Piece of the Week: The White Tee

 

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Uniqlo Supima Cotton Tee

Just as learning the alphabet is fundamental to the mastery of a language, so is a closet of basics crucial to a stylish wardrobe.  Essentials like the white tee form the basis of your closet, so invest in high quality material.  This fall, I recommend you luxuriate your senses in this classic white tee by Uniqlo.  Made of the world’s finest cotton, this iconic piece is so superbly soft you’ll want to wear it everyday.  These divinely comfortable tees come in several colors and cuts, so be sure to stock up! 

Ways to Wear:

The Tough Girl Fashionista 

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Who said basics had to be boring?  Edge up your crisp white tee with a gritty, over-sized denim jacket.  Distressed denim provides a hip counterweight to the neatness of the white tee while skinny black jeans, big sunglasses and coral-colored nails nicely complement the rebelliousness of the jacket.

If you’re in the market for some tough girl denim, look no further than the iconic Levi Strauss & Co.’s boyfriend trucker jacket in sunshine indigo.  Made of the highest quality stretch mid-weight denim, the boyfriend jacket is a modern update on a classic piece. Relaxed but never sloppy, the Levi’s trucker jacket takes a cue from the punk rock vibe of your boyfriend’s denim.  Absolutely adore the color (not to mention the name…who wouldn’t delight in a color called “sunshine indigo”?)  Light and slightly bleached, its unconventional shade makes the jacket effortlessly cool while the distressing details give it a one-of-a-kind feel.  Personally, I prefer lighter shades for denim jackets: a crisp dark wash (though sophisticated for a pant) seems too uptight for this greaser staple.  If you want a less expected alternative to the traditional blue, opt for one in black or charcoal.

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The City Strolling Hipster 

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Whether you’re grabbing a cappuccino in Greenwich village or thrifting on SF’s Haight street, pair a simple white tee with rock n’ roll cut offs and a leather jacket for a look that’s charmingly defiant, maybe even a little too cool.  Add a cozy burgundy scarf and darling polka dot tights and you’ll be ready to navigate the urban jungle.

The Chic European Debutante 

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Imagine: you’re leisurely pedaling through the idyllic cobblestone streets of Copenhagen.  The reassuring smell of pastries wafts through the autumn air.  As the splendor of the midday sun streams across the brightly-colored buildings, you can hear the hushed murmurs of friends chatting beneath pin-striped umbrellas on a cafe plaza.  Like Audrey Hepburn, you are a European debutante: the embodiment of elegance and grace.  Though there’s nothing particularly dazzling about either her 3/4 sleeve tee or her trousers, the refinement of Miss Hepburn’s ensemble derives from this very simplicity.  Polished and minimalistic, a black tee looks stunning with an impeccably neat (and, may I add, perfectly tailored) pant.  Tie your curly hair into a messy chignon and slip on some adorable ballet flats this fall and you’ll look similarly chic.

The Renovated Closet: Revamping Your Wardrobe in 2 Simple Steps

When people open their closets, they usually complain they have nothing to wear…not me. My problem isn’t I have nothing to wear- it’s I always wear the same thing in the same exact way. Take my darling teaching classy dress from ModCloth: I have always worn it with the bright fuchsia-pink belt it comes with- I’ve never tried it with another color belt, never experimented with playful accessories, never tied a 60s style scarf around my neck like the unbelievably chic women in Mad Men, never tried it with a bright-colored cardigan.

Contrary to popular belief, the first step to reinventing your wardrobe isn’t buying new clothes-it’s finding inventive ways of combining pieces you already own. Why not reinvigorate that adorable black and white pinstripe dress with an edgy denim jacket and military combat boots? Or finally pair those stylish, edgy black ankle booties you never wear with your favorite party dress? It’s astounding how little of our closets we wear. I myself probably wear a third of my closet on a regular basis. Why is this? What about the other two thirds? It’s not that I dislike these little used pieces (I liked them enough to grab them off the rack at one point, after all); it’s just that I’ve gotten in the habit of only wearing particular pieces and only pairing them with particular things. Next time you feel stultified by your own lack of fashion resourcefulness, follow these two simple steps to revamp your wardrobe instead of indulge in a regrettable thousand dollar shopping spree:

1. experiment with what you already own. Do always wear that little black dress with wedges for a night out with the girls? Can you give it some casual rock-and-roll and instead pair it with herringbone tights and some military boots? What about that darling sheath you wear nearly everyday to work? Can you infuse it with new life by layering it over a button down? Or do you always wear that floral dress with your signature black flats? Can you exchange your beloved black for a less expected color? Reviving a lifeless wardrobe requires one trait and one trait only: ingenuity. You don’t need to completely overhaul your closet to renovate your look and you certainly don’t need to spend thousands of dollars-all you need is a little inventiveness and inspiration.

2. stock up on basics. The key to a functioning wardrobe is a stockpile of basics. Any fashion maven will tell you that style begins with the essentials. White tee shirts. Jeans. Denim jackets. Think about it: you can only experiment with enchanting colors if you possess a plain, white canvas. Only after you take stock of your wardrobe and brainstorm interesting ways to combine what you already own, can you assess what you actually need. Are you always pairing the same pieces because they simply don’t go with anything else? Stop frittering away money on the season’s latest “it” items and instead invest in essentials. A simple white tee shirt can yield surprisingly high returns.

Deceptions & Lies: Bart Layton’s “The Imposter”

Disturbingly haunting and so outrageous it’s hard to believe, The Imposter sketches the real-life story of master con artist Frederic Boudin.  Boudin, a smooth-talking French man from a broken home, had been making a living impersonating abused and neglected children when he decided to pose as Nicholas Barclay, a boy who went missing in 1994 from San Antonio. Though Boudin beared no resemblance to the missing child (Barclay was an all-American blonde-haired, blue-eyed type; Boudin, an ebony-haired, brown-eyed French-Algerian nearly 7 years older), the Barclay family expressed no doubt that Boudin was their long-lost son when he resurfaced in Spain 3 years later.

How could a family not recognize their own flesh and blood?” is the maddening question that insistently hovers over The Imposter. “How,” as the real Nicholas’s sister, Carey Gibson, so eloquently exclaims, “could the Barclays be so fucking stupid?!”

But it’s not just the Barclays Boudin dupes: the FBI, the American embassy, the eager media impatient to tell the incredible tale of a missing boy’s safe return home-all fall for Boudin’s not-so-convincing get up. As we watch clips of Boudin’s interviews with local news stations-his hair clearly bleached, his answers delivered in a charming, unmistakably French accent-we wonder how any rational person with functioning eyes and half a brain could have believed such an obvious charade. The idea that this man was Nicholas Barclay was preposterous, borderline absurd.

The Imposter gains its momentum from this sheer improbability. But what makes the story even more compelling is that it’s absolutely true. British director Bart Layton relays this perplexing tale from multiple perspectives, including Boudin’s, the master of disguise himself. In much the same way that Hitchcock forces us to identify with a schizophrenic killer in his groundbreaking Psycho, Layton compels us to feel sympathy for this diabolical con man who, as a boy, was unloved and left alone. Layton does a genius job of distracting us from Boudin’s totally despicable behavior: throughout much of the documentary, we find ourselves susceptible to his distorted fun house logic, even enthralled by his sociopathic charm. In many ways, we’re like the Barclays themselves: naïve and ready to be fooled.

When Boudin makes some troubling accusations 45 minutes later, we’re ready to believe him-despite the fact that he’s made a career of deceiving people. He’s manipulative, convincing, charming, there’s even some well-founded evidence to support his suspicions. But truth is hard to pin down in The Imposter. Without giving too much away, about halfway through the documentary the primary question is no longer whether a family could plausibly mistake a stranger for their son- it’s why they would. As Layton shifts from the grieving, simple, small town family to the hard-boiled, film-noir type cop to Boudin himself, we find ourselves flung between competing versions of events but uncertain of any of their validity: we’re in a disorienting courtroom, each party testifying on its own behalf-and each accusingly pointing a finger at someone else.

Thrilling, baffling, suspenseful, The Imposter is a must see for those who relish mysteries…but are at ease without ever finding the answers.