Normal Up

Twice in the past few weeks, I’ve had to present a conservative — i.e., traditional — appearance. I had to dig deep, Directorate, to enter the spirit of things.

I’ve told you before, but the advice is worth repeating: A classic dress can take you through a variety of events that skew formal/conservative; buy one really nice one and be amazed at the number of times it will have your back (literally) over the years. These events include graduation ceremonies, memorial services, certain funerals (including your own), warm weather high church services. When these things come up, it’s such a relief to already have something in your closet to wear.
This classic dress took me to a meeting with a review panel to discuss the final resolution and administration of a settlement. It was a serious occasion.
I could totally be buried in this dress

I added the black belt
This Self-Portrait dress is made of crisp silk chiffon with a knife-pleated skirt. The style is never really in, but is never out either.
Self-Portrait is a label that often runs toward youthful clothes — unworkable cut-outs and/or twee details. But this is a total classic: fabric, pattern, cut.

Even though the fabric is very lightweight, the dress is heavy because there is so much fabric in the skirt and lining. It doesn’t feel heavy on the body while wearing it, but its weight is noticeable on the hanger.
There is room for all of Mother Ginger’s children under this skirt

There is one twee detail: long ivory ties at the neck. I did not care for that, so I drew the ties tight, knotted them, and tucked them inside the neckline. At some point, I’ll ask Fatima to remove them and replace them with a hidden button or hook closure.
Hideous ties; why ivory? why cotton?
Much better; out of sight, out of mind

I am back to wearing a watch every day! It feels nice to be wearing a proper timepiece again.
Such a lady!

Last week, I attended a conference for which the dress code was Business Attire. I think every man there was wearing a grey suit. Maybe the dress code said Grey Suit — though I do think a few of the more daring attendees were wearing navy.
I didn’t feel like wearing a full suit and exercised my female prerogative to wear a statement top with dark trousers. I feel that dress codes have finally tilted in favor of women! We can wear a much wider range of garments and still present a business-like appearance. Also: In the current climate, I think a man would be too confused and/or frightened to gainsay me if I announced that I were wearing a suit.
Feel the fear, gentlemen!

I must admit, I chose this top because it is deniably directional.
I, too, am wearing a suit!
Did you just comment on my appearance?

You’ve seen this top before, more than once, but it spent the entire pandemic in my closet.
From the back, I look totally normal. Its genius, irreverence, and — can I say it? — provocations are only apparent from the front.
Just a lady wearing a peplum top

A subtle provocateur
Even from the front, it doesn’t register as extreme upon first glance. You have a spend a little time with this top to realize that the sleeves are sculpted. But once you see that, you can’t unsee it and it becomes mesmerizing. The sleeves almost seem to inhabit a separate, more advanced plane than the rest of me.

One final note: I enlivened both of these black-and-white schemes with a shiny blue bag.
Dress: Self-Portrait from The RealReal; Top: Comme des Garcons
What is a suit, really?
I am wearing a grey suit

5 thoughts on “Normal Up”

  1. I like both these outfits. So nice to think that at least at one’s own funeral one needn’t wear black. With regard to suits — I would think that in this climate, shorts and flip-flops would be a grey suit!

  2. It’s nice to see you dressing normally.
    I had two funerals last year and wished both times I had a dress ready. I got distracted buying a dress for a wedding after the first death, and was caught flat-footed at the second death. Yours is much nicer than all black.

  3. My heart soars! A modest dress is my favorite look. Your black and ivory looks are chic and appropriate for serious occasions, but they still have your charm.


Leave a Comment