M-J de Mesterton on Classic, Elegant Dressing
Fashion may, on occasion, derive its inspiration from classic, elegant style, but classically elegant style does not follow fashion. A classically stylish person is not obliged to wear the clothes of a uniquely tasteful era, such as the 1930s--classic style is timeless. Choose beautifully made clothes and accessories that are useful and relevant to the life you lead, whether or not they are currently "in fashion".
Classic style is based on the clear understanding of proper time and place. For example, gentlemen who wear hats remove them when entering private homes, restaurants, and even bars. (An exception to that rule is the cowboy hat, at certain venues.) Sure, the fedora is back, but a gent shows his elegant taste and style if he knows when and how to wear it. Women who choose sundresses for work, luncheon or city streets have no understanding of classic style. A mini-skirt that may be all right for nightclubbing is not welcome at an elegant luncheon. Dressing with classic style guarantees absolute confidence night or day, anywhere in the world.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2007
Photo, left: This is a very tight-fitting pencil skirt that hugs every curve--but it is respectably sexy, made from thick, stretchy fabric which supports as well as it reveals.... If you have a shapely body, this skirt will accentuate it. If you are slim, this skirt will give you more curves than you normally show--highly recommended for a tasteful '60s look! ~~M-J
|M-J de Mesterton in Elegant Evening Dress: Long-Sleeved White Satin Blouse, Mid-Calf Black Skirt|
In 2004, I photographed myself in an elegant dressing gown made of black velvet with white satin trim. It was the sort of thing which one would not be embarrassed to be seen in on an impromptu basis--answering the door to package deliveries, for example. I miss that old robe, but I still have my silk dressing gown by Sulka as a consolation.
©M-J de Mesterton 2015
Above: M-J in a Classic Sweater by Dale of Norway
M-J de Mesterton, Dressed in an Aquascutum Tweed Skirt-Suit for Fall and Winter
Above: M-J de Mesterton in Elegant Attire for Winter Tea, Cocktails or Dinner
Elegant Men's Shoes
M-J de Mesterton wears a hat by Eric Javits of New York, a J. Peterman skirt, a T.M. Lewin Blouse from England, Silk-Knot Cuff-Links by Brooks Brothers, and white nylons.
"Casual, Elegant Dressing at a Summer Cocktail Party"
Classic, Elegant Winter Dressing
If you wear only classic clothing, it is bound to come back into fashion. This jacket, made for M-J in England, has already been somewhat mimicked (not duplicated) by Dior for autumn 2010. M-J wears her Harris Tweed burnt orange equestrian jacket with Gun Club Check breeks.
Elegant Dressing, Elegant Woman, Elegant Tweed, Elegant Ja
Hubert de Givenchy
Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy (born February 20th, 1927) is a French aristocrat and fashion designer. He founded the House of Givenchy in 1952. Having met Audrey Hepburn in 1953 while she was filming "Sabrina", he continued to design most of the actress' personal and professional wardrobe. They became close friends. Some exemplary Givenchy designs may be seen in William Wyler's movie, "How to Steal a Million," starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole.
Photo: Kerry Taylor Auctions on Pall Mall, London
Hubert de Givenchy made clothes for the Grimaldi family, and for Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.
Count Hubert de Givenchy retired in 1995. The House of Givenchy, which he founded in 1952, is now owned by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A.; its head designer is Riccardo Tisci.
Hubert de Givenchy designed clothes to flatter the female figure. He created elegant silhouettes that did not rely on extravagant trims and details. His clothes were the epitome of elegant simplicity.
Hair-style is the final tip-off whether or not a woman
really knows herself.
~~Hubert de Givenchy
Basic, Classic Clothes for Women
Have a look at Butterick’s Retro and Out-of-Print patterns, as well.
For daytime: an A-line or flared skirt with a waist, landing just below or in the middle of the knee. Fabric choices include tweed and other wools in cooler months; silk, cotton, 10-ounce wools and corduroy in the warmer ones.
Fuller, longer skirts for evening, made of silk, changent and velvet; again, a skirt must have a proper waist (up above the navel), where you can cinch it with a belt for an hourglass figure.
Blouses that are either sleeveless or long-sleeved, made of either silk or cotton. Short-sleeved shirts, dresses and blouses have an extremely casual look that should be reserved for daytime, as well as a problem with proportion (they remind me of bowling and tee-shirts).
Drawing by the Late British Fashion Artist Francis Marshall: "Intermission at Covent Garden"
For evening wear, diaphanous blouses with long sleeves are elegant, and to balance a long, full skirt, a lot of ruffles work well.
Resist the empire-waisted blouses that are popping up in current fashion. Not only will they make your stomach pop-out, but they are awkward when tucked-into trousers or skirts. A tucked-in shirt or blouse will enhance the waist. Men's shirts are very attractive on women; if your husband has grown out of his, commandeer them for your own use. They ought to be made of cotton with a high thread-count, and the larger number of stitches per inch or centimeter, the better the quality.
If you have a sewing machine, it is easy to make a shawl of shantung silk, reversible with two different colours, if possible. The wrap will be useful to wear with evening gowns (see drawing by Francis Marshall; also notice the shape of the pale dress).
To Be Continued....
Copyright M-J de Mesterton May 15th, 2009
People who golf in tee-shirts and low-ridin' pants look like rubes and slobs. Respect for the traditions of the game includes dressing in a dignified, classic style. Golf Knickers is a treasure-trove of traditional golfing trousers, shirts, hats, socks, et cetera. It's refreshing to see their old-fashioned prices, as well as the wide array of golf classics.
Elegant dressing begins with a good foundation: lingerie with structure, which includes waist-enhancing and bust-sculpting designs. Luxurious dresses, blouses and skirts that emphasize your positive attributes will complete your beautiful look. Silks, tweeds and velvet, hound's-tooth and herringbone will always be in style because they are classics. Top this off with an old-fashioned, wide-brimmed hat and you are off to the races! Oh, and don't forget the sensible shoes; a well-constructed shoe doesn't have to be a clod-hopper. A two-to-three-inch heel with a simply styled leather upper will take you anywhere (flip-flops will take you to the podiatrist).
How to Dress for a Formal Luncheon
Coming soon: The History of Ventile
The History of the Mac
Mr. Charles Mackintosh patented his process of dissolving rubber and binding it to cotton in the early 1088s. His earliest attempts raised comments about the strange smell, the stiffness and the tendency to melt in hot weather.
By 1843 when he had perfected the vulcanization process, Mr John Charles Cording had just set up his business in the Strand as "Waterproofer". While fabrics have dramatically improved with time, the process of making mackintoshes remains the same.
Source: Our Old Cordings Catalogue, 1999
Tom Mix Publicity Photo
In the days when the American west was being settled, men and women wore tweeds from Scotland, British-inspired suits, long, luxurious skirts, long-sleeved blouses, shirts, and waistcoats made of durable, thick fabrics. Naked knees, elbows and plumbers' cracks were rare sights. Combined with rugged yet elegant cowboy boots and hats, these tasteful clothes served two functions, affording both ladies and gentlemen dignified self-esteem out on the range, and protection from the elements.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008
M-J in the Cotton Clothing of Summer
For the unofficial last Saturday of summer, I'm wearing my husband's Turnbull & Asser shirt from 1992.The white cotton skirt was made in Denmark, 2002, by Blue Willi.
The watch is an extra-large, white G-Shock Military.
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