At the Frick

By Miriam Silverberg
Miriam Silverberg
Miriam Silverberg
November 17, 2014 Updated: November 17, 2014

If you have any interest in art, you must visit the Frick Collection in Manhattan where they are showing some marvelous El Grecos and a collection of paintings on loan from the Scottish National Gallery. I am very interested in art, and of course I am passionate about fashion, so when I was invited to their press preview, I also looked at what the women were wearing at the event.

I noticed two women. One was a curator. She was an older woman with beautiful white hair, wearing a black pencil skirt, a white button-down shirt, a knitted gray and black long jacket and a red scarf. She looked chic and pulled-together. There was a journalist who also looked lovely in black pants, a black sweater, and a coral cardigan set off with coral necklaces and bracelet. Out of a group of about 50 women, they were the only two who looked stylish.

It occurred to me that few women dress up when going to a museum or art gallery. By “dress up,” I don’t mean high heels and a cocktail dress. You can dress casually but with care. I got a few compliments on my outfit—a yellow sweater and yellow cotton Chinese shoes with jeans. My jewelry consisted of a thin gold chain doubled around my neck, a pin in the shape of a colorful bird, earrings dating from the 1930s (they looked vintage) and bracelets in addition to my watch. I also wore a rather unusual belt. But I had put my outfit together with care and it showed.

Sadly, so few women put any thought at all into how they dress and look as though they got dressed by running through their closets blindfolded or fleeing a burning building.

One journalist asked me in annoyance how I could look so put-together so early in the morning. I told her I have a secret—I put out my clothes the night before so there are no decisions to be made in the morning. Also, I was one of the few whose hair was styled and, you guessed it, I wore makeup. Most women didn’t bother that early in the morning.

The reason you should dress nicely when visiting a museum is because you are visiting a place of beauty and sophistication. There are many portraits of beautiful women and men wearing exquisite clothes. Do you really want to stick out in such stark comparison for being devoid of all style?

If you are dressed well, you feel good about yourself and are in a receptive mood to become inspired by the beautiful dresses you see in the paintings. It is no wonder that many fashion designers seek inspiration in museums and galleries.

So, spend an afternoon at the Frick; relax, enjoy the paintings and you may even find some fashion inspiration.

Miriam Silverberg is a freelance journalist and owner of Miriam Silverberg Associates, a boutique publicity firm in Manhattan. She may be reached at

(Stylish heels photo via Shutterstock)