5 Pieces Of Indispensable Fashion Advice Courtesy Of Giorgio Armani


It should come as no surprise that Giorgio Armani is a wellspring of good advice when it comes to making sound wardrobe investments. The 86-year-old designer founded his business on a thoroughly considered, futureproof approach to fashion. And, as recently as April of this year, he published an open letter in WWD advocating for a slower fashion movement: “Luxury cannot and must not be fast. It makes no sense for one of my jackets or suits to live in the shop for three weeks before becoming obsolete, replaced by new goods that are not too different.” 

What, then, would the maestro advise British Vogue readers to invest in this winter? Elegant tailoring, a classic handbag and exemplary-quality cashmere are all on the list. “Cashmere, in particular, can be very useful to bridge seasonal variations in the weather,” he says. Read on for Giorgio Armani’s indispensable guide to assembling a classic wardrobe to last a lifetime.

What are the five items Mr Armani thinks every woman should have in her wardrobe? 

A simple, elegant jacket, because it is the most versatile of garments and can work, with small styling tricks and combinations of different accessories, for different moments of the day and for different occasions. An elegant piece of jewellery that becomes a signature piece for the wearer to underline her personal style. A white shirt – an absolutely essential basic, which will work with smart, tailored outfits and with more casual combinations, even jeans. A pair of flat shoes – comfortable and practical. And a great bag, like my La Prima handbag, a revised version of one of my classics.

What is the difference between a good suit and a great suit?

The difference between a good suit and a great suit is that a great suit should feel comfortable. The jacket is the backbone to every suit and it should shape naturally on the body, barely marking the waist and underlining the elegance of the arms with the slim cut of the sleeves. It incorporates lightweight and elegant fabrics, with sinuous cuts, and natural but supported shoulders.

Gigi Hadid photographed by Zoë Ghertner and styled by Julia Sarr-Jamois for the March 2020 issue of British Vogue.

© Zoë Ghertner

What is the biggest mistake women make when buying coats? 

It is always about the fit. Women – and men, for that matter – should pay particular attention to how a coat fits. Too big and it will swamp the wearer; too small and it will be uncomfortable and not fit over other garments easily. In my opinion a good coat should wrap around the bust and shoulders naturally and you should be able to fasten it; wearing it too small is a mistake. The sleeves should stop at the wrist, which is a sensual, fragile and seductive part of the body. A great coat should be versatile enough to work in multiple situations, and for this reason classic styles are a good investment. And as with any clothing, it should never be worn in a rigid way, but always with nonchalance and a loose, relaxed, confident spirit.

What is the secret to looking after your clothes well?

Don’t wear them too often on consecutive days, so they have time to recover. Store them in an organised way, with enough space to allow them to “breathe”. Protect them from sunlight by keeping them in wardrobes and drawers, and store hanging garments in hanging bags if possible. And always follow the care and cleaning instructions on the garments. It’s all common sense, really.

What is the perfect transitional piece for autumn?

Again, a great jacket is good for this, as it can take you through the seasons from warmer to cooler weather. This could be a tailored jacket in a lightweight fabric, a sporty blouson, perhaps padded, or a leather jacket. Then there is always a case for a simple, classic three-quarter-length dress, which if it is in a relatively lightweight fabric will again work across this period. I am also a fan of knitwear for this purpose; cashmere, in particular, can be very useful to bridge seasonal variations in the weather.

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