What's Your Best Uniform?
We asked Sherrie Mathieson, the author of "Forever Cool: How to Achieve Ageless, Youthful, and Modern Personal Style" for tips on how to have a signature look with a few easy pieces plus some surprises to change it up. Here's what she said:
- Borrow a timeless idea from Audrey Hepburn. She favored Lacoste polo shirts -- T-shirts with collars and two-button plackets – and she paired them with jeans.
- Carolina Herrera, the award-winning fashion designer, likes long-sleeved white shirts both for daytime and for her evening black tie look.
- Sherrie's own every day uniform has as much to do with expediency, practicality, and comfort as it has to do with passing her criteria of ageless, youthful, and modern style. She contends that casual style is more popular than ever now but warns that it needs to be done well and never be sloppy. Like Audrey, Sherrie loves polo tops. She buys from Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, and J.Crew and says the fit should never be too loose, too tight, or too revealing. White and black are her basics -- and gray, although it's hard to find.
- Sherrie also wears punchy colors, especially orange, and pairs her polos with Nike pants in Anthracite, a dark gray that carries her through the day from the gym to a casual evening.
- Polo tops also work well with any jean and are perfect too with Jodhpur style pants. Sherrie wears her polos outside the waist because that lengthens the body.
- More polo tips: Copy Sherrie by wearing the collar up to frame your neck and leave the two buttons open to create a V-line that flatters the face more than a round neckline does.
- In cool weather, layer an anorak, long sweater, or down vest over your polo-and-pants uniform.
- A variety of flat boots -- more ageless than high-heeled versions – such as sleek riding styles or Hunter rubber knee-highs finish the look.
- When warmer days roll around, switch to sneakers, sandals, or moccasins in neutral to bright colors.
- Transform your classic uniform with accessories. Sherrie likes a sporty, masculine watch alone or teamed with a bracelet. She also recommends investing in a few large bags in neutral shades -- black, dark brown, saddle, or beige -- to add a touch of chic.
- Finally, Sherrie quotes a recent article by style expert Annette Tappert that appeared in "The Wall Street Journal": "A uniform should be a tool to help us define our style. The paring down of a wardrobe actually inspires you to use your imagination more, and to experiment with fabrics, colors, accessories or whatever your passion may be."
Sherrie Mathieson is the author of "Forever Cool: How to Achieve Ageless, Youthful, and Modern Personal Style" and "Steal This Style: Moms and Daughters Swap Wardrobe Secrets."Sherrie is available for style consulting and speaking events. Please visit her web site at http://www.sherriemathieson.com/