I realize I'm looking awfully like a mall girl/boring shopper here, but, trust me, this is not the direction in which I'm going.
I've got a lot of non-basic pieces that I love--perhaps too many. Sometimes you need a good but simple skirt or pair of pants so you can wear that interesting blouse or showcase a pair of offbeat shoes. I'm usually good on numbers 1 and 3, but limited on number 2.
I was in the Gap recently to replenish some activewear (I get leggings, tops, sports bras there as they work out well for me and are usually on some kind of promo). While in there, I saw some skinny pants and a box pleated miniskirt (my favourite kind of skirt) and decided they looked interesting. But they weren't on promo and this is the Gap where everything ultimately goes on sale, or can be had with an online/email coupon. I didn't have the time to try them on either so I passed. But the germ of an idea had been set.
Sure enough, over Columbus Day, the Gap had an online and store sale and I received an email. After acupuncture, I tried on the pants and the skirt. Both were surprisingly nice and flattering and, more to the point, they also filled key wardrobe holes. I do have misgivings about the Gap and their labour practices, but I'm also aware that so many of the pricier brands aren't much better. I'll admit to ethical qualms here that remain, but that's a topic for another day.
I got the skirt. It was the same price in stores and online and the immediate gratification element blinded me to the reality of shipping charges that I'd now have to pay on the pants which were substantially cheaper online. It fits well, is lined (even though the fabric is not the best quality, it's not that bad) and has pockets. It would be better if the pleats went all the way round, rather than just the front, but that's what happens when stores try to cut costs. But it's so versatile that I'm happy to have it in my closet. Like crew neck cashmere sweaters, box pleat above the knee skirts aren't that easy to find for some strange reason. Here's the image from their website:
I also decided to get their skinny pants (or really skinny/ultra skinny/whatever) which were just under $30 with the promo. I decided to buy just one pair and swallow shipping (a resolution I'm applying to all stores rather than just buy things I don't need to save shipping--a false economy unless I really want all the items). They fit well and are really flattering. Again, I'd prefer a better fabric as these attract more cat hair than I'd like, but they will be a great supplement to my Rag and Bone pants and make those pair last longer. Here, again, is the website image:
Lesson--don't entirely ignore the Gap. Don't obsess over it either, but look in there occasionally for some wardrobe basics.