Last week my husband and I had our Thanksgiving at the Taj Campton Place Hotel restaurant. It’s small, elegant as San Francisco goes, and recently received a second Michelin star. We reserved for late lunch/early dinner at 3pm, in San Francisco, The City Of Jeans. What to wear?
Not a dress. Mine are all evening, or summer sorts. My pencil skirts feel like work. Not jeans. Although the restaurant wouldn’t have batted an eyelid at denim, I’d have regretted the celebratory feeling of some good fancy pants. And I noticed, as I pulled clothes out of my closet, a distinct desire to channel my vestigial Grande Dame. Tradition will out, come holidaze.
What Grande Dame tricks did I dig up? (All links are at the bottom of the post, BTW)
- Cashmere, cashmere, cashmere. The peacoat is cashmere and wool, the cardigan cashmere and silk, the muffler, well, just cashmere.
- Pearls, pearls. I rarely match my pearl and diamond studs to my pearl strand but here it felt right.
- An unexpected mix of candy colors. The key. The cardigan is a coral-pink, the muffler a bluer shade, their mild clash against the powder blue peacoat cuts the sugar in half.
- The unlogoed luxury of Bottega Veneta. Say no more.
- Textured silk pants and smoking slippers. I cannot tell you how many East Coast gatherings I attended where women wore dupioni silk something or other. Sometimes with a slipper. OK, so patent leather isn’t traditional for women, but we ask, why not?
I did add some modern twists.
- Long gray hair in a simple ponytail. The Grande Dame would dye, or at the very least tease and spray. No way I was going to leave my hair down with so much food to get into my mouth, but I don’t updo like Faux Fuchsia do.
- The Apple Watch. Unseen here, but nothing says 21st century like Apple. Remember when they were Apple Computer?
- Simple white UNIQLO tee, in place of structured shirt or shiny blouse.
- Unpolished nails. OK, so that’s not modern but it’s Sturdy instead of Grande. Sturdy Gals always find one small detail to drive home our task-oriented rebellion against formality. As though we might don gardening gloves at any moment and pull a carrot from the sidewalk.
In retrospect? I think I might have carried a black bag instead. I have a vintage old Coach bucket that looks like this Mansur Gavriel, for example. Nothing conceptual tells me so, only my eye wants to balance the shiny black pants and shoes. And I might have worn, if I had them, thicker-framed black glasses, also for balance. But my hair shone, the pants did so less, indoors.
I got by.
This Look Is Pretty Easy Albeit Pricey, Links To Similar Goods
- Candy-Colored Cashmere Layers: Peacoats High and Lowish, Bright Mufflers, Cardigan.
- Pearl Necklaces and Their Studly Friends
- Apple Watch and Bottega Bag (Some Colors On Sale Today!)
- Silk Pants High and Low (er)
- Patent Tuxedo Slippers (With a Bow!)
We do have to wonder, however, why are simple black silk trousers suddenly so hard to find? Briefly, the thought of Smaug the Dragon comes to mind, curled somnambulant on a bed of hoarded simple tailoring. But probably that’s just a fever dream, we may safely ignore it.
EDITED TO ADD: Neiman Marcus has a Cyber Monday offer that gives you a $500 gift card for a purchase of >$2000. The Bottega Veneta bag, maybe? They also offer smaller gift cards for smaller purchases.
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