At the celebration: Spring jackets and tops

Last weekend, I attended a Sunday afternoon celebration of life; the venue was a club whose mullioned windows overlooked Lake Ontario. Guests were told they need not wear sombre clothing, so they bloomed like the tulips that lined the walk.

I saw jackets that would be useful for the parties, graduations and weddings of the season, and was struck by how relaxed yet soignée the women looked. Though not all styles will appeal to you, I wanted to show the range of "casual dressy" among the group.

Linen, Lace

A woman wore the Grizas' Abstract Jacket on the left. Her skirt was similar to the Arianna, by Beau Jours shown in stone, but in sky blue. I thought this was well-composed, because this jacket was cut to provide shape, while still in the mood of the skirt. On her feet, she wore flat pale blue sandals.

Another guest wore Cynthia Ashby's Adore jacket, which she told me was last year's, but Ashby makes it still, in various fabrics. Hers was not actually lace, but a lace print, easier to wash. On the bottom: slim camel trousers and black ballerines.

Tailored, with stretch

Marcia a petite woman, wore this Joseph Ribicoff abstract-print jacket (I asked); she not only looked fresh and vibrant, she can wash it! (Why hardly any washable jackets are made beats me.) The addition of stretch enables a neat fit, trim as a fitted blouse. She wore navy trousers but was eager bring out her white pair.

Kimonos that float

Several women wore thin, floaty kimono tops. When I saw how elegant these looked, I began to think about one for a June wedding. This is by the plus brand Chesca, and would suit any number of occasions.

The kimono style is also made shorter, to the low hip; this one is by Oasis:

Marcia's girlfriend Pat wore another Ribicoff piece, this poly chiffon top cut like a poncho, with its attached cami. (She had shopped with Marcia.) Pat is short and very busty; this looked sensational on her.

A departure of another kind

It's a stretch for me to wear a floral, but the occasion called for something resolutely springlike—so I bought a v-necked blouse with a scattered, vaguely Chinese floral on a black ground (detail shown) and wore it with a cantaloupe-coloured pashmina. Sometimes, I realized, the goal is to reinforce a mood, and that dictates the choice.

That worked well enough, and I joined the others to reminisce and tell stories about a much-loved  man who asked for "a party in the spring".


LauraH said…
Interesting post, it got me thinking what I would wear to such an occasion....hmmmmmm. The print on your top is lovely and I'm going to check some of the other pieces for new sources of ideas.
As you know, I attended a similar event recently, in a salon room in a downtown Mtl hotel overlooking the city and river, but scarcely anyone wore a print. The only ones I really like among those you have shown it the one you wore, and the yellow shorter kimono jacket. I'm also short and busty, but wouldn't be caught dead in that big print top. But then, I like very plain garments and would prefer to highlight a scarf or necklace.

I found a beautiful green 3/4 sleeve pima cotton top at Simons last week (alas, can't copy from their site). But I'm prouder to be wearing one of our late friend's bérets, a large one in beautiful wool. I must write to widowed friend to tell her how much I appreciate that gift. Another friend and I were at her place yesterday, going through reams of academic material to classify it and assist her in deciding what to keep for an eventual library room and what can be discarded.
Mardel said…
Interesting and timely post. I struggle with the interpretation of "dressy casual" and this gives me food for thought and helps me refine my own inclinations....
Duchesse said…
Mardel: "Dressy casual" is what you'd wear to a good restaurant. No one would wear, for example, shorts or tees, nor would women wear cocktail dresses or suits. That reminds me that i miss wearing a 'dressy dress', which many years ago was an active element in my wardrobe and made me feel glamourous and adult.

lagatta: What a personal and perfect bequest.

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