“Must Have” Items

October 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

So, it is that time of year again when we are reading about all the things that we urgently need to be Up to Date this season. (Like The Row’s $39,000 handbag. Which we Can’t Have anymore, as they are all sold out.) Take it from someone who loves fashion and isn’t afraid to show it: What Hooey.

I hate the idea of “Must Have”, unless it pertains to certain things like Wonderful Friends, A Decent Night’s Sleep and a Nice Piece of Cheese. What make MH worse is that it is almost always followed by “This Season”. So, next season you mustn’t have it, I guess. Doesn’t that seem like a waste of money? I am glad you think so. I do, too.

That said, there are probably a number of things sartorial that are life savers if you plan on leaving the house. Here are some things on my list:

– A great tote that holds and hides files, your wallet,  smart phones, sunglasses, keys (if you happen to know where they are), an umbrella and in my case dog treats, rawhides, a pair of flats, Blistex and a hair elastic. The best ones are sturdy, have handles that fit over your shoulder and look good enough so that you can go out after work and not feel like you need to change your bag. I hate changing my bag for evening. Even though I love evening bags.

– A season-less dress that can be worn almost anywhere. No, it does not have to be black. In fact, I don’ t like black in this category, as it feels “safe”, but that could just be me. As a clothes horse, I must confess that I have more than one dress of this variety, but my latest favorite is an inky blue, silk crepe one with a sewn-in ribbon belt. I’ve worn it to weddings, to dinners out and can totally wear it to work. I just change the shoes and accessories. And if I feel cold, cardis, jackets and the like are there to resolve the issue. See, you Must Have this…and it should last you several years.

– A small but diverse shoe wardrobe: nude pumps, casual flats, black boots, a neutral, casual bootie and a great pair of flat sandals. Oh, and sneakers if you plan to exercise in that way.  Oh, yes, and rain boots. That should get you through. The MH that goes with that is a good shoe repair place. Seriously, if you are spending good money on shoes, there is no reason you shouldn’t have them for a long time. And taking them to the shoe doctor is key in that regard. If you are in NYC and understand that this won’t be cheap, go to — don’t laugh — The Leather Spa in midtown. They do all leather goods and the work is amazing. (http://leatherspa.com/about)

– Layering pieces: lightweight scarves, a cardigan or two and a tailored jacket. They can increase the wearability of your sleeveless items and help manage the dramatic indoor-outdoor temperature changes that are officially year-round.

– Nice jeans. Especially if you plan on visiting LA. I would also add one or two pairs of nice cords if you actually have winter where you live.

– Something personal. This seems vague, I know, but really it is just something sentimental. Aside from the jewelry that Mr. H has given me over the years, I have two all-time favorite personal items.

This first is a collection of handkerchieves from my Grandmother’s wardrobe. I have one that is monogramed, and I make a point of taking with me to places where I think she would have loved to go. (It has been to The White House twice.) And the others I keep with me when I am feeling like a need a little bit of her with me. (Those have been everywhere…)

And the second is a horseshoe necklace that I purchased after one of my little terriers survived an illness that was a certain miracle. It is casual, but I wear it almost every day to remind myself to believe in luck and to have a little faith, which are two of the best Must Haves you can have in any season.


(Photo of my “Good Luck” necklace: Some Cozy Night)

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