Monday, November 16, 2015

Preparing for the "Festive Season"

Guess where I'm going to be next Thursday night!  Okay, don't guess - I'm going to this:

Woo hoo! A little Beaujolais Nouveau, some tasty morsels, and TISH, from "A Femme d'un Certain Age." Sounds like a great evening to me...

But, of course, what to wear? The dress code is "Elegant Business Attire", which for me means no gym clothes, and in Belovedest's office might mean that you wear socks. Or maybe that you showered within the past 2 weeks. Elegant is NOT something that's much associated with business attire, in my limited experience!

So I'm starting with a black dress - easy peasy. I have the dress on the right. I debated between the two - I admit that I adore the idea of a dress with pockets, like the one on the left. But I thought that the really simple lines of the 2nd one would be more versatile. Somehow, though, I can see the first one ALSO making its way into my closet...

Ponte sheath – Lands’ End; wool sheath – Lands’ End

And I'm just going to toss these two out for your consideration, if you're not in the sleeveless club. For what it's worth, Lands' End makes many of their dresses in Regular, Petite, and Plus sizes. Bless them for the Petites is all I'm saying.... 

Ponte dress – Lands’ End; bracelet sleeved dress – Lands’ End

Pockets.... I long for pockets...

So, now that I know I'll wear a dress (along with sheer black stockings), what do I do to be dressy but not outrageously over the top? A couple of pieces from an "Accessory Family" seems like an easy way to look pulled together and dressy, without a lot of fuss.

Please note that you don't (and physically couldn't) wear ALL of the accessories in any one family at one time - I show enough pieces to give you some options...

First off, I'm really fascinated by this scarf - the texture is PRINTED onto the fabric - not woven in! How clever is that? So pairing it with some sharp and modern-looking pieces felt natural.

Scarf – Ala Mairi; rectangle earrings – Astrid & Miyu; silver cuff – Dannijo
spike ring – Sonal Bhaskaran; triangle earrings – Alexa Leigh; onyx necklace – 
Kai Kittima; slingback pumps – Calvin Klein; t-strap pumps – Sole Society

Here again, I started with the scarf, and then built on the idea of woven gold. This attention to texture is something virtually nobody will notice, but you will have the satisfaction of seeing the harmony among your accessories (and your happiness is what's most important when you dress!).

Scarf – Missoni; chandelier earrings – Aurelie Bidermann; woven stud earrings
 – Vaubel; double wrap leather bracelet – CC Skye; clutch bag – Whiting & Davis;
 mesh pumps – Adrianna Papell; woven pumps – Jimmy Choo

I wouldn't be myself if I didn't consider red as an accessory story - it's always a favorite of mine! Be judicious with this one; it's possible to reach red overkill pretty easily. If you're feeling uncertain, take off a piece. (always good advice!) 

Scarf – Austin Reed; drop earrings – Juvi; stud earrings – Lagos; bracelet –  
Amrita Singh; clutch – Hobo; patent pumps – Trotters; suede pumps

Here's my real heart... This scarf just amazes me - knit, with pearls interspersed. I looked and looked and LOOKED for shoes trimmed in pearls that didn't have 5 inch heels... if you're a pearl person, and you find that kind of shoe, grab them and treat them with care, because they're rare! But in the absence of a pair of shoes that have the details you love, just wear something very neutral, of excellent quality.

And this bracelet just kills me...

Pearl and alpaca scarf – Norma Ishak; stud earrings – Indulgems; drop 
earrings – Vrba; clutch bag – Alice + Olivia; cuff bracelet – Miss Ellie; ring – 

Oh SO not me, but so incredibly fun! This again is a motif that you want to use judiciously, but it can be wonderful when worn with restraint. And note that the earrings are NOT leopard-printed (although such things exist); they echo the colors. Any earring with animal print that I saw looked oddly... as if... you were engaged in an illegal line of employment...

Scarf – Roberto Cavalli; pearl & black earrings – ABS; clutch – Menbur
crystal bracelet – Ciner; pumps – Sole Society; slingbacksCalvin Klein;
 tiger’s eye earrings – Adornia

We've had so much fun with pink recently! I knew when I saw this wrap that it was the start of something beautiful. Rose gold is very popular right now, and that makes finding jewelry pieces easier than ever.

Scarf – Faliero Sarti; line earrings – Alexis Bittar; cluster stud earrings – Anne 
Klein; cuff bracelet – Sonal Bhaskaran; pumps – Prada; hinged full-finger ring
 – Plukka; clutch – Lauren Cecchi

Why yes, this would work beautifully with a pair of dressy pants and a tunic...

And with a different neutral...

And with a different "Accessory Family" theme. Floral? Soft blue? Amethyst? etc. etc.


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  1. They are all gorgeous! Couldn't wear too much of any of them. Like a kid in a sweet shop. Carol S

  2. I would choose the gold version as I need to warm up the black next to my face. And I agree with the animal print... never, ever more than one piece. Enjoy the anticipation. :)

  3. From Margie in Toronto - these are all lovely and normally I'd be drawn to the red and/or the animal print groupings - but I just love that pink again. I'm looking for an outfit for an upcoming very dressy dinner (but not frou frou as it is an office affair) and I'm thinking black silk or velvet pants with a beautiful pink tunic! I need to find a new seamstress as having someone make the tunic for me would eliminate all the problems of finding exactly what I want!
    PS - I was at an Icelandic dinner last night (a promotion of Icelandair and the Icelandic tourist bureau) so a very similar evening to what you will be attending and it was wonderful to see that people had actually made an effort to "dress up"! Even though I love my jeans I also like to see that some effort has been made now and again.

  4. You must search so carefully! I have found one leopard accessory sufficient... Do like them all. Very clever. Chris from Australia. Keep heart ...

  5. Your selections are very elegant and timeless. I was wondering if "elegant business attire" is an attempt to steer ladies away from "hoochie" dresses that are so revealing that they are a distraction from the event. Also, I love Whiting & Davis. I own some pieces from the '20's , '30's and '50's. They even made a wallet that my mother carried in college in the 1950's. Enjoy your event!

  6. Have a wonderful time, and I'm so envious, would love to see Tish again.

  7. I understand that many women love pockets---in their dresses, in their pants. I dislike them intensely. Why? Because they usually stick out, look bulky, or otherwise make the whole garment unflattering. And WHY do women need pockets? Most of us carry handbags. I would welcome the comments of pocket lovers. I really do want to understand.

    1. Agree wholeheartedly on this, I myself am often wondering what I am missing on the pocket craze. They stick out for me as well, the pants I love most often don't have pockets or have very limited tapered ones,. Can't wear them myself in a dress, too much bulk where I dont' want any

    2. I can only speak for myself, but I wear jeans or pants with pockets 99% of the time and feel handicapped when I'm pocketless. I usually don't walk around with things in my pockets, but sometimes it's very handy. For example when it's that time of the month and you don't want to flag your business in the office restroom by bringing your handbag there. Or when you walk around with you mobile phone and all of a sudden need both hands. Or when you are at a party and all you really need is a lipstick and your creditcard, but you're stuck with a clutch that you don't know what to do with, neither at the dinner table, nor while dancing.

    3. One answer, really: my cell phone -- I keep track of my daily steps with it, take calls, and listen to an audiobook while doing mundane tasks -- and I don't want to have it in my purse for all those reasons.

    4. I have keys in the right pocket (sometimes tissues) and asthma inhaler in the left pocket (and these days mobile phone). Backpack on back with water bottle. Carol S

  8. I have the black ponte Lands End dress - the pockets are very discreet. It is an amazingly flattering and comfortable dress!

    1. I have it in the blue and it's my favorite dress! Fabric has enough body to skim without clinging and the stretch is a dream. Wish there were more colors!

    2. I had dress number one (the ponté) on today in navy, it takes off KILOS.
      Comfy, flattering, machine washable, non iron.
      Pockets great to clip a work pass to.
      Highly recommended! But the navy could be slightly darker- it isn't Uniqlo/J Crew/Falke true dark navy, it is closer to BR navy. Unmatched navies can look off, just like blacks, so be aware of this.
      The neckline matches Boden's cropped crew neck short sleeved cardigans exactly btw.

  9. Pockets on dresses. and tops, yes please always. They are especially important when I am standing around talking to people. It keeps my centred. Plus, they are easier than a purse to keep small things close like a handkerchief, tickets etc. Regarding the accessories for the black dress..I found for me that I prefer the interesting pink one. It is unexpected, flattering to the complexion and elegant.

    Deb from Vancouver

  10. I'm not so sure about the sheer black stockings with some of these shoes--especially the pink. Would you really do that?

  11. Ok, Thank you pocket lovers. I guess this is a situation where there are handbag carriers and those who prefer not to carry a handbag everywhere. Right now, I'm wearing a pair of very reasonably priced J Jill ponte knit pants and I am SO grateful for two things: first, there are no pockets, and second, they are LONG enough (J Jill makes a size Tall.)

  12. What wonderful the black T -strap pump. You'll have to let us know what you finally selected for yourself. Have fun.

  13. Oh you are going to have a lovely evening...dressed up in your LBD and fabulous accessories.
    I would LOVE to meet Tish!

  14. I like leopard print, especially in winter, but I'd draw the line at two accessories max. I've done the shoes and scarf before with a black bag and even then I felt like I was walking a fine line!

  15. Photographer Friend loves that textured red black and white scarf.

  16. I like the kitten heels on these shoes.

  17. Enjoy the event and please take pictures!

  18. Great accessory groups!! Can't wait to see what you settled on! Have fun!