Last year on my 40th birthday I wore a dress, high contrasting colours, heels and platinum jewelry. This year I’m wearing an outfit that’s almost the polar opposite: skinnies, lots of black, flats and gold jewelry. It’s my 41st birthday tomorrow, but Greg and I are celebrating tonight and this is my outfit. We’ll walk down to my favourite Japanese Restaurant “Nishino” on what will hopefully be a stunning Seattle evening.

I didn’t plan to wear an almost black ensemble, but this is how it took shape. My new Stuart Weitzman “Giveable” flats are a birthday present from Greg. They are hands down the most comfortable non-boot shoes in my wardrobe and I want to wear them all the time. They are very similar to a Chanel pair that was also in the running, but Mr. Weitzman can teach Mr. Lagerfeld a thing or two about how to make comfortable shoes!

You know how it is when you create an outfit around a pretty pair of new shoes. That’s precisely what happened here. Greg especially likes these two-toned flats with dressy black skinny trousers because of the Audrey Hepburn vibe that the combination invokes. I loved that idea too, so Gap’s Really Skinny Pants were my choice of bottom.

I wanted to wear something soft, neutral and breezy on top, which made this self-colour sheer polka dot blouse a good option. Thanks to good quality woven fabric, I’ve had this blouse for many years and it’s still going strong. The sheerness of the fabric breaks up the harshness of the black against my fair skin and adds much needed texture to the outfit.

The blouse is romantic and ruffle-y, so I like the idea of clean straight lines to tame the whimsy. My cropped tuxedo jacket did the trick. The shine of the tuxedo jacket adds a little textural interest too. I’ll take off the jacket when I’m seated in the restaurant. Although I’m over ruffles, I still enjoy wearing this blouse.

I chose my Chanel bag because I need a little Coco on the eve of my birthday, and because the gold chain strap functions like an accessory. It adds a high colour contrast to the black, which tickles my fancy. No pearls today, but instead, a Chanel vintage charm bracelet and gold watch that again adds life to the sea of black. I’m finishing off the look with Chanel “Fire” on my lips and a dashing date on my arm.

I seldom wear this much black in one outfit. But the gold, my hair, red lips and two-toned flats offer a satisfactory “pop of non-black”, so I still feel great in the look. This one is for Team Neutral, Team Flats, Team Skinnies and the Black Brigade. Greg bats for all of these Teams, and I am always delighted to be on his side.