I was chatting to a fashion editor friend at dinner, and complimented her on the high-waisted black trousers she was wearing. “This is all I wear really,” she said. “Black pants and white shirts. And a trench”.
She deals with the most beautiful and complex clothes in the world on a daily basis, yet she has a uniform, from which she rarely strays.
Come to think of it, so do many people in the higher echelons of the fashion world – the legendary fashion stylist Grace Coddington wore navy or black pants, white shirts, black sweaters and black or navy long line coats.
She also wore Birkenstocks with socks to the shows, while everyone else was staggering around in whatever painful high-heeled shoes were on trend, which was awesome.
I thought about doing it myself on more than one occasion but you kind of had to be her.
Emmanuelle Alt, the editor of Vogue Paris – and indeed the entire editorial team – all have the French girl uniform of skinny jeans, t-shirts, blazers and boots. Anna Wintour has done the skirt, twinset and interesting beads look forever.
It is interesting, and indeed ironic, that the people telling us that we need to wear lime neoprene shorts and wrestling boots and Tyrolean bodice top next summer have zero intention of doing the same, and are in fact spending their hard earned dollars not on wacky accessories, but a holiday in Puglia.
I once sat next to a very famous chef at a degustation dinner and asked him what he ate on his nights off, and his wonderful answer was a boiled egg and soldiers. My manicurist doesn’t paint her nails.
We don’t have to be always on, looking marvellous and whipping up restaurant worthy meals all the time. Newness is nice, but so are familiarity and the cosy feeling you get when you pull on your favourite items of clothing and feel instantly pulled together.
This is why classics, like white shirts and black dresses and blue jeans, exist.
There was a spiteful article circulating this week, well every week really, insinuating that Meghan Markle is copying Princess Diana’s style choices, but when you look at the accompanying photographs it is clear that Meghan is simply wearing chic, classically appropriate looks such as blazers, and off the shoulder dresses and, gee, hats.
Just like, shock horror, a member of the royal family would. The lamest comparison was the groundbreaking news that the two women both wear blue jeans but what was interesting was to see Diana’s high rise, slightly baggy ‘mom’ jeans belted at the waist against Meghan’s low rise skinny leg version.
Every season, every year, some small twist comes in to update even the most basic pieces, which is both the fun and the infuriating part of fashion.
The skinny jean trend will turn to wide or flared, the blazer will go from snug and shrunken to boxy, the shirt from fitted to oversized, overnight.
The house always wins.