My holiday outfit this year is not at all what I had planned. I had my heart set on a dressy trouser suit with gold boots and a pile of pearls, and did not want to purchase another dress. That way I could remix the separates with denim after the holiday season, and get more wear out of them. 

I tried on several trouser suits and although they looked ok, they just didn’t feel right for this leg of my style journey. After a little soul searching, I realized that I was trying to force something overly Tomboy into my style persona for the dressy occasion. So I abandoned the trouser suit idea and began trying on party frocks. Instantly, that felt dead right, and in two ticks I had three to choose from. The more versatile choice is not a good one if it doesn’t make you feel your best. That’s why I can’t stress this enough – pay attention to the way you FEEL in an outfit. It’s your best route to a happy and manageable style. 

Coat Open

Coat Draped

I was surprised to end up with a LBD, since I’m more of a little blue or red dress type of gal. But there’s something magical about white pearls against a black backdrop, which is why I chose Ann Taylor’s shift in black and not red. I love its Mod ‘60s vibe, A-line silhouette, high neckline, and pretty fluted sleeves. The fabric is substantial and stretchy, and therefore very comfortable. I’m wearing it looser than on the model because I think that’s better suited to the Mod style. Sizing up gave me a little more length on the dress, which is on the short side for me as it is. But the A-line silhouette and hosiery offset the shorter length, making all the difference. 

Coat Draped

My new chartreuse tie-neck coat from London is a no-brainer to wear over this dress. It brightens the black and makes the outfit more cheerful (it looks a little less yellow in person than it does in the pictures). Its ‘60s vibe complements the frock and as luck would have it, the length is right too.

I LOVE this coat. The colour launches me into orbit, and the boiled wool doesn’t crease. The cocoon silhouette fits over bulky knitwear, and it’s a whole lot warmer than I thought it would be. The turn-back cuffs are delightful, and the tie at the neck adds a lovely ladylike touch. It looks good open and closed, and can be dressed up and down. Very versatile. And it has a high longevity factor because of its Retro sensibility. It became an instant wardrobe workhorse, and couldn’t be more perfect for our gloomy Seattle weather.

Dress Clutch

Dress Close

I finished off the outfit with last season’s rose gold T-strap pumps, and multiple accessories. I layered two pearl necklaces over the dress to create a pile of pearls. Sheer black hose creates a softer, dressier and prettier effect to my eye, which is why I don’t wear black opaque tights. A rose gold clutch matches the pumps and pulls the outfit together. My watch, wedding ring and green specs accompany every outfit, and red lippie adds festive cheer. 

Coat Back

Coat Closed

I’m back to sporting a classic polished pixie with wispy fringe that I can also wear away from my face. I had two years of fun growing my hair into several short hairstyles, and wore it spiked for a couple of years before that. A few weeks ago, I longed for a simpler ‘do as my style became more maximal. This is exactly where I want to be with my hair and I’m looking forward to sporting the style for a while. 

I’ll be wearing this outfit to an event on 16 December and to a Christmas Eve dinner at Nishino (my favourite Japanese restaurant). Our other holiday bashes are a lot more casual, and I’ll probably bling up jeans for those occasions, or wear a sweater dress with tall boots.


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