I hadn’t planned on purchasing a party dress for our fancy holiday dinner at The Georgian in Seattle. I normally prefer to wear party separates because they’re more versatile and keep me covered and warm. But after struggling to find the right combination of separates, I decided to go in a completely different direction and things worked out even better than I had planned.
I began the process of putting together my annual party outfit by looking for a festive sleeved pullover to pair with my black, knee-length silk harem pants. But nothing worked to my satisfaction because I was trying to create a Winter look with a Summery pair of bottoms. Lesson learned. Next I tried combining a few festive floral pullovers with dressy flared black trousers, an oversized bow belt and gold shoes. I liked the combination, but it seemed too casual for our fancy bash. I didn’t want to wear a skirt like I did last year, and I didn’t want to wear anything in my closet that was dark from head to toe. Now what. I was stuck and running out of time.
So on a whim and with a very strict checklist in my head of what I did not want to wear, I hit the dress department. Anything that was black, body con, sleeveless, flimsy, skimpy, low-cut, too short, a classic fitted sheath, or needed to be altered to fit, would not do. To my amazement, the second dress I tried on hit it out of the park.
Tadashi Shoji’s Lace Overlay Dress is a perfect fit in many ways. I was drawn to the ink blue and nude lace overlay right away because I love lace. I also fell in love with the Retro Classic integrity of the style. It has a high longevity factor, and will be appropriate for all sorts of dressy occasions. It has sleeves, a high neckline and covers my knees. BRILLIANT.
But the best part about the frock is its flounce. I LOVE the romantic tiered hem of the dress. The see-through panels are cheeky and fun, and ever so slightly alluring. The fit-and-flare silhouette seems fresh amidst a sea of fitted sheaths, and swooshes when I stride. And skirt swooshing always makes me happy.
It may look like I need a special bra to wear with the transparent part of the frock up top. But I’m wearing a regular black bra and strappy camisole. And although you can see the straps, they blend in with the pattern of the lace so it’s not noticeable at all.
Once I had the dress, everything fell into place. I shopped my closet for the rest of the outfit and was sorted in two ticks. I combined the frock with Calvin Klein’s Baisha Crackled Metallic Pumps that I wore for last year’s holiday outfit, and a pair of simple sheer black hose that would not compete with the pattern of the lace.
I finished off the look with a fairly casual gold bag, Fossil’s Erin Foldover Clutch, because I liked the juxtaposition against the formality of the lace. I topped the whole lot off with my old tomato red coat instead of my trendy shocking pink man coat because my in-house fashion stylist Greg preferred the classic dress with the classic coat. My specs, watch and wedding ring are all I need in the jewellery department. A festive red lip was in order too.
I am extremely happy with my new Retro Classic frock. It’s now my favourite dress in my closet. I make no apologies for having a soft spot for the classics because they can outshine trends, and never let me down. I had planned to wear a more trendy holiday outfit, but as it turns out, this was absolutely meant to be. Sometimes items choose us and not the other way round.