The LBD -Little Black Dress- is universally recognized as the “Go-To” outfit for most of us but there is another option. And while it quite possibly holds a special place in your heart or at least in the Parthenon of your (our) choices, there are often circumstances where a different environment, demeanor or a style is required (or more suitable) and the LBD is not the most appropriate choice.
Before proceeding, must openly and wholeheartedly admit I just love my LBD. It was one of Marie’s very first acquisitions. Love the smooth feel of the material, the stylist scrunch at the waist, the just right hemline and the perfect caress at the bust, and butt and the slight snugging at the hemline reminding me of my nylon encased thighs and to carry myself gracefully and with a proud ladylike carriage.
While composing this Vignette visited Marie’s closet and counted the number of black and red dresses. Was surprised at the numbers – Five and five. Did not count skirts, trousers, blouses or tops specifically by color but collectively they topped sixty. Overall quite a range of choices.
Now shifting to the nature of occasions, excluding grocery shopping and other every day today activities, we may have only 6-8 dress-up opportunities, in a month and the occasional special event such as a fancy theater or a show night perhaps in a quarter. Of course, there may be the monthly Girls-Get-Together which could be either a morning, dinner, luncheon or cocktail event. Any of these can provide a chance to have your own non-LBD happening. By the way have you considered creating your own event, You DO have the power to create ONE. It only takes imagination, planning and persistence to create your own personal event.
Any and all of the outfits described below will provide or entertain a “Red Dress or Suit” in lieu of the LBD and by adding an extra touch of color to each you will expand your private world and your own feeling of wonderful femininity. Do you not agree? And even more so, each will provide you an opportunity to display your imagination and special style?
You may be wondering where I am going with all this chatter. Marie is seizing the beachhead or grabbing the bridal bouquet and surging ahead with a brief discussion of four “Red Dresses” and one special event “Suit”.
The first on the catwalk is a snug and versatile Black & Red number that can work for both business or a cocktail occasion. Its figure enhancing Black panels make a perfect statement of the female silhouette. The warm material makes it a great candidate for the fall temperatures or a Christmas Party. The three quarter-length sleeves and zippered neckline add a degree of flexibility and casual style which complement the basic A-Line. The full back zipper makes it an easy on-off outfit and overall provides the wearer with a superb womanly option.
The next, which I have dubbed –Fun Fashion– (slightly bold or risqué) is a light weight solid color pinkish-red figure-hugging number with a scoop neckline, and a leg revealing front slit in the knee length skirt and full-length narrow sleeves. Might be called Risqué sheik, the thin material makes this over-the-head dress an easy on/off candidate. This is definitely a dancing or cocktail candidate or Friday afternoon office wear if you are so bold. Your choice of accessories should be minimum being a necklace or perhaps a long yellow flowing scarf and gold or red bracelet(s) and earrings. Red or yellow heels would top off this look with a matching chain purse. However, this outfit might attract a little more attention than you may want.
The third in this little lineup is a stunning Red & Black Floral Print number that will make you polite standout. Marie has christened it a “Stalker”- do not know why! But there it is! It sports a knee-length hem and tulip sleeves. The full back zipper makes it an easy step-in number. The high neckline lends itself to a long draping silver chained necklace possibly ending with your favorite polished stone. If you choose a neck scarf it probably should be a solid color, possibly a pale yellow that will highlight and frame your face. Jewelry with a black or smoky tint – earrings, bracelets, rings etc. might be a good choice for accessories. Red or Red & Black pumps and Black or black & red or yellow purse could make a nice period to this outfit. Your Choice!
The fourth focus of this Show and Tell is a Rose Red Cocktail Dress. It has capped shoulders and snug bodice and full-flared trailing skirt and squared neckline. It also has a full-length back zipper which makes it easy to step in and out. The dress (in Marie’s opinion) does not need or require any accessories although a single gold pin of some significance to you would provide a nice personal touch. This dress would be perfect to show off a wide Winner or 1st Runner Up Show Ribbon should you win a local Beauty contest. It would also be perfect if you were fortunate enough to be a Bridesmaid, or could attend a springtime Costume or Masquerade Ball. Of course, you would want to have a pair of Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers and small delicate handbag to complete your look, perhaps with gold necklace, and bracelet.
The fifth candidate in this mini-Fashion Show is an exquisite upscale Maroon Red & Rose Ladies Suit with a great fitting and stylist knee length skirt with a seven-inch kick-plat. It is a multi-element outfit – a straight long sleeve waist length jacket, tailored skirt and two under tops – a spaghetti strap shell, and/or a ruffle edged blouse. A third option is to wear neither of these and just wear the four-button jacket with the top button undone. Another option is to just carry the jacket (almost as an accessory) and choose one of the tops to display your femininity. The shell will highlight your breast, soft shoulders and nicely tanned arms. The ruffled blouse can be worn fully buttoned or more casually with the top two buttons opened to reveal a delicate hint of your cherished mounds. This outfit will set you up as very classic lady. Reach another pinnacle of fashion with matching heels and a clutch purse. Always a lady’s choice.
Marie achieved an extra “Lift” while composing each of these descriptions by enjoying the ultimate joy of modeling/wearing each outfit and chatting on the phone with two of Marie’s Gal Group, very exhilarating. One about a cruise just completed and another in the planning stage and with the other Gal about an upcoming Halloween Gala. Girl talk can be so great!
Where To Wear Them
The joy of these conversations prompted me to include a small list of possible “Getting Out” events and environments to go with the outfits described above. Here goes:
Red & Black Office:
A Friday afternoon TGIF Girls get together would be super if you have a supportive or adventurous Office Gal Pal that willing to help you explore this world of delights.
Pink Rose Dress:
This potentially very sexy choice would be perfect for taking a walk on the beach with heels dangling from left hand and right free to control the slightly blowing hair, as well as the boardwalk or promenade or even better clicking your way across the marble floored lobby of an upscale hotel or the wide hallway in a convention center event.
Floral Print Dress:
You could wear this at any of the above venues or the theater, dancing or dinner or even an afternoon at the office. Could be just as scrumptious lounging on the terrace or patio of a new restaurant or café. This outfit as well as all of this little collection would be stunning while sitting perched on a high stool at a high round table off toward the corner of a hotel bar area with your I-Pad or a fashion magazine occupying your attention.
Rose Red Cocktail:
This number requires a special setting to be fully enjoyed, preferably in a dance atmosphere although just moving through a hotel lobby and taking the glass elevator to the Penthouse or Roof Patio would be exhilarating, possibly only topped off by mingling in a grand ballroom and a “Huge” convention cocktail party where there are so many people that you are just one of the more flamboyant guests.
Now the upscale sophisticated Lady in the Suit – the marketing executive, real estate agent/broker, fashion or interior design consultant. Perfect for attending a vast range of events including virtually all mentioned above including a wedding, or engagement party, bridal shower, or even a Sunday afternoon to a nearby Cathedral. Your Choice!
As we bring this little fashion road trip to a close, hope you have enjoyed it as I have, however, now must trade out of the last of our “Runway” outfits, for Girl’s jeans and casual but colorful diagonal striped gauzy top knotted stylishly at on the left hip as Marie has an appointment with cosmetic nurse friend to head-off a few wrinkles and maybe to plump up Marie’s apples. I trust her judgement and it will all be her choice. Enjoy life and be the best you can be,
Marie Anne Greene.
You may also like Tasi’s blog article on the Iconic Red Dress or this article on TG Forum Are you suffering from ABD (Abundant Black Disorder)?