Friday, September 11, 2009

Noble Elegance and Casual Formality

You know what? The deadlines and to-do lists can wait. Bring on the fasyon!

I took the name of this collection from the Shu Uemura makeup collection shown in this set, which has a lot of clean, conservative colors; on that note, the look I'm going for here is similarly clean and modest. This is more for those "in-between" moments when you want to straddle the line between casual and formal: creative workplaces, church services, work-related cocktail parties, that sort of thing.

  • Always start with the shoes. The Charles David sandals may be black and high-heeled, but the wide straps look quite comfortable and the leather is soft and matte, which takes the intimidation factor down several notches. I can totally imagine wearing this with creamy beige toenails, which provides a nice counterpoint.

  • Dress comfortably. Construction is also what caught my eye with the Milly dress shown above - I could quibble about the fabric, but I can see a dress like this made with cotton jersey or a lightweight silk... possibly in a different print, but with the same solid bands to create the kimono-like effect. The other element that rescues this dress from every other department-store DVF ripoff in the market is the panel in the middle of the V-neck; it's cut low enough to flatter, but still modest enough to keep "the girls" out of sight and out of mind.

  • Stick to classic accessories. Assuming that you want to remain inconspicuous (ie. not flashy), you want your other accoutrements to stay in the same key as your outfit and shoes, if not lower. Thus, the Marc Jacobs bag has minimum bells and whistles; the ladies' watch comes with a classic leather strap; and the gold hoop earrings stand out even when scaled down next to the bold graphic print. Top it off with the ladylike makeup and a spritz of soft floral fragrance (even if it's not Vera Wang, as shown here), and you should be good to go anywhere.

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