Tami is a very active 47-year-old mother of New York City late-adolescents. She spends a great deal of time with them and their friends, since they will be leaving home soon. She chose these as her five winter fashion essentials because “I am the sort of woman who likes her basics to be functional and not fussy,” and because frequent exercise is a big part of her life.

Exercise has become a passion for me in the last decade. It keeps me physically fit and toned, but, just as important, it is a way for me to be calm and grounded. My workouts range from long walks in Central Park to yoga, cardio, and strength-training classes.

My winter five basics are necessary for the fast-paced way I live. I do not want to get up in the morning and think about what I have to pull together. Of course I change my seasonal basics as I age and as styles change. I have an 18-year-old daughter, and setting a good example for her in terms of dressing as an adult woman is important to me. I do not shop in my daughter’s closet.

This winter I could not live without:

Photo: Cheryl Fleming Studios

My winter coat. It is a Rick Owens fur-lined gray leather swing coat. t was a great buy when I got it, and I have worn it for years. It is timeless, stylish, and—not to forget—really warm.


Rick Owens boots that work for day and night are low-platform wedges that are not hard to walk in and add some high style to my otherwise simple look.

I also love these Aquatalia by Marvin K “Minnow” suede boots, which are available at Nordstrom. They are chic, economical, and waterproof.


I have a great black long-sleeved Stella McCartney jersey stretch dress with a simple scoop neckline and enough back exposure to be fun but not over-the-top. I put this on with boots and opaque tights for day and at night wear with tights and heels.



This Donna Karan dress, on sale at Net-A-Porter, is a budget-friendly alternative.



Danskin and Wolford leggings are a necessity in the winter time.


I am crazy about these Lululemon long sleeved tops, which are made of a really comfortable cotton stretch knit.




I am not an accessories person.   Hoop earrings are my only adornment.



These classic white gold hoops are so simple, but add an interesting touch to any outfit.


And yes, almost everything is black.


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  • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. February 25, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Great looking clothes and simple philosophy for dressing, Tami. Our young fashion assistant found the dress by Donna Karan on sale and thought that it would be useful for readers who like this simple look that is timeless and goes from day to night. She certainly did not mean to offend anyone.

    Women over 40 are not all alike. That is part of our philosophy here. Fashion is fun for some of us and others of us have to dress for our work as part of our public lives and have learned to make purchases that can be amortized or bought on sale. Many of my friends and relatives only need to dress for comfort except for church and special occasions because their work as teachers, nurses, or farmers dose not impose a need to dress with style in mind. We are grateful Tamara that the women who wrote our Fashion Friday pieces took time out of their busy lives to think about a post for us and find photos to go along with their choices.

    We hope that you like the Fashion Friday series, but most of these posts won’t be about inexpensive clothes. My question is, would you write to the editor of Vogue and chastise her about the $25,000.00 outfits in the pages of that magazine? Or would you just not buy that magazine anymore? Let us keep the dialogue going – it’s our diversity that keeps us strong.

  • Tamara February 24, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I’d say that if you think an $800 Donna Karan dress is a ‘budget-friendly alternative, you are completely out of touch with, dare I say it, the 99% of us who would never be able to purchase any article of clothing for even half that much.