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.

Holiday Party Dress

Holiday Party Dress

Holiday Party Dress

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.

Holiday Party Dress under Lights

Holiday Party - 512 Bus

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.

Holiday Party Dress - Side

Holiday Party - The Georgian

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.

Holiday Party - Coat

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. 

Holiday Party - Coat

Holiday Party - Coat

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.

Holiday Party - Third Avenue

The items: