Friday, January 16, 2009

Great Gatsby!

Funny enough, on one of the coldest days of the year, an amazing pair of sunglasses by Polo Ralph Lauren inspires me to dream about how I'll dress this Spring. I'm already devising a plan. To keep my look fresh all year I make a list of must have purchases – items that will give me the most wear and the most dramatic looks. After all, although I'm on a budget, I want to look fabulous. I believe in dressing with a purpose.

While I will embrace my Wayfarers (and probably buy a tortoiseshell model to add to my collection), I'll be exploring other shapes as well. Lately, I've been wearing gold Ray-Ban aviators – which feel right again. I will also be sporting my Clubmasters with confidence, but I think rounder shades will be hot in years to come (think Carrie Donovan, not John Lennon). And I think I've found the perfect pair:

Polo by Ralph Lauren, Spring 2009

These are not for the weak at heart, but then again, how gutsy must people have been to wear J-Lo-style wrap around frames? Yet, everyone (except me, thankfully) did it! As a "frame" of reference, I will accompany these sunglasses with an urban sailor look (as I've said many times before, I'll forever be a sailor in search of a ship). Many fine labels such as A.P.C., Jean Paul Gaultier and Ralph Lauren produce amazing sailor stripe shirts, but this year I'm going to find an authentic Russian Navy sailor shirt in a winter (black) stripe:

Sometimes you have to stick to the basics and find the original, authentic example of the look you're after. For example, to me, nothing is more classic as the Ray-Ban Wayfarer at around $140; however, several other companies recreate the shape for twice as much. Doesn't make sense to me.

Every year I vow to purchase a pair of white pants. And every year I don't do it! I guess I haven't found a pair that looks perfect on me. I'm beginning to think the way to go is corduroy (so I'll be on the hunt for that). Meanwhile, I'll also be looking for a pair of wide-leg denim pants in a trouser cut like these ones from Ralph Lauren Spring 2007 (pleaaaaaase make them again, Ralph):

I like having a layering option such as a jacket or cardigan for most of my outfits, but it depends on my choice of pants. If I buy a wide-leg denim trouser, I'll find a short-waisted cardigan in navy, black or yellow; however, if I go for the slim-fit corduroy, I'll sport a navy blazer like the Trovata in my closet. But, really, how cute would this silk/cashmere number from Banana Republic be?

Or this double-breasted cardigan from American Apparel (a steal at $39)?

Then there is always the shoe dilemma. To really be current and to own something beautiful you have to invest. Here are two options that I'm exploring (and can't afford):

Balmoral Wingtip by Harris

New Gommini 122 Driver in Ecru by Tod's

There is a window of time in Toronto between about April 1st and July 1st when one can layer beautiful clothing, walk to work and enjoy the sunshine without overheating. This is fashion's best moment of the year. Colour is revived, the days are longer and the joy of warmer weather dances in people's minds. I plan on being ready for these fleeting months, looking better than ever (hopefully I'll start actually using the wii fit sitting in my living room, too).

When all is said and done, will I look like an eccentric millionaire lunching on the lawn of my New England estate? I hope so....why not?