How to be confident whatever the conditions

There was an interesting lesson in sartorial planning last week as the Obama’s came to our windswept shores.

The First Lady, who is usually very well advised – and mostly looked very stylish throughout the trip – suffered some clearly uncomfortable moments when the wind simultaneously caught the short, but full skirt of her dress and whipped her hair into a Jedward-style frenzy.  With one hand on her head and the other on her crotch, it was every woman’s nightmare scenario.  And it was in front of the world’s press.

Knowing that she would be climbing down the steps of a plane, there was always going to be a high probability of getting caught in the wind. A dress with a straighter skirt (which if well cut would do her more favours than the style she is currently wearing) or even a trouser suit, and a hairstyle that was less likely to get windswept would have prevented the difficulty.

Getting good advice for important occasions is not just about how you look, it’s also about anticipating the conditions.  When you are buying an outfit, you should expect to be asked questions by the stylist about the occasion and the location. For example, for quite a while I dressed an MP who used to sit right behind the Prime Minister.  We noticed that when the camera was on the PM, her knees were on show.  So we made sure she was dressed appropriately.

With weddings and the season upon us, it’s a good time to be thinking about the weather conditions and how to dress so that we don’t get caught out.  There’s a high probability in the UK that the temperature will drop like a stone in the evening. For some reason we never seem to anticipate this when dressing for big summer occasions. I am lucky enough to go to Glyndebourne most years, and for many years I turned up looking good but feeling frozen.  It took a while to realise that I should be choosing an outfit that would work with a summer coat.  Not exactly rocket science, but it makes the occasion so much more enjoyable.




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