A few weeks ago, Bill and I did a quick tour of London to witness and celebrate Elizabeth’s commencement from King’s College. She earned her English and Theatre Performance Studies master’s degree, and we are proud of her.
Momentous occasions usually call for a new dress, and you know we love a good dress over here in this little corner of the internet.
While home during the holidays, she floated the idea of wearing the dress she wore for her sixteenth birthday, a light blue chiffon dress with a high neckline, long sleeves, and a short skirt.
I love and applaud the concept of outfit repeat. I do it all the time, yet this outfit, or dress, didn’t stand the test.
Elizabeth is an entirely different woman now than the very young woman she was at sixteen. Our clothes can tell our story; her story has grown and evolved. She has felt love and loss, has studied and earned three diplomas with honors, and has positioned herself in a new country thousands of miles away from us all. She has managed herself with courage and grace. I felt this most certainly called for a new dress.
Bill and I arrived on a Tuesday; the graduation exercises were on Thursday. We did a quick walkabout on King’s Road on the afternoon of our arrival and perused the shops and rails. I knew that day where we would find success.
Her robe was black, and her ribbons green. She didn’t love green, and I thought the combination was calling for a white dress.
The ceremony was scheduled for 2 pm. I also felt the time of day called for a white dress. Of course, black would work, but the further along the style curve, the less I love a black dress in the afternoon for a celebratory event.
On Wednesday morning, Elizabeth and I went out again and directly to Zadig&Voltaire, a French ready-to-wear boutique that offers stylish clothes and accessories for women her age, on King’s Road.
I pulled the white dress I had noticed the day before, and together we pulled a little black slip dress for her to try for her Friday night 8 pm cocktail party. They only had an XS in the white, yet they had a few sizes and styles in the black.
Here’s a note about sizing: the XS in white was perfection, the size M in black was perfection. Same woman, different dress, different letter or number size. Do not let that letter or size number get in your head! Try the garments on or rely on a trusted professional to achieve the most flattering fit.
The white was a definite yes, it had sleeves and was a midi-length which I felt respected the academic mood of what we were going for.
The black was narrowed down to two choices; she preferred the more naked look, the store stylist and I preferred the more covered look, and we prevailed. Don’t get me wrong, she looked amazing in the naked look, yet I explained to her that the more covered look would take her more places and offer more styling options while also giving her a little more coverage. Coverage can give you confidence while too much exposure can sometimes bring on anxiety depending on people and location. I’ll choose confidence over anxiety any day of the week for the women I dress.
This all took less than an hour, two dresses for two different events.
We talked about shoes and hosiery. We tucked into a second-hand shop a few blocks down, and bingo, found a pair of lightly loved nude Valentino pumps. Then we went to lunch.
At lunch, we talked about hosiery and decided on nude. Yes, nude hosiery is a thing!
After lunch came the theatre, Caberet, and then dinner, so there was no time for hosiery shopping.
The following day, I met her for blowouts and then ran out to Wolford, our favorite for all bodywear, and picked up two pairs of nude tights, one for her and one for me.
I also bought a bouquet of fresh flowers for her, and running out of time, I basically ran all the way back to the rental flat, messing up that morning blowout, yet who really cares about your own blowout when it’s your daughter graduating with a master’s degree, in London.
The little blue dress she wore when she was sixteen was safely still in her childhood closet, ocean away, and she was beginning an entirely new journey.
Every day dress, and personal shopping in London.