I turn 46 tomorrow and feel fabulously blessed. I am healthier and happier than I have ever been, laugh many times a day, and make a point of thoroughly enjoying the miraculous journey that is my life.  

Every year, my in-house fashion stylist Greg takes me shopping a week before my birthday. The day itself is as much of a gift as the exquisite items that follow me home. Hubby Greg has impeccable taste and I trust him implicitly. Because I’m a sentimental person, the items that come home with me on this day hold an extra special meaning in my heart. I feel utterly spoiled and celebrated — it’s no wonder that it’s one of my favourite days of the year.

On the car ride out to Neiman Marcus, Greg asked me what I wanted to shop for. I said I was open to most things and might explore a graphic direction if I can keep the vibe soft. I then prefaced my reply with a list of looks that I did not want to come home with. No formal items unless they can be dressed down. No black from head to toe. Nothing hard-edged, overly breezy and casual, or sleeveless. And no jeans. Above all, the items that would earn a place in my wardrobe had to be pretty and Modern Retro.

Birthday Dress

Birthday Dress - Close

One of the first items we were drawn to on our shopping day was a short-sleeved Elie Tahari lace dress in tonal shades of blue. It was the only one like it left on the sales rack, and it happened to be in my size. It was also a lot more marked down in store than it is online. It fit perfectly, the colours were gorgeous, and Greg was smitten. He said, this is it. Nothing is going to beat this dress for your birthday outfit. I was equally smitten, and could see the frock with chunky pearls and heels in my mind. 

Birthday Dress - Closer

Birthday Dress - Bag

But for a brief moment I hesitated — because I’ve collected quite a few lace dresses over the last few years. Greg said, so what! It’s your look. And you wear them. 

Right there and then, I learned that lace dresses are a signature item for my style. Their retro integrity gives them a high longevity factor, and I have always loved lace. I do wear them dressed down with a denim jacket when I work with clients, and am comfortable wearing them out for dinner too. Life is too short to not wear the things that make you happy. 

Birthday Dress - Corner

I absolutely LOVE this dress, and it couldn’t be more perfect as far as Summer lace dresses go. The soft to the touch and tonal blue lace is unique, the mesh inserts add textural interest, and the sleeves are a fab tailored fit. The length of the dress is lovely, and the way the dress is finished on the inside is sublime. Beautifully bound seams and impeccable stitching. I can wear a regular black bra underneath because the straps simply become part of the lace design. My favourite part is how the lace edging on the neckline, sleeves and hem scallop allow skin to peek through the holes. Covered yet alluring, and awfully pretty. My next favourite part is the A-line silhouette with ultra defined waist. It’s traditionally flattering, very comfortable, and ever so slightly playful. 

Birthday Dress - Bag

I went with futuristic silver ankle strap pumps and clutch to create a little juxtaposition against the classic integrity of the dress. I loved the dress with white ankle strap pumps and bag, but my in-house fashion stylist preferred the silver, so I’m sticking with that for my birthday. Chunky pearls effectively fill the space between the base of my neck and the edge of the lace. Specs, watch and wedding ring finish off the look. 

The frock looks its best worn on its own because it showcases the lace detailing and A-line silhouette. But when I need a jacket for air conditioning, I can pop over a short black tuxedo jacket or a cropped denim jacket. I can also throw on a trench coat when it’s colder. 

Birthday Dress - Jacket

Birthday Dress - Jacket

Birthday Dress - Jacket

I’ll be wearing some of the more casual wardrobe items that I got for my birthday throughout the weekend. I requested cake for breakfast at Belle Epicurean, Greg has fun stuff planned with our doggie Sam during the day, and we’ll be going to Nishino, my favorite restaurant in Seattle, for dinner. I’ll be wearing this exact outfit for birthday dinner at Nishino, and combining it with a denim jacket and white shoes and bag when I shop the NAS preselections with clients next week. I feel glorious in my birthday dress!

Birthday Dress - Flowers