How to be Elegant in Winter

By Madame Genevieve Antoine Dariaux

1964

 

9am Tweed skirts in the brown autumn shades and harmonizing sweaters (the British are peerless in this realm), worn under a good coat, well cut.  Brown shoes with medium heels and a capacious brown alligator bag.  (A really elegant woman never wears black in the morning). 

1pm A wool suit in a solid colour (neither brown nor black).  Underneath the jacket, a harmonizing sweater, jersey blouse, or sleeveless dress.  An ensemble consisting of a suit and matching cape or pashmina is also very practical and warm as toast.

3pm A wool dress in a becoming shade that matches or contrasts with:

A pretty town coat in a vivid colour.  (If you can only buy one thing from a quality shop or name designer make yourself a present of a really superb, bright-coloured wool coat.  Fortunately, it is one of the easiest garments to buy in a sale.)

6pm A black wool dress, not very décolleté.  This is the triumph of the haute couture and the uniform of city dwellers.  It will take you everywhere, from the bistro to the theatre, stopping en route for all the informal dinner parties on your social calendar.

7pm A black crêpe dress, this one quite décolleté, for more formal dinners and more elegant restaurants

8pm A matching coat and dress that is called a ‘cocktail ensemble’ in Paris, but in reality is often far too dressy for such an occasion, although perfect for theatre openings and very elegant black-tie dinner parties.  If it is in silk, velvet, or coloured brocade, you should plan on having a second dress that goes with the same coat, a little dressier still, for entertaining at home. 

10pm A long formal evening dress that can be worn all year round (which means that you should avoid velvet and black).  And if you are really mad about cloths and prepared to make the necessary sacrifices…

A long evening coat, the most luxurious garment in a wardrobe and, strange as it seems, even quite a sensible acquisition if you manage to pick it up in a sale.