Don't Underestimate the Underpinning


I get great satisfaction from rewearing my clothing.  I once had an assistant suggest that I wear a different necklace because she was tired of looking at it #lol (I can’t make this stuff up)!!  Over the course of my life, I have come to appreciate the style of women who are creative about repurposing signature items in their wardrobes. To me, this signifies a level of confidence about their style. There is something delightful about being deliberate and reinventing core pieces is an art form. Clothing, in the best possible scenario, isn’t disposable-- and I feel it’s important to say that it’s not shameful to repeat wear the things you love-- it’s happens to be chic and it’s reality.

About twelve years ago, I started a technique to make the process of packing for two and a half weeks on the road manageable.  I covered the European fashion shows in London, Milan and Paris twice a year for a full decade. It was always daunting to think about looking and feeling my best for three cities with three climates while out of the country for so long. This idea may not be for everyone but has been highly effective for me. I throw everything I own and want to wear on my bed. I look for color stories and themes that are cohesive and then create “looks” from head to toe utilizing my key items multiple times. I learned from some of the most elegant women in the fashion industry that looking good when you travel requires a tight edit and some skill. For me, I need to see visually what pieces need other pieces to become full outfits. I have found wardrobe holes become clear when it’s all in front of you. Then the act of shopping becomes purposeful. Aimlessly collecting items you really don’t need is something we are all guilty of.


I realized I needed to do this for my actual life, not just for fashion week. I had stopped wearing the Veronica Beard blazer pictured here because I was bored and uninspired by what I was layering under it.  It was begging for more than a simple white cami which is what I had been doing. It was as easy as going to L’Agence store on Madison Avenue (they make the best camis) and updating to a springtime floral print that matched the bright blue color of the blazer almost perfectly.  I went in with a target and left with something that would breathe new life into last years’ look.

When you work in fashion and are obsessed with finding newness, your eye fatigues quickly!!  Instead of deciding you hate everything you own and need to start over every time you leave the house or when a new season comes, which isn’t realistic, try the “throwing it on the bed”  technique. I promise you’ll make smarter choices when you shop. All it may take is a fresh underpinning to put the pep back into your fashion step.


Here are a few of my favorite underpinnings for spring/ summer.



Brooke Jaffe