3/31/13

How To Dress Like a Lady - Elements of Ladylike Style

Ladylike Style Advice


by Kathleen Lisson

Downton Abbey and Mad Men have dazzled me for years, The Great Gatsby premieres on May 10th and Grace of Monaco opens on December 27th - TV and the movies are focusing on ladylike style. 

Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Duchess Catherine, all timeless style icons noted for their ladylike outfits. 

It should be easy to get excited about ladylike style, but...

"Act more like a lady"

This phrase is likely the first time many young girls ever thought about being a lady, and unfortunately for us, it was held up as something we didn't have. We were taught all the things we loved - getting dirty, climbing trees, sports - were 'unladylike.' Who could blame us for deciding that ladies were stuffy and we were NEVER going to be one! 

Now that I am an adult, I have decided that I can work up a sweat on a dusty running trail and still enjoy pearls and lace. I am reclaiming ladylike style and would like to show you the essential elements of my look.







Zara dress and coat, Abigail Aldridge hat

Top 7 Ladylike Wardrobe Essentials:

1. Hats - nobody wears hats anymore! Stand out with a cloche, sunhat, panama hat or beret. Find hat inspiration at my Pinterest board here: http://pinterest.com/khlisson/that-s-a-pretty-hat/

2. Fit and Flare dresses. Think Dior's New Look.  This classic shape flatters many body types, especially the pear type. What do they look like? Find examples at Modcloth here: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/fit-flare-dresses

3. Pearls - A simple string of pearls and matching pearl studs complement EVERY dress. 

4. Low-heel shoes in beige, red, brown and black. 

5. Classic bag in a neutral color. 

6. Jacket - Duchess Catherine has amazing taste in jackets and coats - Find the latest photos of her style on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/search/?q=duchess%20catherine%20coat

7. Your own personal twist. Do you like seamed pantyhose? Gloves? Lilly Puliter prints? Put your own personal stamp on this trend! 

Would you like more tips on how to dress like a lady?
Westfield fashion stylist Ken Thompson offers advice on how to dress in the glamorous ladylike trend in this video:
http://youtu.be/4Zb09PoEScg



Know a lady who loves to wear hats?
Please share this blog with her - it will make her day!

Want to feel inspired to wear hats?
  Follow Thats a Pretty Hat


Linking to: NotDeadYetStyle.com DCInstyle.com and IFB Project #89

69 comments:

  1. You have a lovely defined style, Kathleen, and hats are an integral part. This one's a beauty and so are the fabulous pearls! Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday.

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    1. You are welcome! Thanks for hosting!

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  2. I adore your look and style! Hats do not really suit me because of my flat head so that's why a beret is my best attempt.

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    1. Berets are awesome! Check out my beret board on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/khlisson/beret-hat/

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  3. I adore - ADORE - this look! If I had the right body type I'd dress like this all the time!

    Spashionista (Alicia)

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    1. I have a pear body type because of my running, and fit and flare dresses hide everything!

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  4. Beautiful outfit and photos! I love the detail on the dress. It all goes together so well! I wore a hat and fit and flare dress for Easter! Following you now through Bloglovin. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and commenting. Debbie @ ilovemylemonadelife.com

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  5. Your outfit from head to toe is pure grace. Just lovely! The cream effect certainly places you in the "ladylike" category:) I really love those pearls. They are perfectly accessorized to your dress. The hat is also a perfect match. Is it new or vintage?

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    1. Joanna, it is new, using vintage lace, I think. It's from milliner Abigail Aldridge.

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  6. Your outfit and hat are so exquisite! I love the neutral color. I've always been a classic girl. I didn't know about The Grace of Monaco movie! Thank you! I can't wait for The Great Gatsby. I'm so happy to see classy movies. There's too much junk out there. Great post!

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    1. Kim, I totally agree. Can't wait for either movie!

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  7. You are so elegant. You are like just walked out of old time movie.

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  8. Oh this outfit is gorgeous! Very ladylike - in a good Downtown Abbey way!

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  9. What a gorgeous outfit! You look straight out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.

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    1. Sheila, Thanks so much! My husband actually picked up a copy of The Great Gatsby at the used book shop in Troy last weekend.

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  10. I love this outfit. You literally look like you just walked off the set of Downton Abbey! Stunning.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Suzanne, thanks so much, it does remind me of the cricket game episode.

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  11. easter hat :)

    xx.M
    www.bellesandrebelles.blogspot.com

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  12. So very pretty, colors and photos! Ladylike style is classic . Love your haircut with the hat--makes me rethink hats!

    Hue Hue Wonderland

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    1. Ann, This is the Daisy Buchanan cut - I can't wait to style it with cloche hats this summer!

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  13. It is a wonderful goal to dress ladylike. It is a difficult thing to do so without looking like you are wearing a costume. I think you have managed to accomplish your goal with this look. Interesting elements that combine to a lovely whole. Somebody is wearing hats besides you because sales are up among my milliner friends. So the belief that hats are passe is false. Fashionable ladies like yourself include hats in their ensembles. Another elegant look.

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    1. It was for Easter, so it was most definitely a costume - I think not feeling sheepish in your clothes is the key to 'pulling off' a look.

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  14. That is lovely take on Edwardian styling. Love the shot of the hem.

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    1. Thanks, I love that detail of the dress.

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  15. A lady in white...You look absolutely ladylike and so elegant and beautiful. The lacy dress is amazing.

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  16. What an immensely beautiful - and very feminine - ensemble, dear Kathleen. I really don't know if I've ever seen cream look lovelier on anyone than it does on you.

    Wishing you a marvelous start of April!
    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Jessica, I thought of how you love vintage photos and imagined this snapshot by a waterfall in Cohoes would faithfully replicate a 'pose in front of the tourist attraction' photo in my old family scrapbook.

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  17. Lovely outfit and pictures! You look very lady like.


    -Vogue&Heels
    vogueandheels.com

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  18. Love the monochromatic look of this ladylike outfit. Thanks for the tips. The hat, gloves, and low heels really make this outfit.

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  19. Beautiful outfit and post :)

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    1. Thanks! I cannot wait until the gardens are blooming for some REAL Spring photos.

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  20. A wonderful outfit is cute and super elegant.

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  21. You look so posh and so Dubai World Cup! Last weekend here in Dubai, Dubai World up the most expensive horse race took place and all the ladies were in their hats and men in their morning suits! I didn't go as my hub had to work but somebody definitely won the prize for best hat yesterday, I'm sure!

    GREETINGS FROM DUBAI
    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES
    http://mrsjackofalltradesdaily.blogspot.ae/

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    1. I saw some of the photos from that race - they have great style!

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  22. I've been lurking in the shadows, looking at your blog on IFB and on the Not Dead Yet Style gatherings of late. This is a beautifully photographed ensemble. I admit, hats have always been a bit of an enigma to me, even though I live inthe UK, where the bare minimum seems to be a fascinator for weddings and the like. I think its my gigantic head size that stops me. Anyway, you now have another follower. Thanks for the inspiration, and you may get me round to the milliner yet...
    Kristin at Highland Fashionista
    www.highlandfashionista.com

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    1. Kristin, one of my readers has promised to send me an account of her experience finding a hat to fit her head, I hope that upcoming post will give you the inspiration to try a hat of your own!

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  23. You look so beautiful and elegant. Love this entire outfit and the hat.

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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  24. Thank you for the elements post. I especially enjoy the concepts behind the look (the style "narrative"?)and your hat-and-dress posts always suggest a story beyond the one you actually write! I always look forward to them.
    There were some over the top hats last night on PBS Masterpiece offering, "Mr. Selfridge" ... did you happen to catch it?
    By the way, you look completely lovely. The "cream" rises, doesn't it?

    Jan
    http://www.fortsmithstylista.blogspot.com

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    1. Jan, I saw the preview, but haven't caught the show yet. Hoping it will be on Netflix eventually.

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  25. I have friends who are gorgeous in "lady like" style, and although I am more comfortable in bohemian layers, I love the artistry of your outfit. The hat is spectacular.

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  26. You do look so beautiful and elegant- truly what a true lady looks like. I suspect acts like too. Butter wouldn't melt in that gorgeous mouth of yours! xo!

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  27. Your hats always inspire me. I love that we have the freedom to dig in the dirt in the morning and wear hats and gloves in the afternoon. Living across the continuum of experience!

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    1. Yes! Gloves hide the dirt under our fingernails, right?

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  28. Your outfit is so full of beautiful details for our eyes to feast.And you trully want us to be more ladylike thus your tips are so much to the point.Another unique fashionista out there.

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  29. Kathleen, You look pretty in these shades of white and cream. You always do lady-like so well.

    Sue xo

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  30. Gosh you look fabulous in that wonderful outfit! Like you've just walked out of a Gatsby party! Such beautiful photos my dear.

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  31. What beautiful details in this outfit! You could definitely be from another time. Perfect ladylike hat!

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  32. Wonderful advice, and love your hat!

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  33. What an amazing dress. Daisy would be proud.

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  34. Simply stunning! I just love your post and the reminder of how fun it is to be 'lady-like' at times. You are definitely the perfect example. These are some amazing pictures. Great job, beautifutl lady. O' and I really, really, want that incredible lady-like dress.

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  35. This is hands down my favorite outfit I've seen you in! I really love all of the texture. Soft and intricate, but still easy elegance. Love it.
    -Jamie
    ChatterBlossom

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  36. You look GEORGEOUS in these cream-y colours! Lovely outfit Kathleen :) x

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  37. These are terrfic tips and photos of you. You look like you're ready to step into Downtown Abby.

    I am workin' on th' hat thing - so excited.

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  38. oh wow! you look stunning i absolutely adore this neutral look!

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  39. This outfit is stunning - so feminine and ladylike.

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  40. Kathleen, this is gorgeous!! And if I didn't already say it, congrats on your recent one-year blog anniversary!!

    xoxo
    Lynn

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