Style Essentials .001: The Foundation
es·sen·tial (noun) a thing that is absolutely necessary. the fundamental elements or characteristics of something.
The term essential is so often tossed around that it usually results in one too many white tees sold on the promise to be the end all be all of tees. If coined an essential, as suggested by the definition, shouldn't that be the end of the discussion? Coco Chanel's ethos fashion changes, style endures implies one's style should have a foundation; one that is punctuated not driven by seasons or trends. The challenge, however, is putting in the effort to find and test multiple tees and then actually growing old with one.
Our ideal wardrobe is equal parts cool casual and easy sophisticate. It is filled with versatile items that can stand on their own but are easily mix-and-matched. Think vintage band tees, denim, and sneakers but also the definitive trench, leather goods, and slingback heels. It's going to take time and thought to figure out, to test, and to report back. But, with our framework, the Très Américain wardrobe will be a collection that builds upon essentials year-over-year, edited through seasons, and polished off daily to best fit one's mood, the occasion, or how bloated we feel. With a solid foundation of essentials, one can move on to seasonal additions driven by trends, statement pieces, or investment buys that require a bit more consideration. We're taking one for the team with a mission to do the research.
No promises for a solution to all the fashion woes, but trust that a wardrobe that's truly sustainable and functional is being built right under your nose. If and when we've discovered the perfect white tee, then surely when we step foot inside the nearest fast fashion store, we can be free of temptation or at least stop promoting all the options here. The key is restraint and reason. This might result in owning ten of the same white tee or seeing that same shirt live on, reappearing through the pages of this site for years to come, but it is only then that we will label any item an absolute essential before moving on to the next great hunt.