19 March 2007

Gold party skirt, meet DC.

I just bought this Chloé skirt at half-price (!) on net-a-porter.com - a site I never would have known about had I not started reading your blog - and I am at a loss for how to wear it. I bought it because I loved it, but now that I have it, I'm unsure what to do with it. It's much more gold than the picture makes it out to be, which leads me to believe it's an evening-only, dressy-only option. What color blouse, what *kind* of blouse would you recommend? Shoes?

I'm 28 years old and prefer to err on the dressy/classy side when I go out -- I like what you like, actually. I'm only 5'2" but I the higher the heel the better! I'm a size 2-4 and like the last girl you offered advice to, I'm without hips and very boy-shaped.

Wow, what a *great* find.

Thanks for pointing out the true color and sheen of the skirt. Had you not told me (and had I not checked out net-a-porter just to be sure), I would have assumed this draped-front tulip mini was more beige than gold. And while this skirt in beige might have been able to transcend both work and post-work environments, a gold lurex skirt, like you pointed out, is strictly evening-wear. Dressy evening-wear.

With a skirt like this one, where its defining characteristic flows from the top of the waist to the bottom of the hem, you'll want to find a top that will tuck into the skirt without adding any noticeable volume. Wearing anything over top of it, even an inch, would not only disallow you from showing off the full tulip silhouette and gorgeous draping but it would also hide your waistline and make you look considerably wider than you are. Something simple, like a slim-fit sleeveless turtleneck, a racerback tank sweater or this cap-sleeve shell (Karoo $280 at activeendeavors.com) are my top recommendations.

When choosing a fabric, you need to be subtle -- no shine, no ruching, no pointelle, no tricky stitching. You don't want to add any competing flash to an already very eye-catching piece. That being so, as for color, I require you stick to solids and I'm going to recommend you either go with black or deep chocolate brown, though in the summer, to highlight your poolside efforts, a creamy ivory would work well, too. I especially like this high scoop-neck bare-back 'Grecian' blouse from Rachel Pally ($163 at shopbop.com), although I am a bit concerned its blousy-ness would prohibit it from tucking as neatly into the skirt as is required.

For shoes, if you're going with either an ivory or chocolate blouse, I'd recommend a heel (of course) in the brown color palette. If you choose black, you could try a matte gold or black heel. In keeping with the keep-it-simple theme, an adornment-free peeptoe like this or this is your classiest and safest bet.

If the event is slightly dressier and you want to pair your clothes with something along the more special-occasion line, I suggest these Cynthia Rowley 'Savvy' sandals ($185 at zappos.com) for both their unique strap detail and classic, vintage silhouette. At 5'2" you have no business wearing an ankle-strap, should avoid a t-strap and indulge in the Mary Jane strap as sparingly as possible. The cross-cross cut of this pair affords you the strappy look you desire without making your short legs look even shorter.

When selecting accessories, I would once again advocate a minimal earring and muted bag. If you want to add a bit of flash, go for your biggest diamond/CZ studs and an animal skin embossed clutch. Aside from perma-pieces with which you never part, I'd avoid adding too much jewelery to this look. A pair of studs and a fun cocktail ring like this oversized 22K gold vermeil and onyx 'Chrysalis' ring ($228 at anthropologie.com) are all you need. After all, you've got a giant sparkler worthy of Kimora Lee Simmons in that skirt of yours.

After over-accessorizing, the biggest mistake you could make when assembling this outfit is injecting color. Even the tiniest punch could take it from seriously sophisticated to DC-girl-trying-to-look-seriously-sophisticated. Despite the fact that the gold in this skirt is as toned-down a gold as there is, its presence assumes the role a poppy, emerald or tangerine garment would in any other.

Snaps to you for picking up such a high-fashion skirt at such a reasonable price. I hope you wear it proudly, often and in venues that deserve to serve as its backdrop.

Were I you, I'd wait until the Hotel Washington opened its terrace for the summer to make my big debut.

Wherever you go and whatever you wear with it, just please pinkie-swear-promise me you won't wear it on a first date.


jessica said...

Thank you so much for your advice! I think I'm going to look for a cream racerback tank sweater and a shoe *just* like that Cynthia Rowley one for a bit cheaper and in dark brown.

At least I have the diamond studs -- thanks Daddy!

I'll be enlisting your services again. You have a permanent fan in me!

thanks again, Johanna!

london girl said...

I think cream, with a summer tan, would look amazing with that skirt. I looked it up on that site, too, and I'm so tempted to get it myself.

Hope you don't mind -- I'm all the way in London, so we shouldn't have too much of a problem :-)

brown rowergirl said...

I love that ring, but $228? I think you could find an equally pretty one at a good vintage store for a fifth of that price.

It's still gorgeous, though.

pvd admirer said...

That's a hot skirt. Good taste, Jessica!