I thought it would be a laugh to see how my (rather too extensive) wardrobe rates on the Oprah’s Must-have Clothing List.
During her year of Living Oprah, Okrant spent over $4,700 following Oprah’s decrees, including $354 on getting the 10 Must-Haves (which are really 13 because the list include two accessories and two different colours of one item).
Now, I like clothes. And I consider some of my clothes stylish. And I like to think I do get some clothes that are well-cut, or a cut above the ordinary. OK, I have tickets on myself. But I also think I sometimes dress a bit differently, not just following fashion, but things that look good on me.
But it appears I have most of the items on Oprah’s Must-have Clothing List. (Why am I perturbed? Mmmm? Maybe because it speaks to me of a lack of originality? And this list is from 2008. If you go online, Oprah does have other lists, some which have some of these items, other lists don’t, or have minor variations. But then, really, I suppose if these are classics, they’d be a constant and be in my wardrobe. Surely, it isn’t just a marketing ploy to get us to buy more?)
1. Trench coat. I have two.
2. Turtleneck “sweaters”. Two – one black, one white. I love this look but they don’t suit me. I have a short neck and big breasts. So I have given away my turtle necks, except for one black mock turtle neck jumper that I wear a lot in winter. It was made in the UK and of such good quality that it has lasted for years. I find that the Chinese spun and made jumpers pill, itch and go a funny shape. (Do the Chinese manufacturers think we have short arms and wide torsos?)
I think I will cry when this finally dies because the wool is so fine and I know I will never find such a well-made item again. Cheap, crappily made clothes now dominate the market. People would rather buy heaps of shit than one well-made item. Disposable variety, not quality to keep. And so we have lost the good manufacturers in the UK and Australia. Yes, Aust and UK made still exist but they are generally not as good nor at the price this was. Competing as they have had to with cheap Asian imports, they have not been able to sustain the quality as price has been the driving factor. (Rest easy, I am off my soap box for a bit.)
3. Black trousers. I have a pair of black skinny jeans and light cotton black pants. They have faded a bit and I plan to dye them to sharpen the black. I do use that black washing detergent but black will still fade.
4. Tunic top. Nope! Won’t get one of these. Will make me look frumpy.
5. White jeans. I have three pairs of white pants: pinstriped which have a matching jacket, white which also have a matching jacket (sounds gross but they are soft and floaty like a 1920s outfit) and a crisp cotton pair. And I have a pair of white jeans. Levis, of course. made in Australia. Cropped but still jeans. And I just fit into them still. Look great in summer.
6. Dark denim. Is there any other? I dispose of jeans when I get too plump and when they fade. Dark denim is the only way. So, how many pairs do I currently own? Four. One agave nectar, made in USA. One pair of Levi’s, made in Australia. These have faded to a medium wash and may go. Two pairs of R.M.Williams, made in Australia. All slightly different blues (from the start and due to fading) and all slightly different variations on the boot cut.
7. Black dress. Of course, I have several of these. A lovely Diane von Furstenberg frock. So beautiful on.
A fun number with a bit of frou-frou.
A retro frock that is very fitted. This one comes with a belt. Ah, breathing! It’s overrated.
A classic straight frock. But, I fear, this one is now too tight for me. I will give myself another couple of months. If no joy, then off it goes.
Then another one that is a classic cut.
8. White denim jacket. I agree with Okrant. Huh? Is this for a Guns N’ Roses concert? No, I don’t, and won’t, get one. Anyway the classic denim jacket cut does me no favours. I have a dark denim one that I occasionally get out, pop on, and then promptly put back in the cupboard.
9. Black skirt. I have a fake suede-like, A line one.
10. Cashmere sweater. No, none of these in my wardrobe. I do have some lovely wool, cotton and silk blend ones. Well, cardigans. They look better on me. I wear them buttoned up like a jumper, or open when it is warmer. (And by some, I mean a lot, a real lot.) But I wouldn’t say no to a cashmere cardie, especially in a nice colour.
Then there are two extra items to the 10 must haves.
10a. Flats, leopard print are recommended. And these are what inspired me to do this post. I have a pair I just love. They really lift an outfit. I have had people comment on them and ask where they can get them.
Let me say from the start: I don’t do ballet flats. They are uncomfortable and bad for your back and feet. And I think, except for Audrey Hepburn, they look god-awful on. They make your ankles look like cankles, your feet look swollen and do nothing for your gait or backside. I need a little heel. Both for comfort and look.
These are the only item besides underwear and a couple of bracelets that I have bought this year. Love them. With them I have worn a pair of black leggings and a red swing coat, both items over 15 years old, and have a whole new look.
10b. An oversized bag. Don’t like these. I think they make you look like a schlumpadumpa. I gave up nappy bags when my boys were out of nappies.
So there you have it. Are these items worthy of being in a list of must haves? Even if outdated. Indeed, are they outdated? Or classic?
Would they make it on your must have list? And how many of Oprah’s 2008 list do you have?