I turn 42 today and I’m celebrating with two extraordinary, one-of-a-kind gentlemen who mean more to me than they could possibly imagine. I feel blessed, loved and very grateful. What more could a gal ask for. 

Well. Like most, I enjoy and appreciate a pretty present too. Who doesn’t! The two special men in my life went to town spoiling me rotten this year and I’m still recovering from their generosity. A lace blouse from my dear Papa and a skirt from Valentino’s RED prêt-à-porter line from Greg. WOW. 

Both retro girly items are right up my alley because they’re classic investment pieces that will stand the test of time. Dress them up or down, mix and match them with denim and edge, wear them in fun ways, in lady-like ways, in strict ways, or with a menswear inspired support act. The more I think about these pieces the more possibilities I see before me. They are going to provide years of outfit fun and are truly gifts that will keep on giving. 

I have a thing for lace, which is why it was love at first sight when I saw this blouse. Its tailored yet boxy silhouette, sleeve length and cropped look were just what I was looking for. And the scalloped edges on the neckline and hems are a pretty finishing touch. I like how the blouse hangs away from the torso, but that the camisole underneath is contoured and shaped. Great drape and juxtaposition. 

I was unsure about the skirt when it caught my attention from the hanger. Then Greg, who was birthday shopping with me, looked my way and said, “That’s very pretty. You should try it on”. So I did. And I couldn’t stop twirling around in the dressing room because the skirt moves with a mind of its own. The swingy inset godets make me so happy! They flap and flirt as you stride and for that reason alone it’s a fun skirt to wear. As soon as Greg saw my reaction he said: “That’s very, very nice. Right. You love that skirt. We’re definitely getting that one”. 

I combined the two birthday items into one outfit because they’re retro, romantic and lady like. Their fitted yet loose silhouettes speak to me, which is a theme in most of my outfits these days. I originally wore my red stacked high heels with the outfit, but Greg preferred the dainty two toned wedges from Japan. So that was that. Good thing I have an in-house fashion stylist to advise me when I’m unsure about my footwear pairings.  

I finished off the look with long knotted vintage pearls to showcase the scalloped neckline, an old red retro clutch, silver watch, red lips and cats-eye specs. I’d have left off the necklace if I’d worn a belt or non-black bottoms. But the all black outfit required softening, which made pearls an obvious choice. 

My soft, minimal, somewhat masculine and covered look for Summer is being augmented with a bit of retro romance and leg exposure. I’ll aways be a Chanel and Valentino gal at heart, so this outfit, with its oozing classic vibe, just feels right. 

Big thank you to Greg, Papa, Rosie (and Jasmine who is always in my heart), for making today extra special. I will think of you even more each time I wear these luxurious and beautiful wardrobe pieces. I am a very lucky lace and Valentino lady.