Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Channel Your Inner Diva - Go Classic and Dump the Frump

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."

20 comments:

  1. So glad to have found you again. I didn't receive your posts for about a year, in spite of trying to. Anyway I received this today and long may it continue. By the way what did you wear to the Opera ??
    A très bien tôt,
    Bizzz,
    Anne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry you had trouble receiving my posts. Whatever the problem is/was, I'm delighted it seems to be solved.

      What did I wear to the opera? Well, I didn't attend opening night, as I have in the past, but on my opening day at the opera, which was two weeks ago, I wore a beige silk sheath w/scalloped embroidered hem and a brown velvet bolero w/green and gold embroidery. Shoes were brown suede pumps with embellishments on the toes. I hate having my picture taken, so you will have to use your imagination. I look better that way, anyway.

      Big bisous,
      M-T

      Delete
    2. I would probably wear black. I own a lovely full black and grey longer skirt that is quite dressy and I would wear a simple tank and a short dressy jacket or cashmere sweater. Pearls would finish the look.

      Delete
    3. Sounds absolutely lovely, Leslie. What color tank/jacket/sweater would you choose? Pearls are always a wonderful choice.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  2. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Well, you always can add something unexpected and solve the frumpy look at once.
    I'll never forget when we were in Maastricht getting dressed for the formal banquet at one of the Château hotels and Pieter's bow tie had vanished. We tore down the bed and half the room, never to be found and I'd seen it before! So only with the silk cummerbund and a daring move of wearing his black opal bolo instead, we left. Right away in the bus, Pieter got compliments from the British. They asked him where'd he bought that new look. His bolo came from a Japanese gift store at the Hyatt Regency, Waikiki... One never knows and this was an international crowd for the Mushroom Science Congress which is held every 4 years.
    Sending you hugs,
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Mariette,

      What a great story!! I love when necessity becomes the mother of invention and mom comes out of it looking her best. I've always thought Pieter has a wonderful sense of style (after all, he married you), and this just proves it, in addition to how resourceful a stylish person can be.

      As always, thanks for stopping by.

      Big bisous,
      M-T

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  3. Some nice looks. The Met seems to be quite dressy. Have not been to the Royal Opera House for ages. The price of seats has gone up so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do see some sneakers (trainers) and jeans at the matinee performances, usually the students, but, by and large, the Met audiences do dress up. The last time we attended performances at the Royal Opera House, I remember thinking how much higher the ticket prices were than at the Met. Since then, I think we've almost caught up.

      No question opera is an extravagance, but one we can't live without ...... at least, until they totally price us out.

      Thanks for stopping by Josephine,

      Cheers, M-T

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  4. Just went to our first symphony of the season -- wore a simple charcoal gray dress with gray suede booties and a pink leather jacket. A little more casual than the Met. But some were too casual in jeans. Come on, people!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your outfit sounds perfect, Deborah. How about a picture, "This is me at the Symphony?"

      We do see some sneakers and jeans at the matinee performances at the Met, but they're usually the students, who are what I call the "real" opera fans.

      By and large, though, we are living in a sloppy era.

      Thanks for stopping by, Deborah, as always,

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  5. I see a couple of Broadway shows a year & I am appalled at how people dress. Sneakers, running sneakers, backpacks are acceptable.

    I recently saw someone in the audience in running shorts. I still can't get that image out of my mind. Horrible

    It is refreshing to see how people dress for the Opera. I assume that going to the Ballet would be a similar dress code as the Opera.

    Wearing a dressier, interesting jacket in a rich color or colors and black silk or wools pants seems to work for me for the theatre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do see that, as well, at Broadway shows, Rosie. For the moment, the Met audiences still do dress for the occasion, even for the Saturday matinees (our subscription). I say, "for the moment," because we are living in a sartorially challenged era, which is why I wanted to show that there are still some people out there who know how to do it.

      Yes, the Ballet is similar, but not nearly as dressy as the opera. I do adore seeing little girls (clearly budding ballerinas) w/their little chignons and pretty dresses w/their moms at the Ballet. It gives me hope for the future.

      Your outfit would fit right in at the Met. Maybe I'll see you there one day?

      As always, thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T

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  6. MJ, I sympathize with your not wanting your picture taken. I usually hate posed pics of myself, but I've noticed that candid shots turn out WAY better. so, I just have to figure out what I'm doing wrong when I know I'm having my picture taken, and STOP it! Easier said than done!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Well, Rita, I think you've put your finger on the problem. The trick is to figure out what you did right (pose, expression, etc.) in that candid shot that you like and do it when you know the camera is pointed at you.

      Some of my favorite shots of myself have been taken when I was totally unaware of the camera. I guess that's the difference between a pro and a cringing amateur.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T

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  7. I do love the classics! And it is so true that they can look a bit dowdy when piece together for an evening out. What wonderful suggestions to take the basics from frump to fab! Great pictures M-T.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I love that expression "from frump to fab!" May I quote you in a future post? Always enjoy your comments, Cheri.

      BTW, I just got back from a fabulous performance at the Met and, as today is Halloween, quite a few audience members were dressed in costume. I'll have to check and see if anyone took pictures. Now THOSE would be really fun pictures.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T

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  8. This is fabulous!! You've nailed it perfectly. I did not receive this post by email! I must find out why because I hate to miss your brilliance.
    XX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure about the "brilliance" part, but I do hate that you're not getting my posts. It's a mystery. Do we need to get Sherlock Holmes on the job or would you prefer Miss Marple w/her sensible knickers? Your choice.

      Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

      xoxo, M-T

      Delete
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