"I buy leggings by the cartload," says Vera Wang, who loves to combine items from her "very, very luxury" collection with those black basics. Comfortable, easy, flattering ("I'm petite, and they're elongating")—they are her signature: "I wear them with ballerina flats or dressed up fierce at night with a beautiful top and high, high heels." Outfits aren't her thing; Simply Vera Vera Wang, her inexpensive collection, is based on pieces people can mix endlessly and creatively—high-end with low, dressy with casual, boyish with feminine.
She seems genuinely thrilled to be reaching more women (a lot more: Kohl's has nearly 1,000 stores), with not only bread-and-butter classics but also whimsical, fantasy-driven things like the embellished tank dress ($138), above. The raised waist and floaty skirt are genius for lower-body camouflage: Beneath the satin and tulle is a woman who identifies totally with rock-bottom practical issues. She too has "fat" days ("Let's not kid around—dark colors always take off 10 pounds"); comfort is her holy grail ("If everything could be stretch, I'd be a happy person"); and she's always rushed, which means no-hassle clothes you can "throw on and go."
Less formality, she thinks, is one secret to aging well (another: wearing less makeup). What makes the line modern isn't just sensible prices but generation-bridging allure: "My 13-year-old daughter tried to steal a Simply Vera top from my closet. It looked great on her. It looks great on me too. That's the real democratization of fashion." Clothing and accessories from Simply Vera Vera Wang can be purchased at Kohl's stores and online at Kohls.com.