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How to dress like a lady

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A MODERN take on the ’50s black-andwhite- printed bouffant dress

Be a lady.” This is one of the important life lessons that mothers, grandmothers, teachers and most women of wisdom hope to pass on to the younger generations.

It harks back to the days when grace, elegance, poise and intelligence were highly cultivated and nurtured. Refinement, self-cultivation, old-world elegance, good manners and grace are marks of a true lady.

A woman is seen both inside and out. To be a lady is exhibited in the way one acts, thinks and speaks. As if in a finishing school, the drill goes something like this: Sit up straight with skirt pulled down. Knees together and ankles crossed. Walk with shoulders back and graceful steps. Speak politely in a soft, moderate tone. No loud voices.

DRAPED goddess gown made of silk jersey PHOTOS COURTESY OF VANIA ROMOFF

As I always remind my three-year-old daughter, “Talk like a princess.” Choose respectful words and never use profanity. Remember, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Be gracious and courteous to anyone you meet, whether he’s a head of state or a doorman.

Feed your mind to be able to spark stimulating and meaningful conversations. It shows that you are cultured, worldly and sophisticated.

A lady must also dress the part. The epitome of timeless chic are Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. A lady is always immaculately clothed in modest and elegant shift dresses, skirt suits or the quintessential white dress shirt with a chic handbag on her arm.

Each item in her outfit is well-calculated and chosen.

SIMPLE drop-waist dress in black silk gazaar rendition

In the recent Philippine Fashion Week, one collection reminded me of ladylike fashion: crisp gowns, bold clean silhouettes and just the right amount of skin. The Parisian ladylike chic collection of young designer Vania Romoff displayed dresses and sophisticated pantsuits in a mix of soft jerseys and structured fabrics devoid of unnecessary fluff.

It was minimalist but bold and elegant in silhouette and execution.

This prim, proper and determined Cebuana designer has a lot of promise, having been once proclaimed as one of Preview Magazine’s Emerging Fashion Talents.

JUMPSUIT in silk jersey

She brings an air of confidence and practices self-restraint in her designs. She does not strive to impress with over-the-top tactics. She manages to bring us back to the days of ladylike elegance, stamped with her classy modern take.

Her feminine, sensual and strong aesthetic is evident in her pieces. Always approachable and clean but exudes boldness and sophistication. Very much like the designer herself.

Vania Romoff shows us how to dress like a lady.

1. A lady is not only well-dressed but always well-groomed. Makeup is clean and appropriate to the occasion. The eyes are a focal point. They are always strong with lush eyelashes. Eyebrows are full but well-groomed. Hair is perfectly coiffed each time. Perfume is never overpowering and used in moderation. Fingertips are immaculate.

SLEEVELESS jumpsuit with peplum detail made of jersey and silk gazaar

2. A lady is part-demure and part-sophisticate. She modestly expresses her femininity and knows how to use it to her advantage. She is strong and assured and uses her clothing to exhibit this.

3. A lady practices self-restraint. Her mantra is nothing more, nothing less. She wears her clothes and does not allow her clothes to wear her. She knows herself and dresses accordingly. Silhouettes are appropriate. Pieces are always wearable and comfortable. Accessories are mainly the essentials: a pretty pair of earrings or a bold necklace.

4. A lady is subtle and never vulgar. Vulgarity is not sexy. Sensuality on the other hand is. There is a difference. A woman’s back for instance can be sexier than a hint of cleavage.

5. A lady dresses for no one else but herself.


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  • andresa igbac

    i know many women in the provinces (rural folks) who are gruff, strong, huffing and puffing about as they run both the household and business with their partners, sweaty as they go through the rigors of everyday living, wear clothes in whatever fashion they want–but they are still every inch a “lady,” a person with their own values and respect for every other person intact. Same with the men.



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