The Directrice Dressed Up

Some years, The Photographer and I stay in on New Year’s Eve: we make a fancy dinner and watch a movie. Some years, we go out. But we’re kind of passive about going out. We go out if someone invites us to a party.

This year we went to a fancy party hosted by a former colleague — significantly fancier than our wedding, or any wedding I’ve been to.
Guests were asked to wear silver. You may remember that I have a silver jacket, but I could’t wear Tin Man because it’s too worky. Instead, I wore this, which I found on The RealReal.
Why, it’s the Comstock Lode

Hopelessly obedient to authority
I try to be very obedient to a hostess’s requests.
If the invitation says “No Gifts” — I don’t bring a gift. Actually, I will bring something tiny and edible, like a fancy jam or a small box of chocolates.
If the invitation says “festive” or “creative black tie” — I wear a colorful shiny dress.
If the invitation says 7:00 p.m., I show up at 7:15 p.m. No one (except for Best Friend) is supposed to come right at 7:00 p.m., right?

For dressing up, I see two options: a knee-length shiny dress like this (in the winter) or this (in the summer)* OR a fancy top with cigarette pants and lo-bloc heels.
Remember that jackets and fancy tops are the foundation of a distinctive wardrobe. Chose wisely and they can do all the work for you.
Another wardrobe formula; The Directrice takes the guesswork out of getting dressed

Non-toxic substitute to cast mercury is tin foil
Isnt’t this a dreamy top? I am not crazy about the paisley swirls, but the whole thing looks like it’s made of mercury and who wouldn’t want that?
Remember Alexander Calder’s Mercury Fountain at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona? We’ve discussed it before.**

The fiber content of this fabric is listed as 46% wool, 28% metal, 26% silk.
Metal?!? Um, o.k.
You may be asking, Is this outfit really dressy enough for an event that is fancier than your wedding?
I think so, and here’s why. First, lamé clothes are presumptively fancy. Second, one-shouldered and strapless tops are presumptively fancy. Third, my pants are fitted. Note: My pants are fitted, in part, because of a slight weight fluctuation — but it’s helpful to me in this context.
Bare shoulders are presumptively dressy

Covered shoulder is less dressy
Here’s another Hot Tip: A garment that features heavy ruching does not have to fit perfectly. Ruching disguises a lot. This top was a few inches longer than I liked. I simply folded the bottom three inches under. No one is the wiser.

Step right up and take a closer look.
Ah, smooth metal finish.
Heavy metal

Change of plans!
At the last minute, while putting on my jewelry, I decided the cigarette pants were too tight. So I changed to a pair of wide-legged, black pin-striped pants.
Less tight = less likely to appall.
Also, very comfortable

Pants also have a wide cuff, which is an elegant finish
Thus, I propose an additional formula: fancy (i.e., strapless or one-shouldered) top plus wide-legged pants plus a heeled shoe is also dressy.
You decide! But don’t try to tell me that the cigarette pants weren’t tight because . . . they were.

One last look at the liquid mercury.
I look a little like a Hershey’s kiss

Finally, my elegant evening bag, which looks like it was fashioned from shredded trash bags. I think it’s patent leather.
Introducing The Trash Bag

Happy New Year! Please be sure to visit the final 2019 post and add your resolutions to the comments section.
Top: Isabel Marant from The RealReal; Belt: the self-belf of a Badgley Mischka dress you’ve never seen; Pants: JCrew; Shoes: Cole Haan (Note: I wore wedges rather than lo-bloc heels): Bag: Marni; Bracelets: David Yurman
* I do have one other fancy dress,+ for summer, that is dressy even though it’s neither shiny nor décolleté. It’s made of silk chiffon and cotton.
** My mistake. We’ve never discussed it. But I saw it in 1996 and I think about it often. You can read about it here.
+ Another mistake! I have one more fancy dress and you’ve never seen it. It’s champagne colored and snakeskin patterned. I realize that may sound horrible, but it’s actually very striking.

15 thoughts on “The Directrice Dressed Up”

  1. I also use a fancy top as my going-out formula. Dressy separates are the way to go!

    As always, I’m interested in what your cats think of this getup.

  2. The outfit is lovely, and while the cigarette pants version looks good, the pants do seem a bit too tight at the top of the leg. Comfort should always win out! I’m thinking about my resolutions.

    • I wore a suit with a silver tie! (I put the pic up on my Facebook page.) One guy was wearing a top hat and a silver cape–total bonus points for that! But in my completely objective opinion, The Directrice was by far the most stylish person there.

      • The Photographer looked very handsome in his suit and tie. I don’t think that I was the most stylish woman there because there were a number of stylish women present including one who matched a walking boot (recent foot surgery) with the most stylish sneaker from IRI. Also there were several girls present wearing plaid taffeta party dresses and I think we can all agree there is nothing more festive than that!

  3. Stunning, as always. I agree that the wide pants look fancy. I myself have never been dressed this fancily, at my own wedding or at any party.

  4. I love this formula and plan to steal it next time I get invited to an ultra fancy party. Separates are also way easier for those of us hard-to-fit folks, too. Ruching tip . . . hmmm, good one . . . does that work for non-dressy ruching, too?

  5. I definitely prefer the wide-legged pants. You look very sexy! I’m sure The Photographer is right when he says you were the best-dressed person there.

  6. This is perfect for New Year’s. I was scrolling through past posts of yours and it follows your formulas perfectly. Minimal accessories when a striking metallic (literally!) top is worn and featured – you let it be the star! Smoosh under a coat for warmth? What to do for outerwear?

    I prefer the wide legged pant as well.
    Happy New Year Directrice and Photographer!

    I’m waiting to see the champagne/snakeskin dress… now you have a curious reader!

  7. Fabulous top! It is indeed presumptively fancy. And I love the paisley swirls, as for me, paisley makes any piece even better. Happy New Year!


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