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Minimalism +/-, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:30am

Time to think about clothes for Christmas. Only me?

In any case, back in the early 90s I bought a dark brown columnar silk and rayon velvet dress by Harriet Selwyn. Still have it. Still fits, mas o meno. I’ve been wanting to wear it again, but it had ripped in the back. I had it mended. Brilliant!

And I really wanted to wear these gold boots avec. (Yes, we are mixing our Romance languages, and why not, we might ask?) Minimal with a hit of kapow.

But, when I retrieved the dress from the seamstress and tried it on with the shoes, nope. Boo. They were even on sale.

The boots are just not fine enough, if that makes sense. The ankle is too thick, the gold a leeeeetle too pale, and the zipper/leather a tad crude. In sum, great for jeans, not so great for a minimalist evening outfit where every detail has to sing. Even an outfit that will be worn with family, inside, warm, and probably in the end with ridiculous fuzzy socks.

I was sorely tempted by these, but my size is sold out.


Just as well. $400 for something I might wear three times is probably overkill. (But the pearls, says an inner voice. But your toes, wisdom replies.)

So I’m thinking I’ll aim for a deeply neutral minimalism. I own these heels already and I like them. (From NEOUS, no longer available, but it’s a cool brand.) They are even wearable, as long as we’re walking from closet to living room and back.

And, doubling down on minimalism, oxymoron though that may be, I think I’ll add a pair of platinum bead drop earrings. Ta-very-quietly whispered-da(!)

Probably with a muted fuchsia lipstick/lip pencil/lipstick combo. Also clean hair.

Have a wonderful weekend, and may all your parentheses be fun.

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33 Responses

  1. It takes discipline to decide against something that should work but doesn’t (and also to consider price-per-wear in the face of those pearls). Congratulations – and you will look stunning.

    1. Marsha, why, thank you! I have come to enjoy returning that which doesn’t work. Hmm. Good metaphor for many parts of the self at 66;).

  2. I am familiar with the perfect imagined outfit not actually working in practice ! However , often they still look perfect in my mind’s eye which makes no sense to me …..
    What you have chosen is elegantly sub-fusc and absolutely you . I could sigh for the Edwardian style boots with the pearls tho’however madly extravagant .

    1. Rukshana, yes, absolutely, the gold boots look perfect in my mind’s eye. I kind of wish my face’s eye didn’t tell me otherwise… I had never heard the term “sub-fusc,” before, and now it seems it must have been waiting for me my whole life. Thank you;).

  3. I have to agree the pearl boots are stunning and yet . . . I agree with your decision to refrain. Now tell me why minimalism is always so expensive?

    1. Luci, I think it’s expensive precisely because of the required attention to detail and quality of materials. Sigh.

  4. I still love the boots with the dress — am I the only one?! Very festive and devil-may-care. It may just be that I can’t see the texture of the leather in the full-length photo (and am experiencing what you see in your mind’s eye?); but in the photo, they’re superb! Platinum bead drop earrings sound perfect either way. I’m always a minimalist with jewelry: anything that hurts my ears takes too much away from my enjoyment of life. :)

    You look fantastic. I hope you have a lovely weekend!!

    1. Jess, thank you! No, I have another friend who’s a very talented artist who feels the same as you. You’re in good company. And I agree, no-pain earrings are the only way to go.

  5. Lovely dress, gorgeous on you! My two cents: It’s Christmas with family, a time for glow…Elegant rather than minimalist. Maybe a strappy heel, and an elegant crystalline drop pair of earrings… Hope you don’t mind the ideas.

    1. Hi Carla! Thank you. I hadn’t thought about peep-toe boots. I agree, the toes might add just enough interest.

  6. I adore those Chie Mihara gold/pearl booties. Your link goes to the Marc Fisher pair, but I persisted and found the Chie Miharas on Farfetch (limited sizes) and Yoox (many sizes). They are perfect, and I’m sure you’d wear them a lot more than you expect.

  7. You look marvelous in the dress. Minimalism is so difficult; the details imperative, and there is all our inner psychic turmoil to deal with. Oops that is just me. I actually like the way the gold boots look with the dress, but if it were me I would not be comfortable wearing them. They are too bright and I would obsess about that. I can’t tell much about quality of details from the photo, but trust your judgement on what works for you. Perhaps another option will reveal itself.

    1. Mardel, thank you. The details are imperative, yes, and when imperfect, they nag. I like the gold boots with dress, in theory, but the zipper is crudely set into the leather, and the ankle is too thick. So. I’m still noodling, especially now that the pearl booties are found in my size and they are no cost-shipping and returns.

  8. I LOVE the gold boots with the dress. Agree it gives it a “devil may care” attitude, and don’t mind that they aren’t “fine”. They give it a fun, and young spin. Let me have a quick look and come back.

    1. KSL, I’m not giving up:). The dress is a chocolate/purpling brown. I should include a photo that shows the colors better. Thank you for your hunt:)

  9. Love the gold boots with the dress…..they just give it that edge , which seems to be quite you.

    1. Caryn, thank you. I always do want something of an edge. Perhaps to prepare anyone I meet for the often unorthodox things I am apt to say;)

  10. Minimal is a relative concept.
    Those boots are sweet, although probably not good for driving. I like metallic shoes, they’re very versatile. The subdued tone in the Chie Mihara would make them more wearable. The bright gold ones are too loud for me.
    I also like the low heel.

    It’s hard to know with dress shoes. They don’t go in/out of style quite so fast so they can hang on for years — if they’re comfortable to wear. We’re too old to be tottering around in sky high heels, feet that hurt add years to your appearance.

    Better to spend money on the ones that are perfect than to buy something lesser and be giving them away next year. Buy the right ones and you will wear them.

    1. RoseAG, showing up, as always and appreciated, with the practical response. Agree, I could not drive in these. Also agree, if I could wear them today I could wear them for the rest of my life, most likely.

  11. This Artsy Grande thinks your already-owned plain black pumps are the ticket. BUT you MUST add some drama to those pumps, like shiny screaming clip on jewels of some sort that creep upward along the vamp, arriving before you do. The clipons must lie flat so not to snag the silk dress fabric. [I don’t see you in bows, though there are gracious plenty shiny shoe bows online, just no.] How’re you doing, doing ok? xo

    1. Flo, Oh gosh some clip on jewels would be fabulous. I am guessing you could design and make your own as I could not! No bows, thank you, we can go to Ferragmo for those;). I am doing OK. Thank you, I hope you are too.

  12. That dress looks absolutely great on you, if a bit monastic. I take it you are planning on earrings as your only decoration, rather than a “statement necklace” of some sort. May I suggest the addition of a fab cuff bracelet to brighten up one of those long sleeves (I know you have one – thanks to a granny or grande-mere …).

    As for the shoes: I dislike ankle boots b/c they cut the line of the leg so awkwardly, but those pearly ones are really special, esp. if you think about one peeking out of that back slit. The heels you show are elegant and alluring (from the back-slit view), but conventional, even if they do suit the above mentioned “line of your leg” perfectly! Maybe you could decorate the back of those heels in some way – a bit of gold glitter tape along the back seam, perhaps? But then, I am a dedicated DIY-er, who finds more pleasure in the special effects I create myself than in the ones I can buy.

    In any event, have a good time, wherever you and the dress are going!

  13. My last comment I promise. Minimalism: abstract, line and color. Dress checks all boxes. Deep slit in back lovely — NO ankle boots-they cut the line and shorten the (gorgeous) legs. Try very low heels as an alternative to those pumps as they look more youthful and maybe comfortable enough for you to wear longer. What’s the point of making the feet the focal point when the dress is the thing, and you’ll be wearing socks anyway? The neckline is made for jewelry. Balance the long line of the dress and maybe play off that eggplant or whatever tone it is of you want to introduce another color. You are fun to dress, but I have to go now. :-)

    1. Marianne, I am so glad you have joined in on my paper doll session! I remember paper dolls;). I could wear the French enamel locket from my mother with this dress, but I still might wear it with the Chie Mihara boots. Like, go RIGHT OVER THE TOP lol.

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