Holiday Dress Guide

Hello friend! With the holiday season comes the invitation to many parties. Sometimes finding what to wear to these said parties can be stressful. Well fear not my friend, for I am here to help you. While I usually enjoy wearing separates (so I can mix and match them!), this year I am crushing on many beautiful dresses. Therefore I put together this holiday dress guide to guide you through the season!

Holiday dress guide: What to wear to all your holiday parties, from a classic red dress to velvet, sequins or a little black dress.

Holiday Dress Guide: Velvet Crush

You may remember from reading my 2017 fall trends post that velvet is in style for fall and winter. Well then, what better way to wear it than in your holiday attire? Luckily there are so many beautiful velvet dresses out there. I am swooning over this gorgeous open back velvet midi dress. I think it strikes the perfect chord between elegant and sexy.

 

Holiday Dress Guide: Festive in Red

While a red dress may be expected, there’s a reason it is ubiquitous this time of year: It’s fabulous! The color simply screams “party.” Furthermore, red is one of the “it” colors for the fall and winter. Therefore it’s the perfect time to dabble in wearing the color. From a bright ruby to a deeper burgundy, there is a shade for everyone. Personally, I am eyeing this red floral dress because I love the combination of light blue and red.

 

Holiday Dress Guide: Sparkles Abound

Even if you prefer to wear more subtle dresses year-round, when the holidays come around, you should step up your game a little. Why not try a dress with some sparkle and sass? You can even take a baby step by choosing a dress with a small panel of sequins, like this white and silver dress. I think it is a gorgeous piece with an ethereal quality.

 

Holiday Dress Guide: Little Black Dress

Which dress works for almost every occasion? Why, a little black dress of course! The LBD has long been the reigning monarch of the dresses in our closet. So don’t fight it! Sometimes a black dress is just what you need. I’ve been eyeing this sexy form-fitting faux leather one.  I love the ruching on the sleeves and the sleek lines of the dress. The name is also calling me: “The Witching Hour” dress. So clever! Here are some other favorites:

 

Although I am usually a skirt girl, this holiday season I am tempted to wear more dresses. That’s because I am surrounded by so many pretty ones. I hope my round-up has helped some of you to decide on what to wear. Either way, be confident, be happy, be safe and enjoy yourself!

Denim Shirtdress and Booties

Hello friend! While I am a big fan of skirts, I am a bit more weary of dresses. I find that they do not fit me as well as a two piece. Plus, individual pieces are so much easier to pattern mix. But recently I have been into wearing dresses. I credit the inspiration to my fashionable co-worker Mary Alice who is always wearing beautiful dresses. One such inspiration was pairing a denim shirtdress and booties.

Pairing a denim shirtdress and booties for a stylish outfit on polished whimsy. J Jill tencel denim shirtdress, anthropologie belt and booties. Style over forty, everyday style. Pairing a denim shirtdress and booties for a stylish outfit on polished whimsy. J Jill tencel denim shirtdress, anthropologie belt and booties. Style over forty, everyday style.

The denim shirtdress I got is from J Jill. It is a nice medium shade of denim with a good bit of stretch to it. Mary Alice often pairs her denim dress with a cool slouchy cardi. I plan on trying that a little later in the season when it actually starts to cool off in Los Angeles. So for now, I will just wear the dress on its own. You can read about my fall transition here and here).

Pairing a denim shirtdress and booties for a stylish outfit on polished whimsy. J Jill tencel denim shirtdress, anthropologie belt and booties. Style over forty, everyday style. Pairing a denim shirtdress and booties for a stylish outfit on polished whimsy. J Jill tencel denim shirtdress, anthropologie belt and booties. Style over forty, everyday style.

Because the dress is a solid color, I chose to add some visual interest by adding a large belt. I chose one with an intricate detail and contrasting color to break up the wide expanse of blue.

Pairing a denim shirtdress and booties for a stylish outfit on polished whimsy. J Jill tencel denim shirtdress, anthropologie belt and booties. Style over forty, everyday style. Pairing a denim shirtdress and booties for a stylish outfit on polished whimsy. J Jill tencel denim shirtdress, anthropologie belt and booties. Style over forty, everyday style.

My belt is from Anthropologie. If you ever need a really cool belt, start by looking there. I have found some fantastic and unique ones there over the years. I’m linking a few of my current favorites that would be perfect for a denim shirtdress and booties outfit here.

 

And then it came to the booties. Of course since it was still hot, I chose my Anthropologie “shooties.” Not only were they a perfect match to the belt, but also added a pattern to my outfit. The small hint of animal print was just what this print-lover wanted.

Pairing a denim shirtdress and booties for a stylish outfit on polished whimsy. J Jill tencel denim shirtdress, anthropologie belt and booties. Style over forty, everyday style. Pairing a denim shirtdress and booties for a stylish outfit on polished whimsy. J Jill tencel denim shirtdress, anthropologie belt and booties. Style over forty, everyday style.

For accessories I chose to wear a short necklace so it would not interfere with the belt. I went with my Brielle necklace from Baublebar. I am a sucker for filigree, so I ordered this necklace in the short Brielle Statement Necklace as well as the Brielle Pendant Necklace. What can I say, I know what I like!

Pairing a denim shirtdress and booties for a stylish outfit on polished whimsy. J Jill tencel denim shirtdress, anthropologie belt and booties. Style over forty, everyday style.Pairing a denim shirtdress and booties for a stylish outfit on polished whimsy. J Jill tencel denim shirtdress, anthropologie belt and booties. Style over forty, everyday style.

I love the way this denim shirtdress and booties outfit turned out. I also cannot wait to wear the dress with some other twists. How would you wear a denim shirtdress? I recently picked up an item that I think will pair great with it. Stay tuned!

 

Color Crush: Cobalt and Turquoise Outfit

Hello friend! When I received this Picadilly Canada dress in cobalt blue, I knew right away I wanted to pair it with turquoise. That’s because I love that color combination. Luckily, because turquoise is one of my favorite colors, I have many pieces in that color. Therefore the cobalt and turquoise outfit came together pretty easily!

How to wear Cobalt and turquoise outfit

Cobalt and Turquoise Outfit: Color Theory

According to color theory, turquoise is actually a tertiary color, made by combing a primary color (blue) and a secondary color (green). Therefore combining blue and turquoise is harmonious due to the colors being analogous on the color wheel. I have done a similar analogous color crush post for my pink and orange outfit. I’ve explained analogous colors in depth there, so check it out!

Cobalt and Turquoise Outfit: The Dress

It was my first time working with Picadilly Canada. They had a lot of pretty dresses on their site, so picking one was no problem. When it arrived it was very striking in person. Besides the bold color (which I love!), the cut of the dress is exquisite. It is figure flattering, but not overtly sexy. It is perfect for family or church events where you want to look good but still be somewhat modest.

Cobalt and turquoise outfit with Picadilly Canada embellished asymmetrical hem dressCobalt and turquoise outfit with Picadilly Canada embellished asymmetrical hem dress

The asymmetric hem is another detail that sets this dress apart from others. It helps elongate the figure, which I could certainly use!

Cobalt and turquoise outfit with Picadilly Canada embellished asymmetrical hem dress

The last detail of the dress that I adore are the grommets at the the neckline, cuffs and hem of the dress. They add a modern touch and some attitude to this dress. I think you can even wear this with some killer booties and a leather jacket for a more bada** look!

Cobalt and turquoise outfit with Picadilly Canada embellished asymmetrical hem dress

Cobalt and Turquoise Outfit: The Accessories

Because I love turquoise so much, I often pick up accessories in that color. I have multiple pairs of earrings, a pair of shoes and two purses! I recommend that if you love a color to have some accessories of that color in your closet. Then you can throw it on any time to add life to an outfit. Luckily for me, because of all these accessories, I easily created my cobalt and turquoise outfit.

Cobalt and turquoise outfit with Picadilly Canada embellished asymmetrical hem dress

When I saw these Sam Edelman pumps in turquoise, I knew I would wear them for years to come. So I quickly snapped them up.

Cobalt and turquoise outfit with Picadilly Canada embellished asymmetrical hem dress and Sam Edelman turquoise pumps

I also paired these fun Baublebar tassel earrings with the dress. I thought that two small pops of turquoise against the large expanse of cobalt was just the right amount.

Cobalt and turquoise outfit with Picadilly Canada embellished asymmetrical hem dress and Baublebar turquoise tassel earrings

Therefore for my purse, I decided to not go with turquoise. Instead, I opted for a metallic silver to mirror the metallic grommets in the dress.

Cobalt and turquoise outfit with Picadilly Canada embellished asymmetrical hem dress

I love the way this color combination turned out. I will likely wear a cobalt and turquoise outfit again. Would you?

Happy First Blog-i-versary: Why I Blog

Hello friend! Well I can’t believe it, but it’s been a full year since I first started blogging. I am so proud of myself for starting this venture. It has given me the chance to learn and grow. While I may discuss the ugly side of blogging in some posts, I’d like to take a minute to discuss the positives of blogging and why I blog.

Why I blog

dressShoes

Why I Blog: Learning the Technical Side

I am so proud of myself for starting this blog on my own, with no professional help. Of course I asked for (and received) plenty of opinions and support, but I launched the blog completely on my own. Before this, I had never really designed or maintained a true website.

Why I blog

Why I Blog: Learning to Self Promote

Ugh! This has been the hardest part for me. As a healthcare professional for over ten years, I have never really had to do this before. If I want a job or a project, I don’t usually have to compete with hundreds of equally talented people. Furthermore, my CV speaks for itself. But in the blogging world, you have to constantly talk yourself up. I was certainly not used to that. Truth be told, I am still getting used to it!

Why I blog

Why I Blog: Being Comfortable in My Own Skin

Because I have to show my bare face in makeup tutorials and posts, I have gotten very comfortable going places with no makeup on. This is very significant for me because I suffer from rosacea and feel quite insecure without foundation. But now, after countless insta stories without any makeup, I feel comfortable in my own skin. It’s quite liberating! And it’s one of my favorite positives about why I blog!

Why I blog

Why I Blog: Making Friends

Another fantastic positive aspect about blogging is making friends with similar interests. Because of Instagram I have made true friends out of people I otherwise would have never met. I have even met some of these girls in real life and I truly adore them! One of my closest blogger friends is Kristen, of KLeighStyles. While we’ve never met in person, we text and chat regularly. Her support and encouragement is invaluable.

Why I blog

ring / Watch

Why I Blog: Being in the Fashion World

Now, I know I am a small blogger, but even so, I am so happy to find myself in the fashion world, even if it’s in the very periphery. It has been a dream of mine to attend runway fashion shows. I hoped I’d find some connection through friends of family to get me in. But lo and behold, because of my blog, I was invited to Los Angeles Fashion Week! It was so satisfying to know I got there through my own hard work!

Why I Blog: To Maintain my Sense of “Me”

Sometimes life events happen that shake you to your core. Maybe your life roles change and you are at a loss for who you are. Well as I have faced a few of these changes recently, it has been comforting for me to have my blog. Not because it truly defines me. But because it reminds me of who I still am. My blog has been a calming and constant item in my life during this upheaval and turmoil.

Why I blog

So thank you for joining me in my little creative spot. I love having a hobby where I can indulge my inner fashionista/stylist/creator/model. But what I love most is that all of my effort here resonates with you. Here’s to another year!

 

Try This: Boho White Dress

Hello friend! While I enjoy putting together fun work appropriate outfits, I also like to try new styles. One trend I’ve been playing with is the bohemian look. Although I can’t get too “boho” at work, I can bring in a boho vibe. The easiest way to do so is by wearing a boho white dress. My dress is from Shop Stevie. It is now sold out, but they have other fantastic bohemian style dresses.

Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutchBoho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch

My Take on the Boho White Dress

When I first got this dress, I knew it would be a perfect spring and summer look. Therefore I chose to pair it with my summer booties. I feel that boho is almost synonymous with booties! I love the way it came out. The booties temper the femininity of the dress.

Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch

I chose not to wear a necklace because the top of this little boho white dress is so pretty. It has delicate embroidery on the bodice and sleeves. Thus I didn’t want anything to cover it up.

Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch

Therefore, I only wore earrings and some bracelets.

Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutchBoho white dress with polished accessories inclucing Baublebar disco crispin ball drop earrings

Because the outfit was lacking in color and pattern, I chose to bring in a “polished whimsy” element with my choice of purse. Therefore I wore my snow leopard print clutch. I love how the snow leopard is softer than the original leopard spots. It works perfectly with the boho white dress.

Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch Boho white dress with polished accessories inclucing clare v snow leopard clutch

All in all, I think this boho white dress outfit came together fairly well. I’m excited about styling it a few different ways, similar to what I did with this dress. Specifically, here are my recommendations (for this or another boho white dress):

Other Ways to Wear a Boho White Dress

  1. Belt with a cool multi-strand or fringe belt.
  2. Pair with wedges and a floppy hat.
  3. Layer with a crochet vest, oh so boho!
  4. Add a casual element with a denim jacket.
  5. Top it with a rich suede jacket.
  6. Accessorize with fringy jewelry and layer it on! Think lots of beaded bracelets and multiple strands of necklaces.
  7. Carry a large unstructured bag, preferably with fringe!

If you already love the boho look, be sure to check out my friend Mandy’s post (boho chic with 4 easy pieces) where she has great ways of achieving it. I’ve also gathered up some pretty boho pieces from this post and beyond below.

Color Crush: Light Blue and Red

Hello friend! With spring in full force, I am happy to start playing with new color palettes. One of my new favorites is light blue and red outfits. The original inspiration for this color palette was from a painting. Because the colors looked so pretty together, I vowed to make it into an outfit. So I hope to do the color combination justice!

Light Blue and Red Outfits: Floral

The simplest way to start to wear these colors is to find an item of clothing that already incorporates the two colors. Therefore when I saw this dress, I knew I had to have it. The result is a pretty mix of beautiful bright and soft colors. To further highlight the color combination, try adding light blue and red accessories.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red floral dress with light blue purse and red pumps Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red floral dress with light blue purse and red pumps

Light Blue and Red Outfits: Preppy

A fun outfit for work is this combination with a light blue and red plaid shirt. I paired it with a light blue pencil skirt to make it polished for work.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red Target boyfriend plaid shirt with light blue J crew factory skirt and floral pumps Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red Target boyfriend plaid shirt with light blue J crew factory skirt and floral pumps Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red Target boyfriend plaid shirt with light blue J crew factory skirt and floral pumps

Because I am always looking for an opportunity to pattern mix, I chose to wear my floral print shoes here. For the rest of my accessories, I chose to carry a navy purse to echo the navy in the shoes. And as for my jewelry, I decided to just wear one bold piece: my Zosma earrings.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red Target boyfriend plaid shirt with light blue J crew factory skirt and floral pumps Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue and red Target boyfriend plaid shirt with light blue J crew factory skirt and floral pumps

Light Blue and Red Outfits: Color Block

For the daring color lovers out there, I challenge you to wear the colors boldly in a light blue and red color block! Here I chose a light blue blouse and red pleated skirt.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue loft blouse and red HM pleated skirt and floral pumps Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue loft blouse and red HM pleated skirt and floral pumps Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue loft blouse and red HM pleated skirt and floral pumps

Once again, I chose my floral print shoes. I then added my navy clutch to contrast the blue of the top and coordinate with the shoes.

Everyday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue loft blouse and red HM pleated skirt and floral pumpsEveryday style blogger polished whimsy wearing examples of light blue and red outfits: baby blue loft blouse and red HM pleated skirt and floral pumps

Light Blue and Red Outfits: It’s In The Bag

Sometimes a fantastic color combination can be found in one small accessory. Case in point is this pretty floral clutch. It has baby blue and red together in one item. Therefore you can wear a neutral item and just grab this baby to add the color to your outfit!

Light blue and red outfits: light blue and red floral print Target Sam and Libby clutch with crossbody strap

I hope you enjoyed the light blue and red outfits. Below is a selection of items you can purchase to make your own versions of my light blue and red outfits. Let me know which one you’re planning on trying!

One Item Four Ways: Floral dress

Hello friend,

One of my recent purchases has been this gorgeous high low floral dress from the Who What Wear line at Target.

Target Who What Wear Women's Long Sleeve Crepe Dress with baublebar earrings and rebecca minkoff love bag

From the moment I saw it in the store, I knew it had to be mine. I waited a few days to purchase, following my personal “cooling off period” rule. But after those few days, I still *needed* it. So off I went to Target and quickly snapped it up. Within ten days of purchase, I had already worn the dress three times. That was my cue to write a one item four ways post.

Now you all know, I like separates. They are easy to mix and match, thus allowing me to alter my look constantly. In contrast, dresses are one piece; that makes them innately harder to style in different ways. Because of that reason, I challenged myself to try multiple looks with this floral dress. In addition to the four looks I needed for the post, I easily found three more. Therefore I believe I have disproved my assumption that dresses are harder to style.

For my first pairing, I chose a simple layered look for our warm early fall weather. I paired the dress with warm cognac hued sandals and a neutral cardigan. Then, I topped it all off with a similar tone belt.

Target Who What Wear Women's Long Sleeve Crepe Dress with cardigan, belt and sandals

For a casual evening out look, I changed out the sandals for a pair of booties. I also added a structured bag and a pair of statement earrings.

Target Who What Wear Women's Long Sleeve Crepe Dress with vince camuto booties

Target Who What Wear Women's Long Sleeve Crepe Dress with baublebar primrose drops earrings

Following those classic looks, I tried a boho look. To accomplish the bohemian vibe, I accessorized the dress with fringe booties and a floppy hat.

Target Who What Wear Women's Long Sleeve Crepe Dress with baublebar lariat choker Sam Edelman fringe booties and baublebar lariat choker

In addition, over-sized sunglasses and a black lariat choker complete the boho look.

Target Who What Wear Women's Long Sleeve Crepe Dress with baublebar lariat choker

Next I added some layers. Because I was confident vests would look good with the dress, I tried two looks. To start off safe, I tried a denim vest. It did not fail me! The resulting look was fun and carefree.

Target Who What Wear Women's Long Sleeve Crepe floral Dress with demin best

In contrast to the standard denim vest, for the next look, I pushed the envelope and chose a shearling lined faux suede vest. While the texture of the vest may seem at odds with the femininity of the floral dress, the contradiction adds interest and individuality to the outfit. This is definitely an edgier look, but one that, in my opinion, still works.

Target Who What Wear Women's Long Sleeve Crepe Dress with shearling vest

Following that bold pairing, for the next outfit I decided to juxtapose soft and hard by pairing the dress with a moto jacket. I chose my blush pink moto jacket because the color went well with the ones in the dress.

Target Who What Wear Women's Long Sleeve Crepe Dress with forever 21 leather moto jacket

For the last look, I wanted to transition the dress to winter. I have always loved pairing sweaters with dresses. It’s like getting a whole new item, a skirt! Therefore, I pulled out my chunky turtleneck sweater to wear with the dress. As predicted, it complemented the skirt perfectly. I also took a note from Target’s styling of a similar dress and paired my booties with thin socks.

Target Who What Wear Women's Long Sleeve Crepe Dress with turtleneck sweater, baublebar primrose earrings and rebecca minkoff jumbo love bag

Target Who What Wear Women's Long Sleeve Crepe Dress with turtleneck sweater and baublebar primrose earrings

I am so pleased with myself for putting together seven outfits with one floral dress. If you have any more suggestions or a favorite, please let me know in the comments! Furthermore, you can shop some of the items from this post with the links below!

Go-To Look: striped dresses + scarves

Hello friend!

In this series I’d like to share simple go-to looks that will always work for you. This past week I had one really rough day. I truly did not want to go to work. I was not feeling well. But I had to go in as I had a few meetings I could not miss. So I forced myself up and dragged myself to my closet. Needless to say, I was in no mood to dress up (gasp! it happens!). With very little energy available to create a unique look, I turned to one of my old stand-bys: a striped dress with a patterned scarf.

IMG_7944 (2)
Dress: Target; scarf: Old Navy; shoes: Nordstrom; purse: Rebecca Minkoff

The simplicity of a striped outfit paired with a bold floral print just screams happy and pulled together even if you don’t feel that way. I got many compliments that day despite feeling unwell.IMG_7965 (2)

This look works with both swing style dresses shown above as well as more fitted dresses like below.

red stripes
Dress: Kohls; vest: Express; scarf: Norstrom Rack; shoes: Nordstrom

This look is also ideal for travel. The dresses and scarves do not take up too much valuable luggage space. They are comfortable to wear, work for many occasions and will not wrinkle easily. Can you ask for more?

napa stripes
Wine tasting in Napa; Dress: Target; scarf: Nordstrom Rack; sandals: Target
germany stripes
Sightseeing in Germany; Dress: Target; scarf: Nordstrom; sandals: Bloomingdales

What are your go-to outfits? Share in the comments. Also please share in your social media posts by clicking on one of the share buttons!

Current Obsession: Cut-out back dresses

Hello friend!

This session of current obsessions is about my new found interest in cut-out back dresses. Believe it or not, until this year I had not owned a backless or cut-out back item. This is in part due to a lingering insecurity from my teen years. As a teen I had pretty severe acne, including the dreaded bacne!

Thankfully after my early adult years, the acne situation resolved. But I was still insecure about wearing open back clothing (don’t get me started on swim wear!) because of residual scars and discoloration. Now that I am well into my thirties, I am letting go of all this self consciousness and embracing myself for who I am. Yes I may have some scars (don’t we all, somewhere?) But I am tired of making myself miss out on cute items to wear or fun activities to do because I am insecure about the way I look. I have done that far too long in my life. It’s time to live. It’s time to wear an open back dress and walk proudly!

topshop striped dress 2 (2)And walk proudly I did. I wore this Topshop dress to a concert just two weekends ago. It was a hot summer night. The side slits and the partially open back were welcome means of ventilation. The dress was perfect for the occasion. However, what was more meaningful to me was not just wearing the dress, but wearing it with confidence. I felt good and it showed!

With the success of the first dress, I did not deter from getting another that I had my eye on. This time it was a Loft dress. This dress had a criss cross back with a small cut-out underneath the criss-cross. The original one I tried on in store was a peach color. Two things were wrong with that item. First peach is NOT my color. Second, the light color made the dress virtually see-through. I’m all for embracing my body and showing some skin, but that colorway would have been verging on vulgar. So off to the internets I went and what do you know? It came in another color. My long time love. My favorite. My go-to … Chambray! I was all set to order. Sadly, my size was sold out online, but my good friend Kristen of Kleighstyle blog, was able to order one for me. The dress arrived in time for an outdoor family gathering. The dress proved to be perfectly suitable and appropriate for the event.IMG_7665IMG_7672 (2)

I chose to wear it with a chunky heeled sandal. I have learned not to wear heels for backyard parties. Why spend all night digging into the grass, not to mention ruining your gorgeous heels? I forewent a necklace for a gorgeous pair of  statement earrings from the fantastic jewelry designer Sheila Fajl. I loved the simplicity of the look with the wow factor of the back of the dress.

IMG_7692

What style or trend are you currently crushing on? Please share in the comments. Also, continue this topic with your friends by sharing this post across your social media feeds.