|dress||–||Plato’s Closet (source unknown) — similar|
|clutch||–||Etsy — similar|
|heels||–||Zara — similar|
|ring||–||Jewelmint — similar|
|earrings||–||Sole Society — similar|
The Joffrey Ballet invited me to attend their most recent show, Global Visionaries, and I was happy to oblige. After my initial excitement about the invite died down my mind turned to that eternal question: what do I wear?
I’ve been focusing on minimizing my wardrobe and spending less time focusing on fashion overall in my life–which has proved very fulfilling thus far–and so I began to think about how to capsulize evening wear as well. I thought of my husband, who has two custom tailored suits that he treated himself to several years ago when we got married. He also has a small collection of nice button downs and ties. This small coordinating collection of formal wear makes it utterly simple for him to choose what to wear when we go to a nice event. If it’s winter, he wears his navy suit, and in the summer, he wears his tan one. He often leaves the choice of shirt and tie to me, and I usually hurriedly make this decision while rushing from wardrobe to vanity, deep in the work of dressing myself.
Why should the men in our lives have such an easy system for formal wear while we endlessly struggle to find a “perfect” dress, heels, makeup, jewelry, and hair for every new occasion? The time and money we spend on this kind of frivolity could easily be better spent. With that in mind, I decided I’d like to capsulize my formal wear as well.
I don’t have a final collection of formal wear to show you, but I do have some bullets on what I think a formal wear capsule should look like:
- A small coordinating collection of a few dresses, shoes, and jewelry.
- Items should be relatively timeless in the same way a suit is timeless. Uber trendy clothing that will soon be out of style does not belong.
- Items should be somewhat forgiving, still fitting if you gain or lose a few pounds.
- Items should be somewhat durable in order to stand up to the sands of time–or rather, the suds of the washing machine or the chemicals of the dry cleaner. Think how long the average suit lasts.
With those general guidelines in mind I poked through my own formal wear, which I usually keep stored away from my main wardrobe due to space constraints. I tossed many of the dresses that were too tight or too trendy into donation bags and ended up keeping just a handful of dresses that fit the criteria.
The dress that I’m featuring in this post is a great example of the type of dress that works well in a formal wear capsule. It coordinates well with my jewelry and nude sandals, it has a timeless elegance that isn’t likely to go out of style, it’s forgiving in shape, and its thick jersey material has already stood up to several washes without showing any wear.
I like the idea of rotating this dress along with a few others as my evening wear, freeing me up to spend my time and money on things other than a new dress for every formal occasion I attend.
Anyway, enough about the clothes, let’s talk about the ballet. I thought this one was particularly good.
Global Visionaries is comprised of three seperate ballets. The first is The Miraculous Mandarin, a ballet that debuted in 1926 and was banned for being scandalous. It essentially depicts the story of a wealthy Chinese man seduced by a prostitute and killed by her thugs/pimps. The dancing was incredible–as my husband put it, a feat of stamina–and very evocative. The set dressing really set the tone of a 1920s dystopian piece.
The second ballet of the show was called Joy, and it was one of the most enjoyable ballet performances I’ve ever seen.
Joy was comoposed by Swedish coreographer Alexander Ekman, who is known for his originality and humor. He teamed up with The Joffrey just two weeks before opening night and put this peice together, which made it all the more impressive. The overall idea behind the ballet was to create the expression of joy in movement. It was delightful. The dancers did everything from bounding in a cacophany of movement around the stage to immitating a flock of Flamingos to dancing in high heels. They also artfully and hilariously dropped their point shoes in repetition. It brought the house down. Everyone was on their feet by the end.
The final ballet of the night was Mammatus, a raucous ballet with excellent blocking and group movement intended to depict a thunderstorm. I particularly liked the ending as the storm passed and soft smoke filled the stage for the final duet.
Many thanks, again, to The Joffrey Ballet for the invite–this show is not to be missed!