After having to scramble to find a wedding guest dress for New Zealand last month when the weather was a little cooler than expected (thanks brick-and-mortar Nordstrom for saving the day!), I've been keeping Angie's advice about buying dressier items when you see them on the front burner.

I'm also in a bit of a sweet spot wardrobe-planning-wise since I'm fresh off of a (coolish) summer-season holiday and deep in (warmish) winter at home, so I have a real sense of what is working for me at all temperatures.

To the wedding, I ended up wearing the bright Farm Rio dress with the Tory Burch heeled sandals, and felt fabulous. It's more color than I'm used to, which was a great change and very appropriate for the beachy setting. As my body has changed in the very earliest stage of perimenopause, I find I like to show my arms and back less but am loving putting my legs on display. (All that running is paying off!)

I wore the navy Veronica Beard dress to both the rehearsal party and on New Years eve. I can throw a chore jacket over to dress it down, and it's become a real favorite.

Meanwhile, following Angie's advice, I ended up keeping a Kay Unger dress that I'd purchased as an alternate for the wedding but didn't end up packing. Normally, I would have returned it since it was no longer a need, but I really do like it on me, so next time I have a dressy event that calls for something elegant, it will be there. (Note on the neckline: when I bought it, the keyhole was unfastened so it is an open neck on me, which I prefer.)

Back in the States now, I've been doing just a little bit of post-holiday sale shopping with this in mind, and added another pair of embellished Tory Burch sandals (always a little pricey, but this brand fits my feet really well and I can't get over the tortoise and rhinestone on these!), a non-black "dressy top" in silk from Rebecca Taylor (something that has long been on my wish list and it's prettier in person than in the photo, imho), a Reformation-style midi dress from Caara, and a faux fur clutch.

Seasonally confused, for sure, but I hope these will be pieces that I can reach for in the future when I want to look smart! They are all ones I would have passed one normally, even though they really appealed to me, because they are not right for my everyday wardrobe and not "needs."

Only time will tell if the strategy worked, but my hunch is that Angie's knows what she's talking about!

Has anyone else taken this on?

PS: New Zealand was absolutely gorgeous. So jealous of fabbers like Sal and Jenni who get to be there full time.