Greetings Fashionistas! You really are!
FASHIONGRANNY made her way to a Ball recently and witnessed a beautiful display of fashion sense she’s been preaching about forever made real! It was Fashion Heaven!
Last column, you’ll remember the query,” I’m going to a Ball, should I care/and buy a new dress?” sent in by “What’s it all about Alfie?” FASHIONGRANNY’S answer was a resounding, Yes! You should care and Yes! You should buy a new dress if possible.
Well! An invitation arose for me on the heels of her question, un-connected, may I say, and FASHIONGRANNY had the opportunity to walk her talk!
This Ball I went to? Everybody, that’s men and women, folks, had torn a page from my daily fashion dream. A dream from the Rodney King playbook:
“Why can’t everybody dress appropriately?”
My dream came true, if just for an evening, as I perused the perimeter into a sea of milling color.
All the women were Ladies and all the men were Gentlemen! The donning of gorgeous Ball gowns and dresses, thoughtfully accessorized, had even the wallflower beaming!
Then, there’s something about a man in a tuxedo! FASHIONGRANNY really likes men in tuxedoes! Hence a Ballroom full of Men in Black, for me? Out of this World! So James Bond!
People actually looked comfortable in their roles that night, too. Women, right at home in skirts to the floor of bustling satin. Mincing steps and perfect posture. Butterfly bowties, tightened around a heavily starched winged collar were worn with aplomb. It looked as though all the men owned the tux they were wearing. That’s funny! Yeah Baby!
Now that I’m back on the battleground of everyday life and it’s time to write my column, I remember a young man who knows who FASHIONGRANNY is in person, approached me at the Ball and asked if the tie he was wearing was appropriate with his tuxedo?
He had on a simple, obviously fine quality black silk cravat against a hip traditional tux.
My first thought, or should I say knee-jerk reaction, was immediately, “No! Bow ties are de rigueur, period!” Yet he looked so good, so well groomed, fresh and modern!
Those last two words are the operative ones. He looked fresh and modern. A fashion twist of a mere cravat: a choice – not from laziness, but on purpose – as I found out. I think we talked about a well-dressed Brad Pitt in the movie “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” I’m not really sure, (remember I was in a fashion daze), but I got the vision. I now give a fashion stamp of approval for Gents in Black Quality Silk Cravats with Tuxedos evermore!
Fresh and Modern is what I am choosing right now; that’s what we want to achieve this fashion season!
Thanks for listening. Now on to a fresh and modern Fashion question…
I’m a traveler and am in and out of airports most of the year. I am shocked by what most people choose to wear while traveling, but I kind of get the “comfort” thing, as plane travel is murder today! I know you travel, and I would like to know what you wear and what you might suggest for me. Thanks in advance, I love your column!
Signed, Pan Am Pam
Well, Pan Am Pam,
Just by your signature I know your age group, as only old folks remember Pan Am. Unless you are watching popular television. It seems you also remember when air travel was somewhat pleasurable. FASHIONGRANNY is a frequent flyer from way back! My parents and I would fly often from San Francisco to Los Angeles on PSA. Our luggage was matching and monogrammed. My Mother wore a suit or shirtwaist, hat and gloves. On one arm was her overcoat, prepared for any California weather, complete with a beautiful leather handbag on the other. My Father always wore a blazer and tie. All the men did; that’s the way it was.
Little FASHIONGRANNY was always in a dress or pleated skirt and loafers; for girls there was no such thing as wearing pants outside of the playground, if then.
The Stewardesses in America were women and you could call them Stewardesses. They were beautiful, polite, and accommodating. In fact, nearly every little girl dreamed of being a Stewardess at least once. The Stews went out of their way to pay special attention to the children, smiling and leaning over to hand you your very own airlines package of crayons and a coloring book of their fleet.
How’s that working for you? No wonder retro programming is so popular! Maybe we really do want hemlines to come down and cleavage to disappear! Sort of like “Pleasantville,” the movie.
Pam, I’ve seen what you’ve seen at airports, and sad to say, right here in the good old USA are the greatest offenders. “Angry Birds” print pajama bottoms with a shrunken hooded “attitude” sweatshirt printed “I’m a Princess” on 40 year olds. What’s that about? Have they no shame? Big, dirty, furry, loud indoor-outdoor shuffling bedroom slippers, neck pillow, beach towel and soiled stuffed animal for calming and friendship during flight. Really?
I’ve noticed that different flight patterns bring out the regional fashion madness. On a flight recently from Jacksonville, Florida to Las Vegas, Nevada, the passenger line-up was scary. People in get-ups reflecting their own visions of “What to wear to Vegas.” Hairdos and high heels… and the women! A lot of pink velour and ugly cubic zirconium cocktail rings. Giant, obligatory signature bags, side-swiping your head as they’re lifted into the overhead – with no apology – is the new norm, for sure!
So, what to wear?
Comfort is a buzzword, as the seats are narrower and the natives restless! When FASHIONGRANNY travels, she has two mainstay outfits in rotation.
I love belted, fresh dark jeans, black turtleneck, Nikes or loafers and a blazer topped with an Hermes scarf as one outfit.
My next comfortable, but put together well outfit is black no-wrinkle jacket over no-wrinkle black slacks, with black long sleeve tee and black suede kickboxing Nikes. This is topped with a black Pashmina. An all black silhouette always looks well put together… Scarves look great and serve a purpose too. They keep the chill of an airplanes AC away from your neck.
A little layering doesn’t hurt either for comfort travel. A cardigan sweater over your basic and then your jacket would provide another layer of warmth – or not – when needed.
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