Last week as I was watching the dress galore of the Met Gala I got to wondering about why do we want to show off so much. I mean I understand fully that if you have an amazing body, you may want to wear something that hugs you tight to show it off ( Gisele Bundchen´s back looked amazing in her Stella McCartney dress, but if you noticed her front was covered). Or if you have those legs that never end you may want to wear something to reveal them ( Karlie Kloss looked great in Carolina Herrera but again she showed leg, but covered the upper part). I´m all for that. If you do it in a classy way it looks great. But lately it seems some celebrities wear dresses from a sea through fabric that has a bit of lace to cover just the private parts. Yes they have amazing bodies, but what happened to leaving something to the imagination. For sure these are questions of taste and also probably about how provocative we are as characters. Maybe there is a statement there ( that I did not get). I´m not saying looking like Miranda Kerr in her Oscar de la Renta dress is the only viable option here ( although she did look like a lady). I loved Emmy Rossums Carolina Herrera pantsuit for instance. And don´t get me wrong I´m not appalled or sighing with disapproval, I´m mostly just getting to my point in this…
When it comes to dressing there are a few things I want my girls to take home from me ( that my mom, and perhaps a book or two, told me about dressing up like a lady). They are super simple to remember but will make you appear more like the lady in the room than… well, a (half ) naked celebrity.
♥ The shorter the dress ( hem) the shorter the heel. Super mini skirts go better with ballerina shoes or flat sandals or so in general. If you don´t have the legs for it then maybe choose a longer skirt and a higher heel ( like yours truly). Think of the French woman here with a shorter dress and ballerina shoes and then think of the super tight mini dress with a super high heeled platform shoe and you see what I mean. If you wear a shorter skirt with a heel maybe go for the lighter style ( see the Karlie Kloss example above). Obviously I have friends who are very petite and look awesome in short dresses, black tights & chunky heeled booties so the point here is a bit of a generalisation.
♥ Less accessories are more. Well sort of. It´s fun to have a big necklace or chunky bracelets. Or maybe statement earrings or a pretty scarf. But all of them at the same time. Not so much. Accessorising is a game a few master even with excess but mostly it´s just a bit scary when you go for it all. Choose one and next time choose the other.
♥ If you show legs maybe cover a bit on the upper part. If you wear something long or wide pants then something more revealing in the upper part might look great. A super tight short dress may look classier with longer sleeves even if they are tight too. Don´t you agree?
♥ If you wear a dress shorter than your coat and your coat is very short ( half thigh type) then do not wear see through stockings. You will look like you have nothing underneath. But basically, with a short skirt, wear at least a knee length coat to avoid the illusion of nudeness.
♥ If you wear a bright lip or a dark lip then go easy on the eyeshadow. If you want to accentuate your eyes with a dark smoky eye then maybe go lighter on the lip. There is a difference between a party make up and everyday make up too. For a party you can try something a bit more risky but for broad daylight I would definitely not choose both. Catwalk make up or photo shoot make up is amazing but it rarely looks too elegant in real life if you go all out with everything.
♥ Natural is usually the prettiest. I know we don´t all have amazing thick hair, long lashes or super strong nails. If you need to accentuate yours with something a little less real then enhance towards a more natural look. No one ever looked amazing with a set of super thick and extra long fake eye lashes in broad daylight. There are more natural options. Going overboard is never very ladylike.
♥ Dress for you age… ish. I mean not really. I like the Gossip Girl type of approach of young adults dressing up and then again an older person spicing it up a little. So I´m not talking about moving to an outfit of “a Greek Catholic lady” after you turn 55. But skin starts to sack a little by age so maybe cover those knees or that bust if it looks like paper. And if you are young, make it fun. In my twenties for instance I had this outfit where I wore wide legged white pants at summer parties. But I wore them with just a Hermes scarf. And not in my hair mind you. I just turned it in to a big triangle and tied it in the back. Fair enough I had a slim midriff and a small´ish bust so I could definitely pull it off then. But after nursing two kids I would not go out in public without a bra. Times change, we age and our bodies change. If you get my point.
♥ Dress for your body type. My mom has always been about accentuating the best parts of ones body. If you have a slim midriff show it off, if you have great legs show those, if you have a pretty neckline then leave it bare etc. It´s also easy to cover up a little where you don´t feel are your most complimenting parts. But most importantly be yourself and wear something that makes you feel great and comfortable. And you can never go wrong accentuating your fun and bright personality instead of your looks. Read a good book, follow the politic scene, follow the economy, dive in to science… whatever it is you are interested in let yourself shine through that.
Do you completely disagree with me? I know some think that when it comes to fashion all rules should be thrown away and perhaps that is so. But I´m talking less about fashion and more about a “ladylike” appearance. And it´s only the fashion of the Met Gala that got me to thinking about the whole subject. I think I never saw so much underwear and stay ups in a gala before.
“Being female is a matter of birth, being a woman is a matter of age but being a lady is a matter of choice.”
p.s. The looks in the photo collage are of 50´s style I found on Pinterest. Unfortunately I don´t know the names of the photographers but I do love the style of that era. Very ladylike indeed.