Welcome to the 12 Days of Holiday Parties outfit series! I'll be posting a different outfit every day until New Year's Eve so whether you need a ensemble for a New Year's Eve out on the town or a low-key, but stylish look for a Boxing Day cookie exchange, check back here for daily inspiration.
I layered a teal silk shell underneath a teal cardigan with navy blue polka dots. This was paired back to dark wash bootcut denim and accessorized with black ankle boots and a gold and pearl necklace. If snow on the ground is not a problem for you, swap out the ankle boots for your favorite pair of flats.
Where to wear it:
To a neighbor's holiday open house, to meet up with a friend for happy hour at the local wine bar, or any other afternoon events with a casual dress code.
Why it works:
It upgrades the casual uniform of jeans and a tee so that you look like you care about the event you are going to. A dark wash makes denim feel dressier without reaching the formality of a trouser and a silk shell is an easy, but nicer looking alternative to a tee. Layering a patterned cardigan over silk shells keeps the look fun and fresh and a necklace adds some festive sparkle.
Every season I find myself wearing a single item over and over. Usually it is something old that I rediscovered in the back of my closet and then couldn't believe I had ever forgotten. This season I have been all about the down vest. During late fall I ignored my lightweight coat in favor of tweed blazer layered with my dark red down vest and even now that the temperatures require a heavy outer layer with sleeves, I still look for excuses to wear it. Although I have been trying hard to rein in my obsession, it is almost impossible because this season has the cutest down vests for sale. Here are my favorite options in bright colors, bold patterns, and interesting quilted designs. All of the images are clickable and link back to the product details.
Here are my favorite ways to style a down vest:
1. I love to dress down a tweed blazer with a down vest. Pair a long sleeve tee under your tweed blazer, add a patterned scarf and then layer on a down vest. You get lots of color and texture because scarf shows at the neck and the tweed is visible on the arms, but this looks weekend-casual instead of business-casual. Throw on a pair of jeans and your favorite boots and you are ready to run out the door!
2. Do you have a long, tunic style top that sometimes feels a little frumpy? Pair with a slim leg pant and add a down vest to add definition through your torso. It may seem counter intuitive to add a puffy vest over an unstructured top, but the difference in color and pattern sets apart your arms from your body (which can blend together in an over-sized top) and helps to create a flattering shape.
3. If you took my advice in my last post, you have already dug around in your closet and found a long sleeve knit dress as your winter alternative to sweatpants. I suggested pairing it with a pair of leggings and a cute scarf for warmth. If you want another layer to keep you toasty or just want to look a little less dressy while you are puttering around the house, throw on a down vest. It is a great casual alternative to a cardigan and has the added bonus of pockets!
Temperatures have dropped, snow is on the ground and winter break is almost here. Whether you are enjoying a snow day or just a casual day at home, these are my favorite pieces for looking chic and staying warm.
It may be tempting to let your winter coat hide a sloppy outfit when you run out to do last minute errands in the snow and slush, but it only takes a minute longer to put together a look that you won't be afraid to show off when you take off your outer layers.
Last week I came across this article about how workout wear has been gaining traction as everyday wear in New York City. I have previously voiced my displeasure about this growing fad, so with a new season upon us it is the perfect time for a quick refresh on styles and fabrics that are comfortable and chic alternatives to your gym clothes.
Like most (dare I say all?) of us, I have a few beloved graphic tees in my closet that are far from being the most stylish pieces in my wardrobe. But paired with the right combination, you can wear than casually in a way that says chic instead of sloppy. Most importantly, you need to choose a graphic tee that is versatile. Ideally that will be one that is mostly image with little to no text. Although that probably excludes the tee from the 5k run you did last weekend, there are options at Threadless, J. Crew, and at many local boutiques.
The easiest step you can take to avoid looking like a slob in a graphic tee is to tuck it into a pair of dark wash jeans (or in the case of these photos, a dark wash jean skirt) and add a belt. As we move into fall, you can also try pairing your tees with colored corduroys and chinos. Slip into a pair of ballet flats and you're ready to leave the house.
If you're not a fan of silk-screened graphic tees, you can apply these same principles to patterned knits and blouses. Just because a shirt already has a design on it, doesn't mean that you don't have to style it. So take a look through your closet and see what fun graphic tees have been relegated to the bottom of the pile. But remember, if you've worn it for home improvement projects, you probably shouldn't try to salvage it!