Mighty Closet: Jaime Chen, Outfit 1

30th March 2010

Hooray, a new Mighty Closet! My friends, it has been too long.

This is Jaime Chen, a dear friend with incredible taste. Pity she’s so unattractive.

Her hideous deformities aside, I admire Jaime’s approach to wardrobe building because it’s the opposite of how I shop, and the results are enviable. She focuses on buying clothes she knows she’ll wear, which means she’s willing to pay more when she finds something she loves. I buy everything that interests me and is under $20. We go shopping all the time and she almost never buys anything. I find myself baffled, shoving shiny things at her in an effort to feel less alone in my rampant consumerism, but she remains steadfast.

Her outer jacket is by Hengst, purchased in the Mission. Jaime is incredibly faithful to brands, and Hengst is one of her favorites. In fact, she owns a heaver version of this same jacket in wool.

This warmup jacket is by Heff Christiansen, purchased at Helen Yi in Chicago. Jaime is also faithful to stores once she feels like she can trust the selection, so Helen Yi is another favorite. The grey cords are J Brand.

The back of the jacket is the best part, by the way. Jaime was trained as an architect, and her clothes reflect an interest in structure. Her pink tank is by Vince. She owns it in two other colors, which she has yet to wear, because she’s hoarding them for when the pink one dies.

Her colorful wallet was a gift from her husband Henning. It’s a mywalit from the I.D.E.A. Living store in Amsterdam. Now let’s talk about The Bag — it’s from the Pleats Please line by Issey Miyake. Jaime has been looking for a bag for years, since I met her in fact.

She finally found it when she randomly walked into Mio for the first time. I was actually surprised by her choice, particularly the color — Jaime tends to wear lots of grey and black. The fabric is so lightweight that the empty bag is almost weightless. There are tons of pockets, and it ripples and folds along those triangle shapes, so it looks like a completely different shape whenever you change how you’re holding it. So killer.

These boots aren’t so bad either. As I’ve mentioned before, San Francisco is a walking city. Jaime’s hill-friendly boots are by an unknown Japanese designer, purchased at Cotton Sheep in Hayes Valley.

Nicely played, Chen. Tune in tomorrow to see Jaime wearing a fedora without looking like she planned her whole outfit around it. I’m still not sure how she does that.

28 thoughts on “Mighty Closet: Jaime Chen, Outfit 1

  1. nelking

    Doesn’t buy everything she likes? Spends money on those things she does like? Rarely buys anything? Loyal to brands and stores? Dresses in grays and blacks? Vince? Now we’re talking. Jaime is much prettier than me though.

  2. amanda

    I was on the fence about the wildly bright “dijon” cords that came in today’s mail, fearing the fit was too tight on my calves. I am totally keeping them now. Win!

  3. Alyce

    I love this series. Love love love. Every so often I wonder what it would be like if I tried just a little bit harder, but it’s an exhausting thought. And then I read one of these Mighty Closet peeks and get puffed back up, energized even. For a few days after I find myself wearing colored lip gloss instead of chapstick and a bold chunky necklace with my tshirt and jeans.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

  4. Alicia

    LOVE. perfect might closet entry. I kind of want everything she has on. Especially the bag. and the boots. and the jacket. Ok everything.

  5. Rebecca

    Super cute!! I have to add, my two year old son is saying ‘I luv dat purse’… he’s got great taste!

  6. maureen

    Yes, for me the key to a great bag is that it has to weigh nothing when it’s empty. So many great looking bags are already kind of heavy before you even put your stuff into them. I don’t buy those bags.

  7. Meghan

    I live in Chicago, very close to the Helen Yi store. The store intimidates me because it has so few items. I’ve walked by it a million times and never gone inside. The jacket has inspired me to go in the door. Yeah, Mighty Closet!

  8. Kathleen

    Hey guys! I found the Issey Miyake bag over at the MOMA Store.
    I love Jamie’s clothes. Especially the wrap jacket. Hmmm I’ll bet I could make something like that?

  9. Rebecca

    I love everything about this outfit. This could be my favorite Mighty Closet – EVAR. I love the quality-over-quantity vibe. (I’m trying to move that way, myself.)

  10. jennifer in sf

    Ok, seriously, I need to start shopping like that.

    The whole outfit is great, but that bag is a.maz.ing.

  11. Tasha Haley

    I had to go out and get myself a pair of rainbow shoes that were featured in another Mighty Closet post, and now I think I need to have a rainbow wallet to match. And that purse!! Gorgeous!

  12. Jennifer

    House of Hengst is great! My brother has the boy version of her jacket and it is probably the only hip thing in his wardrobe, but he wears it everyday. The Hengst ladies have saved my husband and me many a time–funerals, conferences, rehearsal dinners, &c&c.

    Jaime, you put it all together so well and I always intend to have your approach to shopping (although Maggie, I tend more towards yours in practice, although with less success). Can you come to Paris and shop with me?

  13. hannah

    Wow, I love every single one of the pieces Jamie is wearing. Awesome! Can’t wait to see the rest of the outfits in this series.

  14. S

    I adore Hengst – one of my absolute favorite designers and her store is beautiful. I recognized Jamie’s coat because I deliberated for half an hour about buying it, decided I couldn’t afford it, and totally regret it all the time now. I’m trying to cultivate a healthier approach to shopping… I have so many coats I got on sale but don’t wear because I don’t adore them. Shoulda just bought this one!

  15. Cori

    I just love the idea of buying a tank in multiple colors and then hording them until the first one dies. I may have to adopt that strategy.

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