It will be 20 years this spring since I cut up that first t-shirt and hand stitched it back together.  About this time in 2000, I would have just been getting ready to leave Venezuela and Nelly’s Kitchen and heading towards New York City to begin the adventure that has become Alabama Chanin. I’ve survived Swimming with Barracuda, The Moth (you can hear my story of coming home here), and raising two children). After 20 years of designing collections and running Alabama Chanin’s company divisions that have evolved, I’ve learned that I feel best when my clothes are like my second skin.  I have developed a uniform-style wardrobe with hard-working pieces that function well together and play well with seasonal favorites that come and go and mix well with those forever friends. If you see me around town, I’m often in some combination of navy with a mix of individual pieces that work together like a puzzle.

I’ve written this before and it’s true: I live happily in a modest 1950s house that has the small original closets that have never been updated.  I keep my wardrobe to one small bedroom closet that I keep very organized, plus a combination coat closet and long hall coat rack our family coats, jackets, bags, dog leashes and my beloved Cozy Waffle Wraps (that’s definitely NOT organized as I write this).

After 20 years of standing, cooking, gardening, raising kids and dogs, and swimming with barracuda, here’s what I’m loving (and wearing) right now:

The Trench

Whether on a long-haul flight or running around town, this is one of my all-time, favorite, go-to pieces.  The organic cotton jersey stretches with every move and boasts perfect side pockets for keys, glasses, and the random ephemera that I undoubtedly collect during the day. I also have the gilded Sapphire version for dress-up occasions.

The Slip Dress(es)

This is that piece that I can sleep in or pair under The Trench for just about any occasion.  I have multiple colors that get me through a busy week.

The Jogger

A new favorite for yoga, around the house, on the factory floor, and downtown. Paired under The Slip Dress or with The Coverup and under The Trench, this is my go-to when I’m getting ready to dig into a long day.

Pairs perfectly with The Trench and my entire wardrobe. Light but warm, folds up into my bag, can also be used as a headscarf, pillow, or hand cozy.  Our team is working on a limited amount of Wrap Scarves that will be shipping soon. Order yours here.



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Click to read 4 comments
  1. Vickie

    I love your style, Natalie, and between my School of Making projects and occasional investment pieces like the trench coat I am slowly building a versatile, beautiful wardrobe. Thank you so much!

  2. Cheryl

    Isn’t it wonderful to have pieces that feel both peaceful and confident? Thank you for sharing your favorites and starting Alabama Chanin. Since building my AC wardrobe both purchased and made, it feels so good to wear. By lovIng and pulling my thread through the cotton it de-stresses me and connects the exercise (joy) to all the women sewing before me.