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Rules of Fashion #5

Time moves amazingly fast- somehow I haven't posted a style rule from Edna Woolman Chase's Always in Vogue since October. I guess that is what they mean when the say that grad school takes over your life...


Point #5: Select clothes appropriate to the life you lead. The wildly inappropriate garment is usually the mistake of youth, before the discipline of taste and budget has had the time to sink in. Although the temptation may be strong, even in maturity, to purchase the dress that would be knockout for a unique occasion and completely out of key the rest of the time, unless you're rich, don't succumb. Compromise. Obviously, if you sense that a certain ravishing garment will cause him to pop the question don't be a fool. Buy it.

Of all of her points so far, this is the one I personally don't follow at all. While I do think my style is becoming more refined as I get older, I am just as likely to buy something completely nonsensical as I always was. Fantastical evening clothes attract me, and even though my life is not filled with galas every night, I buy them more often than I do day-to-day clothes. This has meant that I wear ball gowns for cocktail parties and cocktail dresses for school- my 'ravishing' dresses haven't brought me any proposals but they have definitely drawn quite a bit of attention to me over the years. I guess I could put it this way- instead of choosing clothes for the life I lead, I choose my clothes for the life I want to lead. While that sounds like a hint from an article on getting a better job, in my experience it has actually been working. Therefore, I am going to have to politely disagree with Mrs. Chase and say that, while this might be right for most people, I'll stick to my lamé, sequins and furs for day- yes, they are supposedly inappropriate for class, but if you want a more glamorous life you have to dress for it.


Excerpt from: Chase, Edna Woolman and Ilka. Always in Vogue. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company Inc,1954. Photos styled by Catherine Baba.

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