More Elements of Style

If you weren’t born with a talent for great style, you can have the next best thing: common sense.

Strunk and White’s Elements of Style is my common sense bible. Elegant and slim, it is my style rules for life.  E.B. White’s little prescriptive essay, “The Elements of Style” that has been my guide not only for writing, but for fashion, entertaining, decorating, for just about everything.  

E.B. White’s essay has the answers to all questions. Lets go over just a couple more of the rules.

 Work from a suitable design.
“Design informs even the simplest structure, whether of brick and steel or of prose.” Or an outfit. “Sometimes, of course, impulse and emotion are more compelling than design.”
I like clothes that skim my body with long simple lines and reflect an unstudied insouciance . I seldom skew, for example, the silk shirt as dressy, rather I roll and push the sleeves above my elbow and leave the bottom untucked or tucked haphazardly or into skinny jeans.  Add pearls and a men’s watch and a leather jacket and leave for the day.  

 I have, in addition, a collection of vintage suits, cocktail dresses that are mostly for holiday or special dressing.

Despite its simplicity, it has taken me years to refine my look. The choices are easy; the restraint is hard. Knowing when to stop is an art. It is an economic and ethical decision to live a less material life. I use what I save on travel or experiences with friends and family. So I’m having more fun and look better, my choices undistracted by the clutter that use to be my closet. I feel happier.  

Dress Muse's Elements of Style for this Winter: 

1.     Silk shirt with a round collar
2.     Black pants – one pair that is generous and higher-waisted or one velvety corduroy skinny.
3.     A pair of skinny jeans
4.     Black lightweight wool sheath or a black knit wrap dress, both of which can be dressed up or down. I like pairing both with leggings and flats for a more casual look.
5.     Cotton/cashmere sweaters: one is a cashmere v-neck, but the others are lightweight blends for our unpredictable weather. We can experience 75 degrees one day and 40 the next.
Classic style is timeless 

Leather fitted motorcycle jacket
A “shrunken” wool school boy blazer- I found a Pendleton in a thrift store and it is my proudest gathering moment
Trench: Mine is black, soft and lightweight, yet warm and could almost be worn as a dress. 

A bright raspberry wool rebozo that belonged to my grandmother wraps around my neck or around my shoulders if the weather suddenly turns.
I buy most of my sweaters, tees, and silk shirts at Everlane.com. The prices are nice, the clothes well-made and beautiful. I also buy tees at a very cool San Antonio company:  Richter Co.

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