So, Diana’s post about cruise party dress code got me thinking about toppers for events this time of year, which often take place outdoors and a require an outfit that can transition from a hot sunny afternoon to a chilly evening. I recall a few months ago Astrid was considering bringing a denim jacket to a friend’s wedding and received very mixed responses as to whether that would be appropriate.

I realize that a lot of occasion wear looks better without a topper, but in light of the fact that a lot of warm-weather events take place outside, I’m wondering what people's strategies and preferences are for toppers for dressier events. I tend to like a fair amount of structure to my toppers -- denim jackets, motos, blazers -- but none of these read as festive/dressy. I’m not much of a cardigan person, and I feel that most of them look either too loungewear or too librarian to take to a wedding or similar. I realize many folks would opt for a pashmina/wrap type thing, but I doubt that would work for me because a) I like to be hands-free (no clutches either, sorry) and b) I run cold and I almost always need something that actually covers my arms if I’m outside at night. What does that leave? Silky bombers? Kimonos? I have trouble picturing myself in a kimono.

I don’t have a specific event or outfit in mind here, I’m just pondering based on past experience. Most of my friends/family have opted for outdoor weddings, showers, anniversaries, memorials, etc. Think vineyard, orchard, lakeshore, mountain cabin, etc. True formalwear is never required, but sometimes something a notch up from a denim jacket is called for. Other times there will be people walking around in Patagonia fleeces and you wonder why you bothered planning an outfit at all! In the past, I used to default to a lightweight mixed-media cardi with metallic threads, but it is long gone. It was very packable/stashable and did not wrinkle, was easy to drape over a chair or over an arm (duster length does not appeal to me -- too much fabric for something you want to be able to take on and off easily). Am I asking the impossible here? Is there some mysterious category of blazers-that-don’t-look-officey that I’ve been missing out on? Advice please. Finds and outfit pics most welcome.