October is almost behind us and November is just around the corner. And you know what that means, Ladies!!
The Holidays Are Coming!!! Ready or not, they will be upon us before we can say “Fa La La La La!” And with them come invitations to casual and formal cocktail parties.
What to wear? What to wear? The same thoughts play ring-around-the-rosie in our heads when we think about it.
You’re north of 50, sooooooooooo………
You know you should avoid trends that scream south of 30.
You know you should probably stick to classic pieces.
You know you can’t go wrong with basic black.
You know that head-to-toe classic can make you look frumpy.
What to do? What to do? How do you go classic and avoid the dreaded frump factor.
You do it by adding something edgy or quirky or colorful to a classic outfit. In short, it’s all about adding a touch of the diva to your ensemble. It’s actually easier than you think.
Now that the Met opera season has begun and I’m back in my usual seat in the Grand Tier I thought it might be fun to take a look at how some of my fellow opera goers add that diva touch to their classic looks.
Basic Black and Neutrals
I love the leather coat worn by the lady on the left, although the shoulders are a bit over the top. Still, everything is slightly loose and over-sized, and it all works because she has added a colorful, embroidered vest that creates a focal point for the outfit. May I also note that her makeup and hair are beautifully done.
Her companion is more understated in black leather pants, coat and boots that are offset with a sweater vest over a bright red turtleneck, but she adds just the right pop of color near her naturally beautiful face.
If you’ve still got well-toned armed and shoulders, this is a fabulous way to do the LBD. The beaded, halter neck adds drama to a dress that fits her to perfection, falls just below the knee (perfect length!) and the three-quarter coat draped over her arms adds a real touch of the diva. And, do I need to say a word about her fabulous shoes? I didn’t think so.
This two-piece, black outfit is topped with an oriental-inspired, satin bolero in a bold red with black beading. It’s a stunning piece. Note the adorable little tassles. (I have a weakness for tassles – on everything – clothes, lamp shades, drapes, etc.) Her hair is in a sleek chignon and her makeup is at a minimum.
This lady has taken what could have been a ho-hum outfit and made it sing. She is wearing a pale lavender, knit jersey dress (note the interesting pleating on the sides), ultra long, graphic scarf, black leather jacket and tops it all with a man’s grey fedora, which adds a fabulous, quirky touch. Chandelier earrings, minimal makeup and a big, beautiful smile give this lady high marks in my style book.
Quirky and Colorful
This is a nice twist on the basic black dress with a colorful topper. The style of the sleeveless, button-down dress is classic, but it’s in a bright, graphic print that takes it up several style notches. But, she pays homage to the classic basic black and pearls with her black sweater shawl and pearl necklace and earrings. Again, minimal makeup with a bright, coral lip that lights up her lovely smile and picks up the bright coral in her dress.
If this isn’t quirky and colorful, I don’t know what is. This diva could give a master class in mixing patterns and colors. Definitely not for beginners…...or, as they’re fond of saying nowadays, “Don’t try this at home.” Actually, I would say you should absolutely try it out at home first to make sure you get it right. She has definitely gotten it right.
The secret is that she has pulled all of the colors from the warm side of the spectrum. She starts with a bold patterned skirt in shades of brown, white stockings and neutral shoes (love those shoes!) and then adds a sweater, belt, leather jacket and handbag all in bright red. The piece that pulls everything together is the great scarf, which starts at the top as an animal print and ends in a bright graphic with neutral fringe. Again, minimal makeup on a beautiful face with great bone structure. Masterfully done!
I've saved my favorites for last.
Classic and Colorful
Just look at this classically beautiful evening gown and how the rich pumpkin orange plays up the warmth of this diva’s gorgeous skin. With perfect makeup, minimal accessories and hair befitting an exotic queen, this regal beauty is quite simply stunning.
The cut of this gown may be all about classic simplicity, but the fuchsia and purple satin print makes it a true showstopper. The simple black belt, clutch and shoes are just perfect. With her chandelier earrings, chic chignon, minimal makeup and bright lips this diva takes my top honors.
So, when that cocktail invitation arrives in the mail, channel your inner diva, go classic, add something colorful and quirky and dump the frump.
All photos courtesy of Met's roving photographer at "Last Night at the Met."