time when these were seen as vulgarities.  She created the first perfume, she more or less invented costume jewelry.  She stayed in Paris during WWII when others of her stature fled to safer more comfortable accommodations.  (Yes, it was at the Ritz-Carlton but even so, I don't think anyplace in Paris during WWII was safe or comfortable.)  In essence, Coco Chanel was the epitome of innovative.
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/chnl/hd_chnl.htm (This is a great reference from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

In the past year, there have been 2 movies made about Chanel - Coco Before Chanel and Coco Chanel.  If you get a chance to see one, watch the more authentic Coco Before Chanel.  I watched both movies before I posted on the LBD and have a reasonable amount of knowledge about Chanel because she is a bit of an obsession for me.  I know she had never married.  I know she was not a Madame but rather a Mademoiselle.



Therein lies my error and I apologize.  More to Mme Chanel than to you but when I'm wrong, I fully and openly admit it.  Please forgive me and yes, I have made the correction to my earlier post.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Number Sixty-one

The one-piece swimsuit.

Obviously I own one because I don't own a bikini, don't live near a nude beach, (like I'm opposed to wearing a bikini but will go to a nude beach), and like to partake in a swim every now and then.

There's really nothing else to say.

Number sixty-one - the one-piece swimsuit.  Thirty-nine down, sixty-one to go.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Number Twenty-seven

Diamonds are a girls best friend.  Specifically for number twenty-seven, it's diamond studs.  Yes, I am very, very, fortunate and do own beautiful diamond studs.  They were a gift from my husband.  He brought them back from a business trip to Africa for our first wedding anniversary almost 14 years ago.  I love them, wear them almost everyday, and have made it known that should something happen to me, they go to my youngest step-daughter (my wedding ring goes to my eldest).  They are, quite simply, one of my most treasured possessions.

All of that being said, I will never buy or accept another diamond.  You see, the term "blood diamond" is a reality.  My husband worked in the mining industry for 25 years.  He has visited the diamond mines owned and operated by the De Beers Family in South Africa and knows not only the geology of the diamond industry, but also knows the politics of the diamond industry.  I've quoted him in another post as saying, "Turquoise is more precious than diamonds." and I'll add, less bloody.

When we had decided to get married, I, like the majority of young, naive, American girls wanted and demanded a diamond engagement ring.  He begged me choose another gem - something that was actually rare but no, I had to have a diamond.  He obliged.  I also thought it was so "cool" that he traveled to Africa that each time he went, I asked for more diamonds and each time, he would say, "If you only knew."  However, he once again obliged and gave me my earrings.

It was the flu and Leonardo DiCaprio that finally convinced me.  Three years ago, Bernie and I had gone to a family members wedding in Phoenix and both of us had the flu.  We were literally stuck in the hotel room and decided we would rent Blood Diamond.  I could hardly watch the movie and when it was over, I told Bernie I had no idea.  He said, "Oh yes you did."  "I've been trying to tell you for years that the diamond business is ugly and diamonds are NOT rare but like most American women, you want to believe otherwise."  From that moment on, I decided that diamonds were not a girls best friend and I would never long for them again.

I'm not suggesting that anyone get rid of their diamonds.  I am however, suggesting that you think twice before buying another diamond, especially one from Africa.  And, if you have never seen Blood Diamond, rent it, but be prepared; it is a tough, tough movie to watch and unfortunately, fairly accurate.  (For what it's worth, DiCaprio gives an amazing performance and absolutely nails the accent.)

So Ms. Garcia, you are correct, diamond studs are stylish and as you suggest, fake diamonds are just fine.  If you don't have any, get yourself some fakes.  If you have real diamonds, of course keep them and treasure them and I can't say this enough, think twice before you purchase more.

Number twenty-seven - diamond studs.  Thirty-eight down, sixty-two to go.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Number Twenty-nine

"The ultimate summer shoe." says Nina.  Espadrilles. I've longed for espadrilles since I started reading The Preppy Handbook in high school.  I had never really found the right pair until recently and as per usual, I now own 2 pair and am considering purchasing...well, more.  Actually, espadrilles were one of the first purchases I made when I started reading The One Hundred.  I've loved them for so long and yet I've never found the perfect pair.

I've learned from Nina that espadrilles have a long, long history. In fact, espadrilles go back to the 1400's.  It is a shoe that is traditionally worn by peasants and fisherman and are traditionally made in Portugal and Spain.

Being the snob that I am, I began to seek out Castaner espadrilles.  The Castaner shoe company has been making espadrilles in Spain since 1776.  Apparently, the company was on the brink of closing its doors until Yves Saint Laurent commissioned them to create a high heel version of the shoe.  (I'm so glad he did.)  However, I did not want a high heel version,  well, I did/do, but first, I wanted a flat version and I
wanted only Castaner.  I found them on e-bay, of course, for a very reasonable price and guess what?  Most uncomfortable pair of flats I've ever owned in my life!  Seriously, I have to wear mole skin on my heels every time I put them on but by george, I own a pair of Castaner espadrilles.

My second pair of espadrilles is essentially the same as the first.  I found an adorable pair of espadrilles, made in Spain of course, with a very cute flower and I just had to have them.  I wore them once, received a ton of compliments, and went home at lunch and put on moleskin.  (I know, I could have changed shoes, but vanity wins almost always.)

So, as you now know, I'm seeking more espadrilles because I'm seeking a comfortable pair.  I know they exist, people have been wearing them for centuries.  Maybe I need to buy these Christian Louboutin's for a mere $290 to get comfort.  (Actually, there's a great pair of knockoffs at Target for $20 that I'll try.)  I'll keep you posted.
Number twenty-nine - espadrilles.  Thirty-seven down, sixty-three to go.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Number Forty-nine

LWD - Little White Dress.  Believe it or not, I actually own 3 little white dresses. S L E E V E L E S S little white dresses.  It's true!  How this happened, I do not know.  Sleeveless and little!  Who would have guessed.  Here's another shocker, I actually wear these dresses.  Let me clarify, I wear them with a jacket or shrug.  (Okay, I plan on wearing one to an outdoor musical festival and have no intention of wearing a jacket.  I'm just gonna let those flabby arms fly!)

Unlike the little black dress, the little white dress in my opinion is much more casual and can only be worn during certain times of the year.  Nina says that the white after Labor Day rule is malarkey but I disagree.  My disagreement with her is that it's not necessarily about the color, but about the dress.  My experience has been a little white dress is summer not fall or winter (spring is questionable).  Granted, I have seen beautiful white jersey dresses that would be okay anytime of the year, but in my mind, that is not the quintessential little white dress.  My definition of a LWD is cotton, sleeveless or short sleeves, perhaps some eyelet, short and breezy -  in essence, simple.

It seems difficult to express excitement about a simple white dress and yet when I see one, I do get excited - thus the reason I own three.  I think it's because the LWD is plain and doesn't really need anything other than a hot summer day as an accessory. Bring on the heat wave cause I've got three dresses that need to get some wear before labor day.

Number forty-nine, the little white dress.  Thirty-six down - sixty-four to go.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Number Forty-eight

LBD - Little Black Dress.  Oh how I wish I could say I owned one.  Ms. Garcia writes in The One Hundred that Mme Chanel should be credited with the LBD and I couldn't agree more.  When I think of it, I think only of Mme Chanel.  Ms. Garcia also shares a quote Mme Chanel made to rival designer Elsa Schiaparelli   "Scheherazade is easy."  Mme Chanel said, "The little black dress is hard."  This is the exact reason why I do not own one.

One of Mme Chanel's Little Black Dresses from 1926

First, I'm not little and the thought of a little dress is frightening.  Not that the little black dress has to be little, but just for kicks, go out some day and try to find a black dress that isn't.  In fact, black dresses are either little or matronly and in most cases they are sleeveless and that I just can't do.  (Sleeveless is right up there with me owning a bikini.)

I do long for the perfect little black dress because it would just be so great to have that one dress that you knew you could always wear in numerous situations.  It's an item that really has nothing to do with fashion, but has everything to do with class.  In my opinion, the little black dress should be about class and not about fashion.  It should be timeless.  It should also serve many purposes - the business meeting, dinner and dancing, a first date, cocktail party, and yes a funeral.  Ms. Garcia, as usual, does an excellent job explaining how accessories can change the look and as usual, I couldn't agree more.

Now that I've written it all down, Mme Chanel was exactly right, "The little black dress is hard."

So, in light of the difficult task ahead,  I make this vow.  (I'm raising my right hand and placing it on the July issue of Vogue).  I solemnly swear that I will not give up my search for the perfect little black dress. I won't schedule a shopping day to purchase the little black dress but rather will keep my eyes open always for the perfect dress.  I will use Mme Chanel as a guide for my decision.

Number forty-eight - The Little Black Dress.  Thirty-five down, sixty-four to go.

Another Chanel little black dress from 1927.

Mme Chanel herself in what else, a little black dress.

Post-script - Nina Garcia refers to Chanel often in The One Hundred.  When referencing her in her writing about the little black dress, she addresses her as Mademoiselle.  This indicates to me that the little black dress is so important that the person credited with inventing it deserves the utmost respect.  I could not agree more.  Thank you Mme Chanel for EVERYTHING!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Number Eighty-five

The sunhat.  To begin with, I am a poster-child for skin cancer and yes, I own several sun hats.  But beyond that, I own several sun hats because like everything else, I'm obsessed with cute hats and I use my fair skin as an excuse to purchase them.  (I need to be more careful about divulging my secrets because some of this may get back to my husband and my gig may be up.)  Anyway...I do love a cute straw hat and like most everything else, you have to find the right one and WEAR IT!!

Here's a dirty little secret - I hate to primp and preen - hate it!  Therefore, on the weekend I do whatever I can to keep from spending 30 minutes of my precious time in front of a damn mirror fixing my hair and makeup.  Most people can wake up and their hair shows some sort of resemblance to their day to day hairstyle; I am not one of those people.  I wake up and have to find my hair and put it back on my head.  I don't know what I do when I sleep, but apparently may hair has a hell of party because it looks nothing like it normally does.  Herein lies the beauty of owning hats.  


Normally I would wear a baseball hat on the weekend or leave my hair au naturale (clean but curly and on my head).  Recently however, I have decided to wear one of my sun hats instead.  They are more chic, stylish and purposeful during these hot summer months.  On my first outing with one of my sun hats, I asked my friend Linda if she was embarrassed to be seen with me.  She kindly replied, "No!" and off we went shopping.  As usual, I saw the glances from the small town heros but went on about my business and felt good about my stylish choice for concealing my weekend hair.   Then, on the drive home, I saw one of the town's "crazy" ladies and guess what, she had on a sun hat very similar to mine.  I just had to laugh.  It didn't deter me from wearing my sunhat.  As a matter of fact, the following weekend, I ran into an administrator from the college who commented that she was jealous of my hat.

There are few things greater than wearing a nice straw sunhat with a large brim that shades the sun from my already very freckled face.  I own many and the only problem is deciding which one to wear.  Although, I am a little less excited about the hat that is similar to the town's crazy lady.  I'm kidding!  EVERYONE, even those a little less fortunate, should show some style.

Number eighty-five - the sunhat.  Thirty-four down - sixty-six to go.

Kim Catrtall in Sex and The City - The Movie.
Now THAT is a S U N H A T!
I love it!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Updates

Yes, I've been gone awhile.  Not that anyone noticed.  Okay, a few of you noticed.  Don't think I've stopped obsessing about The One Hundred, quite the contrary.  In fact, summer is making me obsess about these items more and more.  Summer either fortunately or unfortunately is busy; gardens, vacations, family, long days and cool evenings spent sitting outside talking and enjoying the air.  Excuses not withstanding, I thought before I return to my individual scrutiny, inquiry or exploration of each item, I would present an update on a few acquisitions I've made over the last few weeks.

iPod - I don't know what I was thinking, but I purchased a Mac computer because Apple had a special for educators and if you purchased a Mac, you received a "free" iPod touch.  As my brother-in-law Dale pointed out, I received nothing "free" that day.  Nonetheless, I have a new iPod touch and yes, I love it-more than my dinosaur classic iPod.

Man's White Shirt - Yes! Yes! Yes!  I found it and it is wonderful.  Just what I was looking for - nice fit, good collar, not too thin, not too thick, nice sleeve length - it's just perfect. I found it at Target so it was steal.  I have my eye on them so when they go on clearance, I'll get another just for safe keeping.  I crowning moment for me was when my daughter saw me wearing my white shirt and khaki pants (I'll get to those in a minute) and said, "Look at you.  You look so crisp and cute."

Khakis - Remember the two pairs I purchased, I've actually washed them and worn them and they still fit.  Wow!  The universe must be in complete and total alignment.  I'm not complaining.

Striped Sailor Shirt - I finally gave up on finding the Armor Lux version and broke down and purchased the shirt from L.L. Bean.  I went with the cream background and blue stripe thinking the horizontal stripe would be less obvious.  The shirt arrived and honestly, it was more like a sweater.  The shirt was actually a little large, but thanks to husband, it shrunk and fits great.  I love it so much, I went back and purchased the navy shirt with the white stripe and don't really care about the horizontal stripes.  I'm still hoping to find the Armor Lux version, but for now, the L.L. Bean version works just great.  As a side note, I was watching Coco Before Chanel and in the movie, she goes to the beach with her lover and sees french sailors pulling in their fishing nets.  Next scene, Gabrielle Chanel is wearing the iconic french sailor shirt.  Made me love the shirt even more.

Jewelry Pouch - I know, I know, I already own several but...I found this great red leather pouch at a used clothing store and I couldn't pass it up.

Old Concert T-Shirt - Still don't have one.  I look and look but again, I just don't think it's right to own one unless you actually attended the concert.  Perhaps that means a concert is in my future - hmmmm...

That pretty much sums up my recent purchases and yes, obsessions. Did I really need another jewelry pouch, a new iPod and 2 French Sailor shirts?  I've been fortunate in the last few weeks that I've had the opportunity to take a few trips and visit some unique places in search for some items in The One Hundred.  I still have a many items to acquire, or not and I'm thinking that when all of this is said and done, I'll have to take a second job, or not.  Stay tuned, there's still sixty-seven items left.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Number Seventy-five

Summer is almost officially here and with that comes sandals.  I have to laugh at Nina when she makes the statement, "Every woman must own at least 2 pairs of sandals, one for day and one for night."  Nina honey, I own a sandal for every day, every night, every outfit, and every activity.  Two pairs? I scoff that idea - 20 pairs is more like it.

In most of The One Hundred items, Ms. Garcia lists a 'closest obsession'.  In the sandal category she references Jack Rogers Navajo Sandals.  I had never heard of Jack Rogers or his Navajo sandals and as you know by now, I immediately did a Google search and found the sandals.  With that first Google search I also discovered that Jackie Kennedy wore Navajo sandals and thus my obsession began.  The sandals are pricey ($100 and up) so I began looking on eBay.  There are many pairs available on eBay but a used pair sells for just about the same price as a new pair.  So I decided on one of my recent trips to the big city I would just treat myself to a new pair.

You can only buy Jack Rogers sandals at upscale stores so with my sisters' blessing, we head out to Nordstroms.  No luck.  (Here's a secret, the salesman at Nordstroms had no idea what I was talking about.  Shame on him!!!)  On a second trip, to the big city, my sister Brenda had called Saks to see if they had the sandals and we were in luck.  Well...I thought we were in luck.

Have you ever thought about something so much and then when you finally get it, it is the biggest disappointment?  Well, the Jack Rogers Navajo sandals was that experience.  I don't know what it was, but they just were not "all that".  I saved myself $100 and was able to treat my sisters to a trip to the cosmetics counter.  Since then, I've purchased two different pairs of sandals to bring my grand total to...oh whose counting.  And, a little secret, I still look on eBay everyday for Jack Rogers just in case a great deal comes around.

Sandals are wonderful.  They just make your feet so pretty and sexy.  Nina says and I have to agree 150%, sandals must fit, and your feet MUST be pedicured - MUST, MUST, MUST.  But for the love of God, have more than 2 pairs.  Geez, you need at least 5 pairs of Havaiana flip-flops for one season.

Number seventy-five - sandals.  Thirty-three down - sixty-seven to go.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Number Thirteen

The brooch.  (Does it rhyme with roach or hooch?)  Nina sums it up, "The brooch is often associated with grandma."  But wait, is it?  Well, it was before I started reading this dang book.  Oh yeah, and the CBS Sunday Morning segment on Madeline Albright's pin collection.  (You MUST check this out.  http://photo.newsweek.com/content/photo/2009/9/photos-madeleine-albrights-pin-diplomacy-her-famous-jewelry.html)  I would give just about anything for the bee brooch.  Okay, I'm rambling because really, these two things really have given me an appreciation for brooches and not in a grandmother sort of way.

Actually, long before I read The One Hundred I had collected a brooch or two.  I found a beautiful yellow daisy in a thrift store that reminded me of a pin that my mother or one of my sisters had so I bought it.  Never wore it, but it was in my jewelry box.  In fact, just a few weeks ago, I gave that pin to my sister Charlene because it matched an outfit she had purchased beautifully.  In another shopping trip to a thrift store, I found a gorgeous black and white flower pin for a mere four dollars that can be worn with several outfits.  (ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS look in the jewelry cases at thrift stores!  There are gems - literally and figuratively - in them.)  I digress...

In The One Hundred there is an adorable drawing (the drawings in the book are absolutely charming) of a girl wearing a white t-shirt and a BIG brooch.  I've envied this drawing from the first time I opened the book.  Well today I set out to get a new haircut and I wanted to look my best in case my hairstyle failed horribly.  So...I put on my make-up, red lipstick, white t-shirt, and a whimsical, blue rhinestone, starfish brooch.  I felt so good I really didn't care how my hair turned out.  Guess what, I received two compliments on the brooch - a couple on the hair too, but the brooch is the moral of the story.

As Nina says, brooches are not just for grandma, winter coats and blazer lapels.  I concur.  They are fun, and can be worn with just about anything and again, as Nina says, can be worn in your hair, on a handbag, or and evening gown.

Like so many other things, you have to just do it.  Just pin that brooch of grandma's on and walk out the door.  Trust me, you'll get a compliment or two and you'll probably also help someone with a trip down memory lane.

Number thirteen - brooch.  Thirty-two down - sixty-eight to go.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Number Forty-four

On paper it seems so simple, but in reality, at least for me, khaki pants are the holy grail of fashion items. Pants of any kind are difficult for me but there's something especially difficult about khakis.  I dream about the perfect khakis.  I would estimate that I've tried on hundreds of pairs...since April; and bought only 3 pairs.  Am I happy with my purchases?  Well, two of the pairs I purchased were today so the jury's still out.  As an FYI, if I find a pair of pants that fits me, I buy them in every color.  I use this same philosophy when it comes to bras and jeans.

Here's a story about one pair of khakis I purchased a few months ago.  I had made the decision that instead of trying to buy a pair of pants on sale and then give them to Goodwill 6 months later because they didn't fit, I would buy a pair of full-price pants.  That's a big deal for me - seriously.  So, off I go.  I literally tried on 12 pairs of khakis.  I finally found a pair, purchased them, washed them,had them hemmed, had them hemmed a second time (I have no idea what that was about), washed them again, was so excited that I could finally wear them and guess what, they were too big.  Somewhere between the time I tried them on to the time I finally got to wear them I must have gained a pound or lost a pound and now the pants don't fit.  Story of my damn life.  Pants are either too big or too little and I ALWAYS have to have them hemmed.  I've even spent $40 to have waistbands altered because the crotch of the pants falls to my knees.   Now that I've written this, I'm thinking price doesn't have anything to do with the pants not fitting.  Anyway...

Needless to say, I have khakis - one pair is too big and the other two that I purchased today will probably go through some mystery makeover between now and the time that I actually wear them.   I guess I figure if I get to wear them once before the pants take on a life of their own and transform into a different size and length, then I've gotten my money's worth.   I do love them though and will always seek out the perfect pair - especially in summer with a nice white t-shirt and cute sandals.

Number Forty-four - khakis.  Thirty-one down, sixty-nine to go.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Number Seventy-eight

Silk scarves; beautiful silk screened scarves that one wears.  Nina sums it up so beautifully when she talks about the women of Paris wearing scarves in many different ways.  Not that I've ever been to Paris, but I get what she's trying to say.  I've always thought of scarves as being in or out of style.  Thus the reason why I have a drawer full of scarves that I break out every 10 years or so.  No more!  I shall start wearing the scarves and of course, purchasing more.

Here's the good thing about scarves.  They don't take up much room, they are beautiful, they have purpose, and they can be purchased at second hand stores for very little money.  Okay, the most beautiful silk scarf ever, the Hermes can't be purchased at a second hand store, but you get the message.  Just today I purchased two beautiful silk scarves for $4 at a thrift store.  One depicts adorable scenes of 1950'esq nightclubs and jazz clubs.  I don't know that I'll ever wear it, but dang it's cute.  The long and the short of it is I have tons of scarves just for the sake of having scarves.  I do not have the coveted Hermes scarf (VERY big price tag, but amazing history), but my husband has purchased beautiful scarves for me over the years from all over the world.  (It's kinda surprising now that I think about it.)

I think part of the reason why I don't wear them more often is people seem to stare when you wear a scarf - at least in my town.  Today for example, I had on a beautiful scarf and as I walked through Target I could feel the eyes on me.   I decided however that this will no longer prevent me from wearing scarves.  They are beautiful.  They can make an outfit and can make you feel oh so pretty.

Number seventy-eight - silk scarf.  Thirty down, seventy to go.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Obsession

I thought maybe writing about my obsession with The One Hundred might help stifle some of my shopping but as we all know, it's made it worse.  Not only am I obsessed with getting most of the items in The One Hundred, I'm starting to watch movies and see what items the actors have and how they have them put together.

Tonight, for example, as I was flipping through channels on the boob-tube, I saw Sex and the City (The Movie) was on.  I've only seen it 10 or 15 times and yet I was compelled, once again, to push the yellow button on the remote and join the ladies in a 2 hour fantasy about love, infidelity, friendship, letting go, forgiveness, fashion and New York City. As I was watched, I noticed several items in The One Hundred.  Items that I of course don't own, will never be able to afford and will never look good in. (At least not as good as they do.)  Nonetheless, in one scene, Carrie Bradshaw is watching a movie in her pajamas and pearls with a fur wrap.  The thought of wearing pearls, with your pajamas, and a fur wrap (yes fur) overcame me and I began to re-think not only my stand on fur but my stand on wearing pearls with pajamas.  I'm serious.  For a brief moment I almost got up and put my pearls on AND, I'm contemplating looking for a faux fur wrap that I could wear while watching old movies this winter.

Another movie that makes me long for fashion items is Giant.  Giant is in my list of top ten favorite movies.  I own it and if it's on, I stop everything and watch it - all 3 and half hours of it.  I love the movie as a whole, but I also love the fashion.  Each time I watch it I notice some item I must have; the turquoise bracelet that Lutz (the youngest daughter of Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor) wears in one scene is my most recent obsession.  I look for it in every jewelry counter I come by.

I think it's time to admit, that my obsession is a bit more than an obsession.

Nonetheless, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  Recreate a look from a corny chick flick, seek out items worn by long lost movie stars, obsess over books that tell you what you should own in order to be stylish and last, but not least, shop.  You never know, in my so called obsession, I just might find the perfect man's white shirt and just like Carrie Bradshaw, wearing my pearls with my p.j.'s might make me feel a little less lonely

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Number Eighty-two

I'm not sure what the true definition of a stiletto is, but for me, it's a shoe with a high, spike heel that I would usually classify as lingerie.  Why?  Because stiletto's are S E X Y!!!! Really, they should be sold in the lingerie department and Nina suggests in order to walk better in them, you need to, "Practice, Practice, Practice."  Think about it, if you wore them as lingerie, you wouldn't have to walk very far, or very long.  Enough dirty talk.

I have owned stiletto's in my life and they really do make you feel so tall and thin and classy and...SEXY!  And, you do have to practice walking in them.  I'm not sure I have a pair in my current shoe collection but I do plan on owning a pair or two again in my life.  I recently went on a shopping trip with my sister's and we made a stop in the Saks shoe department.  (By the way, I've only been in Saks maybe five times in my life and I used to work at the mall where it's located.  I'm not sure my sister's have been in Saks in the last 30 years.) I was in heaven.  They, on the other hand, were both shocked and I dare say on some level disgusted by the inventory of $500 Manolo Blahnik's or Chanel flip-flops.  (Yes, Chanel, rubber flip-flops for $500. Even I was a bit disgusted by that.) The look on their faces as they flipped over the signature red soles of Christian Louboutin stiletto's starting at $800 was priceless.  (One of my sister's said, "Really?  You need to be an acrobat to walk in those things.")  Mind you, at the same time my sister was saying this, a customer walked up and asked the adorable and very un-pretentious sales girl, "Do you any any new Louboutin's?"  As if she already owned everything that was on display.  My sister and I looked at each other and just smiled.

I must admit, I wanted very badly to buy a pair of Manolo Blahnik's and I know that someday I will.  I know, I know, I live in Farmington, New Mexico and it's ridiculous to spend $500 on a pair of shoes, but just think how fabulous they'll look with my lingerie, suit.

Number Eighty-two - stilettos.  Twenty-nine down, seventy-one to go.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Number Twenty-two

Converse.  Can you believe it?  Converse shoes are part of The One Hundred.  I couldn't quite believe it myself when I read it.  I have many, many memories of Converse All-Stars.  Let's go way back to my youth when I was in 7th grade at Emerson.  Emerson grade school was a school that was/is in inner city Phoenix.  All of my siblings attended this school as did my Mom.  When I went to school there, it was the stereotypical inner city school; different ethnicity's, kids from broken homes, poor kids that lived in south phoenix and kids with juvenile records who longed to become members of the 9th Street Locos gang.  Part of the look of the gang members were Dickie's chinos, white t-shirts, and Converse All-Stars.

I had no desire to be a part of the gang, but I had a desire to fit in and that meant looking like everyone else.  I wanted a pair of Converse so bad that I remember going to sporting goods section at K-Mart (yes, they were sold at K-Mart then), and would just stand there holding them.  My mom refused to buy them for me and I never seemed to save enough money.  My only hope was the knock-off pair at some now long forgotten shoe store in the mall.  Instead of having the customary Converse logo on the heal, it had the name of the fake shoe instead.  But, I had an idea.  I could peal the fake name off the back and no one would be the wiser.  WRONG.  I wore my fake Converse to school and immediately someone said, "Oh my God, Michelle bought fake Converse and tried to fake us by taking off the fake label."  In typical 7th grader fashion, I thought my life was over, ran to the bathroom and cried vowing to never return to school again.  By lunch, everyone knew, and by the time the school day ended, everyone  had moved on to something else.  (Probably someone getting the paddle by Mrs. Williams.  Yes, students got paddled in those days.)

Ever since that experience, I haven't had a great desire to wear or own Converse.  The One Hundred resurrected my love for them.  I know, Converse has made a resurrection over the past several years and everyone and their dog owns a pair.  So, in my obsession with The One Hundred, I set out to purchase my first real pair of Converse All-Stars.  I couldn't decide between white or navy and after some consultation from my co-worker Jennifer, I decided on navy. (Sorry but those silly neon colors are just wrong.)  Because the sizing is different (remember, you're buying men's shoes), I couldn't decided between the larger size 5 or the smaller size 4.  I went with the 4 and decided to not wear socks.  Woo!  Did my feet hurt and sweat AND smell!  But boy did I feel cute.  Yes, cute.  Not chic or sexy, but C U T E.  Smelly feet and all.

I finally have an authentic pair of Converse All-Stars.  I do love them and yes, I'm happy they are the real deal.  Before I close this chapter though, I have to give a shout out to my brother-in-law Dale Davis who has been wearing black Converse All-Stars for...well, for as long as I've known him and that's pretty much my whole life.  All I can say is, "If the shoe fits."

Number Twenty-two - Converse.  Twenty-eight down, seventy-two to go.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Number Eighty

I've tried to refrain from divulging too much information about my undergarments and lingerie but I must express my frustration (I say that hesitantly) fantasy and humor about Number Eighty - Spanx.  Let's start with fantasy. What could make a woman more excited than a romantic evening with their significant other, a Hermes handbag, or a trip to Paris?  I'll tell you.  The fantasy that you could eat what you wanted and then put on a pair of underwear that hides all of your overindulgence's.  I believed in that fantasy like young children believe in Santa Claus.  I believed in it so much I actually went out and paid $54 for a pair of Spanx.  (Okay, they are "knock-off" Spanx, but the principle is the same.)  Here's where the fantasy goes to hell in a hand basket and the frustration sets in...Spanx (or their look alike) roll down when you sit down and all your dirty little secrets roll out (pun intended) and there you have the humor.  What else can you do but laugh?

I'm fairly certain that Spanx do work but you basically need a full body version.  (I actually think they make something that falls into that category.)  I'm pretty sure that putting that on would conjure up the memories and gyrations of laying down on the bed to fit into a pair of 29" 501 Levi's (don't act like you've never done that).  Those days are over for me.

Okay, I own and wear shape wear - when it's appropriate.  While I have not had luck with Spanx specifically, I won't give up on finding the perfect "foundational" undergarments that can help a body with a few imperfections and perfections (some people actually like a little butter on their toast).  If it's good enough for likes of Gwenyth Paltrow and Oprah and can be recommended by Nina, then I think I should find the right pair of Spanx for me.

Number Eighty - Spanx. Twenty-seven down, seventy-three to go.

P.S. - If you want to see something really funny about Spanx and Esther watch Wanda Sykes' latest stand-up on HBO.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Number Fifty-three - Amendment

I was driving along today and completely forgot why I chose to write about the man's white shirt.  I guess I was caught up in the whole, "What was I just doing?" idea.  Nonetheless, I was inspired to write about the man's white shirt because of a visit from some friends from Texas.  Their mother is the quintessential southern lady.  She is from Texas and in her early eighties.  I've only met her a few times, but it seems like on every occasion she is wearing a nice white shirt (I have no idea if it's a man's shirt but it looks like it is.) with her collar turned up and the sleeves rolled just a couple of turns.  She oozes class and I envy her every time I see her.

While I love the whole, "Why do I have a man's shirt on?" notion, I love more the idea of being simply classy. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Number Fifty-three

The man's white shirt.  Nothing, absolutely nothing is sexier to me than a man in a crisp white shirt (button down collar is most preferable).  A woman in a crisp white shirt is just about as sexy.  Ms. Garcia says this really needs to be a man's shirt or a really good version of a man's shirt made for women.  I think she makes an excellent point; however, I've never been lucky enough to find either.  If I wear a man's white shirt, it looks like I'm wearing a man's shirt.  There is nothing sexy or chic about it.  If I have a woman's white shirt, it looks like a woman's shirt.  But...I'm always on the search for a great white shirt.

Like the plain white t-shirt, I own several white shirts - they just aren't a man's white shirt.  I get the idea Nina is stressing.  She notes, "It quietly whispers morning after dressing which may or may not be the case."  I get that.  I get how great it is to look like you couldn't figure out what to wear so you grabbed your significant others classic shirt.  The problem for me personally is that when I do wear my husbands shirt, I give off the vibe of a slob rather than the uber chic, "I'm so cool." vibe.

Like other items in The One Hundred, I'm going to try and seek out the perfect man's white shirt because I think I can find the perfect shirt and have that, "What was I just doing?" or "I'm so chic I can wear a man's shirt." look.

Regardless of the look or ambiance you're trying to project, try and find a great white shirt and just as Nina says, try and stay to look of a man's shirt.  It's great with jeans, khakis, shorts, a denim skirt or with an evening gown.  (Nina reminded me of Sharon Stone at the Academy Awards with her husbands white shirt and a gown.)

Number Fifty-three - the Man's White Shirt.  Twenty-six down, seventy-four to go.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Number Twenty-five

Let me just say, that I've been obsessing over The One Hundred for the last two months and today it finally occurred to me that the majority of items are accessories rather than articles of clothing.  I don't know why it's taken me this long to figure this out and I don't know why I'm so surprised. The right accessories can make just about anything look new, trendy, or classic.

So, number twenty-five, the cuff [bracelet].  I must admit that at first I didn't get the need for the cuff.  Especially the $12,500 Verdura cuff Nina obsesses over.


Verdura Cuff

But, after looking through my jewelry box, I came upon a beautiful silver cuff bracelet that I had completely forgotten about.  Then I remembered why I purchased that cuff bracelet.  A girl I once worked with wore a wide, silver, monogrammed cuff everyday and I coveted it from a far.  Why I've never worn it is beyond me.  I think it's because it's bold and I always feel intimated by bold jewelry.  Nonetheless, I do own the cuff bracelet and since I've re-discovered it, I've actually worn it a time or two.  Perhaps I'll get it monogrammed and never take it off.

I don't really love Verdura which is a relief because I'll never be in a position to pay $12,000 for a piece of jewelry.  Okay, you caught me. I'm looking at fakes just to say I have one.  After all, Coco Chanel herself invented and wore costume jewelry; and was the inspiration for the Verdura cuff.

Number Twenty-five - The Cuff.  Twenty-five down, seventy-five to go.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Number Eighty-three

The striped sailor shirt, oui, oui!  You know the ones, the blue and white striped shirt with the bateau neckline.  I love them.  I've owned several.  Funny thing is, I don't think I've ever actually worn the one's I've purchased.  You see, the striped sailor shirt has horizontal stripes and no matter how hard I try to wear one, it seems I can never work up the nerve.  Oh, one more reason why I seem to never wear it - they shrink. But sweet Nina has given me HOPE!

Nina says, "The striped sailor shirt embodies French Chic, and completely disarms the old myth that horizontal stripes are not flattering."  (These shirts are part of the French Navy uniform.) With that one statement, I've decided to pursue the perfect striped sailor shirt.  I've researched all of Nina's suggested suppliers - Petit Bateau, LL Bean, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Armor Lux.  (Nina also suggests the Army/Navy store and it is on my list of things to do.)  I've yet to find the perfect striped sailor shirt, but fear not...I'm confident I will.  I have even gone so far as to have one store (the only store I could find online that sells the Armor Lux brand) call me when their summer supply is delivered.


I really do love these shirts and can't wait to own and actually wear one. (Nina says it's about confidence.  Thanks for the reminder!)  I fantasize about wearing white pants, the striped sailor shirt, and navy blue ballet flats this summer.  I'll let you know if my dream comes true.  (God I'm shallow!)


Number eighty-three - the striped sailor shirt. Twenty-four down (almost) and seventy-six to go.


Picasso in the striped sailor shirt

French actress Jean Seberg  - ooo la la!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Number Fifty

Ooooo...The LL Bean Tote Bag.  It's every preppy's dream tote bag.  I always, always, always wanted one and a few years ago I gave each of my girlfriends one for Christmas.  I didn't buy one for myself at the time, but I was so envious of my friends' gifts that I broke down around mid-January and purchased my own.   I only own one, but I think I'll purchase another.  (Who am I kidding, I'll be purchasing one as soon as I'm done writing this.)  It's summer and you can never have too many LL Bean totes.

Here are my rules for buying a tote. First, it must be from LL Bean and MUST be monogrammed.  If you have one that isn't monogrammed, it's worthless.  Second, you need to use it as a tote, not a handbag.  Even the smaller sizes are just too casual to be classified as a handbag.  Order the medium size or larger.  Third, pick a neutral color like navy, green or red for your first bag.  If you want a more exotic color, buy a second bag.  And last, but not least, please do not purchase the patterned totes.  I don't know why LL Bean chooses to make these, but they are not original and they are U-G-L-Y.

Nothing feels better than carrying my tote to music festivals full of books, warm clothes, and food.  It's the first thing I pack on a road trip because it holds all the things I can't travel without.  I also fold it up and pack it when I fly just in case I get a chance to go to the pool or a beach.  I absolutely love it and am so glad the tote is part of The One Hundred.

Number Fifty - The LL Bean Tote. Twenty-three down - seventy-seven to go.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Number Nine

The Blackberry...the original "smart phone" that revolutionized phones.  (In my opinion, previous phones were dumb - I'm serious.)  I'm going to take some liberties here and say that any "smart phone" would do.  (The One Hundred was published in 2008 and I would venture to guess that Ms. Garcia has a iPhone instead of a Blackberry these days.)

I agree completely that every stylish woman should have some sort of smart phone.  I have a T-Mobile Dash that is almost 2 years old and is considered a dinosaur.  Nonetheless, I can not live without it.  I literally get jittery if it's not in my sight.  I never go to bed without checking my phone and the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is check my phone.

Other things I do with my phone is exactly what Nina says - I check eBay and I get notices about items (yes, The One Hundred items) I'm bidding on or watching.  I also keep in contact with family and friends AND I get a great deal of work done which actually leaves me more time to...shop.

In all seriousness, there are several items I will replace the second it no longer works and a smart phone is one of those items.  I love it and it makes my life easier.  Change your contract and embrace Number Nine - the Blackberry (or any smart phone). Twenty-two down - seventy-eight to go.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Number Eighty-six

My sister Charlene says to me, "I have a present for you in my car and I'm sure it's in The One Hundred."  Of course, I couldn't wait to see what she had.  I patiently ate my lunch and dessert and visited with my sisters all the while trying to contain my excitement over the pending gift.  Really, who doesn't like getting a gift.  Finally, we head out to the car and she pulls out number eighty-six, THE most beautiful trench coat - PINK trench coat.  I squealed like a little girl, "OH MY GOD, IT IS IN THE ONE HUNDRED AND IT'S PINK AND I DID NOT HAVE A TRENCH COAT!!!"

As you already know, I have several winter coats and I have a rain coat that closely resembles something the quintessential dirty old man would wear rather than a stylish woman but a proper, stylish, classic trench coat is not something that is in my repertoire.  The trench coat is something I planned to purchase in my obsession with The One Hundred and had I found the coat my sister gave me, I would have purchased it for myself in a nano-second. However, getting it as a gift makes a 100 times more special.

Nina points out that what a girl wears under the trench is not that important and I couldn't agree more although my plans for wearing the coat is really more utilitarian than well...well, that's for me to know and you NOT to find out.

Number eighty-six - The Trench Coat. Twenty-one down, seventy-nine to go.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Number Ninety-nine

Yoga gear.  Yes, I own yoga gear - cute yoga gear.  Here's the problem though, I don't do yoga.  I wear it to lounge around the house.  Thus the reason why I haven't posted for the last 2 days; I've been down with a killer back ache. If only I had actually gone to a yoga class, I probably wouldn't have hurt my back. But damn I look stylish lounging around the house with a bad back in my yoga gear.

I get why Nina says yoga gear is a necessary item for a stylish woman.  It is cute, comfortable, and you can actually make people think you do yoga when you wear it.  (My words, not Nina's.)  In all seriousness though, I like that I have nice yoga pants and tops.  It's so much better than sweat pants and a t-shirt.  Yoga wear is stylish, has a nice fit, and gives you a more put together look.

I do wish I actually wore my yoga clothes to class and perhaps someday I will - God knows I would actually look more stylish in the other One Hundred clothing items if I did but I don't.  Oh well and least I look cute lounging and shopping.

Number ninety-nine - yoga gear. Twenty down - eighty to go.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Number Sixty

There are a few shockers in The One Hundred and the Old Concert T-Shirt is most definitely one of them.  I think what shocked me is that is seems so...low-rent or Wal-Mart "ish".  In my neck of the woods, I see many old concert t-shirts and to me, they are stretched out, stained, and to be quite frank, tacky.

I do not own an old concert t-shirt.  I have owned concert t-shirts, and yes, there are couple I wish I still had just for the sake of prosperity but as a fashion item, I'm still on the fence.  Nina makes a great point that if you own a concert t-shirt, you should at the very least have the songs of the group or person on your iPod.  She also goes on to say that the best shirts are the ones you actually purchased at a concert.  Therein lies my dilemma.

I could scour vintage shops and thrift stores, but for some reason, I just can't get over buying a concert t-shirt when I wasn't actually there.  I would love to own a Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band concert t-shirt, but I want to actually go to the concert and buy the shirt.  I guess I could pull out my old ticket stubs and then look for a t-shirt from a concert I actually attended but now that I think about it, some of the concerts I attended shouldn't really fall in the concert category (i.e. Dan Fogelberg in Sun City, AZ - quit laughing, it was a great concert).

I'll think on the concert t-shirt item.  If I find one from a concert I attended, I'm all over it; but to buy one just to have one, I can't do.

Number sixty - The Old Concert T-shirt. Nineteen down - eighty-one to go.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Number Thirty-four

Fur.

Seriously Nina - in this day and age? 

I don't care if it's fake or real.

I think it's wrong and quite honestly, I don't get it.  Do you?  I didn't think so.


Number thirty-four - Fur. Eighteen down - eighty-two to go.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Number Eighty-seven

The turquoise and coral necklace.  I have lived in the southwest my entire life and have seen artists use turquoise and coral in just about every way possible.  Seriously, I've seen NFL logos made out of turquoise.  I've also been blessed to see the creations of local artists who travel from office to office with trays of  turquoise jewelry that has been crafted in their homes.  While it has only been in the last two or three years that I've actually owned a turquoise or coral necklace, I have a great appreciation for it as a fashion item.

My husband is partially responsible for my recent desire to own turquoise.  He has over the past 20 years traveled all over the world with the mining industry.  He has seen first hand how destructive the semi-precious stone industry is (especially the diamond industry) and has also reported that, "Turquoise is more rare than diamonds."  In addition, he has purchased several beautiful turquoise pieces for me and encourages me to buy pieces myself. (What woman wouldn't love that as an excuse to buy jewelry?)  He loves it and I have learned to love wearing it.

My most recent purchase was a bamboo coral necklace in the most stunning red I've ever seen.  A young man came by my office one morning with a large tray of handcrafted jewelry.  I saw the necklace and dipped right into the mad money; it was a whole $35 and included matching earrings. While the necklace is stunning, it will never compare to the turquoise and coral jewelry I see in my community.  Furthermore, when it comes to stylish women wearing turquoise and coral, any elder Native American woman wins, hands down.  Their velvet skirts and blouses adorned with turquoise, silver and coral necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, and brooches is simply beautiful.

I love my new found appreciation for bold jewelry - especially turquoise and coral.  I've realized it goes with everything from a nice dress to khakis and a t-shirt.  I also love that I get to purchase it from real artists in my community.

Number eighty-seven - The Turquoise or Coral Necklace.  You most definitely need to find the one for you.  Seventeen down - eighty-three to go.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Number Four

Aviators (i.e. pilot sunglasses).  Here's a confession, I am a sunglasses snob - that's Snob with a capital "S".  I've been wearing Ray-Ban and only Ray-Ban sunglasses since I could afford them.  (I'll define afford at a later date.)  I have not however, ever owned a pair of Ray-Ban Aviators (yes I know that other companies make Aviators, but that's not relevant).  I've really always wanted a pair, but they just never seemed to fit me - literally and figuratively.  By now, you know where this is going - me straight to the mall to find the perfect pair of Aviators.

Ray-Ban is the company that created the Aviator sunglasses for pilots in the Air Force.  In keeping with my purist ideals of brands of sunglasses one should own, I began seeking the perfect Ray-Ban Aviators.  I tried on ten different pairs, even switched over and tried on a pair of Ralph Lauren Aviators (what was I thinking?) and I still wasn't satisfied with the look or the feel.  Then, way in the back of the Ray-Ban tray, I saw a pair that somehow looked different.  The very young and very trendy salesgirl gave me a somewhat coy smile and gave me the glasses.  She said, "These are a little bit smaller than the original Aviators and they are polarized."  I was in heaven.

Polarized sunglasses are the equivalent of Valium - once you own a pair of polarized sunglasses, you'll never want to own plain old sunglasses.  So, once I overcame the cost of the perfect, polarized Ray-Ban, Aviators, I walked out of the mall a very happy woman.

Nina gives many examples of those who have made the Aviators famous and I say S-E-X-Y - Kate Hudson in Almost Famous, Tom Cruise AND Kelly McGillis in Top Gun.  That's exactly how Aviators make you feel - like a movie star. 

You do have to find the perfect pair and in my opinion, they must be Ray-Ban's. If you don't ever want to know the benefits or differences of polarized, don't ever even try a pair on.  One last thing, don't look at the price tag, just buy them.  (Reference Number Fifty-two - Mad Money) The Aviators are true classics.  I wear them everyday, know they will never be out of style, and know the quality is excellent.  Good choice Nina!

Number Four - Aviators.  Sixteen down - eighty-four to go.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Number Seventy-four

The safari jacket is one of the items in The One Hundred where I thought, "Whatever, not really necessary."  I spoke too soon.  Thanks to my student worker Vanessa, I had to re-think the safari jacket.  Vanessa is an absolute doll - both inside and out.  She had decided to give herself a make-over this winter and completely changed her hairstyle, started wearing contacts, and bought herself some new clothes.  When she came in for her "reveal"  she was wearing this great khaki jacket.  At first, I thought, "Wow, that's a cute jacket."  Then I thought, "That's a REALLY cute SAFARI jacket."  Of course, I became obsessed.

I asked her where she purchased the jacket and she said, "Ross, about a month ago."  "Damn." I thought - too late.  Cute items at places like Ross and TJ Maxx don't stay around long so I knew my chances were slim to none of ever owning that jacket.  I didn't give it much thought, because while I thought the jacket was super cute, it wasn't one of those things I just had to have.  Wrong again.  She keeps wearing it and every time, I become filled with envy. 

One day while I was shopping (by the way, according to Oprah I shop more than the average married couple has sex) I found Vanessa's safari jacket at Ross.  I couldn't believe it.  It's not exactly the same as the one she has (her jacket as epaulets and mine does not - damn it again!) but I love it!  I can't wait to wear it with a skirt, capri's or jeans.

Nina references Yves Saint Laurent as the designer who put the safari jacket on the map.  Apparently there is a photograph of the model Verushka wearing the jacket with a mini-skirt and hip-slung belt that was all the rage.  I can't find that particular photo, but here's a photo of what is called the saharienne along with a young Yves Saint Laurent. (Nina says call a safari jacket a saharienne if you want to be a fashion snob.)










Again I am pleasantly surprised by the suggestions of Nina Garcia and her One Hundred.  She is right about so many things and I'm so glad to add some of these items to my wardrobe.

Number seventy-four - The Safari Jacket. Fifteen down - eighty-five to go.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Number Sixteen

It's May 1st and today was my lucky day because I was able to wear my Camel Coat. (Can you sense the sarcasm?) Actually, I chose to wear my red wool coat instead of my camel coat because my camel coat is full length and that just seemed...well it just pissed me off to have to wear any winter coat on May 1st so I opted for my short wool coat.

Now that I'm done complaining and ranting, the Camel Coat really is a very necessary item for any stylish woman.  I do own one and I love it.  It's not real camel hair because I'm not a millionaire, but it is made of 100% wool and I bought it at Target for $11.98 three years ago - no joke.

You wouldn't really think that something like a Camel Coat could make you feel stylish, but it does.  As Ms. Garcia points out, you can wear it with jeans and feel dressed up.  But the real reason why I love it, it doesn't show dog hair as bad as a black coat - I'm serious. I would love to own a real camel hair coat and I'll keep my eye out for one - perhaps at a vintage store or end of the season sale but for now, my $11.98 Target coat works just fine for the sake of style.

The Camel Coat is one of several things in The One Hundred that is just so basic and simple.  Most people need a nice, warm coat for the winter so why not have the Camel Coat.  It fills a need while being stylish and affordable. Being stylish isn't always about buying something expensive.

Don't feel bad because my Camel Coat was shunned today; in the winter (May is NOT winter), I wear it often and feel fabulous.  Number sixteen - The Camel Coat. Fourteen down, eighty-six to go.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Number Forty-three

I am very fortunate in that I work with women who are BOLD with their jewelry.  I'm slowly coming into the idea of wearing earrings that actually hang down or a necklace other than pearls.  Today I needed to borrow some of their boldest pieces for a costume.  They were so excited to share and I was so excited to play dress-up, but I was appalled when they broke out their beautiful jewelry in ziploc bags.

Jewelry pouches ladies, where are your jewelry pouches?  They both said they had them, but this was their "junk" or costume jewelry purchased from second-hand stores, or the dollar store.  Costume jewelry ladies - invented by the one and only Coco Chanel - NEVER be embarrassed to have lots and lots of costume jewelry but please, for the love of God, put it in a proper jewelry pouch.

Nina makes a great point that even Crown Royale bags serve as great jewelry pouches.  They are certainly better than ziploc bags. (By the way, I've chastised my daughters for using ziploc bags as jewelry pouches.)

Here's the deal, any jewelry you have should be treated with respect.  Those one dollar earrings may be the perfect thing that cheers you up and if they break, not only are you sad, but you can't replace them.  When you travel, keep your favorite jewelry items in a more appropriate bag.  A little hint, the dollar store sells jewelry pouches too so next time you're looking for those great chandelier earrings, look for a little pouch to keep them in.  You won't be sorry.

Number forty-three - jewelry pouches.  Thirteen down, eighty-seven to go.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Number Seventy

The push-up bra.  I don't own one because I don't need one. But...that doesn't mean I don't have a funny story about one.  There was time when Victoria's Secret only catered to women who wore bras sized 32A - 36C.  It was before plastic surgery and most women had to "settle" with what they were born with.  One answer to this was The Miracle Bra.  It is to this day the ultimate push-up bra.

I very badly wanted to wear those pretty lacy bras sold at Victoria's Secret and would often stop in one hoping they would eventually realize some women wore bigger size bras than a 34B.  On one of my many excursions to Victoria's Secret, The Miracle Bra had become one of their new lines.  The sales lady asked if I needed help and I asked if she had any bras in my size.  She responded with, "Yes, we have The Miracle Bra."  My reply, "These are pretty miraculous all on their own."

Number seventy - the push up bra.  Twelve down, eighty-eight to go.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Number Sixty-seven

I could write a book about number sixty-seven, the plain white t-shirt.  It is my most favorite thing to wear and to buy.  I never have less than 5 in my closet.  Short sleeve, long sleeve, crew neck, v-neck, bateau neck; if there's a style of white t-shirt, I own it.  If I find them on sale, I buy two or three.  I simply love them and if I was to put The One Hundred in order by most important, the plain white t-shirt would be numero uno!

Why?  It goes with everything.  White brightens a person's face.  It can dress something up or down.  It looks great under a blazer, sweater, or sweatshirt.  It is easy to accessorize with pearls, turquoise, silver, gold, beads, a brooch, a scarf - the list goes on and on. It is simply, the perfect article of clothing.

My love (not obsession) with the plain white t-shirt began around 1987 when Ann Taylor ran an add with a woman in jeans, navy blazer and a plain white t-shirt.  I carried that picture around with me for years trying to re-create the look.  It took me a while to find all of those pieces and the perfect white t-shirt.  The first plain white T I owned was a Champion brand that I bought in the men's department at Dillards.  It was just the right thickness, 100% cotton and had a pocket.  I loved that shirt and vowed to never be without another one.  When they went on sale, I bought all they had in my size.

The key to the perfect plain white T is finding one that isn't too thick or thin; too tight or too loose; has just the right crew neck that doesn't come up too high or hang too low; and is in good shape.  Ahh ha! up until now, you were thinking, "I own plain white T's, what's the big deal?"  You probably do, but is it a good plain white t-shirt?  The style and fit is important, but what's really, really, really important is the condition of the shirt.  It should be WHITE - not almost white - but WHITE!  (Bleach is your friend.)  It should not be stretched out.  If it is, get rid of it and buy a new one.

The other great thing about the plain white T is it is affordable and can be purchased at just about any store.  Nina's favorites are Hanes.  I've tried them and they are too thin, the crew neck is too masculine, and they just don't fit my shape well.  If they work for you, then by all means, buy them.  Target has wonderful plain white T's and I think they are $8.99 and often on sale.  Places like Eddie Bauer and Talbots are also great sources.  Chico's has a nice T with a longer sleeve if you're worried about your arms.  Basically, the plain white t-shirt is everywhere and everyone should own at least 2 or 3 or 6 or 7.  (No one really knows how many I own and I'll never tell.)

My most favorite item of The One Hundred - The Plain White T-Shirt. Eleven down, eight-nine to go.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Number Fifty-two

Money Money Money!  Not your paycheck, or your tips, or the change in the car money but rather Mad Money.  It has only been in the last year that I have practiced having mad money.  I realize there could be a huge argument about hiding money from husband, but there have been huge arguments about me hiding purchases from my husband.  This way, I have some money put aside and when I see something I just can't live without, I can buy it with no impact on the family budget and everyone is happy.

A woman should also have a secret stash of cash hidden somewhere - preferably in her wallet, but perhaps in her lingerie drawer for an emergency.  What's an emergency?  Well, it could be, "I'm so damn mad at him that I'm going to stay the night in a hotel and make him worry."  (don't laugh, it's happened)  It could also be, "I NEED that necklace."  Granted, no one NEEDS the necklace, but because of the mad money, you can have it.  The list of uses for Mad Money could go on and on.

While the rules for using your Mad Money are very loose, the rule for replacing your Mad Money is carved in stone.  You must replace the money as soon as possible after you use it.  That's Nina's rule and I agree with her 150%.

My rule - You must also use it when you find the perfect thing you've always dreamed of having.  Remember the signet ring?   All thanks to Mad Money.  Ten down - ninety to go.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Number Seventy-two

Red lipstick.  Ooo La La.  I have always wanted to wear red lipstick but remember, I'm a redhead and wearing red lipstick as a redhead is tough.  One of the reasons I fell in love with The One Hundred was because of Nina's advice about red lipstick; everyone can wear it, you just have to find the right shade.  Finding the right shade is difficult for everyone and as she points out, it can takes hours at the cosmetics counter.  All I can is I was up for the challenge...at Sephora.

Sephora is a store that has almost every cosmetics, perfume, skin care, and hair care line known to man-kind (just in case you lived in a cave and didn't know what Sephora is).  Basically, it's an oasis for girly girls.  They also enlist an idea called customer service.  I know, some of you may have heard of and perhaps even experienced this concept years ago, but in my experience, Sephora is a store that actually still practices customer service.  Anyway...you walk in the door and someone greets you, you tell them what you're looking for, they talk into their sleeves (just like the secret service) and before you know it, a makeup artist appears ready to make your cosmetic dreams come true.  I tell the artist (and I do not use that term lightly or in jest), "I'm looking for the perfect red lipstick."  "Right this way." she says as if I've just asked her to use the ladies room.

I couldn't believe it.  Within 5 minutes we had found the perfect red lipstick for ME!  Putting it on properly is another story.  I had been forewarned about the red lipstick application process from Ms. Garcia, but wow, I was still shocked at the process.   I'm thinking colleges around the country should offer this as a community learning class.  I finally get the lipstick application down and then look into the mirror.  Wow!  Talk about needing confidence.  I'm think I would feel more comfortable in that bikini I have so vehemently swore never to own or wear.

My first impression was, "I need more eye makeup."  The artist gives me a definite, "NO!"  "You need to keep all of your other makeup simple."  (Same advice Nina gives.)  Okay, maybe I need a rainbow Afro wig, a squirting flower, and some big floppy shoes.  The artist again says, "NO!"  I guess I feel like everyone is thinking, "Here comes Michelle's lips."  The artist then tells me, "What you need to do is wear it!"  In other words, be confident about it.  So...$125 later (no, it wasn't just lipstick) I leave Sephora with red lipstick on and in the bag. 

I feel, unsettled about the whole lipstick thing.  I've always wanted this, but in truth, I'm not a big makeup nut. I wear makeup but lipstick is something I've never been good at.  Well, I decided to take the artists advice because she is after all, an artist and wear the lipstick.  Granted, I have to get up an extra hour to put it on, but by God, I'm wearing it.  Guess what, I get compliment, after compliment and that of course, makes me more confident about my big red lips.  As a matter of fact, the other day, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, "Good Lord Michelle, get some lipstick on."

So, after all these years, I finally not only have the red lipstick, I know how to put it on, and I have the confidence to wear it.  Who knew.

Number seventy-two - red lipstick.  Nine down, ninety-one to go.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Number Sixty-eight

"Oh I just got to have me one a them there polo shirts (number sixty-eight)!" shouts the college co-ed from Texas on spring break with a very loud, obnoxious, and thick Texas accent.  I remember rolling my eyes in disgust and thinking, "No one should get this excited over a damn polo shirt at an outlet store."  It was enough to make me never want to own another.  The problem was, I worked for Ralph Lauren and I love polo shirts. I've been wearing them since high school.  Back then (early '80's) a polo shirt was a Lacoste (or Izod as it was know then) with the alligator.  I still have a stack of alligators that I kept from old Lacoste shirts.  And as a side note, I attended a toga party in college and pinned one of the alligators to the toga just because I was/am that preppy.

Nina and I disagree about the level of preppiness one should show when it comes to the polo.  I believe deep in my soul that a polo shirt is 100% preppy and should always be worn with that in mind.  Nina believes it should be fashioned up.  Nope, no way, no how.  It's a polo shirt and it's preppy to the nth degree.

Getting back to Izod/Lacoste just for the sake of a brief  bit of trivia.  The Lacoste was first worn by female tennis players.  The alligator is said to be the first example of a logo sewn on a garment.  And Izod is no longer part of Lacoste.  If you want the alligator, you have to go a Lacoste store.  Don't be fooled by the Izod label today - it is most definitely not the same.  One more bit of trivia, the polo player on a Ralph Lauren shirt has 900 stitches. 

The Lacoste is THE original and buying one these days is not cheap.  An average of $79 for a shirt is a bit pricey.  A few years ago while shopping with my sisters, I bought a Lacoste.  It was the first time I had owned one in over 20 years.  I felt so guilty about spending $80 plus dollars on a "t-shirt", I almost returned it.  I'm so glad I didn't.  I love it!  It's pink (of course), it's soft, and it just makes me feel good.  I also own polo shirts from Ralph Lauren, Target and Talbots.  They go with everything and serve as a dressier version of a plain t-shirt.

I'm so glad I didn't let the Texas co-ed influence me.  I am glad however to have witnessed her "excitement"; cause if you're ever feeling a little low, just call me and I'll do a dead-on imitation of her that is guaranteed to make you laugh.


Number sixty-eight - polo shirt. Eight down, ninety-two to go.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Number Forty-seven

Lingerie.

Do I own it?  Yes.

Do I love it?  Yes.

What does it look like?  None of your business.

Is it necessary?  Yes.

Wear it for yourself.  Wear it for someone else.  But wear it.

Enough said. Seven down, ninety-three to go.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Number Sixty-six

The scent of woman - subtle and powerful with a hint of melancholy.  Perfume.  As Nina points out, some women choose to have a scent for every season or several different colognes to choose from because they can't pick just one.  She also points out that some women have one perfume they've been wearing since they were teenagers - a signature scent.

When I was a teenager, I wore Lauren, by Ralph Lauren.  I loved it and boy did I wear it!  I remember working in an attorney's office and he had to call me in one day to say the reason the paralegal had been out sick for two days was because of my perfume.  Bad...very bad.  I learned a lesson and toned down my perfume. I continued to wear Lauren until my mid-twenties but deep in my heart, I longed to wear something else.

When I was in junior high, my sister Charlene would have her husband and I shop together for her Christmas gifts.  I remember she always asked for Aromatics perfume by Clinique and Claire Burke Original scent for her home. To this day, those two scents are so very distinct to me and can arouse many memories. I can remember thinking, "When I grow up, I'm going to wear Aromatics and have Claire Burke potpourri in my house.

My dream finally came true.  I was 23, working at Dillards and lucked out by becoming friends and later roommates with Charlie, the Clinique counter manager.  I told her the story about my sister and how I wish I could afford Aromatics because it was the only perfume I ever wanted to wear.  One day, she came home with bottle for me.  Granted, the spray nozzle was broken, but we were resourceful.  (You would be amazed at what two working girls could do with returned and "damaged" Clinique products.)  I haven't worn any other scent since that day.  Aromatics is a very strong scent and is only available as a perfume so a little goes a long way.  Not only do I  love the scent, I love the memory it gives me.  Often I'll catch a whiff of the perfume and I'm immediately taken back to the Broadway Department store perfume counter telling my brother-in-law Tim, "This is the one she wants."  And, every year, my husband makes sure there's a bottle under the tree for me.

The scent of woman should conjure emotion, for the person wearing it and those smelling it.  Tonight, two very dear little boys, Ethan and Carson, said, "Chell, we knew is was you because we could smell you."  I asked them, "What do I smell like?" and they said, "You."  Mission accomplished.

Number Sixty-six - Perfume. Six down - ninety-four to go.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Number Eight

For the first time, but not the only time, I have to report that number eight I something I don't own, have never owned and never will own.  The bikini.  Ms. Garcia is very quick to point out that wearing a bikini is more about confidence than a good figure.  I'm pretty damn confident but I need to reiterate; I have never, do not currently, nor will I ever own a bikini.

Wearing a bikini would mean that I would expose the world to "Melvin" and no one needs to see that.  (Melvin is the roll of fat on my lower belly and if I was wearing a bikini, I would have to lift Melvin up so that you could see the bikini bottom.)  I tell you this not because I want to hear things like, "Oh don't say that." or "You don't have a roll of fat."  I know my body and I know what does and doesn't look good on me and a bikini is one of them.

I think bikini's are fabulous and yes, wearing one is about confidence. I was in Greece a few years ago and remember an older women in a beautiful black bikini.  More importantly, she was beautiful in the bikini. She didn't have a knock out figure, her skin showed the signs of aging, she had a stretch-mark here and yet, she was beautiful.  She walked tall and owned her style.  That being said, I have seen a couple of people in bikini's where no amount of confidence could help.

Nonetheless, I just can't do it and knowing that is the cornerstone to making any man or woman stylish.  Learn about silhouettes and your body.  Quit obsessing over size - if it fits you and looks good on you - buy it!  And please, I beg you, stop walking around and saying things like, "I'm a fall  and can only wear pale beige and bluish reds."  For years my mother said I couldn't wear pink because I had red hair.  Pink is my most favorite color EVER! I finally started wearing it and when I do, I get lots of compliments.  Why?  Because it makes me happy and I feel good when I wear it; THAT is what makes a color or style look good on a person.

The bikini is a classic and very stylish!  But what is more classic and stylish, at least for me, is confidence.  I'll never feel confident in a bikini and therefore, I'll never own or wear one.

The bikini - number eight. Five down and ninety-five to go.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Number Fifteen

A caftan?  No way!  Nina is joking.  A caftan in The One Hundred?  I just can't believe it!  Nina herself makes a reference to Mrs. Roper so how can this be true?  I've been making fun of my friend Jan for years for wearing a caftan.  She even went so far as to take her favorite, threadbare caftan apart so she could create a pattern and make a new one.  Jan asked me if I wanted her to make me a caftan and I laughed and said, "Maybe when I'm 60."

So here I am, faced with the thought of not just purchasing, but actually wearing a caftan.  I go back and re-read number fifteen to see if there is any redeeming quality about having a caftan.  Nina points out that the caftan is "...so unapologetically anti-fashion that it has... become one of the most fashionable items".   That statement and a reference to the iconic Diana Vreeland made me think I should give the caftan a try.  Much to my surprise, my initial Ebay search produced an array of caftans; authentic ethnic caftans, funky tie-dye caftans, short caftans, long caftans, silk caftans, and yes U-G-L-Y caftans ala Mrs. Roper.  One caftan caught my eye - a beautiful pink batik caftan with gold accents.  Could this be true?  Had I actually found a caftan?  Could I actually purchase such a thing?  Would I wear it?  Yes! Yes! Yes! and YES!

I was really excited when the caftan arrived.  I tried it on for "the girls" at work and I felt comfortable and chic!  Yes, chic!  I've never felt chic in my life but this did it.  I wanted to run home, make a martini and stroll around in my caftan.   I even called Jan and said, "Guess what?  I'm wearing a caftan."  Jan laughed and said "Welcome to the club!"  So glad I decided to join.  I love, love, love my caftan.  It's comfortable and I can't say it enough, makes me feel so very, very chic.  I'm sure I will own many in the years to come.  As a matter of fact, I've already began thinking about having Jan make a pattern so I can have one for all seasons.

You win Nina!  The caftan is a must for any stylish woman - even if she's not 60.  Four down and ninety-six to go.

The Iconic Diana Vreeland in her caftan.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Number Thirty-Seven

Ahhhh....flip-flops - a ritual of spring and summer.  But not everything in The One Hundred is so general; some items are very specific and for good reason.  Number Thirty-seven - Havaianas (click here for a very sexy  pronunciation http://www.forvo.com/word/havaianas/).  Basically, Havaianas are flip-flops from Brazil.  I had heard of Havaianas previous to reading The One Hundred but hadn't given them much thought. Flip-flops are all the same right?  No!  These are the most comfortable flip-flops you'll ever own and they are CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!  The other good thing about Havaianas is they are affordable. (Ross, $7.99) Trust me, most things in The One Hundred are not.


I openly admit that my initial motivation to seek out these special flip-flops was simply because Nina Garcia said they were great.  After a couple of Google searches I discovered that Brazil has some of the best rubber in the world.  Havaianas are not only made with Brazilian rubber, they have a special imprint that keeps any designs from fading AND they guarantee to always be odorless.  http://usa.havaianas.com/en-us  According to Nina, tourists have been bringing back Havaianas to the United States and Europe for years to re-sale in chic beach boutiques.  I love a good capitalistic opportunity, but up until recently, my husband frequently traveled to Brazil and I could have had my own little Havaiana business.  Damn!  And, while I love a good deal  I would have loved a pair from Brazil.

Oh well...I have the Havaianas (all 4 pair) and I LOVE them.  Seek them out, you will not be disappointed.  And remember, make sure they fit.  Just because it is a flip-flop, it still needs to look good.  No toe or heel hangover and pedicures PLEASE!


Number Thirty-Seven - Havaianas.  Three down, ninety-seven to go.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Number Forty-One

Probably the greatest thing that I've gotten out of The One Hundred is that being stylish isn't always about clothes.  Sometimes it's about having everyday things like an iPod.  Yes, you read that correctly, an iPod - Number Forty-one is something that every stylish woman should have.  Do I have one?  Yes!  Granted, it's a dinosaur - 3rd generation, 80G, and I've had it since 2007.  Do I want a new one? Yes! and rest assured, the day mine breaks, I will go out and purchase a new one.  While I love my iPod, I do have to wonder why it is necessary for the sake of style.  Ms. Garcia doesn't really give a reason why, just that it is a utilitarian object that we've all come to know and love and is immediately identifable by the white earbuds.  Frankly, I hate the earbuds and think it's probably the worst designed item Apple has ever made.  In my humble opinion and feel free to disagree, but if the iPod had to stand on the earbuds alone, Apple would be broke!

After giving it some thought, I came to the conclusion that the iPod is one of The One Hundred because just like clothes, music has style.  However, unlike your outward style, your personal music style can be more eclectic and free; you can take risks with music that you can't take with clothes, hairstyles, or make-up. You can listen to classic country and never wear or own cowboy boots.  You can love rap and never wear, well...whatever it is rappers wear.  I love music; just about the same as I love clothes.  I take bigger risks with music and the iPod has certainly given me that freedom so...I get it!  The iPod is stylish, should be owned by a stylish woman, and most definitely needed in The One Hundred.  2 down, 98 to go.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Number Seventy-Seven

The signet ring - number seventy-seven of The One Hundred.  Did I own one?  No.  I have always wanted one?  YES!  Around 1980, Lisa Birnbach wrote The Preppy Handbook (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Official_Preppy_Handbook).  It became my Bible and one of the things that every preppy should have is a signet ring.  I remember my college friend Allison had a signet right that I would covet from afar.  An employee during my retail days had one that to this day I dream about. I have often thought about having one made for me since the design is imprinted on my brain.

I've come close to having a signet rings on two different occasions in my life - when I graduated from college with my B.A. and when I finished graduate school.  Both times the dream never came true.  When I graduated from college my dad asked what I wanted and of course, I said, "A signet ring."  He said to pick out what I wanted and let him know how much it was and he would see that I got it.  Well, right before I graduated, my grandfather died.  I traveled with my brother and father to Paris, Arkansas for the funeral.  My aunt Lorene was there and she was working for a jewelry store.  My dad told her what I wanted and made a point to say, "The simpler the ring the better."  I was so excited I could hardly stand it.  Finally, the day came and my mom called and said, "Your ring is here from Lorene and boy is it pretty."  I was so excited!  I was working at Banana Republic and drove from Flagstaff, AZ to Phoenix every weekend.  I had never been so ready to take that drive.  Finally, Friday came and off I went.  I walked in the door and my dad said, "Your ring is on the table and it is something else."  I opened the box and therein lied the most garish, old-lady, cocktail ring.  UGH!  Simple!  I said, "Simple."  Of course, for a woman from Texas in her late 60's, this was simple. I faked my way through a, "Wow! That's pretty!" and then went to my room and did nothing more than shake my head. I wore the ring to the graduation ceremony and sent a cursory thank-you note to my aunt.  After that it sat in my jewelry box until I tried to sell it to off-set the cost of my husbands wedding band.  I've also contemplated sending it to one of those, "cash for gold" places.  I still own the ring and believe it or not, it will make a re-appearance in the blog.

My second brush with the signet ring was when I finished my master's degree.  Having been with the same man for more than 19 years, I knew better than to expect he would ask what I wanted for a graduation gift so I told him, "You need to buy me a signet ring for a graduation present."  Again I got, "You pick it out and we'll go get it together."  Deja vu!  I looked and looked and looked but I just could not find what I wanted so I settled for a trip to Vegas with my family.

You can imagine then my excitement when I discovered a signet ring was one of The One Hundred.  You'll come to learn that Ebay is my friend and rarely do I buy anything without checking it first.  I didn't want a new ring; I wanted a vintage ring that was simple, yet stylish. My search began and surprisingly, it didn't take long.  On the first search I found a beautiful ring - simple with a nice art deco stamped design and guess what, the initials were MM.  It was perfect!  I waited a whole two days before I made an offer on the ring.  It fits perfect and has become one of my most treasured possessions.  I feel no guilt for buying such an extravagant and unnecessary thing.  Well...sometimes I do but later you'll see how another of The One Hundred helps to overcome that guilt.

The signet ring - number seventy-seven of The One Hundred.  One down, ninety-nine to go.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Bit of Background

I guess before I go forward with the tales of my passion for fashion, or shopping, or The One Hundred, I should give you a bit of background.  I've always been a bit a clothes hound.  I am the youngest child in a family of 6 - 5 girls and 1 boy.  The thing is, my sisters were teenagers when I was born and my brother and I were essentially a second family for my parents.  My mother and my older sisters were great seamstresses and sewed many of their clothes.  It was during a time in this country when sewing was actually cheaper than buying (late 40's, 50's and 60's).  My mother made many of the clothes my sisters wore and as they grew older, they began to sew and make their own clothes.

I remember my mother making long-dresses for me in the 3rd and 4th grade but other than that, most of my clothes were purchased on the weekly shopping trips to J.C. Penney's at Park Central Mall.  (It was always J.C. Penney's in those days, never Penney's.)  I can remember longing to shop at Diamond's (it's now known as Dillards) or Goldwater's but as my mother would say, "That's for rich people." so, J.C. Penney's it was.

I don't know if we went shopping every Saturday, but it sure seemed like we did.  I know we went to Basha's grocery store every Saturday and I do remember that in those days, you could buy tennis shoes and rubber sandals at the grocery store, so technically, we did go shopping every Saturday.  It's funny, because to this day, I have a hard time not doing some kind of shopping on the weekends.  (My dear friend Sue has said on more than one occasion, "Michelle, you go to Target on Sunday like most people go to church.") It was a "girls go shopping" and "boys go camping" kind of household.

I never really thought about a life in fashion, I just knew that I liked nice things and as soon as I could start working, I started buying things like Lacoste, Polo, and Calvin Klein.  It was when I was about to drop out of college that I realized I could have a career surrounded around the things I loved so I began working towards a degree in Fashion Merchandising.  Working on the degree was sublime; the career itself, was...hell.  I hated it! and trust me, I've worked for some great companies:  Lenox China, Banana Republic (back in the days when they still had Jeeps in the store), Ralph Lauren and Dillards.  But working in retail is very different than working in the fashion industry.  Retail is basically a career in shipping and receiving, babysitting adults and taking crap from the general public all while you're earning minimum wage, working horrible hours, and acting as if a sale is equivalent to open heart surgery.  It was the most unfulfilling work I had ever done.

Career or no career, the whole idea of fashion, clothes, and yes shopping has always seemed to be a part of my life.  I love it. When I've had a bad day, walking around a store brings me peace and learning about and acquiring The One Hundred about as close to nirvana as I'll probably ever get.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The One Hundred

There are a ton of "100's" out there but this one is different - Nina Garcia's "The One Hundred:  A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Should Own" has become my new obsession or "kick" as my husband calls them.  This one is different and to quote my assistant Jennifer, "That's the most expensive book you've ever bought."  So true, so true.

My co-worker Carolyn told me about "The One Hundred" several months ago and thought I probably owned at least 80 of the pieces. I took that as a compliment and really never thought much more about it.  Yeah right.  Anyone that knows me knows when someone says something like that to me, I get to a computer or my phone as quickly as I can and Google it.  I did a search for "The 100" and Nina Garcia's book appeared.  (I guess at this point I must admit that I had no idea who Nina Garcia is which of course led to another Google search.)  As most of you know, Ms. Garcia was the editor of Elle magazine (she's currently the editor of Marie Claire), and judge on Project Runway.  The more I read about her, the more intrigued I became with the book and finally I broke down and purchased a used copy on Amazon.  Very BIG mistake!
The book arrived and I spent hours looking, reading and fondling every page of the book.  My first inclination was to check-off what I already owned but that inclination quickly passed with the urge to shop and shop I have!