Adding Definition with Color

 
I often dress in one color, or shades of one color, from head to toe. I like to think this is slimming. But monochromatic dressing, if it doesn’t involve contrast in texture (combining, for instance, silk georgette and wool boucle or satin and linen), can present a somewhat lifeless effect. Witness:

This dress is dead
This dress is dead
Even the white bag can't enliven it
Even the white bag can’t enliven it

 
 
 
This is a beautifully made dress, but it needs a little something. The neckline is a difficult shape to fill in with a necklace.
 
Then I had an idea. Behold:
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ahhhhh. So much better.

A yellow belt does the trick!
A yellow belt does the trick!

Perhaps you are thinking, That’s it?

I recognize that this is a small tip, but if it struck me like a coup de foudre, perhaps some of you will be similarly struck?
 

With a little jacket
With a little jacket
 
 
 
The dress came with a matching jacket, but that jacket has a swing silhouette which I think looks best with skinny, straight pants. Possibly on someone other than me. So I’ve paired the dress with a wholly unrelated jacket, which is short and fitted.

Belt still showing
Belt still showing
 
 
 
This jacket is perfect with sheath style dresses. The peplum is cut-away in the front — to highlight the waistline — but very graceful from other views.

 
 
 
And here, I must ask you to take special note: The Directrice is wearing heels. One of the two pairs that she owns.
 
I felt so certain when President Obama took office that Seventh Avenue would respond to the First Lady’s preference for low heels and there would be Kitten Heels for Everyone! But it hasn’t turned out that way and now time is running out. So many items left unfinished on the agenda . . .
Very tiny heels, but heels nonetheless
Very tiny heels, but heels nonetheless

 
And now a special behind-the-scenes bonus: Posy takes a loop around the backdrop.
Look who's come to visit
Posy likes to inspect new things
Posy doesn't like to be picked up
Camera! Tripod! Paper!
But you know what they say about curiosity and the cat
She prefers a visit from the plumber, but a photographer is not bad

In the early days of this blog, a friend (who is a professional photographer) came to teach my husband and me how to take pictures. We took some photos against a white paper backdrop because I thought it might provide a clean, uniform look for posts. And then I realized that I didn’t have time to set up photo shoots. So now we just take quick snaps around the apartment or in the neighborhood using natural light. But I will try to make it to some of my favorite spots in D.C. because this is a beautiful city filled with wonderful buildings, monuments, and street scenes — and you, dear reader, are most deserving.

Dress: Lela Rose (altered along shoulder seam); Jacket: I’m Isola Marras; Belt: JCrew; White bag: Salvatore Ferragamo; Shoes: Kate Spade; Bracelets: David Yurman

Photos: Anne Kelley Looney

4 thoughts on “Adding Definition with Color

  1. Directrice – I love your musings and guidance on how to fashionably liven up the office with beautiful and creative business casual attire. Keep the posts coming!

  2. Another great post. And may I say, you have the best jackets. I am always on the hunt for work-appropriate jackets that don’t look totally stuffy and just scream “lawyer” but I have a hard time finding them. Also perhaps because I am broad shouldered, so don’t want them with shoulder pads, which about 90% have. Any additional tips or posts on selecting jackets/blazers, and how best to pair them with work attire, would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Fabulous example of what can be done not only for the difficult neckline but for the LBD which we all have in numbers. I must remember the tip on texture. Your Posy is really showing us and the photographer who is in possession of whom.

  4. You are so funny! And I have to say that I felt the same way and struggle to find them.
    “I felt so certain when President Obama took office that Seventh Avenue would respond to the First Lady’s preference for low heels and there would be Kitten Heels for Everyone! But it hasn’t turned out that way and now time is running out. So many items left unfinished on the agenda . . ..”

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