optimal wear


Packing for Paris

We get asked about packing a lot.

Basically, you’re taking a mini version of your Haute Closet on the road. Thus, everything should already be a perfect fit and in great condition.

The evening before leaving for Paris market ss12 we snapped our packing session:

Allow us to illustrate via the alphabet and caution: you should never get to Z unless you are packing to start a closet in your second home.

OK, so (a) belts. An essential accessory if you’re into belts. And if you’re not into belts ask yourself why not and are you sure about that … right now. Ok. So. One black, one oxblood, both working with all the shoes and bags and both easily transition from day to night and expand from short to long. Tricky … and trusty.

On to the shoes: we’ve brought four, a pair of Nike high tops (f), tough little boots (b), a sleek pair of flats (h), and (d) a Céline oxblood bootie. Notice how there is only one pair of heels, the Célines. Make this your packing ideal. When you’re on a trip you’re walking. A lot. If you plan for it, this one heel can drive a diverse set of evening looks.

Moving along, foundation. You’re going on a trip — take things that are functional, beautiful, ripe for layering AND laying on the seduction a la (c) this corset can work as a bra, a top with a high skirt or pant OR a surprise piece of lingerie. See also: fresh hosiery (g), an essential foundation for every trip unless you’re traveling to the equator, and even then. Basically, stockings serve as insurance against the chills and can also incite another (excellent) kind of chill. Purchase wisely and with abandon (not to mention they’re totally fun and can transform a black tunic in a second.) Undies and bras, you got this.

On to globe-trotting garments. Your selection should be basic, minimal and versatile in the biggest way, a la: your favorite jeans (i), a non-fusty flannel (j), essential sweatshirt (k) and a style-driven piece (l). There’s also a Topshop tank in there sporting Chicago Art Deco — it goes without saying, represent when you’re away. The takeaway: 3:1 tops to bottoms, think strategically, make sure you have solids and a few signature prints and they all play nicely together. This is the KEY.

On to the handbags and the other half of our case:

With the Jerome Dreyfuss (m) and pink (e) and white bags from above, handbags are covered (although our never-dies, apparently camera-shy LeSportsac serves as our carryon and secure day bag, this bag is black nylon but really it’s gold bullion). We could have edited out the white one, but we didn’t. We love it. Purses are perfect places to store your hair accessories and jewelry, saving space and ensuring the safe passage of all that is precious. (Also, dust off the dust bags — essential to cover all your shoes and bags if traveling commercial.)

Then there’s the dresses: a dressy black for that very special evening or every evening (q), one that goes day to night (r) and a signature piece (white leather, yes.) Again, here is that 3:1 rule: when it comes to packing and eliminating the bulk, soak in the fact that there are three flimsy dresses and one basic black coat (s) here. The dresses are easy to stow. Jackets, not so much. Everything works with the black jacket and the black jacket works with all of the accessories. Can’t wear dresses every moment, though, so we added, in addition to the jeans, two more highly versatile bottoms, a leather A.L.C. skirt (o) and a pair of shocking blue silk shorts (t). Both tightly packable, both interchangeable with all of the tops and the hosiery, which brings us to (p) socks. Socks are so often overlooked but one of our favorite categories. Don’t overlook.

Going back to (n), that’s where we’ve stowed our nonbreakable/nonspillable personal items. It’s a little Baggu ziptop, infinitely useful on trips, this one came in a set of three.

The lesson: when packing, less is more. All things in the case working together = yes. You can indeed take four pairs of shoes and three handbags without feeling badly, you just need to make certain each has its purpose. And always, always leave room for more. What’s a trip if you aren’t shopping to score some flavor from your destination du jour?

Perhaps that won’t be necessary if you’re going to an ashram, but that’s a whole ‘nother packing lesson. As in life, just remember your purpose. And don’t be too fussy when it comes to the clothes — bring out the best of your capsule wardrobe with smart accessories.

X April

PS: We were photographed a few times working a certain outfit concocted of the above.


Lolla Reloaded

Alright darlings, you’ve waited long enough. Real style at Lollapalooza was hard to come by. We were absolutely lost in a sea of uninspired trends, i.e. Keds Keds Keds!, crop tops, neon and, above all, general slovenliness. But backstage there was a ton of good stuff going on.

Check out our favorite girls from the fest – the Australian DJ duo known as NERVO – to the right and loads more of our Lolla style coverage on Lucky Online herehere, here and here.

Also, be sure to check out what the musicians were wearing and saying in our refinery29 post.

Plus – don’t miss this this video from lastnightsparty: an instant hit and exactly the energy you missed if you weren’t at the fest.

And, of course, Chicago’s Darkroom Demons – they’ve got the pics from all the parties!

We will definitley be back again next year (it is, after all, our favorite weekend in Chicago – you’re familiar with our Haute Tunes, no?) to capture those who truly make this the fest.

Here are some of the best looks from Lollapalooza 2010:



We are going to turn this, our favorite festival, upside down.

Corresponding for Lucky, we’re going to be staking out the best festival looks, talking to your favorite performers and attending all the best parties.

We’ve featured quite a few of the Lolla artists on our THC in Your Head mixes and we can’t wait to get their take on style.

SO: What are you going to wear?

See you there.


A Really Haute Swap

Plan on being at Robin Richman, 2108 North Damen, June 24th from 5 – 7 for a reprise of last year’s well received ‘Swap and Shop.’

Come in with tagged, already priced items you no longer wear, a few precious pieces that don’t suit you anymore, and get ready to swap for something you’ll love. It’s the best kind of recycling you can do.

Sell your items (cash only) – or better yet, swap with the fashionable ladies that will be setting up beside you. Robin requests all bring “gently used designer clothes, shoes [and] jewelry from the Robin Richman store and the like to sell and swap.”

A party after our own heart – and at a store we truly love – come in with something to Robin-like share ready to crush a cup of wine with the hostess herself.

RSVP to the store appreciated but not required: 773.278.6150


Get Glam for a Cause

So Daphne Guinness, the patron saint of The Haute Closet, is being an angel again, having scooped up the entire estate of the late Isabella Blow, the inimitable fashion luminary, daring hat-wearer and discoverer of the dearly departed Alexander McQueen. You can read about the major fashion acquisition here. Major love and thanks to Daphne for saving the treasure.

And! In other news, The Haute Closet is proudly hosting the event at the GUESS Michigan Avenue flagship tomorrow. 500 fashion lovers, cocktails, GUESS and Lucky Mag there to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, a mission possible organizationvery near and dear to our hearts. An organization that, you never know, is probably helping out a future fashion designer right now. So come out, make a purchase, donate and feel good about some fun summer accessories or swishy dresses – and, of course, GUESS denim – to wear around town, on a hot date, or at our favorite Chicago event: Lollapalooza.

What, you haven’t already planned your Lolla wardrobe? You better: We’ll be seeking style-setters on the festival grounds, photographing and interviewing those whose style we love for Lucky Mag and Lucky Online.

Come to GUESS tomorrow from 7 – 9 and get some style advice from The Haute Closet, a mini-makeover and a photograph of you in your favorite GUESS look. You can rock it; just wait ’til you see our outfit!


The Cream of Your Closet

Seven Ensembles that Speak the Haute

At THC we like to give it to you straight. And the only way to do that is by giving you basic info you can run with or getting us into your closet so we can detail exactly what’s what when it comes to your wardrobe.

That said, here’s the cream on the looks you’ve got to have:

An Event LBD or Killer Tux: Because you absolutely must have this ammunition in your arsenal.

A Knock ’em Out Interview Outfit: Because your resume is only as good as your attitude.

The Office to Cocktails Ensemble: Because work to fun means layering and a subsequent stripping down.

Your Casual Weekend Look: Because looking great and being comfortable is more than possible. We promise.

The Dress Up Date: Because regardless of age, you need to be able to amp up the sex appeal, male or female.

Your Sport Wardrobe: Because well-being necessitates working out, getting fit is better with good gear.

A Sleep Suite: Because there’s nothing more haute than nighttime clothes and underthings that turn you on.

And there you have it. So, now what? Go play in your closet!

If you need help pulling these essentials together from what you’ve got, let us know and we’ll answer your questions and/or get you a Haute Closet.

NOTE WELL: The most important part of this equation is the ingredients. Like cooking, if you want the best meal, you’ve got to use the best ingredients. Every piece – from your LBD to your underthings – should be 1. Unique 2. Elegant and 3. Economical. In translation, that adds up to every piece – from your trench coat to your date skirt – being something you absolutely love, something that looks extraordinary on you and the very best you can afford. All ofthat will add up to a Haute Closet, a perfectly wearable wardrobe.

Illustration via Laura Laine


Such a Good Cover

Esquire: February 2010

So well done.


We Never Say So, But…

We Can Get Behind Zoe Saldana’s Style

Merry Christmas! Check our size 38.5 wishlist.

photos via Zoe-Saldana.net


Charney Non-Controversy

Agreeing With Dov’s Brow Decree


THC in ‘Where’s Yvie?’

Spreading the Haute Coast to Coast

We’ve always been a huge fan of Hejfina. And ShopNastyGal. And Refinery29, a site we fell in love with way back when.

So, when Piera came calling from Refinery29 we were there to do whatever we could to help her out on her adventure in the Windy City. When told to meet at Reckless Records – a spot close to our heart – we fell in love. And when asked to wear a most precious purple vintage YSL jacket, the most charmingly named Yvie, we fell deeply in love.

A huge thank you to Christene and Piera, YSL and Parisienne for inviting us to share the love.

Check out all the fab ladies Yvie met on her tour to search out and spread the message of Parisienne in the great USA (don’t miss, she did it drippingly well, darlings) here. And where did we tell Yvie and the ladies to go while in Chicago? Robin RichmanChalk, and Ikram, of course.

And lastly, as we were particularly excited about meeting Yvie at Reckless Records – there’s nothing we love more than a music + fashion fusion – we’ll clue you in to our dream affair. Check out Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and fall in love. Then come back for more when we press THC in Your Head Vol 7. X

photo via refinery29.com


The Garment Room Presents ‘Muse’

Quite Possibly the Freshest Thing at NYFW


Preview! F/W 2009

For your viewing pleasure: Madonna at this year’s MET BALL as styled by Marc Jacobs …

And more of the collection as styled by Alex White and shot by Craig McDean.

Yes, adjust your eye – this is the true spirit of F/W 09. We cannot wait!



via American Elle