In My Most Worn, BAZAAR editors share the fashion items they cherish more than any others in their closets. Fashion news director Rachel Tashjian reviews the Lauren Manoogian skirt that shifted her perspective on beige dressing ahead.
Is there any purer winter fashion fantasy than wrapping oneself in a blanket and just live in it? This idea is so enduring that we can see its traces in everything from early-20th-century opera coats—velvet, with fur trim; very Edith Wharton’s bathrobe—to the Norma Kamali Sleeping Bag coat to Snuggies and their high-fashion equivalent, the cashmere wrap coat (especially Max Mara’s famous Manuela).
The blanket-dressing fantasy, in other words, is mostly about outerwear, and why wouldn’t it be? Winter is the season of layers, so unlike what they always say about beauty, what matters most is what’s on the outside. Beneath your marvelous coat, all manner of Uniqlo Heattech turtlenecks, wide wale corduroy pants, and chunky wool sweaters may lurk, though these pieces are mostly assembled in the name of body temperature preservation rather than chic.
But as a certified Fashion Freak (a certification issued solely by your own ego), I like to take things to the extremes. So with a wrap coat and great cozy gloves already firmly in hand, I fixed my mind in late October on a full regime of blanket dressing, beginning with the most beautiful skirt of fall 2022: the Lauren Manoogian Blanket Skirt.
I am a longtime Manoogian devotee; as I write this from my sofa, I’m wearing a pair of her pima cotton knit pants. Knits in general can skew folksy and bohemian, especially over the past few years, as the ones that grabbed the world’s attention more recently, from brands like Loewe and Paloma Wool, tended to be whimsical or charmingly rough-hewn. But Manoogian’s fall collection had a sense of polish that reminded me a bit of Yves Saint Laurent’s little knit getups from the 1970s, when “bohemian” means decadent and mysterious rather than unassuming. (There are also strong notes of Bonnie Cashin’s cosmopolitan panache.) The collection had some pretty spectacular pleated knit skirts and tops, but what grabbed my attention like a kid grabbing a snow globe—greedy and jerking up and down with deranged excitement—was the Blanket Skirt. It is whipstitched, soft, and exceedingly long, which is very meaningful in this economy, when the length served on the runway is often whittled away by the time something hits the stores.
Also terrific: the color. The tone of the skirt is like if you were holding a very important and rare dove in your hand, and the two of you were really vibing, and it rolled over to show you its belly in affection. It’s vulnerable-dove-belly-gray. For the record, Lauren Manoogian calls the color Aspen, which also works just swell for me, because you could really rock this in a “just took a private jet to my ski lodge” way.
I have neither a private jet, nor a ski lodge (I’ve actually never even been to Aspen!), but I’ve found a multitude of other ways to wear this beautiful wardrobe hero. I took it for its maiden voyage with a grayish pullover sweater, also by Lauren Manoogian, and a pair of Lauren Manoogian house slippers, and the greatest thing in my entire closet, which is a vintage Rocawear jacket I found at a thrift store in Cape Cod in the long-ago year of 2017. I found the dove-belly shades picked up the steely grays and browns of the Rocawear logos just beautifully.
Not long after, I wore it to the office in a more subdued style with that same crewneck, this time showing off a little more pointedly that the sweater has this awesome and absurd extra sleeve at the neck that wraps around to create an elegant little tube —like your own knit is hugging you—and a pair of very beautiful beige over-the-knee boots I got last year from J. Crew.
Lastly, I had lunch with some incredibly important Italian fashion world machers in the skirt, dressing it up with another prized possession, my Paul Harnden blazer, and a tiny red sock, and Manolo Blahnik desert boots I got at the sample sale for an astonishing price earlier this fall.
I used to fear beige dressing—mostly because it used to bore me, and nothing is more terrifying than boredom!—but Lauren Manoogian’s knits, and especially this skirt, have convinced me that beige dressing is just as much a power move as wearing every color I own at once. I’ve worn this bad boy weekly since I got it back in October, because it is so sumptuous, and I find I can pull it on and swaddle myself in an assemblage of neutrals and look very together. We don’t usually associate “comfort dressing” with sumptuousness—and isn’t it time we all do?
Rachel Tashjian is the Fashion News Director at Harper’s Bazaar, working across print and digital platforms. Previously, she was GQ‘s first fashion critic, and worked as deputy editor of GARAGE and as a writer at VanityFair. She has written for publications including Bookforum and Artforumand is the creator of the invitation-only newsletter Opulent Tips.