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Life of Colleen: "Gibbs' Rules" of wardrobe development

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"Gibbs' Rules" of wardrobe development
posted by Colleen Shirazi on Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 9:30 AM (Pacific)

These are my personal rules, if you will, and consist more of a guideline than of actual rules. I don't want to spit out a load o' sanctimony here; what I've been doing is adding to this list gradually.

  1. Never screw over your partner. This rule supersedes all other rules. (Just kidding, that is an actual Gibbs' Rule.)

  2. Never shop at Banana Republic. The lasting quality of their clothing varies wildly.

  3. If you shop at a store and walk out without buying anything, twice, reconsider the necessity of returning to that store. Time is money.

  4. The first time you wear a new item, odds are good it won't look right.*

* Unless you are one of those meticulous people who actually try out outfits in advance, or one of those totally tasteful folks who buy classical apparel where everything just works.

Since I'm neither of those, I usually bring out anything new on a Friday, where it would fall under "casual."

Take this for example:

jjill kimono sleeve cardigan

I have this in a greyish-brown color. It's actually a beautiful sweater, super soft and comfortable, yadda yadda, but it's bulky. I've been looking for years for tops, sweaters or dresses in a kimono style. There are plenty, but it's difficult finding nice ones.

I ran it through the dryer a couple of times; it did shrink, but didn't lose as much mass at the bottom as I would have liked. For some reason I kept thinking of that guy in the Fig Newton suit:

fig newton commercial

Okay, it's not that bulky, but you know what I mean.

Today I decided to be meticulous and try the thing out with a belt. Normally I dislike the trend of "open" cardigans--no buttons, zippers or other means of closure--because I find it depressing. When we outsourced all of our apparel manufacture to China, we got ton-loads of solid colors, no pockets, and now no buttons? how cheap can you get?

But it seems to work here. You just unbutton the thing, wrap it as if it were a kimono, and try it out with a belt. (So far, skinny belts don't work as well as wider ones.)


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