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Posts Tagged ‘appropriate attire’

IMG_20190922_160622Don’t be afraid to be appropriate. It has become a dirty word in fashion and style talk. But for me, being appropriate means simply being in touch with the moment. When you are in touch with the moment, with yourself, you communicate effortlessly. 

Isabel Toledo (1961-2019), Cuban-American fashion designer.

 

This is a quote from Toledo’s 2012 memoir, Roots of Style: Weaving Together Life, Love, and Fashion (Celebra Books).

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One of the many illustrations by Ruben Toledo in Roots of Style. 

I recently reread this book, which tells the fascinating story of the Toledos – both of whom immigrated to the US from Cuba as children. They met in high school and later forged ahead in their careers as a couple in 1980s Manhattan. Ruben Toledo is an artist and fashion illustrator. His charming illustrations are a highlight of the book.

As for the quote, well, I of course completely agree. Dressing appropriately shows presence in the moment whether that be a wedding, a funeral, a graduation, an expensive restaurant, the theater, the opera … it matters.

 

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Last week Catherine Duchess of Cambridge attended a royal event looking modern yet ladylike showing women how it’s done. As part of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Catherine, Camilla, and The Queen visited the upscale shop Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly.

Catherine is sporting a smart blue coat-dress by Missoni. Note that her hem hits right above the knee showing off just enough leg, but not revealing too much if she sits down.  Her shoes are simple suede pumps, not a flashy pair of  platform stilettos. She’s also wearing stockings, which is royal protocol. Now, I am not a fan of wearing stockings because they are so darn uncomfortable but they do complete an outfit nicely. Bare legs, especially in a suit or a short tailored dress, look too casual.

Catherine is well put-together as always and a great role model for us.

It seems women these days mistakenly think that what they wear clubbing is what’s appropriate for dressy or professional occasions – business lunches, meetings, baptisms, weddings, you name it.

Somewhere along the path of fashion women, even supposed fashionable women, have become confused about what is appropriate attire. I suppose when fashion rules faded away, so did our fashion common sense. In general it seems an either/or situation – some variation on jeans, t-shirts, and flip-flops or tight-fitting clubbing gear. What happened to dress suits and gowns for evening events? Demure dresses for day?  

Checking out this season’s fashion trends, I do think that Catherine is having a positive effect. The Ladylike Look is in with dresses a big player as well as longer skirts, and feminine blouses (that don’t show too much cleavage). 

OK, I am now stepping off my fashionable soap box, carefully and elegantly, like a lady of course.

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