Clothes are civilization. Clothes are what separate us from animals. Julian Sands as Teddy Farrow on Castle
I mentioned Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe by Angela Kelly a while back, and I’m finally getting around to reviewing it. In short, if you’re a fan of fashion, or Queen Elizabeth II, or history, you’ll love this book!
It’s filled with beautiful pictures of fabrics:
And pictures that show the amazing detail that goes into every aspect of the Queen’s wardrobe:
There are also sketches created by Angela Kelly:
And some photos that can only be described as whimsical:
One of my favorite parts of the book is a picture of the Queen in what can only be described as a “casual” pose…as casual as you can be when you’re Queen, anyway!
Pictures aside, this book is full of information. You’ll learn what kind of fabrics are used, and during which season, and where the fabrics come from. Some of them are quite old! You’ll learn what the team of dressers actually does, and how they keep track of what the Queen has worn in the past.
There are also sections on hats and accessories, which are fascinating. And the care of the Queen’s wardrobe is also discussed, as is packing it up for a trip, big or small. No book about the Queen’s wardrobe would be complete with a section on her jewelry, and there is a nice representation of the different gemstones she favors in photographs. I was very interested to learn how the jewelry is presented to the Queen every day!
A big section of the book is naturally dedicated to the Diamond Jubilee wardrobe, as the subtitle suggests. Of course, the famous three outfits of the Jubilee weekend are shown, but so are less-known outfits, like the ones worn to the Royal Windsor Horse Show, the Sovereign’s Lunch, and the Royal Ascot. And the Queen’s “Bond Girl” dress from the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics is discussed in great detail!
Dressing the Queen is both beautiful and informative. It is practically unheard of for a member of the Queen’s staff to be given permission to write a book about his or her job, which makes this a very special, unique item, with a very unusual perspective. I highly recommend it!
I’m sorry if these pants are stylish to anyone and I’m causing offense. But I cannot find one redeeming quality about them…they are a complete hodgepodge of everything that is a true fashion disaster. The fabric? 100% polyester. The print? Awful…especially the bottom few inches. The structure? Nonexistent. The colors? Gaudy, at best. Add in an elastic waist, and you’ve got what I think must be the ugliest pants ever made. This is not appropriate work-wear (or any kind of wear!), for youngish women, like the model wearing them. Whoever designed them should have his sketchbook taken away…permanently!
I hope to do a full review later, but for now, let me just say, if you love the Queen, or fashion, or both, you’ll want to pick it up. The pictures are amazing, and really show the amazing detail that goes into the Queen’s wardrobe, especially for those of us who have only seen her on TV or in print, but never in person!
You can never be overdressed or overeducated. Oscar Wilde
I’ve been surprised to discover that many women want to wear hats, but are afraid to for some reason. I was…I didn’t want to stand out, or be too different. Until I saw The Hat, and then I realized that standing out and/or being different would be a small price to pay for wearing such a beautiful hat! And what’s wrong with standing out or being different, anyway?
So, I’m here to tell you that wearing a hat is not as hard as you might think. It’s really just four easy steps:
- Buy a hat that looks good on you (in my case, a cloche hat).
- Hope you have something in your wardrobe that goes with it (or buy something, if the hat is that awesome!).
- Wear the hat (don’t worry about what others think, just wear it).
- Be prepared to receive lots of compliments, because, when it’s all said and done, most people think hats are pretty cool!
For years, I’ve wanted a hat. Not a baseball cap, not a winter hat, not a sun hat, a real, honest-to-goodness, lady’s hat, suitable for wearing to church and other places. I got pretty close at Easter with a fun fascinator, but it wasn’t quite the same. I always figured that when I did find a hat, it would be a lovely, springy, Easter hat, though.
Until last weekend, that is.
We were out Saturday, gallivanting about (thank you Ryan! for giving me a chance to gallivant), and stopped in at Macy’s so I could look at clothes. And then I saw it. The hat. It was just sitting there, waiting for me.
I tried it on, and fell in love. To be honest, I was somewhat dubious about ever actually finding a hat, much as I wanted one, because I’ve tried a lot of hats on, and for the most part, they looked ridiculous. But this one was just…me. As a matter of fact, someone at church Sunday (because I had to wear it immediately), said that the hat was very me.
I love it. The colors are perfect. The bow and feathers are fun and funky and make it interesting. The shape is perfect for my face and personal style. I love wearing it. I feel old-fashioned and trendy at the same time. Now I just need to find an outfit worthy of it, because the black skirt/white twinset combo just didn’t do it justice!
I’ve come to the conclusion that popular fashion and I just aren’t going to be getting along this year. The summer stuff was frightening (holy neon colors, Batman!), and while I had high hopes for fall, it’s really looking no better. When when you call this “elegant”…
OK, first of all…they call it a “cotton top,” which makes it sound somewhat respectable, if not plain, but let’s face it, it’s just a hoodie. Embellished, perhaps, but still, a hoodie. A shapeless, colorless, boring old hoodie. Sweatshirt of college champions…or just sleep-deprived college students. Hoodies are not stylish or interesting, they’re workout wear, or something you put on when you’re desperately cold or sick and don’t care how you look. And the kangaroo pouch on the front? Unless you want to look pregnant when you’re not, probably not a great fashion choice.
Second, the outfit description says “jeggings,” which would be bad enough, but if you look closer, the item pictured, based on its actual description, is actually leggings, a questionable choice for a plus-size woman in the first place. Now, I’m sorry, but leggings are not meant to be worn with a shirt this short, (if they’re to be worn at all). Leggings belong under a full-on tunic, or, even better, a dress. Preferably on someone under the age of 12. But I digress.
My favorite part is the so-called “ballet flat,” though. Again, if you look closer at the actual product description, this is no ballet flat. No, it’s actually a “smoking slipper.” A slipper!
So, this allegedly “elegant” outfit that I’m supposed to wear on the streets of New York City (where the photos in the catalog were taken)? Yes, it’s just glorified jammies, from the cotton top and leggings, right on down to the slippers. It may be comfortable, but I’m completely missing the “style” in this outfit. In a world where I see people at the school and the store in actual jammies, I guess this shouldn’t surprise me. And if people want to dress like this, it’s fine by me, but it shouldn’t be called fashion or style….it’s comfort wear. In an actual fashion shoot from a well-known company like Lane Bryant, however, I’ve come to expect something with actual style and interest, not something that looks like you just rolled out of bed.
Maybe the fashions for 2013 will be a little more tolerable…