The Golden Ratio of Grandma Fab

In my early collegic years, I circulated through a few wardrobe themes that ranged from the standard “Sexy Secretary” to the more obscure “Wealthy Widow.” These days, however, I abide by a term that I like to call “Grandma Fab.”

There’s an odd cohesion between being both grandmotherly and fabulous. This juxtaposition of extremes narrows down into a spectacular, dazzling point of wool and embroidery and gold. However, too much frumpy or an over abundance of glitz could tip the scales in unfavorable ways. This is why I’ve measured out a golden ratio with which to concoct the perfect GramFab outfit.

I split a standard outfit into five parts:
1) Top
2) Bottom
3) Outerwear (jacket, cardigan, sweatshirt etc).
4) Shoes
5) Accessories (hats, jewelry, bags, scarves)

The ideal balance would be 2:2:1, and by this I mean, 2 parts granny matched by 2 parts normal and 1 part sex.

“Sex” is a very loose term (see what I did there), though it’s required only to represent the other extreme. Mathematically, there should always be more grandma than sex, though a nice sheer shirt or deep V-neck will help to keep things alluring.

In the following photos, Grandma is represented by my vintage wool, beaded cardi (a big favorite of mine) and accessories. I usually wear glasses with gold frames and croakies, which brings the theme home, but alas, the giant geometric ring and tin parrot pin will have to represent.

The “sex” here is slightly underrepresented by the black suede heels and cutouts in the blouse. I usually like to get a bit more suggestive with a sheer shirt, but if you’re the kind of person who’s not sure if you can pull off transparent clothing without looking like a hoe, well, then have I got advice for you.

I want to send my greatest thanks to Anthony Nguyen for being up to the impromptu task of this photoshoot. Mai and I ran into him in a random alleyway while he was questing to photograph some other graffiti murals that were adjacent to where we were.  Since his equipment trumped our iPhone camera, we took it as a serendipitous moment and made the most of the coincidence. Go ahead and check his stuff out as he’s been making it into numerous local magazines as of late.

Photos of the photo shoot, courtesy of Mai


In the meantime, what are some key grandma pieces that you love?
Or are there any other golden ratios that you like to dress by?