Shopper Award

Isle of Skye Cashmere Style Concepts (from Fall 2010)

At Isle of Skye Cashmere, our selection of clothes is based on a personal aesthetic that values classic style and quality over fashion and fad.

Our style sense starts with the idea that a woman’s wardrobe should be built on a foundation of high quality classic pieces. These foundation pieces should be your investment pieces – of lasting quality and the best you can afford:

  • These should be impeccably tailored to fit your body well. A poor fitting designer piece looks much worse than a perfectly tailored item bought at a less expensive store. No matter what your body shape is, you can have a flattering silhouette with the right tailoring.

  • They should be the highest quality fabric. Great fabrics are the foundation of beautiful clothes. You get maximum versatility from high quality multi-season natural fabrics such as lightweight wool, silks, and fine cashmere knits.

  • The foundation colors should be basic and versatile. Black is a great place to start because it is elegant, versatile and slimming. But, white, camel, chocolate brown, and navy are all great foundation colors to add to your basic black pieces.

In my view, here are the important basics:

  • Tailored Pants– a pair of flat front pants without pockets made from high quality, lightweight Italian wool is the foundation of classic style. The length should work with the heel height you wear most often. The leg style (tapered, straight, and flared) should be one works best for your body type.

  • Tailored Skirt– A knee length black skirt made from lightweight Italian wool that fits perfectly and gives a slim, tailored appearance. The pencil skirt is a classic, but the flared skirt works better for some body shapes. Choose the style works best for your body.

  • Tailored White Shirt – chic and simple of high quality Italian cotton. It can be paired with jeans (Jackie O in Hyannis Port), black pants (Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction), a long skirt (Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday), or a gown (Sharon Stone at the Oscars).

  • Cashmere Cardigan and Turtleneck. Every woman needs a well-made cashmere cardigan in her favorite color. This one piece can brighten up a whole wardrobe of black and white basics…. it works beautifully over a white shirt with jeans or a tailored black dress. The classic jewel neck cardigan can be made into a vee-neck by buttoning the bottom buttons only. The cashmere turtleneck also goes casual or dressy. It will give your jeans a Left Bank Parisian chic and bring sleek luxury to your tailored pants or pencil skirt. Black is a timeless favorite for the cashmere turtleneck, but a creamy white, rich camel, or chocolate brown are all great basics.

  • Blazer – A great Cashmere or Italian Wool blazer is the starting point for so many great looks. Like the other basic tops, you can pair it with jeans, tailored pants, or a skirt. Start with a versatile color like black or navy. A well-tailored single breasted jacket suits most bodies best. Avoid fussy details like big lapels or buttons that think they are jewelry – these limit the life of your jacket.

  • Great Jeans are simple and practical. Great jeans are elegant and rebellious. They are so versatile – they can dress anything down and make even the most uptight item look relaxed.

  • The Simple Chic (Black) Dress –This is the dress that is going to let you shine- it is going to flatter you, but not detract from you. It lets your hair, your accessories, and your personality take center stage. The simple sheath dress is a classic; layer it under a jacket for day, but remove the jacket and accessorize it for evening. The classic version is black, but it looks great in white (or a soft toned print) too. Add drama with killer heels and jewelry.

The secret weapon of every stylish woman is the unexpected item (or items) that turn a great look into an amazing one. At Isle of Skye Cashmere, we have lots of ideas on how to build your classic outfit into an amazing look. Our favorite way to do this is with a great looking cashmere sweater in an eye-popping color. But we also love to add gorgeous shoes, a knockout handbag, a piece of signature jewelry, or a cashmere scarf in a “wow” color or pattern. Here is some advice we give our customers as we work with them to add drama to classically styled outfits:

  • Color –Try accenting your black or white basics with dramatic colors such as a Caribbean Blue or Ferrari Red. You can add your best colors to a classic outfit with a cashmere sweater, a beautiful Italian cotton shirt, or a gorgeous silk skirt. Chose colors that work best for you…not what the fashion magazines say is in this year.

  • Great shoes – Ballet flats and black pumps are the classics, and black is the most versatile. But Repetto Ballet Flats and Christian Leboutin pumps come in beautiful colors that add “wow” to any outfit.

  • Prints can be risky, because a print that is too bold or busy can be unflattering to many body shapes. A great place to start is low contrast prints, such as soft toned plaids and floral pastels. Worn with a complementary solid piece or accessory, they can look great on most women. One way to be more dramatic with a bolder print is with a scarf. Try accenting your classic pieces with a beautiful Cashmere print, or a Hermes silk scarf.

  • A great handbag means great proportion, perfect size, and mouthwatering colors. The Hermes Kelly and Birkin bags are classics, but not practical for many women. But these classics have inspired other similar designs in handcrafted Italian leather. Consider choosing a classic style in a color that makes a statement.

  • Belts – with jeans, over a sweater, nipping the waist of a tailored dress. A simple, elegant and beautifully made belt can be the perfect accent piece to any outfit.

  • Jewelry – The French believe that a woman’s life story lies in her jewelry box. Your classic style can take the exuberance of your most dramatic statement jewelry. But it will also look amazing with the simplest stud earrings or pearl necklace. Accessorize with jewelry that tells your story.

  • Fashion Fun – Add an interesting piece representing the latest fashion trend. Fashion items come and go, so it’s fun to buy an inexpensive, but trendy item to add some drama to your classic pieces.

Classic styling is all about your personality taking center stage and not your clothes. Your clothes should flatter you, not distract. Here are some of the things that can create distraction:

  • Wearing clothes that are too tight or too bulky – clothes that don’t fit you well never work.

  • Choosing clothes based on the latest fashion trend that doesn’t work for you and looks silly next year.

  • Becoming a walking billboard for a designer’s logo or initials.

  • Dressing like your young daughter.

  • Dressing like you are wearing a costume.