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 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. 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


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 " 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  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.  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 (  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!