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Shopping My Own Wardrobe for a Black Tie Event – Part 2

Posted in Style & Travel

This is what I am going for, sans hat and with white shirt because all that black would make me look like a wizened spider

I can count on exactly one black tie event a year, in November, for which I never plan well in advance. And that is why,  last week, I fell into the usual “what to wear” panic. My life does not exactly require gowns very often so the few  hanging in my closet were all bought for this one yearly occasion. There is a beautiful Richard Tyler high-waisted organza number found on sale which is still my favourite and, because LA glitzy events tend to be the opposite of restrained when it comes to fashion, there is also the skin-tight emerald green and blue sequined dress that made me look like a displaced mermaid. Last year I bought a Olivier Theyskens for Theory silver skirt that I paired with a black tank-top. And this year, with not much disposable income having left my full-time job and determined to be as restrained as the times, I took one good look at my wardrobe.

The spark was ignited by a sparkling white shirt with big cuffs and collar that sofagirl sent me after cleaning her closet. She had decided the shirt had no purpose in Cape Town but could be used in LA. Initially I was going to pair it with a straight ankle-length black skirt that, upon long consideration and soliloquy in front of the mirror, was deemed too boring. Also, despite the mixed reviews, I really liked Hedi Slimane’s vision for Saint Laurent Spring 2013 – that modern and pared down 70’s look spoke to me and there was plenty of black and white to go around. So I uncovered a soft, black silk Dries Van Noten skirt a friend had given me (you can see where I am going, the cast off look…) and that I never wore before. Paired with the shirt and a short black leather jacket, it gave me that airy look of the YSL catwalk.

As much as I love the hat, and I even own one, I will have to lose it – it’s not a rock’ n roll affair but a breast cancer fund-raising I am attending.

My trusted and classic Manolo Blahnik’s Mary Janes will complete the look.

So far, $0 spent. Some cash will be shelled out for a haircut and blow-dry. I am useless left at my own devices and my very straight hair needs the scissors of a very good stylist as mistakes cannot be hidden among waves and curls.

To tie the whole look, just an oversize fake diamond ring and, because of the refracted shiny white that could wash out even someone as dark as me, I will have to go with subdued eye-make up, dark mascara and bright red lips. Probably a classic Chanel N. 1 Velvet, softened by a neutral lip gloss.

Yes, a long way from the green mermaid and the abundance of legs and cleavage that will be on show. But happy to trade tarty for chic.

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