Let me start by saying "the" outfit was hard to construct. Finding the right balance between sophisticated, age-appropriate, hip, non-matronly - - you get my drift. No Kay Unger MOB suits here, please. Nor off-the-rack Tadashi portrait blouses and coordinates with square-toed sensible "cocktail" pumps. Ugh.
So what is a trendy age 54-I-can-out-treadmill-anyone-at-incline-of-25-for-45-mins. to do?
Looked at Saks. Scoured Neimans. More than once. Nordstrom was a disaster. All of their offerings were boring, overly beaded, over-exposed: same designs, different colors.
The Bride suggested J. Crew. I balked. Then I thought, "Good enough for Michelle Obama, good enough for me." Found a beautiful, contemporary tailored navy 120 wool sheath v-necked dress, the "Carlyle," flattering and a great blank canvas. Ordered it and then bought camel Christian Louboutin "Simple" pumps, which set the stage for the jewelry. Found Alexis Bittar's amazing show-stopping gold/amber 3" stone cuff and Anthony Nak's topaz/white crystal/yellow chandelier earrings and I'm set. Not a traditional MOB boring suit but I hope, a look with personality and enduring classicism.
The moral to this story is not to settle for the mundane. Trust your instincts. Tweek tradition. You (and your look and vibe) will be more interesting for it.