In our biweekly series, editors share the item so versatile, so chic, so comfortable that they wear it over and over and over again—whether it be a basic white tee or a super-trendy jumpsuit. Prepare yourself (and your credit card) for some guilt-free shopping.
I don't gravitate towards flashy things. Yes, I have a few bold pieces in my closet for occasions where I don't mind pulling focus—karaoke night, a rock concert (remember those things?). I can fall in love with a spartan button-down shirt if the cut is just right, or a plaid that has a subtly interesting color combo. But the one thing I own that feels the most me is a hoodie from Original Penguin with a striking tiger-motif print. It must be about a decade old, a little warped, and pilling in places, but slipping into it still brings me as much joy as when I spotted on the rack in Original Penguin's New York City shop, a location that has since shuttered.
Truth be told, I hesitated to buy this zip-up, even as I was drawn to the cyan on gray pattern, such an unexpected color choice for a nature-themed design. It was a hundred times splashier than all the other retro sportswear filling the shop. It wasn't until I looked closely that I began to discern the tigers nested in the reeds—some are stalking, others lazing about, their stripes blending into the impressionistic wisps of vegetation. I decided to embrace these tigers.
Quite a few years after I found my beloved hoodie, I had another divine moment in a thrift shop. Peeking out between drab solid shirts, the same cyan tigers called to me, this time adorning a Penguin short-sleeve button-down shirt. To spot them among the dozens of racks jam-packed with apparel from every era felt like a fated moment. The shirt still had the original tags.
I've continued to add more patterned pieces to my wardrobe, stepping further away from my reliance on the usual solids, stripes, and plaids. My leopard print long-sleeve shirt gets compliments every time I feel extroverted enough to slip it on. I've also started to collect some '70s disco shirts with kaleidoscopic patterns—as loud as they are, the oversized collars flatter my proportions. I've come to appreciate how eye-catching prints invite people to look more closely. They can express an attitude or an energy that might not suit my mood on a typical day. But watch out! When I get the impulse to layer my tiger-motif hoodie with the matching shirt, all bets are off.
Add some bold prints to your wardrobe
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
Carl Kelsch is the Managing Editor of Harper’s Bazaar. He’s also a screenwriter whose short films of varying quaility can be found smattered among the interwebs.
16 Dreamy Spring Pieces I Can't Stop Thinking About
Warm-weather trends are in full bloom.
By Emma Walsh
For Deepica Mutyala, Entrepreneurship Is Worth the Sacrifice
The Live Tinted founder talks having it all—but not all at once.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
"It's Been Hell on Earth": Inside Alabama's Fertility Crisis
Last week, the state's Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are legally considered children. 'Marie Claire' spoke with affected women who are grappling with an uncertain future.
By Jessica Goodman
Colorful Cowboys and Celebs Galore: Pharrell William's Latest for Louis Vuitton Men's
A special shoutout goes to Williams' revamped Speedy bags.
By India Roby
This Under-the-Radar Jacket on Amazon Is My Newest Winter Obsession
And, no, it's not the "Amazon coat."
By Jaimie Potters
The Best Black T-Shirts to Buy In Bulk
Done right, the black tee is the most versatile item in your wardrobe.
By Taylor Ayers
30 Cozy and Covetable Blanket Scarves to Wrap Up In
It’s as cozy as can be.
By Sara Holzman
11 Graphic T-Shirts From Amazon You'd Actually Wear
Cheeky, not cheesy.
By Marina Liao
10 Oversized Denim Jackets You Can Live in Year-Round
Come for the timelessness, stay for the coziness.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
The 16 Best Flared Jeans for Women
Blue jeans, baby.
By Sara Holzman
The 23 Best Puffer Jackets for Women to Stay Warm In
The cold never bothered me anyway.
By Emma Childs