Holiday Top

While planning to dress for holiday events, I found nothing with a touch of sparkle and pretty details in my collection. So I started looking for a versatile top about a month ago. When I saw this one, I knew it would be perfect for me and any events we have planned. I don’t purchase one-hit wonders, so the top needed to work with a variety of garments I already own, and if it could be worn across seasons, even better. A colorful holiday sweater or jacket doesn’t suit my subdued personality.

I will wear the top when we join friends at their home for a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres. The top is here. Similar pants are here and here. Similar shoes are here and here. A similar tennis bracelet is here.

I’ll wear the tee over my slip dress when we go out for dinner, followed by a holiday symphony performance. The slip dress is now on sale here.

When we get together with my very casual family for our holiday meal, I will wear it with dark jeans and loafers. The top is here. The jeans are here – Similar shoes are here and here.

When we join our dearest friends for a casual dinner with their sons, small grandchildren, and each family’s dogs, I will wear the top with soft jeans and short boots (similar boots here).

The top is here.

I hope showing you how I dress for my real-life holiday events helps you put together some appropriate and comfortable looks from what you already have. If you are missing some items, I always try to include shoppable links to similar current items since mine are often a couple of years old. Those links may allow me to earn a small commission at no cost to you.

  1. While I usually do not like t shirt type tops, I think this one could be a winner for me. It is not over the top flashy, very subdued I would say. I do not know how chicos sizes work. What size do you typically buy at chicos? I believe we are very similar in size and shape. (I am 133 and 5’5″ on a good day!!)

  2. I love all these looks Susan and agree with a top that is versatile. However black just does not flatter me in a top. Can you suggest similar tops in navy or even green for the holidays that are not “holiday” specific? Thanks always

  3. I love this! I just ordered the top and the slip dress. Thanks for sharing your ideas, it is helping me build a wardrobe that I love. Still a little ways to get to where I want to be.

  4. All of these looks are perfect! I’ve been experimenting with mixing dressier tops with jeans lately and really like the combination. Thank you for the ideas! Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  5. I also ordered the slip dress. Love all your suggestions. I truly appreciate all that you and Mr Mickey do to help us look our best—something to be thankful for during this season of Thanksgiving.

  6. Another VERY helpful explanation of how you make your wardrobe work for you in a variety of ways. Thank you, Susan! Thankful for YOU!

  7. I LOVE this post. Ordered the dress. Thanks!
    Back to looking at my feet and shoe possibilities. My feet are “gifted.” Short and wide. Any advice?

    Thanks again … you are THE BEST!!!

  8. I love this post! I find it very helpful when you show lots of options with one item. I would love to see some other ways you wear your slip dress. It looks like such a great dress. Thanks so much for the inspiration you provide!

    1. I wore the slip dress with a cashmere sweater and a fur vest here. I would also wear it with white platform sneakers and a denim jacket or dressed up a bit with sandals and a short cardigan sweater.

  9. Great post! I have a lovely black sweater with subdued embellishments that I can pair with slacks or skirts for a special occasion. Like yours, I can also pair with jeans. I also have a fine knitted shell with subtle beading that I save for special occasions. I would add that some pretty print or silk blouses work well too as they can be dressed up or down. I purchased a black velvet tuxedo jacket to pair with silk blouses.

  10. I loved your holiday top however when I clicked on the top to see where to purchase one, it would NOT
    come up. Could you please tell me that information.
    Thanks so much!!

  11. I love all your looks Susan. And I love the long earrings with pearls. Do you have a source for the earrings?
    Thank you

  12. Dear Susan,

    I like this and your last Post so much. So we can learn a lot about combining our closets we already have and do not have to buy new. Please give us more of such examples.

    You look fantastic in all pictures, especially with the new length of your hair. This hair length makes you more young and fresh.

    Best wishes for you and Mr. Mickey


  13. Hi again,…..
    This top looks beautiful! But sometimes when I click on your link, my “PC Matic” stops the process.
    Can you tell me another way to find this top?
    I have similar taste in style to yours, but my life is not near as glamorous… this top looks perfect for our very casual nights out.
    THANKS!!! and hope you two have a Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!!

  14. I love this post! Showing many ways to wear a top that many (me) might think of as being good for one occasion is so insightful! Thank you for sharing this! You have taught me much over the years I’ve followed you.

  15. You should do print as a model for Nordstrom!

    Do you think you will be able to share what you have done to Mr Mickey’s home with your interior design eye?

    Happy Holidays!

  16. What a timely post, Susan! I too have an embellished top for the festive season. I have way too many black items in my wardrobe already, so have resolved not to buy any more in that colour unless it is to replace a worn-out basic. So my top is a bright festive red, because that goes with my personality. It has black beading and sequins, so will also go with any black pants/skirt. But your post suggests other ways I could wear it that I might not have thought of, so thank you, as always. Best wishes to you and Mr Mickey for the upcoming season!

  17. I have read to steer away from wearing black near the face as one ages due to loss of pigmentation , Causes a wash out of the complexion . However it does not seem that this is a problem for you. You look great! What are you thoughts on this?

    1. I’ve read the same, so I’ve tried without success to replace black with charcoal or navy. However, if I wear a brighter lip color, black still works for me almost as well as it has since I was a teen. When I visited my 85-year-old mother a few days ago, she was wearing head-to-toe black with tan loafers and looked classic and elegant, not at all washed out. Wearing brighter lip colors, scarves, and lighter necklaces and earrings can help make black more flattering in daylight as we age. I will likely always lean toward black for the evening.

  18. Ich bin immer wieder erfreut, Deine verschiedenen Kombinationsmöglichkeiten zu sehen. Ich folge Dir schon seit vielen Jahren und erfahre immer noch Neues. Vielen Dank dafür.

  19. Oh Susan, thank you. It’s my birthday Christmas day and I was looking for something to travel out west to see my grands as we go skiing. This post was so helpful. I have white hair now that I am 70 and the sweater is so versatile as you’ve demonstrated, and is great for my hair color. I purchased the dress and the top. I wouldn’t have pared the two. I do love the older post where you shared the jacket or vest you wore the dress with. That is a stunning look on you.
    Happy Thanksgiving and God bless you and Mr Micky

  20. I loved this post…..I tend to figure out my holiday attire….and then wear numerously…..but after reading your post, I need to come up with some combos.
    Thanks…….You always inspire,

  21. Happy Holidays, Susan!

    Thank you for this post! I too, love items that can be dressed up or down & thanks to you, I just ordered this top! I’m also loving your Pearl drop earrings in these pics – can you tell me where you got them? Many thanks for inspiring, chic, wearable options.


  22. Hello Susan, I am wondering what size slip dress did you order for yourself? In your opinion, since you own the dress, I’m trying to figure out if I should order a size up or not due to the fact that I have a small waist, but wider thighs. I don’t like things that accentuate that. I tend to stick to a line. I would be covering the top portion so it would not matter if that was too big in that area.

  23. You always look so elegant and beautiful.
    I have a short torso and long legs at 5’7″. I have difficulty finding well fitting clothes. What styles would help? I have just turned 70 and have white hair and am also having difficulty deciding which styles arent either to young or too old. Do yoy have any suggestions?

    1. You can wear longer tops such as tunics. Look back at some of my older posts to see different clothing styles that might suit you. I usually include links to the same or similar items—stores such as Talbots and Chico’s offer easy-to-style pieces.

  24. What a great top!! I may have to put in an order! I don’t have any dressed up occasions but the casual looks are nice. Just enough to make it special. I also hesitate with black but your ideas if more color In lipstick makes sense.

  25. Susan,
    A touch of bling is perfect for me. Wearing a slip dress under the tee is brilliant and looks elegant. Your use of the top for jeans is more my style too. Holiday gatherings with family are casual yet we all make an effort to be a bit festive.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  26. I was just searching for a top to wear to a neighborhood holiday open house. I so appreciate your informative, fun-to-read columns. Just ordered this top. Search over!

  27. Hi Susan,
    Another wonderful post! I noticed the length of the top is 26″ but it didn’t indicate the sleeve length and at 5′ 2″, I’m not sure where the sleeve would fall, at the wrist or beyond. Can you help with that sleeve length, please? I would like to order it but it would help to know the sleeve length before placing the order. Thank you!

  28. Thank you for the great recommendations. My in-laws are very casual but I am not. Your suggestions allow me both casual and semi-formal alternatives. Look forward to the holiday season with you.

  29. Just ordered the top! Thanks for giving us all the great ideas for the holidays!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  30. Love the different ways you styled your new top! My favorite is the last, more casual version. It looks so good, I might order one. I see the description says it has a bateau neck, but the pics don’t look that way. Would you say it does have a bateau neck? Thank you!

  31. Thanks so much for all the ideas! This post is full of information. You look so pretty.
    I would like to know the color and the brand of your lipstick. It is the perfect red. I love it.
    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  32. Well I ordered it and have fingers crossed it will fit. I would be a 2.5 all day long with the size chart but ordered a large based on their recommended size. Thank you for the excellent top idea!

  33. Susan, I ordered this top since I buy a fair amount of Chico’s wear and I trust your fashion judgment. However, it did NOT work for me. I bought a size 1, my usual size. It is snug in the chest (I’m a full-busted gal too), big in the shoulders, too long in the body and sleeves, and generally just a rather blah choice. I’m disappointed and will be sending it back. Perhaps I’m just too short for it (I’m 5’3″) and it doesn’t come in a petite. Oh well, I’ll be losing the shipping cost with the return, but it won’t break me. Guess I’ll be shopping for something old in my closet.

  34. I enjoy your posts and your tips!

    I especially love the black top with the long skirt. I am trying to pick an outfit for my niece’s wedding on March 17 in the mid-Atlantic area. The wedding will be at 5 PM, and the mothers are wearing long dresses. I am 5’8″, and wear a size 12. Can you suggest an outfit to wear, or at least a silhouette? I love your style.

    Many thanks,


  35. I love the idea of the top over the slip dress. I would hesitate to wear a dress like that on its own but with a cute top over it, it works so nicely. thanks.

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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.