For some women, to look elegant in haute couture is impossible.  Couture demands supreme self-confidence while at the same time revealing a woman’s body in clothes cut and sewn by the most talented designers working today.  It is an expensive and thoughtful process.  There are four couture concepts of revealing the body—a short dress, décolleté, a fitted gown and diaphanous.  Wear one of these concepts with grace, and you might well look “very couture”.  Wear more than one of these concepts together and you will look trashy and cheap.  Couture and how to wear it is so subtle that if you don’t pick it up pretty quickly, it’s probably best avoided.  Let’s take apart these four concepts one by one:

short dress

A Short Dress
This is an adorable and youthful way to look, but only if your body is youthful (slim) and you have great legs.  Then and only then, you will be looking for a mini dress that is cut so you can move, with a simple modest neckline, since you are featuring your legs.  Think of Twiggy in her heyday.  Of course Twiggy didn’t have a bosom to speak of, but nonetheless, the mini dress is only successful when an entire spirit of youth is followed.


I hope my readers know that when doing a plunging neckline and doing it elegantly, you are wearing a gown that is generously cut and draped in an otherwise concealing fabric.  Showing off a beautiful bust line is classic.  Unfortunately, looking tawdry when putting this look together is all too common.

fitted gownA Fitted Gown

If you’ve got it, flaunt it in an artful gown that has a modest neckline, hemline and designed in a beautiful fabric which will show your curves to their best advantage.  Stay away from cheap clingy fabric and a cut that does not do justice to your fabulous frame.


Transparency is my favorite couture concept, but probably the most difficult to understand and to pull off.  Needless to say, you are wearing a supremely elegant, well cut garment that is actually see-through.  And furthermore, you are confident that your body is in good shape and that your couturier has not led you astray.  A beautiful Chanel lace skirt or camisole comes immediately to mind.  I am sure Mr. Lagerfeld has in mind a youthful woman who will be wearing this look with a simple cashmere or wool cardigan, a jacket or a three quarter coat.  There is nothing more delightful on a hot summer day than seeing an outline of leg beneath a lovely lace skirt, or a breast, ever so slightly revealed from underneath a delicate camisole.

Remember, one of these couture revelations at a time.  More than one, and you have overstated your case and sunk your fashion ship.
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