Easy Holiday Dressing

If you own a small collection of classic pieces in solid neutral colors, you can put them to work for you in endless ways. Today, I am showing you various holiday looks using the same pieces I often wear with jeans or other casual looks all year round. Many of my basics are black, but navy, brown, camel, charcoal, or olive are lovely base colors.

Dressed for an evening at the Symphony.

The Ralph Lauren blazer above has satin lapels, making it easy to jazz up a bit with accessories. It has been in my wardrobe for at least three years. A similar blazer is $$$ here and $ here. The fabulous necklace is here. The chevron tights here and the decorative shoe clips here elevate my classic suede pumps here. The chevron tights are also lovely, paired with skirts and boots.

The black pants in these photos are here. The pants are excellent as basics because they have a plain elastic waist, are not too thick or bulky, and have straight legs. The rise to the top of the waistband is twelve inches. The inseam measures twenty-nine inches. I am wearing a size small. Pants with straight legs should be hemmed to the top of the foot and cover the ankle bones. The black sleeveless top is here. The side ruched red top below is here.

Perfect for entertaining at home.

A similar blazer is $$$ here, $ here, and $ here. Similar velvet loafers are $$$ here and $ here. My evening bag below is a few years old. Similar $$$ here and $ here.

Wear this to the office party after work.

The Liquid Leather moto-style jacket below is here. The bag is several years old. A similar one is $$$ here and $ here. The boots are here.

I will wear this when I get together with my women friends for holiday bubbly.

I thought it might also be helpful to see one of the looks worn with a coat. The coat is from a few years ago. Similar $$$ here and $ here.

I am thankful that this blog provides the opportunity to share what I have learned with you. I hope that our online friendship makes you feel elegant, beautiful, and appreciated because you are. I’ll be back on Monday with more tips, ideas, inspiration, and giveaways.

Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. All of these pieces are beautiful! The red top is stellar! I think each outfit is festive, and classy.
    Thank you Susan for your diligence, and suggestions, and links to the items you wear.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Another inspirational post. I appreciate the information on the proper length of the pants leg. With all the various of pants nowadays I am unsure what is suppose to hit where. Thank you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  3. I am trying to weed my closet. I have too, too, too many clothes I do not wear and do not need. If possible, could you write a blog about the clothing you have in your closet? A list type enclosure of number, color, and item would also be helpful.
    As I was watching the video of your closet set-up, I noticed your closet is not packed full of clothing. I would love to have just the items needed to dress in a classic style that I could change out …. to stop spending $$ on items I’ll never wear and purchase quality items to be worn in several ways.

    Thank you in advance ….. enjoying your blog and videos.

  4. Very beautiful, tasteful and appropriate outfits! Thanks also for including the inseam and rise on the pants when you can. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  5. Love the looks. I invested in two beautiful scarves, a red and blue & silver. I pair them with the outfits I have gleaned from your blog and voila, holiday ready.

  6. These are beautiful and appropriate outfits for many occasions. You look wonderful and very happy, Susan!
    With your help my closet is much more efficient but am struggling with one issue. I’ve eliminated items I didn’t like and didn’t fit properly but still have way too much. I’m finding it hard to eliminate further because I like ALL that’s remaining and it’s easy to make outfits. I know why I am in this situation lol, but do I just have to let time take it’s course (and of course curb shopping). I’m active in ways that require sporty, casual and more dressy items plus extreme temps and cold natured so use several layers in winter. And much prefer to do laundry once a week.
    I feel you’ve been in this exact situation, so maybe have suggestion I haven’t thought of to further eliminate.
    Thanks in advance for any advise! Thanksgiving Blessings to you and Mr Mickey.

  7. What, no Christmas sweater with a big Santa or a wreath???? Aren’t you Southern? (Just kidding. Have a happy Thanksgiving.)

  8. Thank you for all your efforts to help women you have never even met.!

    Happy Thanksgiving. Blessings to you and Mr. M!

  9. I love all the different way you were able to change your outfits. You look great as usually and I think it’s time to buy myself a Moto jacket.
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving Susan!!

  10. Hi, Susan, Happy Thanksgiving! You describe the “rise” of these pants as 12 inches. In response to a question on FB, you replied that a high rise would be 10 inches. If so, what is a 12 inch rise called if not high? Sorry if I misunderstood something, but I am tall and have always wondered. Thank you!

    1. Highrise, mid-rise, and low-rise are terms often used for jeans. Unstructured or dress slacks often sit higher or at the natural waistline. Always check the measurements sometimes given on websites to make sure the pants you are considering will work for you.

  11. I love it when you show us details like the shoe clips and tights. Little details do make a difference in upgrading a basic outfit to holiday pretty. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  12. Your outfits always look so classy and elegant. Everyone likes your look because they post pictures of you on their blogs. You are becoming famous.

    1. Thank you! I hope that my examples are used to help people save money by creating wardrobes they love and outfits that make them feel confident. It took me too long to learn these things, but now I’m happy to share.

  13. Love all your different looks. Love the red long sleeve top! One question you may have answered in the past: do you have a particular length on your pants that work with most of your shoes? Thanks!

    1. The most versatile length for me in straight-leg pants and jeans is twenty-nine inches. I try not to let my pants puddle on the top of the foot at any time. That always looks bulky and messy.

  14. Thank you for sharing the less expensive options to attain the look you are wearing for those of us who are on a limited budget.

  15. Love the coat… I’m really striving for more classic styles. I love the idea of just knowing what to wear at a moment’s notice. I seem to stand in front of my closet more than I prefer lately. I think part of it is finding pieces I love, truly, but then I’m not sure how or what to wear them with (usually it is a shoe problem – ha)

  16. could you please tell me what size motto jacket you wear? I wear a small in the clara sunwoo brand but have never ordered any jackets from that brand. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving, we have much to give thanks for.

  17. I was so excited to open this when I saw it was about “dressing” on Thanksgiving! Wrong kind of dressing, Lol!! I thought it was going to be a recipe for stuffing! Love your style, black slacks are my go to also! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  18. Happy Thanksgiving Susan. I’m pausing to give thanks for you and your wonderful blog. You inspire and encourage me every day to look my best.

  19. Susan,
    Your black is the perfect base for so many variations on a theme. Thanks for reminding us that we probably have lots of third layer pieces that will change our basic look in a dramatic way. No need to do extra shopping if we simply “shop our own closets.”
    Happy Holidays.
    Sharon White & Janna Beatty (“Quintessential Style””

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.