“It is only shallow people who don’t judge by appearances”
Do you dress for dinner? There has always been an etiquette, but for only those in the know, so to speak. Wearing the right outfit could open doors, and the wrong one would close them. Just try to get into any London restaurant looking “wrong” and you will see that not much has changed in this respect.
Depending on the event, our appearance sends a message. More like a whole speech actually. Would you wear the same clothes to appear in her majesty’s court as you would to go to a Camden club?
Rule no. 1# Clothes are communication for the occasion.
Clarify the message! Is it valentines dinner with my loved one, or a hostile business event with the borgias? Write it down as if creating a Film character.
Rule no. 2# the correct hair style
My wardrobe is very small, most of the time the clothes I wear to work, have to be adapted for going out to dinner. Changing the hairstyle – say to a chignon can totally change the vibe. My own hair is coloured and highlighted within an inch of its life, so I find a weekly hair masque to be a life saver and essential to restore shine and bounciness!
Rule no. 3# Choosing the right handbag.
Everyone knows that right? For a smart dinner event, best not to carry a giant tote stuffed with the kitchen sink! Leave the birkin at home and carry something smaller. I used to carry a Kelly 28, but now prefer a pochette. ( the London lady needs a core collection of 4 handbags to suit any occasion.)
Rule no. 4# shoes transform the outfit & and strengthen the message
I have strict criteria about shoes, in the sense that I really do have to be able to walk in them. (Preferably cycle too) For boozy dinners though, One may choose something a little bit lower on comfort and higher in beauty- and get a taxi. I don’t believe my satin manolos have ever touched the London pavement…
Rule no. 5 # high quality clothes are more versatile
Of course most people think they buy high quality clothes. It’s very rare to meet someone who admits, ‘yes actually, My aim is to buy disposable rubbish , made in sweat shops’. Nonetheless the sad reality is that most clothes nowadays are poor quality and made in appalling sweat shop conditions. One has to actively seek out quality, reject the whims of fast fashion and make sure every single purchase serves a purpose. I like to shop for items with a bit of longevity, though it’s good to remember that even the best purchases have a ‘sell by’ date. Most items in my wardrobe get culled after a 7 year cycle, as I refresh my look – even the beloved Kelly’s had to go. Items such as a plain, black cashmere v neck, can be adapted almost indefinitely, though at some point the shape may look “off”.
Rule no. 6 # Adding some ‘faux’ bijoux
A cocktail ring, a Vintage brooch or leather cuffs. I don’t wear much jewellery, but is nice when is used as an exclamation mark, to whatever story the clothes are trying to tell. They can also be a quick and relatively inexpensive way to update an outfit.
Hope you all have some great plans for a casual or formal dinner -and do let me know. Do you still dress for dinner?
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