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Mimi Raad Headshot

The Magic of Simplicity

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A friend keeps repeating these magic words "simplicity and subtlety." It used to annoy me -- it stung; I took it as a passive aggressive criticism to my style, which that can, I admit, be over the top, sometimes.

The other day I woke up in a minimalist mood. All I wanted was a white shirt. Nothing frivolous, a straight forward outfit.

I opened my closet and went through the tops, lined up as they are by color. In the white section, I hesitated. One can never have too many white shirts. Length differs in: cut, whether it's fitted or not, of it has details or if it's a basic, cotton or silk shirt with a small collar, either Mao style or Peter Pan.

I picked a slim-fitted shirt. A mix of cotton and silk. And paired it with a black leather pencil skirt, and comfortable stilettos (yes they exist, you just have to find the right brand that fits you). I felt like a million dollars! Simple is an art. It's never as easy as it looks. This applies to designing a building, creating a look, or writing a feature!

When I was a lot younger, simplicity was not my thing -- neither in outfits, nor in life. The more complicated the merrier. As I grew, I simplified. My grandmother, a sophisticated and refined woman (God bless her soul), never added any extra detail to her simple, elegant outfits. She lived her life with clarity and simplicity, and her style reflected that. No pointless worries, no extra fabric. No frivolous opinions, no unnecessary ruffles.

Dealing on daily basis with TV personalities who think "more is better," is challenging. Day after day, I try to convert them to the principle of "less is more." I'm not the kind who gives up easily, but to no avail. Eventually, some convert -- more to avoid my acerbic criticism than because of conviction.

Simplicity is a totally foreign concept in this part of the world. More bling-bling, more makeup, more extravagant hairdos, more plastic surgeries -- and while talking about excess, I must mention the excessive postings of pictures and messages on various platforms. We are so wrapped up in our consumerist and narcissistic society that we forgot the beauty of simplicity. Let's marvel at the clean cuts of a perfectly-tailored suit, an elegantly designed bag, a slick pair of shoes, delicate fabrics refined leathers and genuine conversations.

Why don't we create the life that really matters to us and dress accordingly. Luxury is about achieving simplicity in our lifestyle.

In order to get there, here are some tried-and-true staples for any woman's closet:

•White shirt: Join the gentlemen's club, and opt for slouchy shirts, or fitted ones worn with heels and flats. Dressed up or down, it'll always be chic.

•White tees: They're the ground-work for layering.

•Lightweight knits: The epitome of essential knitwear. Make sure to own cashmere cardigans, V-neck or button-up, in classic colors-camel, navy, black and grey.

•Jeans: The simple item to give you confidence. Choose a cut that works for you. A straight cut in a darker wash is more versatile.

•The leather jacket: One of the coolest jackets. Wear it classically with jeans, defiantly over a ball gown, or irreverently with tailored pants.

Trousers: Think Jackie O's simple, pared-down, but polished style. Easy to team with a blouse or a tee with flats or pumps.

•Tuxedo: same as the LBD, it will always work for evenings.

•Trench coat: It's the ultimate symbol of chic, whether worn over jeans or a fancy dress, it'll always exude a sophisticated/French look.

• Camel overcoat: A coat is the first and last thing people see on you. You can't go wrong with a cashmere coat in deep tan.

P.S. I do tolerate exceptions! It's all about having fun after all.