Dressing Like a Lady

If you asked someone about my style they'd never say I was trendy or hip.  I hope they'd say my style is feminine and classic.  Truth is, when it comes to fashion the only thing I know for certain is I'm always comfortable in a nice pair of fitted jeans and a white v-neck cotton tee paired with leather riding boots.  That may not seem feminine, but to me it is classic and confident with just a hint of sexiness -- all things I believe women should be.   Of course, if I had the right occasions I'd wear a full a-line pocketed skirt with high pumps and tight cardigan every day.  That is my idea of ladylike dressing at it's best.  But playgroup and the grocery store with a toddler require more practical attire than heels! My daily routine may not match my desire for dress-up, but I can still add some femininity to my appearance each day.

Real Simple recently ran an article about the return of ladylike dressing with this fall's fashions.  I certainly hope the "trend" lasts far past fall.  While I don' expect, nor desire, the 1950s to return with petticoats and white gloves I would love to see the return to clothes that are sexy, but not racy, feminine, and overall make a gal feel girlish.    A lady's clothes should be figure flattering, not revealing. She should look confident, not masculine. Sophisticated. And the clothes should be useful.  After all, we're busy ladies.  We don't have time for fuss and mess with our clothes -- we need our clothes to work for us.  Oh I could write a book on the genius of dresses with pockets!

I could post pages and pages of ladylike attire I've fallen in love with but here are just a few examples...or a few more than a few.  This lady likes clothes!

From one well-heeled hostess to another....

Having a couple versatile dresses that can be dressed up or down is better than having a whole walk-in closet full of dresses.
Anna Sui From the Archives Dress
A classic white button-up gives a slightly sexy look while having a confident strength.
Carolina Herrera Three-Quarter Sleeve Blouse 

You can't get more classic than pearls.  These stud earrings offer a hint of sophistication.
Pearl Stud Earrings by JCrew

The perfect little black dress is quite possibly the most important wardrobe staple.
Lauren by Ralph Lauren Dress

Dressed-up t-shirts offer the comfort of a cotton tee and while creating a "being cute is effortless" look.
Loosely Looped Tee for Anthropologie

Great rain and snow boots are essential for surviving bad weather.  In fact, get a few pairs of good boots and wear them with skirts, dresses and pants on days where heels just won't do.
Cole Haan Air Melanie Rainboot

 Frilled-up flats can will give you that charmed feel, without looking like a little girl.
Kenneth Cole Slip Sliding Flat

 An easy sheath dress saves those "I have nothing to wear!" days.

Well-fitting jeans will hug curves and flatter the feminine figure.
Kut from Kloth Jeans

A black shrug is essential. It can be worn over a cocktail dress or with a tee and jeans.
Supple Crop Shrug from White House Black Market

A good, neutral colored wrap will be useful in a hundred different ways.
Anny Taylor Luxury Drape Wrap

Girly accessories, like this necklace, can feminize a simple outfit.
Boden Corsage Necklace

A-line skirts flatter every figure. Perfect with flats or heels.
Marc Jacobs Wool Skirt