Unstructured Garments

HEED Mother PeaceBang, children: unstructured garments can be a Slip-N’-Slide straight to Frump Hell.

Here’s how it goes: lady minister d’un certain age has an event to go to. She wants to look special, and so she finds a garment that seems pretty and a bit dazzly that won’t require her to be all buttoned up and uncomfortable. She winds up wearing a pair of black pants with a fancy poncho or other unstructured garment; maybe a jacket, but an unstructured one. And then she thinks she’s done. She goes to that event in her sparkly ethnic muu-muu or her brightly colored Indian jacket and her black pants with comfy shoes, and maybe a pair of little gold earrings.
She hasn’t done a thing with her hair or make-up. And she looks like straight-up hell.

PeaceBang sees her and wants to DRAG THAT POOR WOMAN INTO THE LADIES ROOM and attack her with a slew of cosmetics. That woman has made the typical sartorial error of thinking that getting dressed is a matter of her comfort rather than a matter of making of herself a work of art and a living image.

Look here, girls and boys. PeaceBang doesn’t want to have to keep belaboring this point: clothes are just the beginning, just the bread. Grooming and carriage and attention to detail are the actual sandwich filling. I don’t care how nice your sports jacket and silk tie are. If you have huge blackheads on your nose, enlarged pores on greasy skin, a scattering of dandruff on your shoulders and gross fingernails, you may as well have come to the event in a potato sack. If you have flat boy hair and sallow skin and bags under your eyes it doesn’t matter how sparkly your Indian jacket is. In fact, the jacket just competes with your face and makes it look more terribly drab by comparison.

How do people still not know this!?

Do you ever, ever, EVER see an Indian woman at a social gathering in a kurti without her make-up and hair all done up? Of course you don’t. The personal adornment is as much part of the outfit as is underwear: one doesn’t throw on a kurti and walk out the door with no face or hair on. Only sloppy American women think it’s acceptable to do that. Ugh. What an insult to the craftsmanship of the garment! (click on images to enlarge)

exoticindiaart.com

A garment likes this next one needs someone with presence and glamour to wear it or else it will most certainly wear the woman. You don’t go out the door in this with flat, drab hair and no make-up and accessorizing! Get real! You need eyeliner, you need blush, you need lippy. And you need an attitude, darling. Leave it on the rack if you can’t live up to it:

Even this casual little ethnic vest from marketplaceindia.com needs to be styled and lived up to. Notice the model’s cute hair, make-up and accessories. She looks beautiful. Most clergywomen I see in this sort of cotton ethnic garment look dull as dishwater. Show up for this jacket! Just because it is unstructured does not mean that you should be. Dressing is not about your comfort, it is about representing your values to the world. Is your highest value to be comfortable? Really, is that your deepest calling? I didn’t think so. Pull up your control top panty hose and let’s get on with it, ladies!

The more unstructured the garment, the more effort you should put into being polished and elegant. Consider yourself lucky that you’re glamorous duds feel as comfortable as pajamas and make sure the rest of you is piss elegant and fabulous.


Get your hair done, get your make-up done if you don’t know how to do it. You simply do NOT show up in this amazing Art Nouveau shawl looking anything less than Auntie Mame Level of gorgeous. Nor do you even consider wearing anything less than a 2.5″ heel with this. If you can’t hack that, don’t get the garment. Not everyone can wear everything, and just because you love it doesn’t mean you can pull it off. Hard lesson but one we all need to embrace.


I’m not really sure what’s going on in this image — this woman may just be trying on the duster, but this is exactly what I mean. The casual wash-and-go hair is not living up to the garment AT ALL. Nice necklace but she needs some glamour factor for sure. Some theatricality is called for with something this extraordinary, and if that’s not your cup of tea, please step away from the high drama garments.

6 Replies to “Unstructured Garments”

  1. PB, dollink, I can totally rock that beautiful black Art Nouveau shawl, BUT I do have to do it wearing flats, because I simply cannot wear heels. Arthritic knees and hips give limitations that must be dealt with.

  2. There are flats and flats… plain black mary janes aren’t that dressy – patent leather makes them more dressy, but you can get nice ballet slipper shaped shoes (maybe with a teeny tiny heel) in interesting materials or with diamantes/ other detail etc on the front.

    Patent? http://www.overlandfootwear.co.nz/womens-shoes/womens-flats/p3422/c7/colour/Black%20Patent

    Metallic? http://www.overlandfootwear.co.nz/womens-shoes/womens-flats/p3422/c7/colour/Black%20Patent

    Red patent? http://www.overlandfootwear.co.nz/womens-shoes/womens-flats/p3422/c7/colour/Red%20Patent

  3. But, but …. I’m married to what a NASCAR preacher would call a “smokin’ hawt” younger man who fell for me because he could tell what I really looked like. I have skin that looks a lot better than my 54 years would argue because I’ve never worn makeup. I’ve always had eyefolds so eyeliner looks awful, and as a redhead with big dark eyes, mascara makes my eyes look smaller. My lips are red anyway. I’m not at all glamorous but makeup makes me look like a freak.

    Haircut: that’s key, yes. Cleanliness, yes. Kemptness, yes. But is paint realllllly necessary?

  4. I love that colorful Indian jacket although I’d wear it over skinny jeans & boots. But I don’t think it is necessary to wear heels with certain outfits; indeed the taller someone is the less likely she is to even own heels, remember Princess Di looked terrific in flats which she wore because she was tall.

  5. Just bought a lovely reversible Indian cotton jacket, and remembered my glam instructions. It’s also an art form to accessorize with enough glam, but not so much it competes or fights with the jacket. When I wore it on Sunday, I went for bigger silver pieces – earrings, pendant, bracelet – and it seemed to work.

  6. I’m sorry, but in that last photo, the design on the back of that duster looks like a butt crack.

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