Thursday, January 02, 2014

More "Dressing Up" A Simple Dress

I had a few more variations of this floating around my computer, so for those of us who continue to party through the 12 days of Christmas, here are a few more suggestions!

This first look is low-key dressy, with a hint of sparkly cardigan, some serious silver earrings, a wee silver bag and a hint of silver trimming the shoes.  All the accessories come from the same general family without being too matchy matchy.

The 2nd ensemble features a wonderful ornamented cardigan, so I kept the earrings small, the cross-body bag a bit lacy, and the slingbacks (low-heeled, thank you!) have that touch of white that echoes the pearls. 

Silver earrings – Oscar Figueroa, dress – Acne, sequined cardigan – Armani
 Collezioni, silver cross-body bag – Elizabeth and James, suede and leather
 pumps – Pierre Hardy, white beaded cardigan – Moschino Cheap and Chic,  
pearl flower earrings - Bhavesh, embossed clutch bag – MeDusa,  
slingbacks Miu Miu

Sequins always make a major statement, so I didn't incorporate any more sparkle.  The earrings move and dance, the bag has hints of silver hidden behind the weave, and the woven shoes (low-heeled again) echo the weave idea.  

The last ensemble is a DEFINITE statement of evening!  Feathers make anything black-tie worthy.  The earrings sway and sparkle, the wee clutch bag is affordably gorgeous, and silver cap toes on your sensible pumps elevate the usual classic.

Labradorite earrings – Julie Tuton Jewelry, silver beaded cardigan – Religion,
 woven clutch – Poupee Couture,  woven sling-backs – Dolce and Gabbana,
 feather cuffed cardigan – Louis Feraud, chandelier earrings – Alexis Bittar, 
 silver minaudierGlint, silver trimmed pumps – Miu Miu


  1. Thank you for these two posts Janice. As I told you by email, I find myself going to black tie events from time to time and absolutely do not want to shop for an expensive dress which will be seldom worn. For the event I am attending in February, I may have to purchase some new shoes (my old black tie standbys were just too dated). As I mentioned, I'll be wearing a black dress with feathers at the neckline. I do have some dangling sparkly earrings that are among my favorite pieces of jewelry.

  2. I want to make one additional comment. I think all these ensembles are very lovely, but they are still on the less dressy end of the black tie ensembles I see at events I attend (that are stated as being black tie--which means men wear tuxes). At the event I am going to attend in February, there will be many (young) women in strapless full length gowns or short little dresses with lots of zip. My general idea is to be appropriate, but not stand out in any way. My dress with feathers will be much less dressy than most at the event. By the way, I don't seek out this kind of occasion. This is business related for my husband and is a must attend.

  3. I love beaded cardigans and just want to add that you can assemble quite a collection if you visit thrift stores. Also, I lived for many years in Washington, D.C. and attended countless black tie events. The only such events where these outfits would not have been appropriate would have been the inaugural balls. But if you're going to them (and some were white tie optional) you are surely going to buy (or make, as I did) an appropriate gown. I wore a full length satin skirt and lace jacket/blouse to one, a strapless silver lame gown to the other (Reagan years).

  4. Thank you for the inspiration. This post just made me realize that I should shop my closet for a wedding coming up next week. I just might pull out the St. John's jacket from a suit that my MIL gave me years ago and see how it looks with my basic black dress. It might just add the bit of bling needed.

  5. Fantastic! I am particularly smitten with the beaded cardigan. It could as easily be worn with a leather pencil skirt or velvet slacks as the dress. What fun!

  6. I love these posts, have read them many times. When our son asked his true love to marry him a few months ago, I read the posts again. In two weeks, we travel to NY for the wedding and associated festivities so I've been on the hunt for a perfect beaded cardigan. Tonight, I snagged a gorgeous sparkly specimen adorned with pearls, similar to Exhibit #2 - on Ebay!! For peanuts (I know, I'm not supposed to admit it but I would have paid a good deal more).

    Thank you Janice. You continue to educate and inspire and I'm very grateful.