I have a few things to share with you all, and some questions.

First, what to wear to a family gathering. . . .In a few weeks, I'll be going to my dad's 90th birthday party! It will be just family, a casual dinner; men will wear open collars and sport coats, women will be in casual dresses or nice pants. (My mom will wear pants, a top, a necklace and earrings, I'm pretty sure.) We will have photos taken before the dinner, so whatever I wear will be recorded for posterity! I want to wear something that will photograph well and that will not draw undue attention to me.
Option 1 (I'm leaning toward this one): a feminine shirt dress with short slightly puffed sleeves, in wine and olive cross-weave cotton voile (Judy Tampa). Photos 1 and 2 show it with nude ankle-strap pumps (AGL) and an olive airy linen knit poncho (Eileen Fisher).
Photos 3 and 4 show different footwear options: gray/taupe ankle-wrap sandals (Trippen) and pewter cutout peep-toe booties (Paul Green).

Option 2: an arty teal knit dress with asymmetric hem, side drape, and long sleeves (made by me), shown in Photos 5 and 6. Here I'm wearing it with new dark pewter sandal-booties (Munro).

Option 3: a blue textured rayon A-line short-sleeved dress (made by me), shown in Photo 7 as I wore it last summer, with nude pumps (AGL) and clutch (J Crew).

Second, not an option for the party, but a new dress for your vote of keep or return: Olive, purple, ivory, navy, and bright coral/orange variegated stripe swing dress (Halogen), Photos 8-12. I bought it on a whim, and thinking that it might be a possibility for the birthday party. I feel for that event, though, it draws too much attention to me with its bright stripes. Anyway, I was trying on the long olive linen cardigan (Halogen), and the olive chinos (Caslon) shown in Finds, and the dress matched the cardigan so well, I decided to try it, too. I love the colors, and in fact, as you can see in these photos, it coordinates with a lot of my summer cardigans and footwear. It would be an easy piece to include in a travel capsule.

Third, a few other new things for fun.
1. I've mentioned the new summer booties above, shown in photos 5 and 6. They are a low enough heel that I can wear them for my walk/bus commute and work, so I think I'm going to keep them. Super comfy, and, I hope, stylish enough.
2. My new black Chelsea boots (Dune London, Peppie) (photo 13), from the lengthy search for black booties to replace my Munro Lexis. I wore them today, with gray print jeans (Bianca), gray, blue, white, and yellow blurry plaid t-shirt (Bianca), a(nother!) long linen knit cardigan, in chambray blue (Halogen). I am very, very happy with the new booties!

Thanks for reading! I'd be glad to hear what you think about the party-dress options and any thoughts you wish to share!

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