I recently realised that I will never have a complete, “perfect” wardrobe. As soon as I think I am approaching some sort of equilibrium, I suddenly notice that I still haven’t got … (fill in as appropriate) and that without it my wardrobe will never be complete.
I don’t know whether this has something to do with frequency of shopping trips but just when I think I reached complete saturation – bang, there is this one thing that I just must have. Trish has this “oh, I’ve been searching for this thing for eternity” list which I think is pretty much the equivalent of what I feel – one day you realise that you absolutely must have this thing because you’ve ALWAYS wanted it.
But I can’t just go shopping and buy one (or order one online). Oh no, that would be far too easy. Because it has to be PERFECT. And so the hunt begins. I trawl the Internet and the high street. Selfridges, Liberty, Vestiaires Collective, Ebay – you name it, I’ve been there. Do I find it? Yes, but often it takes months of careful searching because the devil is in the detail. There are things that are almost there – so close – and yet just one small detail can ruin the effect.
Recently, I was on the hunt for a perfect black crew neck jumper. I saw a photo of Emanuelle Alt wearing one, ever so slightly oversized, hanging beautifully off her slender frame. She wore no make up and the black jumper highlighted the severe beauty of her cheek bones and angular face. And it hit me – I need a black crew neck in my wardrobe!
A Chloé one I found on Vestiaires Collective had the added bonus of extra long sleeves. It was almost perfect. Sadly it was too big for me – there is an oversized and an oversized. I almost bought a J-Crew one with patches on the elbows, except they had run out of black.
So what makes the perfect specimen? Three things:
- Sleeves: for some reason tight ribbed cuffs make me feel frumpy. My perfect jumper must have cuffs only slightly tighter than the sleeves or not at all. The no-cuff look only works with very skinny sleeves though – and the sleeves also have to be longish, to the knuckles at least. A combination of both is hard to find but Joseph makes pretty great ones.
- Neckline: it should be small and severe looking. Pretty need not apply.
- The right amount of slouch. Not too much, just enough for it to look like I might have borrowed it from a boy. It has to hang from the shoulders without drowning me.
Does it sound like hard work? I have been going back to the Emerson Fry website trying to decide whether the neckline was too wide for a “basic” jumper. I couldn’t decide. At £325 plus shipping I’d have to call it an investment.
At the end, I found it in a most unexpected place – the men’s department in Uniqlo.