As I have confessed before, I love fashion. Clothes, shoes, purses, accessories…I love them all.
I have always enjoyed looking at old photos of Jackie Kennedy’s outfits. Many years ago when the Metropolitan Museum, in conjunction with the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, had an exhibit of Jackie’s clothing, my friend, Diane, my mom and I traveled to New York to see the exhibit. We stood in line for four hours just to get in.
As we all know, Jackie’s clothes were amazing. I would wear any of her outfits today, and they would look just as stylish and appropriate as they did in the 50s, 60s, 70s, or 80s. She knew what worked on her body type. She chose elegant styles made of quality fabrics.
When I want inspiration for an outfit, I look through Jackie Kennedy: The White House Years which I purchased in soft copy at the exhibit. Later, I purchased the same book in hardcover online. It is that amazing! Of course, it is well written and informative, but it is full of photos Jackie and her clothes. It tells who designed the outfit, what fabric and adornments were used, and well as where she wore the ensemble.
For modern style inspiration, I look to Princess Kate, Duchess of Cambridge; Amal Clooney; and Queen Letizia of Spain. Other than Amal, who does take some style risks, these ladies’ styles are classic, with minimum embellishment and maximum detailing. What I like about Amal’s clothing choices is that she wears vintage clothing! Her work clothes consist of classic silhouettes with modern twists.
If you check out photos of any of these four women, you will notice that they don’t add a lot of jewelry to their outfit. A dramatic pair of earrings or a standout necklace with a plain outfit adds an appropriate amount of punch without looking like a sideshow circus. Do you remember the 1980s book that touted only wearing a certain number of pieces of jewelry? Dress for Success was its name, but with all the coat dresses of the 80s, by the time you counted your gold buttons, you couldn’t wear anything else.
Kate Spade and Tory Burch are clothing designers that I like; again it is their classic styling. They each do modern twists as well with their clothes but in a minimalistic type of way. Even these clothes can be pricey to me, so watch for sales, online outlets, and eBay for good bargains.
I would never spend $3,000 on a Gucci dress, but I do enjoy looking at the classic styling. My mom had some lovely dress and matching coat outfits from the 50s and 60s with which I could not part. I also saved a couple of her purses that were so cool. They weren’t by famous designers (or none of whom I have heard), but they were well made and classic.
Several years ago there was an Angela Lansbury TV movie titled Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris. It was such an enjoyable movie about an elderly cleaning lady who saves her money to buy a couture Dior dress and the experiences she has along the way. Maybe we all need a couture dress once in our lives. If so, I will probably buy mine on eBay or the RealReal!
Who are your style icons? Do you get wardrobe or outfit inspiration from others? Is there a couture item that you would love to own?
Confession: When Murder She Wrote was on television, in the 1980s and ’90s, I liked the way Jessica Fletcher (the mystery writer played by Angela Lansbury) dressed! I had the same Hartman luggage and some of the same purses! As I watch reruns, it was the classic styling that still makes her outfits appropriate for today (minus the pictorial sweaters, of course).