Hi Fabbers,

This post ties together a few of Angie`s ensembles, color combos, and just general tips on brightness and shine from recent months. Attached are photos of a second recent evening event—a charity benefit with a wide range of formal-to-smart dress options. I chose last season`s Boden portrait collar dress in burgundy (they may have called it wine or something similar, but honestly, it`s more like raison—on the brown or warm side of purple). I wore it back in November with opaque wine tights and high-heeled wine ankle booties, but the effect was just too dark all over. You couldn`t tell where the dress ended and my legs (or face) began. Some columns are just too much of a good thing, I guess.

This time, I lightened up the look with regular suntan hose and cognac leather pumps. I brightened the neckline with a pile of pearls and some shine via gold hardware. The cork and gold box clutch added another pop of brightness. I would never have thought to put together brown and red tones except for Angie`s two posts this fall and winter of (variously) mixing cinnamon, red, burgundy, cognanc, and pumpkin.

Given the number of traditional elements: hourglass silhouette, pencil skirt, portrait collar, pearls, pumps, box clutch—is this modern retro or dowager chic? First pic is front view with clutch; second pic is back view with pumps. Comments welcome!