Carolina Herrera Is Not Retiring Anytime Soon

04/19/2012 at 03:00 PM ET

Carolina Herrera

According to Carolina Herrera, “True style money can’t buy. Style is something subtle that shows in small details. It’s not the clothes you wear; it’s the way you act, move, speak.”

But the clothes definitely do help. Speaking to, the designer lists her wardrobe essentials — black and beige pants, a well-cut skirt, a blazer and cocktail dress among them — and says she’s not retiring anytime soon, even though she is 73.

“Why give up something I love?” she asks. “I grew up surrounded by beautiful things and developed a good eye for fashion, for which I feel a real passion. And the fact that at work I’m surrounded by people who share that passion makes everything easy.”

Herrera — a favorite of RenĂ©e Zellweger, Amy Adams and Tina Fey and responsible for the wedding gowns of Christina Hendricks, Tamera Mowry and Twilight‘s Bella Swan — has a passion for one simple garment, too: the white blouse.

“I love them and I’ve worn them all my life,” she explains. “They are my security blanket, as they say.” They’re also feminine and easy to match, she adds — and they bring back happy memories. “As a child, I wore white blouses to school, and I remember them always being ready and perfectly ironed,” she recalls.

And when she says perfectly ironed, she means perfectly ironed. “What good does it to you to wear an expensive dress if one of the buttons is falling off or if it hasn’t been properly ironed?” she shares. “Or to wear really expensive shoes if they’re dusty and scuffed?” Fashion words to live by. Tell us: What’s your go-to wardrobe item?


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