Holiday Looks

A hectic social life requires that a large slice of my wardrobe “pie” includes various evening jackets and tops. I sometimes think I have enough, but I find myself longing for more options at this time of year. When a casual holiday look is called for, I reach for a festive top instead of a jacket. If you are mingling in someone’s home with lots of other partygoers, a jacket can quickly become too warm.

When I saw this black sparkle cold shoulder top by Clara Sunwoo, I knew it would work well for those times. Cocktail party attire that exposes too much skin is never a comfortable option for me, but showing a bit of a shoulder is acceptable. My shoulders are still smooth and firm!

As I checked the images while Mr. Mickey was snapping away, I realized the neckline needed a little something more, so I added a plain black chiffon scarf edged with black beading.

This was a mild weather evening, so my vintage velvet opera coat trimmed in faux fur was the perfect topper.

Now for the style tips. I buy pantyhose by the dozen online because I can never find my size in the stores here. My latest shipment of sheers had not yet arrived from White House|Black Market, so I was left with only black tights from YummiTummi. Tights are suitable for casual wear, but they are the wrong attitude and texture for more dressy looks. Black sheers would have looked so much better with these Lior Paris pants and black suede heels from Saks Off 5th last year. Yes, I do wear pantyhose. My sixty-year-old legs have no business parading around uncovered! A few years ago, I thought that lining my eyes and going without hose or socks in cold weather was acceptable. Those are just two of the things I stopped doing after I saw pictures of myself. The takeaway here is that your mirror lies to you.

This blogging experience has taught me to take a fresh look at my makeup techniques and my hairstyle choices, and the elements in my wardrobe with an objective eye. It helps to look at a picture of yourself wearing an outfit and then cover your face. When you see the look in this way, you can be much more objective because you have removed yourself from the equation.

  1. I do love your blog, you just use the most simple rules to follow to look like so much more. as I am now in my seventies, I treasure these rules. to enjoy my age and my look, and this is due to reading your blogs. thanks again.

  2. Goes to show – even 30 years ago, you had exquisite taste. What a beautiful coat! I totally agree with you about bare legs being less than attractive. I mostly wear pants but when wearing a skirt or dress, stockings or tights are definitely more polished looking. I think the fashion trend of going bare legged has not done favors for women over 40.

    By the way, I have to compliment you on your home. The photos show a very elegant, beautifully furnished home.

  3. Thank you for validating my belief that ladies our age really need to wear pantyhose. In my youth I had fabulous legs but at 64….eh, not so good. I don’t tan, so my legs are now too pale, although I do get just a hint of color in the summer by wearing shorts, but with skirts or dress I never go bare. I don’t enjoy wearing pantyhose but they cover a multitude of flaws.

    I’m attending a party tomorrow and hoping black pants, white shirt and red jacket will be festive enough.

  4. I noticed something about your shoes. The color of the soles actually accentuates the cold-shoulder top. Many black shoes have black soles, too.

  5. LOL – use of photos really does work. The way I saw myself in the mirror was SO different than what a picture revealed. Now, I use my cell phone to always take quiet snaps of myself in clothing I’m trying on in dressing rooms. Have saved a lot of money this way – many times rejecting items that formerly would have made their way into my closet.

  6. Great tips as always. I never thought about covering my face in photos as a way of increasing objectivity. Thanks so much.

  7. Very nice! One question, I find that tights & pantyhose make my skinny pants too clingy and bunch at the bottom. What do you do to stop this from happening?

    1. These are heavier straight leg pants so they didn’t bunch too much. All pants look skinny on my muscular calves so I always have a problem with bunching. I just bend down (bottom away from any audience) and straighten them when they get bunched.

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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.