Thursday, July 26, 2012

Modern Day Classic Dressing

The "Set" shown below, "Modern Day Coco Chanel," is an illustration of a classic outfit that will never go out of style.  The LBD, Little Black Dress, can also be a black shell and skirt if separates fit better.  If slacks are available in the same fabric and color buy them too if the budget permits.  I own five black dresses in various styles and lengths.  If Navy blue is more flattering on your skin tone then always look for Navy dresses when shopping on-line or in the stores.

A cream sweater is a good investment because it can be worn three seasons of the year, at least in Kentucky.  Buy the best quality you can afford.  The sweater shown in the Set below is a cashmere blend so that means it is extra soft and beautiful.

A woman should have a signature scent.  Always test perfume on your own skin. It takes a little while for the fragrance to blend with your own body oils so wait about 30 minutes before making a purchase. Department stores usually have sticks of paper near the sample perfumes so you can spray some on the paper and take it home.  Take several different brands home so you have a good choice.  Jot down the name of each sample so you'll know which one to buy.

A "Kitten" heel shoe is more comfortable than a higher heel for women who have foot problems and pain.  It's a classic heel and can make an outfit look a bit dressier than a wedge or a flat shoe.  The shoes illustrated in the Set below are called "cap toe." Coco Chanel believed that the black cap on a cream shoe made a woman's foot look smaller.  Many shoe manufacturers make flats and heels with a cap toe.  This is a classic style that has stood the test of time.

A black leather purse with a chain strap is also very classic.  A navy blue one is a good idea if your "Palette" is navy rather than black. Chains reflects light, that's why Coco Chanel used them on her handbags, and it can make a purse look a bit more dressed up.  If you can find a quilted bag all the better.  The added texture of the quilting adds interest.  It can also be worn with casual outfits too.

If you cannot afford genuine pearls then opt for faux (fake) ones.  A simple strand of pearls is very classic and can be worn with everything from an evening gown to blue jeans.  If genuine pearls are not in your budget opt for faux pearls.  Buy necklaces and bracelets with good quality clasps if you are buying faux items.  Vintage stores, antique malls and flea markets are good places to buy pearl jewelry. Look for strands that have tiny knots in between each pearl.  That adds strength and durability.  Be sure to soak them in water every once in a while to keep them clean and the string hydrated.  Look for pearl stud earrings made of sterling silver, surgical steel or 14 karat gold.

Black undergarments are another basic that I consider a good investment.  A good fitting black bra, shape wear, panties and half slip will keep you looking sleek under your LBD.  If the bra strap happens to slip out from under your black dress it's not as noticeable as a white or colored bra strap.  I've never liked the look of bra straps showing under any circumstance.  If you wear a bra under a garment with spaghetti straps then choose a bra that closely matches the garment color or opt for a strapless bra.

Having these classic items in your closet means that you will be ready for almost any event even with short notice.  Get in the habit of sending your LBD's to the cleaners to keep the deodorant and perfume from damaging the fabric and to keep them ready to go at a moment's notice.

I like clear anti-perspirants because they don't leave white residue on dark clothes.  I'm allergic to some of the ingredients in clear products so I have to use the regular formulas.  I place a clean tissue under each  arm after applying deodorant so the excess will be absorbed and not rub off on my sleeveless LBD's. Applying it after getting dressed is the safest way to keep you from getting residue on other areas of the garment too.

I suggest you get ready in this order: dress, anti-perspirant, hair spray, perfume (I spray it in the air and walk under it, keeps it from being too strong) and pearls.  You never want to get hair spray or perfume on genuine pearl jewelry.  If this happens remove and wash them immediately.

Being "Ready to go" at a moment's notice will allow you to say "YES!" instead of "no" to invitations and special events.  Create an outfit that will always be waiting for the next invitation or special evening.  Being prepared will give you confidence which is one of the most attractive attributes of a woman.  When you LOOK good you FEEL good!

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