This week I have been spending some time in SoCal on a photo shoot and it’s given me plenty of time to observe the natives in all sorts of ritual forms of dress. From weddings, to cocktails, to work day and shopping the sense of casual vibe comes through in all forms.
Might I say being a casual girl myself I love that blend of laid back pieces pumped up with dressy accessories, but, let’s face it my loves, somewhere during the casualization of America we have blurred the lines of good taste and have forgotten that every look has a time or a place. And even though I love going casual I feel that it’s always better to err on the side of dressy when attending any event. Every time I do a bit of traveling I realize that just about every city or metropolitan area has a look of it’s own some good and some just plain ugly. When I worked with style writer and author of the best seller “How to Not Look Old” Charla Krupp she kept asking “What is the look in this town?” My response was something on the order of..Dressy Casual and she agreed the AZ zip codes that she experienced were as she described all about designer jeans, heels and status handbags. As am outsiders briefly observing the view I can’t say that she was wrong, but living here we know that it runs the gamut from dressy blingy to dressy casual to just plain put on some pants and get out of those leggings!
During my stay here our photo crew while having pre-shoot production meeting slash cocktails we spied a rooftop wedding reception full of libated party goers and fashion offenses from top to bottom. I sat there handing out imaginary fashion citations in my head and compiled a list of cautions to pass on to you my dear Style Files friends.
First off, I don’t care if it’s seventy degrees outside it is still January, so if you are attending a wedding and donning a sweet little LBD or other dress please oh please DO NOT, I repeat do not wear your summer slingbacks with the skinny little thong like straps with a long sleeve dress or any dress that is appropriate for fall or winter.
Truly this ends up looking like you were running out the door and your shoes were an afterthought. It takes no less time to go for a sandal in leather, suede or patent with thicker straps and it looks like you actually care.
Secondly, sundresses in cotton or linen fabrics are not appropriate for any wedding that takes place before April or May. Cute and comfy as they may be these are summer materials that have no place at an evening function in the middle of winter but you can at least pre-order them now for your warm weather soiree’
Strapless, spaghetti straps or tank dresses in jersey, silk taffeta or winter weight fabrics are just fine but remember to pair it with the proper pump, t-strap or bootie for a dressy event.
Lastly let’s talk about jewelry, in this case there can be too much of a good thing. Wearing overly chunky earrings, necklace, bracelet and ring never say elegance instead it says I have no idea what to wear with this dress and it can be far too distracting. I hate to pick on the FLOTUS Michelle Obama she still looked gorgeous but this might have been too much of a good thing.
Pair down your gems to just one or two great accessories that will say Wow! in a good way. I love Nicole Richie’s line House of Harlow for a little impact.