SS09 | Bottega Veneta

Huge confession: for all I blather on about wildly expensive clothes, the ones I wear are relatively simple and plain...and most of them are the exact simple plain things I've worn since childhood. Levi's jeans, Gap long sleeved favorite Ts (black), Polo or Brooks Brothers men's oxfords, black turtlenecks, blazers, a couple long black skirts and about 30 shawl collared sweaters (paired with rotating, wildly expensive accessories). While working at Brooks Bros during college, I'd work myself up into a complete tizzy that they didn't view women's dressing in that way (while they do it obsessively with the men's). The women's stuff is consistently horrid. They try to do Ralph. They end up with Talbots. They should just do Brooks Brothers. Three classic jacket styles -- one short and tailored, one longer single-breasted with double vents and one double breasted -- two pant styles: flowy and skinny. Switch the fabrics by season, but always remain consistent and maintain the highest quality. And most importantly: insist the women hit the tailor before leaving the store.

I bring up all this Brooks talk in my Bottega Veneta post because Thomas Maier designed this spring collection in an effort to push women to collect, savor and honor their clothing over the long term (in the face of these trying economic times). Amen! I get a pit in my stomach when I read Bazaar's Wear It/Keep It/Store It column every month. When some gal is throwing down $1,000 for a pair of shoes she should be able to wear them every freakin' day for the rest of her life -- not just relegate them to a box three months down the line. Of course, my line of thinking would send magazine publishing (and the fashion industry) into a tailspin. But who knows, to this day, nothing gets me going more than a brand new black turtleneck.


  1. Lecia says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments about Brooks Brothers...interesting post.

  2. Their blouses are quite good. Every now and then I will hit on something else. But their trousers are absolutely the most horrid and ill fitting. Consistent, but awful.

  3. k.c.k. says:

    i could not agree more. excellent post.

  4. Will says:

    Is it difficult to find tailors who understand women's clothing? I never see discussions of this.

  5. trip says:

    Great points about Brooks Brothers, I think you hit the nail on the head. Although, I would submit that for the past several years they have been doing the same thing for men (that is, achieving mediocrity).

  6. The attemps to do mid-90s business casual really killed things on the men's side. And Will -- I haven't seen discussions on women's tailoring, either...but I did try to start one. When talking with Norton & Sons' Patrick Grant, he told me that most of the tailors on the Row are terrified to cut and sew for women because we're generally never satisfied (must be like a plastic surgery addiction --nipping and tucking in a different manner). I'm not asking women to go in for a couture-level overhaul, but cuff length! A slight tweak in the back! And Mrs. B, those pants are just such horrid frumpifiers: add about 4 inches to the bum and make the legs look like redwoods.

  7. Suzy says:

    ha! I'm with you on that!