Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Celebrity to Real Life: Champagne Lace

Photo Credits: Vogue UK, She Knows, RCFA

A friend of mine was recently lusting after two legendary dresses worn by celebrities:
  • the cream silk worn by Kim Basinger in LA Confidential (best image I can find)
  • the champagne lace worn by Drew Barrymore at the Grey Gardens premiere (above)
  • ...and I threw in a few more dresses with a similar style (above)
In the middle of this conversation, my dear, beautiful friend went into self-criticism mode, lamenting that she needed to go on a diet. Women repeat this negative mantra all the time, and I'm guilty of it too. Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why is she so cute?
These ladies all look great because they are wearing impeccably fitted pieces that accent their bodies in really flattering ways and are appropriate to the occasion. The deep v-neck looks amazing on Drew, the black lace contrast at the waist defines and accentuates the hourglass on Catherine Z-J, and the full skirt is age-appropriate and playful on Miley and hits her at a great spot above the knee. Also, I happen to love lace, and there's something special about champagne. It's a little bridal, but not too much, with an antique quality that feels really rich and feminine. And the color complements their skin tones without washing them out.

How can I wear that?
First, please don't compare yourself to a celebrity, or to custom-fitted couture gowns. A good stylist gets absolutely everything tailored. And it's also literally these ladies' job to maintain that body size. Just try to keep things in perspective. You don't need to wear the same exact dress to get the look, either. Try to identify the elements you like, and then translate it to flatter your own body.
  1. What flatters your body? - A deep v-neck or a surplice/mock wrap neckline are really flattering for me, and a full skirt. But what works for you? What are some of the qualities of the clothing pieces that you wear all the time because they make you feel pretty? Do you prefer sleeves? What hem length? Fitted waist? Belt-able? A-line, full or pencil skirt?
  2. What elements do not flatter your body? - Silk/satin shows too much lumpy-bumpy. Midi-length skirts cut me off right in the middle of my calf. I cannot and will not ever wear a drop-waist again. (Like Chanel circa the 20s-30s - I'll show you how it looks on me sometime, it's pretty awful.)
  3. Where would you wear it? - What is your lifestyle life? A floor length gown might not be the best way for me to invest, considering that my calendar is severely lacking in black-tie events... Honestly, I would probably wear it to the office, so any dresses I buy need to be long enough, not skin-tight, with either a high-ish neckline, or I'd need to wear a camisole under it. (I can look slutty in just about anything. It's a talent. I own about 50 camis.) And probably not in satin, just because it is so dressy/formal. Cocktail dresses in my closet tend to get 1-2 wears - ever. I need to stop pouring money into those.
  4. Find a dress that flatters you and includes an echo of the style - Lots of manufacturers translate celebrity styles to normal sized bodies, including plus. I included some below that I really like. I tried to put in a variety, many aren't even lace, but do you see how you might be able to make one of these work? I think you can. :)
We can discuss how to style it in another post...


  1. This is an amazing colour! Its a tricky one because its hard to jazz-up and not look to wedding, but your images are great!


    1. Thanks Chantelle! (what a pretty name!) And you're totally right, you kind of have to intentionally tone it down, like with a denim jacket or those great blue heels. Waaaant. :) Going to visit your blog now. :)

  2. Love it! And I surprisingly really love the Jessica Simpson dress! I don't care much for her singing, but once in awhile she's right on with style! :)

    1. Hi Reese! I know!!!! Alisa and I are both ogling that one, and I'm seriously considering going for it, if it goes on sale. But all singing aside, J.Simp. has a good little empire there. Pretty sexy shoes...

  3. LOVE Your posts! Even if it means no more lusting after silk :)

  4. That Jessica Simpson dress is of course totally sold out already. :( Too slow on the draw emily.....


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