The courage to wear a getup

My husband, Denis, reported that he saw a woman in a coffee shop on Saturday: bright yellow blouse, red skirt, green coat, purple scarf and red/black striped tights, seventy-five if a day.

"I had to admire her bravery", he said. I remembered an even older woman at a sidewalk café in Paris, every beautifully tailored piece clashing and chaotic, sitting up straight and enjoying the attention.

Several years ago I took a local woman to lunch at an austere restaurant; she showed up in head to toe neon purple. Her clothes were cheap, her eccentricity forced. If you're going to do mad, strive for coherence inside all that dazzling disorder, hard to do with sad synthetics.

Some women enjoy what eBay sellers love to call "wearable art''; it's usually neither. As my DH says, "Des goûts et des couleurs, il ne faut pas disputer."

Wish I were braver sometimes- not to the getup level, but more daring with colour.

First, I need some honkin' Tony Duquette jewelery t
o get the party started, like this coral and citrine bracelet.

Photo of jacket: Janice Heitbaum


I do not enjoy a getup. I don't view a getup through the same generous lens as your darling husband. I see it more as a desperate cry for attention. I see the bright yellow blouse, red skirt, green coat, purple scarf and red/black striped tights as "notice me", "look at me." I see the get up as a histrionic cry for attention.

I am all for a little colour. And, like you, I would like to add some more in my wardrobe. But, I am not a fan of all the colours in the rainbow being worn at once.;-)
Anonymous said…
I think this type of mixture of colour and texture is a talent you've either got or your haven't. I know several arty women who do it unconciously and really successfully and I find them fascinating.

But it isn't a style I can do well. I need one colour from top to toe with a small highlight colour (Hermes scarf or lipstick to the rescue!)

The fashion curator/writer Anna Piaggi springs to mind - there will only ever be one of her. Long may these types dress as they please - they add some much needed colour to the world.
Jennifer said…
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Jennifer said…
i'm going to rephrase my comment. hallelujah for the men and women who wear "getups" and who have what some might deem an excess of style. i would be so sad without the colorful people. i think, to some, my style might be deemed colorful (i can only hope) in some way.
also, please consider that to a person wearing what appears to be a "getup" might simply be their honest personal style. they may not feel remotely forced in making their choices.
Anonymous said…
A 'get-up' always comes across as costume like and not real. If the person is dressed authentically to themselves then the outfit doesn't read as a 'get-up'. Thats the secret to it, your purple polyester friend was playing a part (alliteration much?) and it was obvious to everyone. Anna Piaggi is authentic and it shows. I love eccentric people but they have to be genuine.

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