I’m in clients’ closets all the time and whenever I work with dresses I marvel at how effortless they are. One thing! You put one thing on and you’re dressed!
I can go for days and weeks, maybe even a month or two or six, before I wear a dress and then that big light bulb goes off: dresses are so easy!
So this week on Office Tuesday in Sonoma, I put on a dress. I spent time with Caitlin, my admin/everything person, in my home office, then out to lunch in town, then to Peet’s where Caitlin and I worked on writing projects to be delivered next week to image consultants who are members of my Monthly Marketing Bundle program. After being in this dress all day I thought to myself, Maybe I should wear only dresses this summer.
This dress has been around for a decade or so
I’ve had this dress for years. When I first bought it I was wearing it in a dressy way: black pumps, dressy jewelry, fancy jacket. This year I’m bringing it down to the level of casual chic wear. It’ll be so much easier to wear with sneakers or platform sandals like these Dr. Scholl’s sandals. I throw on my Eileen Fisher linen jean jacket for an extra layer and I’m good to go.
I do this with my clients all of the time: take something they wore for good and make it more accessible. The first year of owning a garment is when I’ll style it the most formal or dressy way. As the years go by, I always find a way to drop it down a level so the client gets to keep wearing it but in new, more relaxed ways.
Even though times have changed and casual clothes are de riguer, my clients don’t have to give up the joy of wearing their “special” clothes.
So here are the reasons I love this Kate Spade dress and give it my Brenda Kinsel Award of Excellence. I hope these will inspire you to think about your dresses in a new way.
1. This dress style doesn’t care if I had a hazelnut waffle with butter, maple syrup, and berries for lunch at Sunflower Caffe.
2. This dress has POCKETS!
3. It’s an animal print. Need I say more?
4. It’s an animal print in black and white, a color combination that’s classic and always in style. It fits well with my personal desire to wear casual things that have some fancy in them.
5. There’s a surprise in the back!! A flat bow at the top with hidden snaps is the closure. When I bought this dress, the bow wasn’t my favorite part. But now I am so bow-happy that it gets extra points this year. There’s a big peekaboo in the back if you feel like playing peekaboo.
6. It’s not too short. I don’t have to wear pants under it…but maybe I could try that for variety.
7. It’s a sturdy silk, not a wimpy silk and it’s lined. It’s not see-through.
8. It doesn’t cling to anything. It’s not too tight, not too baggy; it’s just right.
9. I feel kicky in it, not to be mistaken with kinky. It’s a girly dress and makes me feel like being silly. That way I can make my daughter, Caitlin, groan and say, “M-O-M!” No mother tires of the opportunity to embarrass her kids.
10. I already own it. I didn’t have to go shopping or searching. It was in my closet!
11. A simple straw hat, earrings and a Sol Sister necklace are all the accessories I need.
12. It’s so current (even though it’s not a recent purchase at all) when I wear platform sandals with it or chunky sneakers.
13. It demands NO attention from me. No waistbands, no zippers, no tucking in. Nothing complicated. All I do is put it over my head and snap the bow snaps.
14. I’d feel selfish asking it to be more perfect than it is but it also doesn’t wrinkle. Dress, I love you so! For these sweet hours that you adorn my body, life is just peachy!
A smart and chic way for a woman over 60 to get dressed
I challenge you to look at any clothes that you’ve saved for good and pull them out for a styling session. You could have some new outfits just waiting to hit the streets. And if you’re on the streets of Sonoma, let me know. I know where the best coffee is in town. (And waffles.)
Share with us what you’re doing with dresses this year, okay?