This week I popped around the corner to buy new beige frock from my friend Lesley. I knew we were going skiing this weekend so Jonesing to wear it somewhere, anywhere. Then a phone call from another friend - free tickets to the Tony award-winning musical Next To Normal at the Curran Theatre. Perfect!
First I tried out the classic look with my nude heels and pearls.
The nude-heels-pearls are the easy option and - let's face it- go with anything. But the real skill is in creating the unexpected and this is where I get stuck. Plus, let face it, I'm 49 in March. This stucky-ness means a new frock, jacket or trou(sers) sends me into a bit of tailspin. When that happens, you call your support group - for me it's the La Stylee Council - that group of friends who know naturally what works.
Then there is that untapped resource living right with you - your kids! Their response is pure instinct, and unlike adults, they don't second guess or intellectualise. My kids also know they will end up taking my blog pictures - am I torturing them? - so best to get it right beforehand. To Jackson, 11: This belt? this one? this one? No, no no. Often kids can't express why that purse doesn't go with that jacket, it's just "nope". Jackson taking these pics "Mum, that's a Micheal Jordan dunking face. " Jackson has to go to tennis practise, so Cy, seven, takes over the camera: "Mum, you kind of look like Strega Nona in that one."
But while I may not have the props to create an ensemble as complex or intriguing as I would like, I did discover that even small changes make a difference; a colourful bag, swingy earings.
Sling-backs and bare legs are fine for the theatre but I was worried about the cold. The weather here in the Bay Area - for my overseas readers this means San Fransisco, Berkeley, Oakland and beyond - lately has been subject to naughty poltergeists moving temps from tropical to arctic in just one day. Everywhere you go people are in down jackets or flip flops as though two planeloads of holiday-makers took off - one for Alaska and one for Bermuda - and had to make an emergency landing in the Bay Area. I wanted to ensure I was toasty, so started with my greige boots. Plus, is there a better place to give my vintage faux fur coat (which I wore as Halloween Margot from The Royal Tenenbaums) a wee outing?
You might notice my mascara was a bit drippy, friend Sandy and I wept the whole way through this very emotional musical, about a bi-polar mother who had lost her baby son. Wait - this was a musical? Yes...
And finally, for a more casual look I simply added my old purple and green feather Lulu Guinness suede bag. Think maybe this outfit needs an extra repetition of the blue or green with a fabulicious ring or necklace. Or extra easy with a denim jacket and canvas belt...
What else would you add to these outfits? How would you wear this beige frock? I would love to hear from you!