Thursday, 27 November 2014

Festive Party Time : Shopping My Closet... From Inspiration To Reality

Ah yes, the eternal question leading up to the festive season...

Is it... "What gift can I possibly get for my mother/sister/husband/best friend who has everything?" Or maybe it's... "Who will host the big family dinner?"  Or possibly.... "Will so-and-so be imbibing too much Christmas cheer again this year and have to go have a nap before dinner even starts?"

Nope. The most important question leading up to the festive season is... What the heck will I wear to all the parties and events we will be attending? And do I really have to go shopping for something new to wear when I've so much else to do?

Now that I'm not working anymore, I don't have to worry about dressing for a staff party. In actual fact, we hadn't had a real snazzy staff Christmas "do" for a few years before I retired. It became harder and harder to get people excited about dressing up and forking over the cash for a dinner and dance. Sigh. I miss the dressing up bit.  But I don't miss the angst over what to wear.
And since I don't have to go to a big "do" this year. I'll be dressing down instead of up. 

And I'll be trying to incorporate my black leather pants into my outfits. I bought these pants at Holt Renfrew early in the fall of 2013; they were my investment piece last year. And they've been so versatile that Stacey and Clinton of What Not To Wear fame would be proud... since they always preached that one should judge the value of more expensive items on a cost per wear basis.

This year I've worn my leather pants with my Smythe blazer and a long-sleeved, white tee shirt in the early fall. And with my grey Vince turtleneck sweater when the weather got cooler.


So... been there done those. I need inspiration, now. And I need to turn inspiration into reality by shopping in my own closet...and not in the shops.

So first, I turn to the source I always turn to when I need inspiration: I checked out their website, and found lots of possibilities for styling leather pants. They had all kinds of looks: dressy with a lovely peplum blouse, casual-chic with a shirt and sweater, or lady-like with a sweater and coat. These looks would be just right for the three parties we're attending. 


And except for the fact that I don't own anything with a peplum, or wear heels that high anymore, or sweaters that short with my leather pants, and if I did they certainly wouldn't look that good... these are all wonderful looks. It's funny, you know, one of my problems when I was a teenager was dreaming up an outfit based on items of clothing I didn't own... or couldn't really wear. Not facing the reality of the closet. Or the body, for that matter. But that was a long time ago. I now know that inspiring looks are meant to be, what we in the education field call, "a guideline" and not a prescription. 

So... clap hands briskly here... enough philosophizing ... on to the reality....what IS in my closet, anyway?

I'll need a somewhat dressy look for a big house party we attend every year. This is a "hockey party;" all the guys that my husband has played hockey with over 30+ years and their wives and girlfriends will be there. There will be carol singing and a huge buffet in our friends' gorgeous log home. It's a fabulous party. I'll want to wear something comfortable and quite light weight on top... this party can get crowded and hot. I saw a lot of tie blouses (along with scarves) in the fall fashion magazines this year. Which made me think of this periwinkle blue and white Tory Burch blouse that I have had for a few years. I love the colour and I have a matching camisole to wear underneath.

The blouse is silk, tunic style, with a sheer blue tulle panel over the silk around the neckline (not sure if you can see it here), and sheer belled sleeves. It's actually quite a bit more lady-like than I usually wear.

But I like it with my leather pants and silver jewellry. I may wear my black, pointy-toed, kitten-heel pumps instead of my loafers. We'll have to see. Seeing being the operative word here, because in a crowded one can see my feet anyway. And these Stuart Weitzman patent loafers are sooooo comfy.

The next Christmas gathering we'll be attending is a dinner party. This will be very casual, lots of good friends, and their kids and grandkids, and a big sit-down meal for twenty or so. This party used to be held on our friends' farm and we would all go for a long, snowy walk on their trails before dinner. They've recently sold the farm and moved into no walk in the woods now...but the spirit of the event is the same. 

So this will be the perfect time to wear my Theory plaid shirt again. It's very on trend this season... although NOT grunge. I love this shirt because of the narrow cut..and it's long enough to cover what needs to be covered. It's grey and charcoal with a burgundy stripe and I have a matching burgundy cami. I'd wear it with these earrings and necklace, by Quebec jewellry-maker Anne-Marie Chagnon. I love her designs; they're all a bit industrial and edgy with their coloured stones, and beads, and chunks of metal. 


You can find Anne-Marie's work on-line hereI have several pieces of her jewellry. Most are bracelets like these. Since they are expandable, they're perfect for my small wrist. Cool aren't they?

Okay, that's two outfits sorted. For the third, I think I'll try to do something similar to that Net-a-porter shot of the cream sweater and black coat. I do have a black Elie Tahari short coat/long jacket with leather trim. No cream sweater, though. 

Just this minute, as I'm typing this, Hubby came in from the garden He interrupted me to point at a cardinal in our mock-orange bush right outside my window. The bird is beautiful,  brilliant red against the leafless bush. Red....hmmmm. Maybe a long-sleeved red tee shirt would be nice? That would be festive, right? Fashionistas who don't own cream sweaters must take inspiration where they find it. So red tee shirt it is. 

You know this feels so virtuous... shopping my closet and not the stores for party looks this year... turning inspiration into reality and not spending a cent.

Still... it's early days. I may yet crumble if I happen to be out at the mall and I see a gorgeous cream sweater. 

So... now that we know what I'm wearing this festive season. The question remains: What are YOU wearing? Do tell.

Linking this week with: Visible MondayFriday Fab FavoritesPassion for FashionLet it ShineManic Monday,What I Wore, and Style me Wednesday.


  1. Party Girl ! (Milmer)

  2. I like that blouse with those leather look great btw.
    I am shopping my closet this year too as I am saving for a trip to Paris.
    I have never seen a cardinal but we have some Stellar's Jays in our area which I am told only happens when a cold winter is forecast.
    We live on Vancouver Island in the city of gardens! Victoria.
    I have recently discovered your blog and I will be back again.

    1. It's pretty amazing to be looking out on the rather brown and blah backyard (pre-snow) and see that bright pop of red! Very cheering on a cold day.
      So glad you discovered my blog. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Those leather pants are fabulous and make every look sing a happy song : > Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xo.

  4. I missed out on the corporate Christmas party last year since I changed jobs, but this year I have THREE parties to go to, and I couldn't be happier!

    Popped by from Vis Monday.

    1. Oooh lucky you. But three dressy outfits would be beyond me. Unless each party had very different guests...then it would be three parties, one outfit! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Love your take on Xmas dressing with no glitz. My kind of dressing and those leather pants certainly take everything up a notch.


    1. Thanks Christy. You can do so much with leather pants...I think.

  6. Those pants are incredible...they make a statement all their own. But, I like all of the ideas you came up with. They look awesome with the boots.

    1. Thanks Pam. I am definitely a boots kind of gal. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. I don't own a pair of leather trousers but I definitely love them. They're so stylish and very modern. It's surprising how versatile they are. You look great!

    1. Thanks Lorna. I'm surprised by how much I'm able to wear them. Thanks for reading.

  8. I'll admit that I cringed when I read "leather pants", but you TOTALLY rock them! You look absolutely fantastic.

  9. My favorite look is the grey sweater... but I'm all about trying to stay warm these days! :-) You look great! xo Tammy


All comments, ideas, commiserations, questions, complaints... are most welcome.