I left this to the last minute, as usual! I am going to my friend's annual Christmas Tea Party today and I'm stuck on what to wear. It's at her house - very casual - but she cooks for an entire week and really goes all out for this party (cakes, cookies, tea sandwiches, English trifle - all made by her. She used to a professional caterer and is an amazing cook/baker.) I'd like to acknowledge her effort by looking nice. I will see friends I only see once or twice a year - a very artsy, fun crowd (actors, writers.) I know that Smart Casual would be a no-brainer but I feel like doing something a little more fun, since these are friends and I will comfortable with them.

I am having trouble finding that sweet spot between "dressy" and "smart casual in a dress."

I only wear dresses or skirts with boots (because I don't like my huge calves) but I'm not happy with either of my boot choices. The flat riding boots are fun and funky, but I'm not sure they really work with the skirt (which is actually a dress.) On the other hand, the heeled boots are great, but I feel a tad too dressed up for a party at someone's house. (I've had no luck finding a more casual heeled boot to fit my calves.)

I like the belt - it has a fun buckle - but is it too much with a scarf? Is it better with just a necklace? Is the scarf too much with the wrap top? I threw on the denim jacket to try to funk it up a bit, but it seems off somehow. I have some other jackets that are a bit more tailored and might look too "businessy." I only have a black cardigan, which might be too much black? (I really need to find a jacket for this purpose!)

Or should I just default to Smart Casual with jeans?

(Please excuse the no-makeup and un=styled hair in most of the photos!) (And those are my new, red glasses!)

Thank you so much!

p/w = 2008ylf