Because... getting dressed should be fun!

Because... getting dressed should be fun!

Category: Special Occasion

Holiday Dressing

Holiday Dressing

What makes a great holiday outfit? Ugly Christmas sweaters aside, what feels festive to you? It should really depend on the event. Caroling on a chilly night requires a different  ensemble than the office holiday ‘do. (Speaking of the holiday office ‘do… It’s still office, and NOT the place for cleavage, bra or booty!)

Some Sparkle

Sparkle doesn’t have to be diamonds. Choose the metallic shade that looks best on you. Statement earrings are a great way to keep attention on you (your face), and avoids the jangle of bracelets and the swinging and catching of necklaces that many find annoying. An inexpensive pair can be your holiday go-to. A metallic clutch to go along is another easy and inexpensive touch. Jeans, a tee and your earrings and clutch change the whole vibe from van driving to festive! Metallic “clutches” are everywhere this year. Look beyond the handbags to cosmetic bags and electronics gear organizers. Also look in the office supplies at supply pouches… These tend to be less expensive than the ones you find in the handbag department, and you can use them next year to keep your tote organized!

Some Cozy

What’s cozy? Please don’t  wear puppies or kittens! Think corduroy, cut or uncut, velvet, velveteen, velour, faux fur, fuzzy or marled knits. I have seen some great velvety cosmetic bags at my local big box store (red circles on the front…) with a tassel zipper pull that would make a great clutch. Cozy isn’t only for tops, though. Try corduroy or velvet jeans, or a faux fur scarf, in whatever color makes you look radiant. The point of faux is to be faux, so don’t worry about picking a “realistic” color!

Some Elegance

The soft sheen of pearls or pewter brings light to the darkness of winter. Imagine the glow of of white mistletoe berries contrasted with the green leaves. The draping of a waterfall cardigan can bring an elegant feel, or the luxurious hand of cashmere warms and regulates temperature like a dream. Lace, anyone? An oversized statement necklace, bracelet or ring that isn’t blingy feels elegant as well. Yours might be a wide silver cuff bracelet. Antique pieces and family heirlooms (grandma’s brooch or locket, or your aunt’s wedding ring that she wore on the boat over from the old country) all speak of tradition and connection. Don’t save them for “good”! If a holiday celebration isn’t good, what is? (I drink box wine from crystal, so any day is good for me!)

Some Color

The traditional reds and greens of the season feel festive, but avoid pairing them together. Even in their grown up version (burgundy and hunter) they can feel cliché, and look childish rather than youthful. The easy mix is with black, and since that can be too harsh for many complexions, why not try your favorite shade of red/pink or green with winter white, grey, taupe, or blue? Light blue and white are a great holiday combo, too, evoking clear skies and a snowy landscape. If you must wear all black, please at least add colored jewelry and a pashmina to soften and cheer your look.


Comfortable is a must for me! If the dress requires 2 Spanx and a pliers to pull up the zipper, you aren’t going to have very much fun. Unless you are a starlet whose job is to be stunning and you can act well enough to be happy even when boa-constricted, please try on your outfit before it’s time to head out the door, and determine if you are garbed in something you can spend the night nibbling, dancing, and socializing in. If sitting and entertaining small children are in the plan, take that into account, as well. Too tight trousers to the holiday concert will make you wish you the sugar-plum fairy would just drop dead so you can get home and into your jammies. Uncomfortable clothes = Bah, humbug!

What is your favorite holiday outfit? What item do you wear that always makes you feel special? Share in the comments below!

And many thanks to Katherine at #notlamb for the LinkUp!

Red, White, and Blue

Red, White, and Blue

I am thankful for the freedom with which I have been blessed, by no more than an accident of birth. There are many other places I could have been born, and into such different circumstances. When I was a Spanish teacher, my middle-schoolers completed a unit on the flags of Spanish speaking countries, which brought with it a discussion about the symbolism of colors. We would end the unit with each child designing a flag for his or her own imaginary country. As you can imagine, there were some very creative and unusual choices!

When I reflect on the Red, White, and Blue that symbolizes our nation, it is easy to understand why the same colors have been chosen by so many nations for their national ensign. Color has many associations; these vary dramatically from culture to culture, particularly in the East and West. For many in the West, red symbolizes Courage, and the blood shed for the founding of a nation. White symbolizes not only purity (a bride’s white dress) but also Justice. Blue (as your average Webelo will remind you) is a color symbolizing Loyalty. Apt choices for a flag, and a valuable reminder as to the ideals to which we aspire.

As for fashion, I have never been keen on clothing with our flag emblazoned all over it (especially on the backside of bottoms!), but I defend your right to wear it as an expression of free speech. I would rather we took respectful care of the flags we fly, and properly dispose of them when they are faded and tattered. (And the same for the clothing as well. The ripped and torn flag tee does our national symbol no honor.)

On this day, and all days, let us remember to respect others by treating them with Courage, Justice, and Loyalty, and make ourselves worthy of the title American.

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday

Since Throwback Thursday seems to be the ubiquitous default, I’ll give it a try. As I have few to no previous posts to choose from, instead of an old post, I’ll ponder what items or trends I wish would take another spin through fashion culture.

I love the clothing of the very late 50’s through the early 70’s, before hippie chic took over. You know, the styles that drove people to swoon and discuss the wardrobe logistics of Mad Men more seriously than politics around the office coffee maker. (The P word is a topic I really would like to avoid here in Closet Play land, but I am sure it will be inevitable as it also affects style and fashion.) I realize is that it is not only the clothes themselves, but the idea that occasions were to be dressed for, and that different occasions merit different clothing choices. Are we losing our sense of the special, because so many go almost everywhere in the same clothing worn for cleaning the garage?

I remember, as a child, dressing up to get on an airplane to fly East to visit our family. We did this regularly. Not Easter Sunday dressed up, but not in play clothes, either. Today, I am agog at the people in airports in their jammies, hauling around blankets, stuffed toys, and full sized pillows. No, I am not talking about children. I get it for toddlers. Very small children have carte blanche go everywhere in their jammies. I am talking about adults, dressed as pre-schoolers. I, too, want to be comfortable, because Lord knows that passengers are even more tightly wedged into aircraft than ever before, but comfort is not only found in jammies and gym clothes.

Yes, I miss those fabulous 60’s clothes, but even more, the sense of occasion that dressing nicely brings.

What style or items do you miss?

Why just for special occasions?

Why just for special occasions?

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of June. Wedding season. And beautiful brides everywhere are slipping into the only custom fitted item they will ever wear. I know, every bride wants to look stunning, and unforgettable on her wedding day. But what about the other 364 days in the year? (Or 365 if it’s a leap year…) Why not all the rest of the years of her life?

At one time, all our clothing was custom fitted. We had less clothing, it fit us properly, and we looked better in it because it was made for us and our unique bodies. Now, I understand that buying custom-made clothing is not in the average budget, nor even in the generous budget, but what about tailoring off-the-rack items to fit like custom made? The clothes in the stores are not designed to fit you. They are designed to fit a fit model, so if you are a fit model, my apologies, they are designed to fit YOU, just not anyone else out there.

So why not take your off-the-rack items to the tailor or seamstress? Most people would say it’s not worth it. For those “fast fashion” fixes to be thrown out after a season, it’s probably not. But for those clothes you depend on day after day, be they your jeans, work trousers, jackets, blouses, quality tee shirts, try it!  Alterations/tailoring should be an expected part of your clothing budget. The extra you spend on tailoring just might keep you from feeling like you need a “better fitting” pair of black pants, bringing the total in your closet to five.

Shouldn’t the clothes you wear daily make you feel and look fabulous? Why only spend for the special occasions? You will most likely never wear that wedding dress again, but those favorite jeans or trousers are likely to see the light of day more than a hundred times this year. That’s the clothing worth investing in!

2017 JUN 14