Is there a guy alive who doesn’t know that lowering the lights and adding some candles is much more likely to get a woman “in the mood” than is bringing her into a room where the brilliance could be mistaken for a stadium on Friday night? When our own self-interest is at stake, we can be remarkably aware of the need for mood.
Mood. It’s a small word, but one with large importance in our daily activities. Imagine the impression you’d get if you went into a lawyer’s office to make a new will and, instead of the expected sober environment, found the office done in bright neon colors with disco posters on the walls. Your first reaction might be “Cool!”, but your second would more likely be “Really?” We use lawyers for serious matters, and we expect their offices to reflect that seriousness. It sets the mood for us; it inspires confidence that they too will take our affairs seriously.
Clothing has moods too, and in male-mode most TGs handle that aspect fairly well. Unless you’re in the computer world, the idea of meeting with the top boss wearing your latest beach shirt wouldn’t cross your mind. Too often, though, TGs don’t do nearly as well in female mode. Women’s clothing is simply more complex than men’s, and that means that there are many more mood shadings to be considered.
I will assume that most of you can spot the mood differences between a denim skirt and a satin one, but when dealing with women’s clothing, the need for mood-setting goes far beyond such basic differences. Fabric, color, cut, shoes, handbag, jewelry, hair style, makeup – all of these need to evoke the same mood to achieve a truly finished appearance, and that means that a lot of thought needs to go into each aspect of putting an outfit together.
(Before you head for the Comment Button to tell me that today’s styles mix rhinestones with shabby, let me say that I’m well aware that current popular looks have forged some strange bedfellows. People should enjoy their clothes, and if sparklies and grunge are a look you find appealing, go ahead and indulge yourself. Just remember that this too will pass, so don’t spend a lot of money on a passing fad rather than on long-term wardrobe-essentials. Think leisure suits and keep it in perspective.)
OK, back to mood in a more classical sense. Let’s take for example a perfectly plain dress. The dress pictured here is like an artist’s canvas just waiting for you to decide what to do with it. Lunch with your friends at Chile’s? How about taking a huge square scarf in a colorful print, folding it into a triangle, and tying it gypsy style around your waist? Add some huge hoops, a bangle, and a big colorful hobo bag that brings out one of the colors in the scarf. Your shoes of course need to be “fun” too, like some strappy espadrilles. All of these items set an informal mood. **
But what if it’s an 8 pm candlelight dinner downtown at the Intercontinental’s French restaurant? We need a different mood now, a more upscale one, so we’re going to tone down the accessories and construct a more sophisticated look. Think of how different the impression is if we pull the hair up and add some several-inch drop rhinestone earrings. Or, if you prefer, add a killer sparkly necklace (yes, now’s the time for that sparkle) but then tone down the earrings so that the necklace is the center of attention. Some beautiful black evening shoes, with or without a touch of sparkly, and a silk or satin clutch bag. (Imagine how ridiculous that large hobo would look in this genteel setting.)
Dressing mood-appropriately is a social skill. If you had turned up at Chile’s swathed in rhinestones and carrying a satin evening clutch, you would have been decidedly out of place (and maybe even taken some kidding), while the bright gypsy look would have been almost as out of place in a quiet candle-lit environment.
Consistency was the trick to putting together these two very different looks. Learning to be “mood consistent” is an essential part of successful dressing and is something that can indeed be learned. I hope you’ll follow along with us as we talk about these different aspects of “putting it all together” to turn out the stunning you that you dream of.
Until next time . . . .
** This scarf-around-the-waist look is not good for everyone. If you’re a bit heavier, an alternative look would be a long skinny scarf draped around your neck. Add a belt if you want, but it’s not necessary.