The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

The Kate and Amal Effect

Lately, I’ve been railing about this or that, so thought it was time for a positive view on fashion, cause it sure needs it.  Lots of times, when fashion gets really weird, I forget the runway all together in search of some style that’s real, practical, beautiful, flattering and most of all reflects me as a responsible and yet with-it person.  The go-to place for this is to see what other responsible, beautiful, practical people are wearing to flatter themselves.  Two of my favs for this are the Duchess of Cambridge and Amal Clooney.

Starting with the Duchess
It’s really hard to be a royal and be too frivolous unless you’re looking to get in the papers all the time.  But when you are in line for the succession of the crown (albeit married to that heir), you have to be extremely responsible, you have to look responsible and you have to present yourself in a responsible manner.  Flitting around is not tolerated.  This is a job and as such, she has to make sure that she’s presentable at all times.  But that absolutely precludes looking fuddy-duddy or old-fashioned.  In the case of the Duchess, she has brought a new style, freshness, modernity and most of all class to her position.  She’s refreshing yet responsible.  She’s modern yet classic.  

She’s responsibly dressed, but always modern and fresh.  She doesn’t give out TMI about her figure and most of all she looks well-groomed.  I know that’s somewhat old fashioned, and maybe there’s a more hip way of saying it, but that’s basically how she looks – well-kept!

This kind of outfit is a sewist’s dream….look at those great French darts that dart her bust, waist and hip, and that collar that turns up gently and so face-framing flattering.  And those sleeve heads are a tailor’s perfect dream.  Those sleeve heads say I can do this but you can’t with gusto!

Even when she does wear something short, she does it with such great style and reserve – in this case with nearly opaque stockings so that not a lot of skin is showing.

The whole idea here is that she understands that TMI about her body is not only not done, but it doesn’t garner her any points with anyone other than the shockers on Fleet Street (the trawling paparazzi who search for a shot of her inside upper thigh – I mean really – is that all anyone can attain as their highest goal in life – really?!)  Now it’s become common knowledge that she’s just not that sort of person and she’s not going step out in public without being dressed appropriately.  There were times when some members of the royal family would step out, knowing full well that there was going to be someone get a snap of them in either an awkward position or not the best garment one could possibly wear in public.  But this is not the Duchess of Cambridge and therefore she’s developed a reputation as being sharp, clear, concise, modern, up-to-date, and most of all is responsible with integrity.

 

Amal Clooney
At the same time, when you are a barrister in England, you can’t be fitty, giddy, unstable, flash-of-the-moment which sends a clear message of infamy and immaturity.  A barrister is a legal professional that pleads a case to upper courts while a solicitor is a legal professional that prepares a case for a barrister.   So if this person dresses in an irresponsible manner, she will more than likely be treated as such and most likely not have a very good winning record.

 

This means that she has to look smart, sharp, knows what she’s talking about, at the same time be classic and in-tune with the latest laws and updates on legal matters.  In particular, Mrs. Clooney specializes in international law and human rights.  Now if she goes before a judge dressed in either a bag or a tart’s outfit, she’s not going to garner very much admiration from the judge.  We may not like that, but that’s the fact and to ignore it is at a person’s peril.

Here’s how this shakes out
Which one of these people would you rather model?  We, regular folks, lead regular lives – we go to the store, run errands, and whether we’re working at a job away or at home, or a SAM (stay-at-home mom), we need to have authority and look responsible.  We may be an advocate and/or advisor for our kids or running a meeting a work, or doing a demonstration on the road.  All of those mean that we must look responsible and like we know what we’re talking about or else we’re not going to be at those jobs very long.  If you go to a school meeting dressing with TMI (too much information), more than likely you will not be judged for your brain, knowledge, wisdom, and integrity.  This is the way the world.  To ignore it or work against it is fine but comes with a whole list of other hurdles that you must climb in order to be heard.

For me this comes down to a lot of my brides are literally brain-fed the styles of TMI and as a result, it has become okay to dress like that on their special day down the aisle.  This is supposed to be a sacred ceremony between our Maker and the couple with our friends and family as witnesses and hopefully future helpers.  This is not a dog-and-pony show or to see how glitzy one can get for a whole day, and I often see that when my girls are trying to look their very best.  Unfortunately, they get “their very best” confused with what movie, music and TV starlets are wearing.  Maybe the confusion comes in the true understanding of the job description of these people involved.  A star’s job is to say what the writer has said, move the way the director has said, dress the way the costumer says, think the way the director has directed and basically like and be something that they are not using their looks, body, voice, and anything else that the director has directed.  This means that most of the time an actors job is to affect a completely different persona than themselves – in essence, lie and be believed.  If the director says that the actor has to run down the street without clothes looking like an idiot, then that’s what the actor is hired to do.  The very nature of their job lends toward pushing the boundaries of the envelope of acceptance and normalcy.  That is not what the rest of us do, want or should aspire to and most of us know it.  There is a huge difference between admiring a person and their work, and being or modeling that person.  I admire entirely what Jack Nicholson has done in movies, but that doesn’t mean that I want to be like him and certainly that I agree with everything he says.  I simply adore Art Pepper’s music, but I’m not going to go out and do drugs the way he got hooked on drugs – if anything his life is a testament on why not to get on drugs.

The point here is that these entertainers live a life on the edge of society because they are constantly testing the boundaries.  But that’s not the life the rest of us lead, and it’s especially not the life that most people do not even aspire to.  But there are people out there who really do embody the whole concept of legitimacy, responsibility and yet are modern and are in the present in an authoritative manner.  And they are most certainly worth our admiration and examples as to fashion and good grooming while remaining on the more with-it and modern side of fashion.

 

 

 

 

 

9 Comments
  1. I totally agree, especially the wedding. Sacred ceremony vs dog and pony show! We are not actors. When I look at pictures, my Mother’s term “ hick from the sticks” comes to mind. There’s just a lot of tacky stuff going on. I also love the outfits Kate wears. Beautiful fabrics and lines, but her personality is still there. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Well said. ( we are spending time with some teens from church. I haven’t figured out how to approach it , but a couple of the girls would make a more positive impression if they would just wash and brush their hair! Sigh.)

  2. Great article! I absolutely agree. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I think what I like best about Kate and Amal and Nancy Pelosi is that they know what looks good on them and they always look comfortable in their clothes. Not being tall, slim or long-legged I would look and feel ridiculous in what they wear so I know better than to try and copy them but that doesn’t keep me from admiring them.

    Agree on church weddings – they are religious ceremonies, not fashion shows.Civil weddings are a different thing.

  4. Well done and well said 🌺

  5. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s when women “dressed”. Raised by a very conservative grandmother, we wore gloves to church when we were in grade school. I was taught very early on the importance of a good first impression. I was probably always a little over dressed for school meetings or doctor’s appointments, but it was just the way I was raised. Fast forward many years, I miss the days of women dressing with some decorum. Dressing well is a dying art and I’m ever so grateful that you are reminding us that some people still care.

  6. Both very classy ladies. We need to see more of this from us women!

  7. Very well said. In business for years developing the skill of dress for success and discouraged by the American political family’s dress tmi on bust or too little girl. I love quiet elegance or sophisticated simplicity when it comes to all womens dress. Let’s focus on the contents of the woman, who she is, not what her measurements are.

  8. You are saying what I’ve preached for nearly my entire adult life! Yes, I did wear a few outfits (that I made!) which bordered on the TMI, but they, thankfully, were few and far between, and I grew up pretty quickly. When I had a business life, I was well-known for wearing attractive, well-fitted clothing that garnered attention, but only the positive kind. To this day, my daughters remember that about me, and never were embarrassed to be seen with me. I wish more young people, especially, would realize that this is important, and dress better and neater. However, considering the images one sees on TV, in stores, and nearly everywhere else, I shouldn’t be surprised at what they choose. Keep producing such excellent articles! Thanks.

Leave a Reply