On Sunday, I pulled out the piece I’d been avoiding all week: the brand’s trousers. As the item least aligned with my own personal style (I’m more of a ripped jeans or dress kind of gal), I felt a bit intimidated by these structured bottoms and unsure of how to best wear them. As with most other Les Six collection pieces, however, these were no basic trousers. With a cropped hem and an elasticized waist, the tailored style was far more approachable than most. I ultimately combined them with the very first item I’d tried—the mock neck—and found them to be a lot easier to wear than I had expected. In fact, I began to dream up other ways I would wear them if I had another week to test.
After a week of capsule collection dressing, I think I found a happy medium between minimalism and maximalism. While I’ll likely never be a true minimalist (I did find myself scheming as to how to zhuzh things up with some color and jewelry near the end) I felt downright silly that I had a closet full of clothes with almost none of the cornerstones Taylor had identified in any good wardrobe. How had I gone 36 years without a basic button-down? The perfect pair of trousers? A versatile shell for layering? Leggings that didn’t feel like they were going to rip at any possible second? Or even a good turtleneck? It was immediately clear to me that, for all of my pizzazz, I had truly been missing out on these foundational pieces, which were far from boring, if only I had given them a chance.
That said, I do think Ouisa’s quality, draping and fit go beyond your average “basics.” Nearly everything, sans for the blazer, fit effortlessly, without needing to be tugged or pulled. While their straightforward aesthetic didn’t blow me away at first sight in the same way something flashy, like a fringe coat or a leopard-print skirt, might, they looked plenty chic and cultured once I put them on. They were easy to move in, and the quality was undeniable—in fact, the only real downside to these pieces was the high price tag.
Would I have experienced the same sophisticated feeling that I did while wearing the line’s button-down with a $20 Amazon knock-off? Maybe, but I have a sneaking suspicion the answer is no—Taylor’s stylist-first approach to design makes these particularly pieces truly effortless. “I’m considering the everyday living of the person who is working with [them],” she explains of the design process. The result? That same je ne sais quoi you always hear tell of when it comes to French fashion. “The draping of the fabrics makes [the items] look tailored from afar,” she quips. “They [don’t have] a very stiff, restrictive feel. You can sit on the couch with your Zoom call [in them].” (A fact I can 100 percent confirm.)
All in all, it was that winning combination of not only having the right basics on hand, but high-quality versions of them, that allowed me to unlock that capsule-based, uniform mindset—or at least, my own version of it.
“It’s a process,” Taylor says. “It’s truly freeing.” Hear, hear.