Temper(ley) Your Requests

kate temperley1This is a fashion column, not an etiquette column.  Frankly, though, I have no other platform on which to express my views and so I’ll sling them about as I see fit.  First up: Dear readers, when you send out an invitation it is cruel to the common invitee to request dress codes like “Festive” or “Creative Black Tie.”  Most people (read: those without a stylist) do NOT want to spend oodles of time decrypting your sartorial expectations.  Most people have go-to items for “Black Tie,” “Cocktail” or “Casual” but not for “Smart Casual” or “Elegant Casual.”  Have mercy, people, the masses still cannot wrap their heads around “Business Casual.”

Kate here is attending a Garden Party for the Queen’s 90th Birthday.  (Why Do I Feel Like Anything Referring To The Queen Has To Be In Caps??)  Truth be told, I’ve been asked many times but I’ve never advised a client to wear a long gown to a garden party.  Chiefly this is because most garden parties are slightly less formal than this one appears to be and also because long gowns work best with heels but heels don’t work best with grass (although wedges do!).  However, if we are still telling the truth, I have never advised on a garden party wardrobe for a QUEEN’S birthday extravaganza.  In this case, given the Royal element, I think this Temperley number works wonderfully.  It’s intricate but not overly so, it’s sheer but not scandalous, it’s white and detailed and fitted and lovely.  I’m not over the moon for the chandelier earrings but their role is not prominent so I forgive them.  But, WAIT:

kate temperley2For the Queen’s pleasure, Will slices Kate’s gown in half!?  This alternate photo was a surprise to me because I thought we were viewing a gown, not a skirt and top.  But I actually prefer this notion.  It’s modern and even more appropriate for being less formal.  It’s “Queen’s Birthday Slightly Formal” or maybe “Royal Garden Dressy Casual.”  Whatever the invitation said, this is a damn good interpretation of the request.

Standing O? Hell YES!


I’m not even going to toy with your emotions and pretend I debated over this look – because I’m already standing for the O.  I am mesmerized.

Thank heavens for ZOOM because I’ve spent endless amounts of time on every quadrant of this stunning Alexander McQueen dress.  It is supremely interesting, exquisitely fashioned, and completely WOWing me.  As a result, I’m falling in love with Nicole Kidman again.  As is her husband.  Witness:

Nicole and keith

Seeing N.K. in this dress makes me think of a conversation that I regularly have with my clients who are actors.  And it goes something like this- It is incumbent upon you, through your clothes, to put ideas in the heads of casting agents and directors.  In other words, if you want to be a leading man/woman, then DRESS like one.  And I feel like Nicole had that notion in mind when she chose this dress.  She was out to remind folks that indeed she’s always commanded leading roles and that she’d be a superlative choice for some more.  Let’s face it, she’s not had a huge movie since the early oughts (The Hours and Moulin Rouge) and it is time for a come back!

Side note: if IMDB is to be believed, she’s turning 50 this year.  I would gladly drink a potion composed of eye of newt, salamander toes, and the pulverized bones of small deceased animals to look like this at 50.  Readers, please pin any such recipes you see.

Apologies but Keith and I need to get back to ogling Nicole now.  Thanks.

It Can Be Wrong Even Though It’s White


Rebecca Taylor White Sleeveless Crochet Lace Dress

One of the things I love best about the spring, besides it being perfect mojito weather, is wearing all white on the regular.  It’s cool, crisp, polished and, as a hue (or lack thereof) it works with everything.  Sadly, though, “universally flattering” does not appear on the list of its virtues.  So unless you have Jessica Alba’s body, here are the two most important things to consider before wearing white:

  • Sheerness: White tends to be see-through which, especially in the work place, can be damning (as in DAMN, what is she wearing up in here?).  For a top or a dress sheerness often mandates a camisole or a slip, and for pants it often mandates that they be burned (or at the very least have their pockets cut out and sewn up).  The idea is that you want to make it impossible to glimpse what is under the fabric (undergarments, tattoos, skin texture, etc).  If anything can distinctly be seen, this is not the garment for you.  Or anyone except, maybe, Jessica Alba.
  • Structure: White is most flattering when it comes in the form of a structured garment.  (Jessica Alba, why are you even still reading?) This holds the most true for white pants which tend to be the toughest to get right.  Even white denim, which is inherently structured, can be difficult.  Light colors, and white in particular, are not very forgiving so it’s necessary for you (even better – get an honest friend to assist) to do a thorough inspection of the pants in natural light while you are wearing them to make sure lumps, bumps, and other imperfections are being mitigated and not enhanced by said pants.

And if these two things scare you, try a white mani instead, and get back to that mojito.

Standing O, So-So or Hell No: The Obamas in Cuba


Little known fact: one of my best friends and I sneaked into Cuba a number of years ago.  We didn’t even attempt clearances because we knew we had no grounds on which to obtain them.  We simply left from the Bahamas, didn’t get our passports stamped, and then prayed to our merciful Lord all would be well when we tried to re-enter our country.  Somehow on the greatest stroke of luck ever, we came back to the US on a day when hordes of spring break college kids were returning from their various debaucherous trips.  They were so rowdy and feral that the customs agents never paid us a lick of attention and barely peeked at our passports prior to stamping them.  In retrospect I should’ve played the lottery that day because, indeed, it was true luck that a $10K fine and imprisonment was avoided.  Orange jump suits and limited showers would not have been a good look for me.

And now Cuba is receiving slightly more distinguished guests – the Obamas!  My guess is that they have the proper paperwork.  But I digress – let’s cut to the chase and talk about the most important aspect of the trip: the fashion of the Obama ladies.  I feel Michelle made a wise choice with her easy-breezy Carolina Herrera shift.  It’s weather appropriate, white based, and the flowers work well in this setting.  Malia looks fine to me -I value that she looks age appropriate and I like that she also chose color and flowers but overall her look reads a little to “Target-designer-collab” for me.  Mostly, though, I take issue with Sasha’s Shoshanna shift.  I am whole-heartedly against wearing near solid black in Cuba considering it is a country of such vibrant colors.  You don’t see black on many folks there and it’s because it simply doesn’t fit.  The occasion and the country both call for color and patterns!  And so, as usual, I will call it as I see it:

Michelle = Standing O

Malia = So-So

Sasha = Hell No

Here’s another view so you can decide for yourself.  Wardrobe Whisperer encourages freedom of thought:

obamas cuba 2

WW and Business Insider Talk Button Downs


Sometimes it feels like the Keebler factory in here.  Except that instead of making cookies, which would be delicious and appeal to everyone, I produce fashion content which sometimes is completely unappealing.  Case in point – this article I wrote with Linette Lopez where I bring down the gauntlet on the vast majority of button downs I find in my clients’ closets:

The No. 1 thing men need to throw out of their closets

Don’t shoot the messenger.  Or the cookie maker.  Or me.  For the love of God, won’t you just put your guns down already?

Standing O or Hell No: 88th Annual Academy Awards

cate oscar 2016

Cate Blanchett proving that she has bartered her soul in exchange for flawless beauty

As a girl who grew up in rural PA with 7 brothers I am (perhaps overly) familiar with such things as shooting skeet, riding dirt bikes, and quoting The Who.  Regarding the latter, this lyric from Eminence Front was on a loop in my head last night:

Won’t you come and join the party

Dress to Kill.

Cate killed (clearly) in Armani Prive.  As did the rest of these lovelies in their glorious dresses all of whom receive a Standing O:

Naomi oscar 2016Naomi Watts in ombre Armani (I am still catching my breath)

Saoirse oscars 2016Saoirse Ronan in custom Calvin Klein (Turning it OUT for Ireland)

alicia oscars 2016Alicia Vikander in custom Louis Vuitton (Hush up, haters, she looks divine!)

charlize oscars 2016Charlize Theron in Dior (Retain your wardrobe stylist, fire your hair stylist)

gaga oscars 2016Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell (Somehow pulling off pants AND a dress and making it look chic)

Time for yet another Who lyric: The drinks flow and people forget.  Please let that be the case as it relates to this atrocity:

 heidi oscars 2016Let us not forget, however, that the viewing public used to allow this woman to host a FASHION show on actual television.  Perhaps what comes around really does go around and this is some kind of negative karmic reciprocity for her smug condescension on Project Runway.  If so, WOW, the universe really knows how to get even.  I’m sorry, universe, for any wrongs that I have committed.  And Heidi, Hell No.

It’s Monday and I don’t really feel like dwelling on the negative so let me leave you with this thought:.  I don’t feel I am alone in my secret wish that this will somehow still happen:

leo and kate oscars 2016If there was a game like Fantasy Football but for relationships, these two would be my top choice.

WW Prediction: Oscar Will Not Make It to the Oscars

oscar1This outfit brings to mind a favorite saying of my grandmother’s which I will tailor for my own purposes:  Oscar de la Renta must be “turning over in his grave” right now.  With the exclusion of that luscious little fur collar, this outfit from the Fall 2016 collection that just debuted at NY Fashion Week is an ill-fitting and mismatched atrocity.  And, unfortunately, it was not alone in its egregiousness:


Oscar WhoOscar Who??


oscar whatOscar What?? I feel like Peter Copping will be made to pay for this in his next life.

Having expressed my general dismay over the collection, I AM extremely keen on shimmying into this look:

oscar 2

Oh! And even though I insulted you and everything you stand for, Peter, would it be possible to send this look too, please:

oscar 3Thank you.


Standing O or Hell No: Grammys 2016

grammy 1Somehow in a wonderful twist of fate my favorite Grammy look and my least favorite Grammy look conspired to become dates!!  Selena Gomez in Calvin Klein was gorgeous, appropriately edgy (as the night demands), yet on point and styled beautifully – hair, make-up, and earrings all score an A+.  Witness her solo:

selena grammy

Knock-Out!! Standing O, Selena!  And then there’s Taylor Swift who’s sweet and charming and lovely.  In her underpants:

taylor grammyOr an elaborate cover up for her new bikini.  Also, and I know this is nit-picking, but her big toe is hanging off the platform of that shoe like it’s trying to escape from this whole ensemble. It has the right idea. Hell No, Taylor.


zendaya grammyI understand that this was Zendaya’s salute to David Bowie.  And I respect that because who among us does not love David Bowie?  But, to me, this was beauty wasted.  Zendaya is an extraordinarily gorgeous woman and this was well, dreadful.  Hell No, Z, please bring sexy back.


Florence GrammyThis particular Gucci collection with the sparkly waist bow is being trotted out ALL over town.  Dakota Johnson donned a short version to see Fallon and Nicole Kidman sported another to the SAG Awards but this rendition on Florence Welch seemed like the right gown on the right girl for the right event.  It is VERY indicative of her style.  Plus, red heads in pink always delight me.  So even though her hair is a bit unpolished and she hasn’t enough lipstick on, I still love this on her.  Standing O!

Who Should Rock It: Jenny Packham F/W 2016

JPFW_LupitaIt’s New York Fashion Week and I’m drunk as a sailor on all of the collections.  And on gin cocktails – but that’s another matter!  However, full transparency:  Live Stream has never been more attractive or useful than over the last few days.  I saw a meme which pretty much sums up my feelings about venturing out:  The air hurts my face.  Why do I live in a place where the AIR hurts my face?

Thank goodness the air does not need to come between us and our love for fashion! Right now I’m obsessing online over the Jenny Packham show and I’m feeling quite like a game of Who Should Rock It.  Care to join me?

The above would be spectacular on Lupita: the color, the twirl-factor, and the plunging V have all become her trademarks.  She’d be divine in this flowing beauty.


JPFWDiane Kruger would own this piece.  The blue would highlight her eyes and compliment her hair and the fringe sequins would be magical as she moved.  Girl knows how to wear a dress.


JP3Brie Larson’s curves would do this dress the favors it requires.  Translation: that neckline demands cleavage, not a bird cage.


JP4Taraji P Henson!  Paging Taraji P Henson!


JP5Dakota Johnson could do her red lip + red dress formula with this piece.  It’s become her special brand of success on the carpet.

Thoughts, dear readers?


WW’s Top 5 Reasons to Watch the Super Bowl

lady gaga superbowl

  1. It is license to eat an entire plate of nachos
  2. Gin and tonic is a perfect compliment to nachos
  3. Who doesn’t like to talk about the commercials
  4. It’s okay to have a THIRD gin and tonic before the coin toss
  5. It is a PRODUCTION

The production to which I refer is obviously not football.  It is, of course, the real entertainment: the National Anthem and the halftime show.  And luckily, both pleased me endlessly.  I think it’s unanimous at this point that Lady Gaga brought it last night.  I knew she had a lovely voice but she owned that opening which isn’t an easy thing to do considering it is probably the most covered song of all time.  And what say you of her custom Gucci suit?  I felt the jacket was sheer perfection.  The pants seemed slightly ill fitting and I don’t approve of the shoes but I’m willing to forgive a multitude of sins given her stellar performance.

Even though Chris Martin recently won me over by teaming up with James Corden for Carpool Karaoke, it wasn’t until Bruno Mars showed up that I thought the halftime show took flight.  The Beyonce/Bruno dance-off was simply stupendous!  And I wasn’t the only one dancing along- Go Gaga!  When Bruno’s entourage was fanning him as he strutted toward Bey with Crazy In Love playing I think I might have squealed in delight.

I am not ashamed to admit that as of 11:30am I still do not know which football team won the Super Bowl and I still don’t care.  Wardrobe Whisperer declares the winners to be Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars.


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