Friday, December 18, 2015

Thoughts on Festive Attire

I hope you are enjoying the holidays. It's been crazy. More posts with some fun things coming if I can find the time to get them written! I thought I'd share what I did clothes wise for holiday parties this year. It's always a dilemma for me...Do I buy new or use something already in the closet and likely not worn much. This year I cleaned out anything that didn't fit well, or look good, so I had nada. I had to hit the shops just days before a big event. Never the best idea. I did okay though.

My husband had his company holiday party aboard one of those Hornblower Yachts in San Francisco Bay last week. It was the most stormy night and wet, but I survived. I tell you I am not a fan of boats and especially in storms and at night, but I was a good wife, took the dramamine and bound myself with all sorts of compression bands and got through. I had one cocktail too.

  My photo from the party of the Bay Bridge. Does this tell you anything about my state? Lol.

My 17 year old later told me I was texting him weird notes. Honestly, I don't know what happened that night. Must have been the dramamine and the cocktail. People were great and I made it through with my new suede high heels with nary a wipeout with swaying planks and all. Can I just say how relieved I was to be back on dry land? The smartest girl at that party was the CEO's wife who is the cutest gal ever and wore a long slinky sliver dress with short army green rubber boots hidden under her dress. Brilliant! I bet she was feeling comfy and steady all evening.

For this party, I really tried to shop for something that I would wear a long time instead of the usual flashy party dresses I often gravitate towards. When I got to the stores the dress areas seemed to be filled with all kinds of sleeveless looks and lots of sequins and brocade. They never look so great on me. I walked through the designer section at Nordstrom and quickly got helped by a young saleswoman who brought me things I didn't even consider.

Once you get on some well made frocks of beautiful fabrics like silk, you'll have a hard time looking a cheaper options. I did and then went back and bought two choices in the designer area. I tried some lovely things, even this Herve Leger bandage dress which actually looks a bit like a superhero outfit, but holds everything in perfectly.

Is this not gorgeous? Apparently they stretch as your body wears it up to 2 inches during a wearing. For the $1,400 price, they are considered an investment and they do make you look amazing. They have a hard time keeping them in stock. That said, I don't think I have the lifestyle for this dress, but I did love another dress that I could see myself wearing a lot, especially with my more casual California life. Here's what I wore. No this isn't me sadly...

Okay it wasn't this plunging...They unbuttoned the hidden clasp here. It's also not as short in front and the back is not that much longer as it looks. This L'agency silk shirtdress really was very chic on. With the addition of suede burgundy sandals it felt like me, but festive. I can also wear this all year. The sleeves can be rolled back  and I can add flat black sandals or slides and a jean jacket and I'm good for travel or spring and summer.

Dressing room pic. An XS on 5'4 me...

 I paired it with a fluffy long sweater coat that gave it a little more festive feel and a pretty long necklace and gold cuff from J Crew and my mom's diamond earrings. This box clutch (top photo) in black was a little item I grabbed when I was out the door and I love it's modern look. I wish I took a photo at the party, but I think I was too spaced out on dramamine to think of it! :D I did have fun!

This is the heels that were surprisingly comfortable. Love them. Vince Camuto Court Sandals. I bought the berry color.

My dress traveled up to San Francisco in a garment bag without a wrinkle. I wore it the whole night and two nights later wore it to another party without having to touch it up or iron at all.
So while this was in the $400 range, I think it's worth it for a beautifully constructed silk dress that I hopefully can wear for a long time.

I also considered this little number from Elizabeth and James. My husband, who loves brights, dug this so I still have it. I'm thinking about keeping it for a Hawaiian holiday that is coming. It also goes with the suede berry shoes and the clutch....Yet I can see it with my black leather flip flops from Tory Burch. I have had them for years and when in Hawaii those are my dress shoes. No one really wears heels in Hawaii. This dress is sheer with a black slip dress attached under it.

Me with my scarred up legs. Obviously not as short as shown. (The dress I mean!) I swear they have 6 foot models wearing size smalls.

 This is the first time I really tried to shop for a holiday dress that I could use in my wardrobe instead of what feels festive. I think you can always make the a classic feel more festive with accessories. I already have a celery colored velvet shirt, a lace blouse, and black dressy jeans, a big furry black long cardigan, and black suede booties and flats that I mix up for more casual holiday gatherings already in the closet. I just add some flashy earrings or chunky bracelet from my grandma's vintage collection and I'm good to go.

So what's your holiday dressing strategy? Share what you do or add to make your look have a little bit of sparkle! I'd love to hear what you do or don't in this crazy season! If you can add a photo that would be even better.



  1. I struggle with holiday dressing too. I love a fancy dress, but have little occasion to wear one. Your choices are so pretty and can go anywhere. I splurged on this one at J Crew, but the tags are still on it. HTH but not sure where I'm wearing it, so it might not make the final cut. I love the L'agence black dress-so short on the model though-glad it is more reasonable IRL. It will be awesome in the spring too.

    1. Julie I love that dress! So special and cool. It's sold out I see- so you were lucky to get it. I hope you keep it because it really is a cross between classic and festive! Please post pics if you wear it! Happy holidays! xo

  2. BTW-I forgot to mention how much I dislike those Hornblower Bay Cruises. I love the bosses wife in a gown and wellies - perfection!
    Glad you survived.

    1. I'm with you...! Not my first choice, but yes she was so smart and looked pretty too! Next time if there ever is one... I'm doing what she did!

  3. Kim, you look so cute and stylish in your dresses. I don't really have a dressy Holiday party to go to, but I did have to buy a dress recently for a wedding. I only own one dress and that one was too big (yay me!)but needed to buy a dress for a couple of events. Like you mentioned earlier, they are almost all sleeveless. I NEVER buy sleeveless, but I went out of my comfort zone and bought a sleeveless Calvin Klein dress that I have worn for the wedding and will wear for my upcoming gym formal :). I also bought a pair of Vince Camuto shoes to go with it that felt good even after hours of dancing and socializing. I have a vintage purse collection and chose one of those to go with it. Overall, I think I looked pretty good! I love to look at your photos and dream of being a fashionista!! Kelley

  4. Kelley yay you for needing a new dress due to being in great shape! I'd love to see what you got -I bet it was pretty! I'm jealous you have a vintage purse collection. It's things like that that really make someone's look stand out! Kelley you are so sweet. Thank you for all your notes ! I hope you have a great Christnas and let's please get together in the new year!

  5. I think I would have said, "NO DEAR NOT TONIGHT!!"
    MERRY CHRISTMAS DEAR ONE................are YOU READY?

  6. Winter, boat and SF bay do not sound like a fun combo for me either. You're a great sport Kim! No amount of Dramamine would have gotten me aboard! Wishing you a wonderful holiday my friend.
    Much love

  7. Loved this blog. I could really use your help getting to a place where I spend more on a single item but integrate it into my wardrobe. Historically I've been about buying something for a single use and then I have a hard time justifying the price, but your approach is so much more practical...thanks, and I'm so glad you survived the festivities!!!

  8. I'm mostly wearing simple black dresses or trousers this year, but now that I work from home, we have fewer parties to attend, which is both nice and sad! Love your choices!

  9. Haha ... dramamine and one cocktail! Drinking is wasted on all the wrong people! ;)

    Love your two choices, Kimi! I would've loved seeing a pic of the finished look!