How to Win Both the Style Battle and War

Sun Tzu once said, “The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin.” Though the Warring States Period may be over and history recounts innumerable conflicts, one in particular continues to ensue. This war has neither a chapter in textbooks nor a commemorative day on our calendars. Troops have yet to be withdrawn in the “Style War”, as women still battle against their true adversaries, “hair woes” and “shoe pains.” Strategy and philosophy abound, and as the Sun Tzu of dress, I posit that a severe wardrobe malfunction is sufficient to situate any woman on the long road to ruin.

So true is it that fashion fades and style remains the same; thus are a few wardrobe basics every woman must have in her flotilla to ensure she is well-equipped for battle.

The Blazer: An invaluable piece, it takes us from day to night, from casual to chic, from boardroom to bedroom.  A well-tailored blazer is the perfect ensemble fundamental to pair with jeans and a T-shirt, to wear over a mini-dress, or to piece with leggings and a blouse. Black, gray or navy, single or double-breasted, the blazer will transition with you through the seasons and will never be wrong.

My blazer pick — Helmut Lang. Edgy, chic, sexy and minimalist, a Helmut blazer will work with any outfit at any time. Venture over to the Helmut Lang Store in the Meatpacking District; 819 Washington St., 212-242-3240. Tread with caution, as blazer quest will result in procurement of said Austrian designer’s entire collection.

The Flat Boot: Although there is nothing sexier than a great heel, the flat boot reigns supreme. In its knee or over-the-knee form, it is the embodiment of classic beauty; sexy in the eyes of men and women alike, the flat boot is our modern day Jian, the gentleman of weapons. It is the shoe to wear with jeans, leggings, shorts, skirts or dresses; it is the shoe that most importantly will not render your toes handicapped.

A staple in Chloé’s fall collection is her flat boot, perfection to the discerning fashionista. Black, brown and olive, suede or leather, knee-high or over-the-knee, each luxury retailer carries at least one version.

The Skinny Jean: Grace à 3 percent Spandex or 4 percent Lycra, the jean legging, i.e. “jegging,” has catapulted the denim industry to a place where jeans are now fashion forward and comfortable and are no longer just sturdy trousers for miners. From the 18th century blue of Genoa to the 2011 Jbrand black wax Venom, the mind reels.

I am a personal fan of Jbrand Jeans; they have countless styles, at least one of which will work with any woman’s body, they are incredibly comfortable and most importantly of course, you will look hot in them. They can be found at

So we women press on, maneuvering the battlefield with our disciplined multitude of soldiers, Stella McCartney, Chloé, Fendi, and Helmut Lang.

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