Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Well Pressed Clothing

My mother-in-law bought a condominium in Southwest Florida in 1987.  My husband and I used to visit her during the winter months or "The Season."  We would always pack nice clothes to wear to dinner in most of the restaurants in Naples and the surrounding areas.  There were some restaurants that required men to wear a coat AND tie!  My mother-in-law would iron her best warm weather outfits and put on lots of jewelry so she would look "presentable" at dinner.  I would iron our clothes almost as soon as we arrived. EVERYONE who wanted to show that they were well off would dress in their very best "Resort Wear" for that year and stroll around downtown where all of the high end stores and restaurants provided a "promenade" for the wealthy.

Now it's 2015 and things have changed as the "Greatest Generation" as passed on or living in assisted care facilities.  Their children (my age) and grandchildren have taken over the condos and homes of their parents and grandparents.  The Baby Boomers are a more casual group.  We don't want to bother dressing up while "Wintering" or vacationing in Florida.  Most of the nice restaurants have tables and chairs outside for Alfresco dining.  You never see a man in a coat and tie in these places.  The women wear capri pants and pullover tops, something our parents' generation would feel inappropriate to wear to dinner.  I also see pretty sundresses and usually wish I had shopped for a few for myself.  The casual wear of decades ago has now been upgraded and manufactured by many of the brand name design houses.

One of the things that separates the well off from the casual tourist is sending their Burmuda shorts and golf shirts to the dry cleaners.  I like the look of well pressed clothing, especially when the clothing is casual.  Ironing clothes makes them look more expensive. Unfortunately ironing is not being taught to the young.  That's really a shame because knowing how to iron your clothes is important, especially if a young person is going for a job interview.  

A typical iron has several settings according to the kind of fabric being ironed.  Look on the clothing tag that is usually sewn into the side seam to find out what kind of fabric or blend of fabrics has been used.  Look at the iron controls and choose the number that corresponds with the type of fabric.  I like to put clean water in a spray bottle and lightly mist the garment before I iron it.  I've had bad luck (scorching and rust stains) from using the steam option on irons so I just spritz before ironing.  YouTube has many ironing videos to choose from if you have never seen anyone ironing before.  Invest in a good ironing board too.  It's very hard to iron on a counter or table plus you will probably burn the surface.  Ironing boards with padded covers are the best option.  Irons and ironing boards are available in discount and big box stores as well as re-sale shops.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Funeral Director January, 2015

This is what I wore to a large, church funeral. It's a dress and matching jacket from St. John Knits that was a Christmas gift from my husband a few years ago.  He purchased it from Rodes in Louisvillle. The jacket has functional pockets large enough to hold a smart phone.  It has contrasting, black trim which adds interest to the ensemble.  I like the zip front because it gives the ensemble a more modern look.  I had the jacket altered to fit, especially the sleeve length which was a bit too long for me.  I could easily dress this up with a large, sparkling statement necklace and wear black, patterned hose and black high heels.  I can also tone it down by pinning my Chanel, white Camellia, floral brooch to the jacket and adding small pearl or diamond stud earrings.

This is the simple sheath style dress that goes with the jacket. I had it altered to fit and hemmed to just cover my knees.

My necklace is a reproduction of Jackie Kennedy Onassis' triple strand pearls that she is seen wearing in so many photographs.  It is believed that her necklace was a gift from her mother and the pearls were costume not genuine.  You can still buy reproductions at http://www.smithsonianstore.com  They have a page of "Jackie Kennedy" reproduction jewelry.  The triple stand, faux pearl necklace is #45421 and is $165.00.  

These are the accessories I wore with my black suit and pearl necklace: Stuart Weiztman nude, patent leather kitten heel pumps, nude hose, old black, leather clutch with chain strap, a triple stand, faux pearl elastic bracelet from Hallmark and old, large, faux pearl stud earrings from a store in the mall.  My Grandmother Ruby taught me to put on and take off my hosiery wearing white, nylon gloves.  She said it protects your hosiery from pulls and runs caused by jewelry and rough hands.  I bought mine in a bridal shop.

These Stuart Weitzman "Poco" kitten heel pumps in "Adobe Aniline" still be available through http://www.zappos.com/stuartweitzman  They are also available in navy "Goosebump" leather and black patent leather.  I bought mine several years ago at VonMaur in Louisville. If you are looking for a kitten heel pump for a wedding or special event, this same pump comes in other pretty finishes and textures.

These small, "Etra"clutch handbags are old enough to be considered Vintage.  I collected them from two department stores in Louisville that are no longer in business.   Look for a leather tag inside that says "Etra Genuine Leather" or find the same words stamped in gold letters on the lining of the bag.

In the past, most well made, sleeveless dresses had these ribbon snaps sewn into shoulders.  They are meant to hold bra straps in place.  I hate the look of bras straps showing these days.  I think it looks very trashy.  If your outfit doesn't have these little ribbon snaps in them then purchase a bra with the right kind of straps or go strapless.  Always have your bras fitted by an expert in the lingerie department.  I wore a black bra with my black dress but used a nude bra strap in this photo for the sake of illustration.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Winter Outfit for January, 2015

This outfit started with a new black, cable knit turtleneck, a new black "puffer" style vest and new Leopard print, jewel neck coat all from www.talbots.com. I wore an old, multi-strand black leather and brass necklace from www.chicos.com

Puffer style vest. 

Cable knit turtleneck sweater and necklace. 

To finish the outfit, I wore old, dark rinse, straight leg jeans from www.NYDJ.com  
and old black, leather booties from www.clarksusa.com "Artisan" line. To break up all of the black and accentuate my brass necklace, I chose a gold, metallic handbag that has no brand tag inside. I wore medium size gold, hoop earrings. I like hoop earrings because I usually wear eye glasses.

I can also dress up this outfit by adding my new pearl, cluster necklace and matching pearl earrings from www.talbots.com 

By switching to my old, black, high waisted slacks from www.talbots.com, I can easily go out for the evening or to a special event with just a change in jewelry and pants.   

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Coco Chanel and Her LBD

"In 1925, Coco Chanel introduced the now legendary Chanel suit with collarless jacket and well-fitted skirt. Her designs were revolutionary for the time—borrowing elements of men’s wear and emphasizing comfort over the constraints of then-popular fashions. She helped women say good-bye to the days of corsets and other confining garments."

Another 1920s revolutionary design was Chanel’s little black dress. She took a color once associated with mourning and showed just how chic it could be for evening wear." 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year's Resolutions...Lose Weight/Get Fit

A typical New Year's resolution is to lose weight and become more "fit." I'm sure the fitness centers are signing up a lot of new people right now. Unfortunately "life gets in the way" and even though people have good intentions they can't always find time to go to the gym. Other people try calorie restricting diets but give up as soon as they get that first craving for high calorie foods. Str...ess is a big factor in a person's weight. It can interfere with a person's commitment to losing weight. Caregiving is stressful, especially if you are obligated to take care of an older parent or grandchildren. I went to Weight Watchers in 1975 and lost the weight I gained from having my daughter. The one thing I learned was portion control. I am always a little shocked when I see how much food people put on their plates or the amount of food people order in restaurants. A friend of mine has a habit of asking for a "To Go Box" as soon as her meal is placed in front of her. She immediately divides the food in half. When the waiter brings the box she puts half of her meal in it. She tells her dining companions that she will eat it for dinner that night or for lunch the next day. I think that's a great way to painlessly reduce calories in your diet. If you eat when you're upset then you may want to get a notebook and write down your feelings. You may not feel like eating so much after you have looked at the reasons why you are craving food or alcohol. Alcohol is nothing but empty calories. If you are over 50 your metabolism is slower and you should limit yourself to one serving of alcohol per day. One of the easiest ways for a woman over 50 to lose her dignity is by drinking too much alcohol. People start referring to these women as "drunks." There is nothing classy or elegant about being drunk at home or in public. Be good to yourself this year. Love yourself enough to take care of your body, mind and spirit.