Dressing for Special Occasions

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Fashion and the Older Woman

Age and Fashion – Who Makes Up the Crazy Rules

I’d like to meet the people who police our wardrobes telling us what we can and cannot wear, especially when women reach a ‘certain age’.

As for the certain age, I’ve noticed its changes like the weather; one minute 40 is the new 30, then 50 is the new 40 and so it goes on.  The other interesting discussion I was having recently, is the terminology used to describe older women, take for example the word mature, it’s also used to describe ‘cheese’, then there is ‘seasoned’, what’s with the food and cooking connotations?!

I know lots of women of varying ages, I find it amusing that an 18 year old wants to look and dress older, yet nothing is said; but heaven forbid an older women dresses to suit herself in a style that is considered for a youthful teen only, and she is considered to be ‘mutton dressed as lamb’.  Have you noticed how the phrases used to describe older women have some negative undertone attached to it?

So just to set the record straight, a woman in her 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s plus, these women, they know stuff, and some of us are still figuring things out; newsflash, that’s called Life, we are constantly figuring things out.  However, back to our wardrobes and what we can and cannot wear, lets start with the obvious, I know you’ll catch on:

  • If its too tight and you can’t get into it, guess what you can’t wear it, but hey that applies to all ages.
  • If its bright yellow and you don’t like bright yellow at all, what’s it doing in your wardrobe?
  • If its tired, bobbled, and faded in colour then do the garment a favour and lay it to rest.
  • If you are uncomfortable, wearing a dress or skirt that is too short for your taste then don’t wear it.  Trying to lengthen the hemline by constantly pulling it down is not going to change anything, except draw attention to the fact that you are constantly trying to pull down your dress or skirt, you will feel miserable in the process, as guess what you are uncomfortable!

Simple facts not rules.

I’m now going to hand you over to one of my favourite women in fashion, Iris Apfel who at 96 and has no intention of retiring her wardrobe anytime soon.

Black and White Dresses – Off to the Races

As an independent London UK, fashion designer of one-off dresses I don’t follow seasons or fashion trends, so it is amusing to me that the fashion speak is all about black and white dresses or the monochrome look for 2014.

So how do you wear the monochrome look?  Rumour has it that black is slimming, however the colour black on certain body-shapes creates the opposite effect, which is why teaming up with white plays with the eyes of the onlooker yet enhances the silhouette of the wearer.

Depending on your skin tone, too much black near the face and neck can be draining, giving a washed out look, however add a splash of white, black and white striped, white patterned with black such as in a Paisley dress, and there you have elegance and glamour, the natural endeavour of all women, in all that we wear, dresses or otherwise.

If you are off to the races this year, in particular Royal Ascot and Ladies Day, Royal Ascot have become quite stringent with its dress code overall, and in particular for the Royal Enclosure.  So as not to get caught out a note to take into consideration:

Ladies are required to wear formal day-wear with dresses being of modest length falling just above the knee or longer.  Hats also a necessity or a headpiece with a base of 4 inches or more in diameter is an alternative to a hat and is acceptable, however ‘Fascinators’ are now deemed unacceptable as of 2012 (and at the time of writing) in the Royal Enclosure.

Paisley Print black and white jersey dress

Couture dress, black and white jersey by Coral Turner

Taking into consideration the theme of your black and white dress, accompanied with a hat of either singular colour, or as a combination of the two, speaks of being totally chic; Audrey Hepburn was forgiven for her lapse in vocal demeanour as she looked stunning dressed head to toe in black and white in ‘My Fair Lady’ for her day at the races!

The finishing touches for your breathtaking entrance, a clutch bag that is not too cumbersome, shoes that you can walk in comfortably, and with sophistication, eye make-up that hints to definition of Cleopatra’s eyes and you will have captivated your audience at Ladies Day Royal Ascot – enjoy!

http://www.coralturner.com/paisley-black-and-white-jersey-dress.html

Going to the Races? Don’t forget your Couture Clothing….

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With spring finally upon us and summer just around the corner, the social season at horse raceways and polo matches across the United Kingdom is beginning. These events are not only a festival of sport but also style and elegance. From Chester and Doncaster to London and Manchester, men and women will be donning their high fashion and millinery for the world to see.

What you may not know is that most of these venues have a dress code. Regardless of the venue, everyone is expected to be dressed traditionally smart. If you are a woman, that means a formal dress or pant suit accompanied by a hat or fascinator and heeled shoes. Some venues go further with their expectations by specifying that attendees not bare midriffs or shoulders. The most stringent of dress codes is at the Royal Ascot race. With 300,000 race-goers and the glare of the international media present, it stands to reason that the organisers of the Royal Ascot want to continue the tradition of elegance and pageantry, which requires outlining a dress code that ensures class and sophistication.

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An example of Couture Tailoring

For women who love to dress, any of these of events are a perfect time to show off your style savvy. But remember, it is not all champagne and roses, you and your outfit have to last the day or evening. Here are a few of my style tips to help you out.

  1. Heels: Yes, they are expected, but be sure to pick a pair of a reasonable height. You may want to opt for your 4” heels versus your 6” since you will be standing a great deal of time.
  2. Handbag: Fashion trends show clutches that seem to be getting smaller by the day, but keep in mind that you are going to be at these events for several hours. Be sure to pick a bag that not only matches your outfit but has room for a powder pack, lipstick, tissue, and a phone. You’ll also need to be camera ready. Chester’s Boodle Festival includes a group of judges picking out the best dressed women in the crowd. You wouldn’t want to be called on stage without any lipstick.
  3. Cover for your shoulders: Putting a nicely folded Pashmina or Silk Stole in your handbag would be a great idea, since these are outdoor events and weather can change.
  4. Bring Your Personality: These events are great opportunities to network. They can build new relationships or nurture existing ones. You need to show everyone your inner style.
  5. Fabulous Dress or Suit: This is where I can help you out.  My couture-online boutique has some wonderful options of exclusive one-of-a-kind dresses that can easily take you to any polo ground or raceway. Further, you can give me a call and commission a couture piece. Why take the chance of seeing someone else in your exact dress at one of these events? And, finally, I work with great fabrics like jersey, which are delightfully comfortable. You will feel like you’re wearing a piece of luxury lingerie.

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Pant Suit commissioned for Mother of the Bride wedding abroad also works for Race Day

Whatever you decide, I wish you a fabulous season at the track and matches.