Horrors! I’m Dressed All Wrong for the Party!

Another office to party option.
Another office to party option.


My granddaughter just attended a holiday party where she and her boyfriend were not nearly as dressed up as their classmates! The fact that it was a fraternity party and guys are not known for being as precise on that sort of thing doesn’t help if you are a university sophomore and completely out of step with your peers!

How many times do we receive invitations with dress code like “casual” or “jacket required” or the newest one: “festive”. What in the world is festive”?

Another office to party option. Add a belt or significant necklace. Notice the interesting sleeves.
Another office to party option. Add a belt or significant necklace.  Sparkle required!
Notice the interesting sleeves.

Festive, by definition, should have some bling. Festive does not bring a little black dress to mind.   Your vision is more of fun, sparkle and color. Suppose you are going directly from the office. How about choosing black crepe slacks or ankle-length skirt?   Top it with a dressy blouse that is office-appropriate.

You can add some rich metallic shoes, change to a bright or metallic handbag, accent with some sparkly drop earrings, and Voila! You are Festive!

Maybe you want a more sophisticated look. How about pulling out your standby – the tux?

Classic tux.
Classic tux.

Add pizzazz by choosing statement shoes. Give this elegant look sparkle by adding a knockout pin. Bring in a pop of color with the evening bag. Sophisticated and festive.

Simple print. The design makes the statement.
Simple print. The design makes the statement.

Prints are usually not considered a look for evening but with the right print, you can pull it off. The dress should be the main focus with supporting accessories. This simple shift makes a great statement. All you need is a touch of color – maybe bright red evening sandals worn with a crystal decorated evening bag. Complete the look with drop earrings. Again, Festive without looking like you tried too hard.


To the Max!


December reminds us that cold weather is on the way. Is this the year to add a new coat? Coats are the one item of clothing where styles do not change drastically so a favorite coat may last several years. This year welcomes back the maxi! Last year we saw a glimpse of the return of these ankle-length styles but this year brought a full resurgence back into fashion.

images-5At first glance, the maxi looks extreme.

“Only tall, slender women can pull off a maxi,” you might think.

“They are so impractical and limited in what you can wear under them.”

“The long length will really be unwieldy.”

Let’s look at some options and prove all of these concepts wrong.

First of all, a slender cut maxi will be very flattering for a short person or someone with a few extra pounds. I would select a slender cut that will carry the eye all the way to the floor. This is the perfect place to wear your favorite boots. The boots should blend with the coat, creating a total look. Even though this black tweed has a slightly full skirt, it gives a long, slender image. What a perfect look for the lady with wider hips or larger upper legs!

To the office, shopping or out to lunch.
To the office, shopping or out to lunch.

Another great look is this olive maxi coat over a maxi skirt with snakeskin boots.  These elements coordinate beautifully.   Jeans or slacks would work well under this coat. The color combination is excellent for a warm toned individual. You could combine with most any warm tones: burnt orange, camel, or other muted warm color.

Easy and chic : welcome the cold
Easy, chic and practical.

The puffer coat is an excellent choice for a warm go-everywhere wrap. You can head to the ski slopes, a winter trip to Europe, or just navigate northern winter temperatures.

Maxi coats make wonderful evening wraps for cold evenings out. If you have a floor- length or tea length dress, the line is destroyed when worn with a regular length coat. Nothing can take away from your elegance entrance like a foot of beautiful dress peeping out from under your coat. However, if the coat covers the dress, you confidently make your entrance knowing you look your best.

As spring approaches on the other side of winter, this pink maxi coat will be a welcome change. Pink would never look appropriate on a gray, cold winter day but what could welcome sunshine and new blossoms better than the light pastels for the change of

Welcome spring with cheer and grace.
Welcome spring with cheer and grace.

season. A lighter fabric not only meets the warmer season but drapes perfectly in this full skirt. Assuming this lady is wearing a light color under the coat, I would suggest cream-toned shoes.

So you can “Maxi” and be warm and look fabulous!