You could hear an audible gasp as a woman and her husband walked by a group of us gathered for a luncheon at Neiman Marcus a few days ago. She was a beautiful 30-something woman, milky white skin, jet black hair and Asian features. She carried herself with confidence and had a perfectly coordinated outfit.
She wore an adorable black driving cap, and a short black, fitted leather jacket. The heavy design of her black tights worked with her mid-calf boots trimmed in fur. At this point you are probably asking yourself, “What is so shocking about this?” It was her fashion-forward winter shorts: surprisingly of long-hair gray and cream fur, short enough to look more like a bathing suit than shorts!
This woman and her husband returned to join our luncheon and sat at a table next to mine so I was able to get a good look at her costume. By contrast, an attractive blonde was also in attendance wearing short black boots, black textured hose and navy, wool shorts with a white top. The difference in visual impression of these two similar outfits was astounding.
The dark-haired woman had balance and proportion in her combination. She used the texture of the fur and tights to visually soften and add interest to the black smooth leather. Her personal presence was strong enough to support this dramatic, high-fashion look. If she had been in Saks or Neiman’s in Beverly Hills, she would have been regarded with admiration.
The blonde failed to fully execute her high-fashion look. Her shorts, tights and boots were chosen well but by selecting a white blouse, she simply disappeared from the waist up. A white blouse says “efficient” instead of carrying a high-fashion message. Her blouse, coupled with her blonde hair and minimal make-up, did not offer anything to balance the dark drama on the bottom half of her body. She could have added a dramatic scarf, picking up navy and black; possibly with a pop of color and the look would have worked. She also needed more dramatic make-up.
To carry off a dramatic look, keep in mind the following:
You have to feel at your peak to carry off drama.
Good posture is a necessity.
Match your dramatic clothing to the setting. The dark-haired lady would have been admired in California instead of shocking in Atlanta.
Choose the degree of drama that works with your personal intensity.