Auntie Mame

Let’s walk through the Taxonomy of Dress, starting at the bottom:

1. Clothes: clothing worn when you can’t think of what to wear
2. Outfit: clothing selected and coordinated with purpose
3. Ensemble: clothing selected and coordinated with a higher degree of skill; all parts relate to one another and the whole
4. Get-up: clothing worn when you (a) must indulge a vision (or impulse) and (b) don’t care what anyone thinks
5. Costume: clothing worn when you are trying to be someone other than yourself, hopefully for celebratory or theatrical purposes

If you are like me, most days, you’re aiming for an Ensemble, but satisfied with an Outfit. That still leaves the other days . . .

This is one of my more unconventional get-ups.
Aunt Mame?
Auntie Mame?

The dress is a combination of taffeta and tweed. I love the mixed fabrics and something about the piping around the faux wrap skirt reminds me of a loom kit (for making potholders) that I played with, quite happily, as a child. And, it’s lined with a beautiful lavender, iridescent fabric. But, it’s very short, I think you must agree, even for a mini-dress. So this “dress” is only suitable for work when worn over pants. Not for court, not for clients.

What’s wrong with dressing like Auntie Mame? Auntie Mame was an advanced thinker — socially and sartorially.
the back
Part of what makes this dress great is the back zipper: a graphic accent

Should I try to tone the whole thing down with accessories?
Non. In for a penny, in for a pound. This occasion calls for the patent leather.

Patent leather shoes
Cap-toed patent leather shoes

Teal bag
Teal patent leather bag


But if you think the teal bag moves this get-up into the territory of a costume . . . a yellow bag is less (a little less) conspicuous.

Yellow bag practically blends into get-up
Yellow bag practically blends into get-up


In a later post, beware when Auntie Mame Returns.

Dress: Carven; Pants: JCrew; Shoes: Bloch; Teal Bag: Rafe NY; Yellow Bag: Car Shoe; Necklace and Pendant: David Yurman Figaro Chain Necklace (with pearls) and Smoky Quartz Enhancer

3 thoughts on “Auntie Mame”

  1. This is a great post. I love how you think:) You have given me food for thought.
    Work days, I am aiming for an ensemble, but the rest of the week I am definitely aiming for a ‘Get-up’, I rarely mind what anyone else thinks:) I I enjoy wearing dresses and tunics over pants but it’s not something I see worn a lot. I love how you put yours together. Very stylish and unique look.

  2. Dear Directrice,
    I love this post (and the follow-up from 9-29-2015). I humbly suggest an additional category, which may serve the dual purpose of injecting a very useful Yiddish word into your broader following: Schmatteh (also spelled Schmatte, Schmata, and a few others — but any spelling without the “c” isn’t correct).
    But I digress.
    A Schmatteh has a variety of meanings relating to clothing, but the most common and pertinent is “rag” — and specifically a shapeless rag that evokes “housedress” imagery. For example, my mother used to say, “You’re not going out in that schmatteh, are you?” This was often followed by, “You look like you just got off The Boat.” This old family favorite has become terribly un-PC in recent years, but my grandparents actually did come “off the boat” at Ellis Island, apparently not dressed to The Nines.
    Anyhow . . . I offer the Schmatteh as a category to capture all of those ill-fitting dresses that never quite worked, either because they hang too loosely or because they were poorly made to begin with. The Directrice would never permit a Schmatteh in her closet.


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