When I wrote about 5 (Mostly Free) Strategies You Can Do Right Now to Seem More Glamorous, reader Renee F. asked me this question on Facebook:
I read and enjoyed your article on 5 strategies for everyday glamor, and am particularly intrigued by #5: “Dress monochromatically whenever possible.” It had simply never occurred to me, and I take your point. I’m curious how this works, I’m always concerned about looking drab when wearing all one color.
The simple answer to her question is accessories!! A monochromatic outfit is perfect for showcasing those vintage pieces of jewelry, a beautiful pair of gloves, an elegant hat, and sophisticated shoes. Add the perfect vintage handbag and you have a glamorous vintage inspired ensemble.
Genevieve Antoine Dariaux, in her classic book A Guide to Elegance: For Every Woman Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions*, reminds us that
the accessories worn with an outfit are the most important elements of an elegant appearance. A modest dress or suit can triple its face value when it is worn with an elegant hat, bag, gloves, and shoes, while a designer’s original can lose much of its prestige if its accessories have been carelessly selected.
Now, Madame Dariaux used to have her own couture house and then became the directress of the Nina Ricci salon during the golden age of glamour, so she knows what she is talking about. She encourages us to buy quality whenever possible and to consider the context of where the ensemble will be worn. Showy and over the top are best for evening. Understated elegance is better for the daytime. Finally, she tells us that we should never buy accessories on an impulse but that we should only buy those items that fit into our overall wardrobe plan.
In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the opening scene shows Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn, looking in the store’s windows. Her dress is the epitome of the Little Black Dress. It is anything but drab. She is stunning and the look has become iconic. Why? Because of the accessories. The dress would not be the same without the gloves, oversized bead necklace, tiny tiara, and sunglasses.
Do you have a favorite vintage accessory you like to show off?
*Full disclosure: This is an Amazon affiliate link. I earn a bit of money if you decide to buy the book.