Happy Monday! Can you believe Christmas week is here? Even though I had my home decorated for the season before Thanksgiving this year, I feel like this week sneaked up on me…as usual. Last night I attended a beautiful advent service produced by my daughter’s church. It was held in an old theater in Atlanta. I did dress festively for the occasion, but I wore my navy slacks, an olive green cashmere sweater and my tweed blazer. But today I’m turning our attention to a sparkly dress that I think would be perfect for dressier festive occasions this winter.
This Donna Morgan Textured Chiffon Fit & Flare Dress surprised me with how much I like it. This soft, fluid dress has lovely body and fits so nicely true to size. The gathered, elasticized waist band fits softly at the waist, creating those desirable curves, but not squeezing me in at all. This is definitely the kind of dress I like to wear to weddings and other festive events during the fall and winter because it’s both comfortable and flattering. And I think the soft taupe, black and gold in this dress would be becoming on most anyone, adding light and a little brilliance.
Unfortunately this Donna Morgan Textured Chiffon Fit & Flare Dress is excluded from Talbots’ promotional offers, so I don’t expect it to be available at a sale price any time soon. That’s odd because I just checked my receipt and I did indeed get the dress for 50% off a few weeks ago. Anyhow, while I truly love this dress and can highly recommend it for your festive winter occasion, such as a wedding, anniversary party, company party or retirement fete, I won’t spend too much of our time on it. Instead let’s talk about some of the keys to pulling together a beautiful, sophisticated look for such an event.
- Don’t hesitate to add a little sparkle. If you’ve heard somewhere along the way that older women shouldn’t wear glitter or sparkle, you can forget that poor advice right now. Obviously we want to be tasteful in our approach, but we absolutely can add a little sparkle and shine to our outfits, especially when we’re dressing for a celebration. I love the delicate streaks of gold in this dress, but I’ve also added a little shine in my earrings, my handbag and even my eye shadow (similar).
When it comes to adding some sparkle in your makeup, choose soft shades and consider using only one shade that has luminescence. Apply that shadow just over the iris of your eye, adding a little light and illumination where you want it most, but not all over your eye lid. Or you could add just a touch of sparkle with a highlighter on your cheek bones or a bit of glittery lip gloss. But I would resist the urge to add shimmer on eyes, lips and cheeks.
- Add some bright polish on your nails. Especially if you’re wearing a dress in neutrals as I did here, adding some color on your nails is oh so smart. You don’t have to wear red (really Dutch Tulips by OPI) as I did here. A pretty pink is nice, too. Or even nicely manicured nails with a clear or pale polish can look lovely. The trick is simply to have your nails looking as lovely as possible.
- You absolutely can wear pantyhose! Don’t believe the myth that pantyhose are out. You can still wear hosiery and look modern and lovely. Just choose hose that are very sheer and in a tone as close to your skin color as possible. You also don’t want a lot of sheen in the hose. I love these Nordstrom brand hose, but they no longer have them in the nude shade I’m wearing. I have others I can highly recommend in the shopping widget below.
- Wear shoes that elevate your look. Truly, shoes can make or break your outfit. I generally love wearing nude heels with dresses, but when I tried them with this dress it just looked like something was missing. When I added the black suede pumps they somehow tied the look together a little better. Because they have a heel, a low vamp and a pretty silhouette, I think these black pumps work beautifully here. The key is simply to wear shoes that are just as dressy and special as the rest of your attire.
- Carry a dressy handbag that adds to the glamour. Similarly to your footwear, a handbag can elevate or sabotage an outfit. I think it’s smart to have a versatile special occasion shoulder bag or clutch on hand for weddings and other significant events and outings. My particular bag is no longer, but the brand is Nina, and I have several in the shopping widget below.
Sometimes I think we over complicate dressing for special occasions. Instead of thinking that we have to buy a new dress for every party or wedding, I think it’s wise to have a dress in your closet that has a timeless silhouette, consists of colors you enjoy and that flatter you and wears comfortably and easily. And if we have the accessories such as a pretty clutch, some sparkly jewelry and a nice pair of shoes, we can focus more on enjoying the event and the reason for the occasion rather than fretting over a completely new outfit.
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This week as we head toward the celebrations of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, let’s choose not to be flustered by inconveniences and interruptions. They’ll undoubtedly barge onto our calendars and into our packed tight schedules. But when those interruptions come we have a choice. We can navigate them with grace or lose our cool, cast blame and complain.
I marvel that Mary and Joseph set out for Bethlehem to register for a census in the latter days of her pregnancy. This young couple had already faced more than their share of surprises, but on top of that they had to make an arduous journey at a difficult time. However, the result of their obedience on those hard days was that prophecy was fulfilled and Christ entered the world exactly where He was supposed to. Let’s allow God to work in the midst of the mayhem this holiday season and trust that He is in control even when life seems to be a little crazy.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. ~ Luke 2:1
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”