Going out to dinner is like going to the theatre.  It’s about the food and its presentation, but so much more. The other patrons.  The servers and staff.  The space that contains the restaurant.  The decor that is the set.  The conversations.  It stimulates the senses!


I love to build an outfit to participate in this intimate community experience.  It allows me to wear whatever catches my eye and gives life to my creativity.


My rule of thumb has been that if a piece can be worn once in 20 years, it’s a keeper. I’d better get busy, because in 20 years, if longevity is my destiny, I will be 91.  This is not the time to hold back!  My collections are calling me.

Why wait to wear this estate sale Victorian cape which moves into sleeves and is adorned with silk fringe and embroidery.  I adore the movement the fringe creates when I walk and when the wind picks up it’s delicate ornamental border of silk threads.


I chose to wear this headpiece trimmed with flower and feather by Angie Sandifer of Angie’s Hats HERE, which I purchased during a trip to Minnesota several years ago. The red gloves are an estate sale find.


The late afternoon sun provides a brightened view of the cape’s beauty.  This piece of history was calling for an outing, and I wanted to give it a new life.  It matters little to me that Denver trends toward the casual.  My heart beats to a different drum.


Photos by Camille

My friend who is a costume designer was of the opinion that the dip up in the center back of the cape suggests the bustle period.  However, I lack a bustle, and therefore chose to wear a consignment store skirt with draped details and heeled platform boots that were purchased retail about 15 years ago.   The vintage black jet earrings were another estate sale find and the red/pink silk scarf with subtle pattern was discovered at the Bryant Park Holiday Market in NYC this past December

Voila!  The SC is ready for the theatre!  Or rather, dinner at an elegant downtown restaurant.

This is the week for Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style.  I’m taking this Victorian treasure over to the party, which is a fabulous piece of community theatre held every other Monday.  Thank you Patti, for hosting this ongoing event!

HAT ATTACK #will be featured on a week from this coming Tuesday on April 1st.

Whoever wants to can join in!  Just compose a post that includes any hat, headwrap, headpiece, fascinator, hair flower, headband or other adornment for your head that you love on Tuesday, April 1st.  Participation will be open for one week, or until Monday, April 7th.  Follow the directions HERE provided on Style Crone to post your photo and hope to see you there!


  1. Oh my. What a stunning piece! That hat is gorgeous too. All together it is quite dramatic.

    All of your outfits seem to tell a story.



  2. I love your statement: “My rule of thumb has been that if a piece can be worn once in 20 years, it’s a keeper.” Most people today are saying if you have not worn something in the last year to get rid of it. I just cannot abide with that approach to the garments I put so much care into selecting and preserving. I love your playfulness with clothes and thank you for sharing your thought process on establishing your style whimsey.

  3. Why not showcase this beautiful piece, indeed? It’s just stunning, Judith. And I agree about going out to dinner: for me, the experience is every bit as valuable as the food. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xox.

  4. The cape is marvelous, but it’s that saucy hat that caught my eye, and adds such a perfect playful touch.

    I’m curious as to how you organize your incredible collection. Is it by color or period, or some other criteria?

  5. All this time, I thought it was just me who preferred to costume rather than dress for important occasions! I am delightee to learn that other well-dressed women obtain their best finds from resale and charity thrift stores. I’m looking forward to more inspiration from Style Crone!

  6. Everything is beautiful and the over all look is simply PERFECT.
    Love It!!! And Thank You for sharing your beautiful possessions and creative talents with the rest of us!

  7. What a glorious cape! I definitely think such a beauty deserves more frequent outings. The perfect choice of hat, of course, and the vivid red accents are gorgeous. Hope you enjoyed your evening out, Judith. xxx

  8. Your styling speaks to me Judith. I think it is what you have said here,” no time to hold back.” This statement rings so true with me right now also. You look beautiful, the kind of beauty that is the whole package!

    blue hue wonderland

  9. Oh SC what an incredible work of art you’re wearing here!! And with you enjoying a bit of a sunbathe, we get to see all those incredible details included on this amazing cape! Yes, time is of the essence, we never know when our time will come, so enjoy the beauty of dressing up! So happy that you buck Denver’s casual trend and I’ll bet the entire city thanks you for it too! xoxo

  10. I organize my collection by category, Pseu. For example, all of the coats are in one area. This helps me make decisions and simplifies my life. Thanks for the question!

  11. I so agree about holding onto our things, you never know when an opportunity to enjoy them again will appear. The detail on your cape
    is stunning as is your hat.

  12. Another WOW piece! In fact, that cape is a work of art. But it is almost upstaged by that beautiful reddish scarf – I can almost feel its silkiness looking at the photo.

  13. Hello Judith! I completely agree with you on dressing and dining. It’s one of my most favorite things in life. Love your splashes of color!

  14. That cape definitely needs to get out more – it is a stunning vintage piece, and you carry it off beautifully. I like your analogy of going out to dinner being like theatre. I feel that way about going out to any event – you have your role to play at the particular event, and I look forward to putting together the perfect costume, just like you. I’m sure your dinner companion was thrilled to be in the company of such a gorgeous woman 😉

  15. A really stunner, that one is. Almost unbelievable that an article of clothing can be so exquisite. And then you go and put it together with even more amazing pieces, each a knockout on its own, while elevating the whole ensemble to aesthetic sensory maximus. yeah, baby.

  16. Wow, how stunning! Your closet is clearly full of amazing pieces, so your 20 years rule of thumb makes perfect sense.

  17. LOVE your intensity! True joy. You’re honoring the folks who spent thousands of hours designing and building beautiful clothing. And you showed the servers, chefs, and restaurant owners that you were passionate about enjoying the evening and you chose to spend the evening at their establishment. That was a respectful and honoring act. Thank you!

  18. Spectacular cape, and just the thing for Dinner. The drama of a dinner I agree is so delightful, whether with company or alone. You look stunning. I wish I could hold onto things forever, but sadly I have had to sacrifice space for being able to live where I do. This is why I COUNT ON people like you to hang on to all the good stuff and keep it safe.

  19. Darling! You are so right about dining. It is a public experience, and you are part of the theatre. And how well you must have decorated the lucky establishment and how happy your companion diners must have been! You are your always beautiful self.
    When I was in Seattle, I did a series of paintings of restaurant tables from around the city. I photographed when the restaurants were closed, and focused on the light on the empty, waiting tables. It has always seemed that restaurant tables are special spaces, more or less private, little niches where very personal experiences occur, right in the public. Friends connect, lovers grow closer, families celebrate … all kinds of events. Engagements, birthdays, anniversaries or just the shedding of a difficult day. So glad you get this. I spend a LOT of my time at restaurant tables, on BOTH sides of the tablecloth. As it were.

  20. The cape is perfect for the occasion and the wearer: dramatic and lovely! And what a happy thought it is, knowing that this bit of textile design artistry is safe in your well curated closet!

    I purchased a 20s beaded cape at Thrifty Threads of Indianapolis for the winter season. The season was such that it wasn’t worn, but it has made a bright spot of glamour in a corner of my bedroom during the long winter night. Wearable art is art, after all.

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