This week, I care not which of the Hollywood Chrises has been canceled. I care not of Kim Kardashian turning 40, despite a quiet longing that she becomes the first Lady. I care not whose soufflé has sunk causing them to be baked off the show. I care only for winter. For frostbite. For the lapels of a real coat. For something woolen rolled at my neck.
Winter is coming and I for one am thrilled. After months in sweats, dressing only my torso for Zoom, my Elizabeth Debeki frame is screaming for slacks, a remedy to the fleeced legs of lockdown. Fancy dancing trousers with satin sheens with go-faster stripes. Trousers with enough give for the conga, for going loco in Acapulco. Velvet drapes re-sewn like Maria von Trapp is my benevolent governess. Having spied Shirley Bassey’s current wardrobe offering, I may even do sequins. My legs need the scratch of tinsel, or the smooth of silk. Trousers maketh the man.
We’re seldom short for fashion inspiration on the Internet. The Olsens are a forever mood; I, too, would like to haunt Manhattan in a plume of Marlboro Light smoke on closed-toe Marrakesh mules. The Bieber-Balwdins remind me that streetwear’s bottomless beige mimosa shows little sign of running dry. Cate Blanchette is the living embodiment of those chic little roll-up cigarettes you smoke in Paris when you’re traveling in the '70s but she’s also doing palazzo pants. And while I covet Naomi Campbell’s Dior couture, it’s the frivolous party-trouser that calls out to me.
I appreciate the comedy of Hot Girl Fall, with the slouchy boots and daft hats, but I’m ready for Hot Woman Winter. And no woman does New York winter like Katie Holmes. As you already know, Katie is one of the '90s teenagers who ascended to the adult realm, emerging from the swampy creek. She was married to a man who’s on film seven of a franchise that continues to prove that the missions are possible. Now I know what you’re thinking: Katie always looks nice, sure, but she’s not reinventing the wheel. But it’s hard to fault a well-turned-out woman, a sturdy dresser.
There’s a lot of flexing in fashion these days: loud, flamboyant ensembles that function as shoutfits. I cannot deny my own position as a late millennial with Gen Z aspirations and a disproportional craving for party-pants. There’s a pressure to reinvent, to excel last week’s look, to evolve. But Holmes dresses with the cool and quiet richness of Philadelphia spread, it’s noiselessly delicious. It’s not so much that she pushes fashion beyond our imaginations, transporting us on another planet with each dress she selects. She’s not Björk. She’s not Billie Eilish. But off-duty New York Mom, by way of The Row, has its own tune, its own luster. Katie’s practical minimalism is her signature. Ivory Gap hoodies and pointed Chelsea boots. Roll necks and emerald city slippers. The kind of effortless hair that costs a fortune. Not every mom is hailing a cab in a cashmere bralet and cardigan, but that was very much “a moment.” She never dresses fleshy. She never dresses flashy. She’s tried and tested the equation of jeans and a jumper and it’s never boring.
While perusing Holmes pics, I suddenly remember my trusty blue jeans, nothing like the dancing slacks I’ve been dreaming of. You don’t have to question your self-esteem for blue jeans, they hug your legs and away you go. Katie whips hers on and all I can do is nod. My dream of dressing like Danny Zucko at the school dance, in a pitch-black suit and hyper-lapelled peach shirt is still coming round the corner. In the meantime, I’m getting my blue jeans from the back of the closet.