We’ve had a lovely fall in Washington, D.C., warm (but not too hot) through September and into October.  Lovely temperatures, but they do create seasonal dissonance — which we will define as “the psychological unease occasioned by wanting to dress for the season while needing to dress for the weather.” That’s a working definition.  Please feel free to offer refinements.


The Directrice’s Rule is: Wear the colors of the season and fabrics suitable for the temperature.

Remember: leopard is always in season.

A little leopard never goes amiss

A drape


For a mild mid-fall day, I am wearing a long-sleeved silk shirt with a light wrap. This wrap, however, is draped across the torso and tied in the back. It resembles a photographer’s drape — the kind of thing used in 1950s and 60s yearbook portraits.@

When I first looked through my mother’s college yearbook, I thought every woman had the same dress, which did seem a little weird to me. Was I a stupid child? Or an incisive one? I mean, it was a repressively conformist time.


We’ll leave that question for another day.

Here is the back of the drape. The ends are knotted below my neck and buttoned at the waist.

In all honesty, I was probably equal parts stupid and incisive


Come closer and take a look.

It’s very graceful, no? And adds a little warmth, but not too much for a day in the high 60s/low 70s.

The Photographer labeled these photos “Directice Hexagon”

Fair enough!
Notice the overlapping bands at the waist; two horn buttons hold the drape in place, but only one is visible here




The only downside to this poncho-drape is that it  . . . it  . . . it sort of restricts my arm movements. Is that bad? If my work involved lifting things — canned goods, books, children — it would be ridiculous. But it doesn’t! Nevertheless, I must admit that this top is best suited for . . . going out to dinner with The Photographer.

Your ever practical Directrice

Impractical PonchoDrapeStraightJacket: A.W.A.K.E. Mode; Shirt: JCrew (old, but I told you to buy it years ago!)


@ The photographer’s drape is still a thing! It’s still being used for yearbook photos. So strange.


3 thoughts on “Draped”

  1. I’m thinking it’s a hard pass from me on wearing the drape in everyday life. I use American Sign Language all day long and this would be flung around like crazy. And I’m thinking you’d need assistance getting dressed to ensure it ties nicely in the back. What if it was worn backwards?? Then I’m thinking it could qualify as a cape. For certain, you do make your readers think, Directrice.

  2. As a millennial taking her high school yearbook photos circa 2000, the drape was alive and well, but not nearly as flattering as this one. I adore it.

    I also wanted to thank you for all the travel recap posts!

  3. I love the shape of the drape! The fabric looks like it has just the right proportion of structure and movement/fluidity (if that’s the right word). It’s a great way to make an almost-all-black outfit feel less uniform. Thank you for bringing us into the season with this special piece!


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