Happy Monday! Well, we’re going to make it one. Regardless of the turmoil around us or what personal struggles we may be facing, we can choose to walk into this day with joy and hope. That decision does not hinge on anyone else or what’s being reported on the news or chatted up in social media. So, sweet friend, let’s be the classy ladies we are and get dressed for our day and make it a good one. Today I’ve got a little winter outfit inspiration for you with another winter classics outfit.
In this Winter Classics mini series I’m styling wardrobe essentials and favorites strictly from my closet with classic style formulas. Yes, I’m still sharing new fashions here and there for the next couple of months, but The Winter Classics posts will give you outfit inspiration for which you can just “shop your closet.”
Creating a column of black with simple, solid wardrobe basics is absolutely my favorite style formula. Hands down. I do love me some black. But if you think black is too harsh for you or it’s simply not your favorite to wear, you can absolutely create a similar look with a different neutral, such as navy, brown, grey or even denim. So as I talk through the rest of this post, just substitute the solid essentials of your choice in place of my classic black pants and cashmere sweater if you’d like. If I say black, you think…grey, navy, what have you. Okay?
While I’m trying to keep these Winter Classics posts more about style tips and less about featuring individual pieces of clothing, I do need to mention that my favorite black pants, (which I’ve had in my closet for three years now) are fully stocked and 55% off (as of Sunday afternoon). I love the way these Nic+Zoe Wonderstretch pull-on pants create such lean lines. The 76% rayon, 21% nylon, 3% spandex pants have laundered beautifully, too.
I’m also enjoying my camel and black cap toe slingbacks. And they really might be a must-have if you have included both black and camel in your wardrobe. And at this price, these are worth looking at. For years I lusted after much more expensive similar shoes, so I’m very glad I found these slingbacks and I know I’ll wear them for years. OOH! But I also found a great flat cap toe option, and it’s on sale!
Beauty Tip: Since taking these photos I’ve begun applying a little of this self-tanner just to my feet and ankles every few days. I really hate applying self-tanner, but I’ve decided that if I’m going to occasionally bare my ankles like this I’ll feel much more confident if my feet aren’t quite so white. Ha! I’m really liking the results.
Of course the trick to creating a column of black is simply to wear black neck to toe (or ankle) and then encapsulate it with a jacket, cardigan, coat or other wrap, such as a ruana or kimono. Generally, I’d say wear black (or the color) neck to toe, wearing black shoes also. But the exception to that “rule” would be wearing nude or flesh colored shoes because they don’t interrupt the line. And in this case I’ve worn nude heels with black toe caps so it works beautifully.
Anybody else love spectator pumps like I do??? I love them. They don’t seem to be especially in vogue right now. But if you have them in the appropriate colors, you absolutely can wear them, and they would look beautiful here. Spectator pumps are classics, so they’re never really out of style. They’re not on trend right now, mind you. But they’re not out of style either. Make sense?
Rabbit!! Ha! Okay, back to today’s Winter Classics outfit.
I personally love this look with just the black and camel. But I did have James take a few photos with my red satchel bag (no longer available), too. So you certainly can throw in a little color to an outfit like this if that’s your jam. Personally, I would reserve that splash of color for either your handbag, a scarf or jewelry. I probably wouldn’t mess up the lines with a colored belt, and while I do love to wear my red suede pumps with an all black outfit, I have to realize that’s no longer a true column of black.
Honestly, when you’ve created a duotone outfit with a column of black and a classic camel coat, you’ve got a good thing going on. So why mess it up? I think the very best place to add some color is on your lips and your nails. Here I’m wearing a Mary Kay Scarlet Red with some kind of lip gloss. Generally I’m wearing a “lipstick cocktail” in these photos. Anybody??? Hahaha! But I know I’ve been enjoying the Mary Kay Scarlet Red this winter, so that’s at least the base on my lips. And on my nails I’m wearing OPI’s Infinite Shine in An Affair in Red Square.
And then there’s the coat. Keeping in mind that you can create a similar column of black or any color with a variety of toppers, I have to say that adding a long solid colored coat is going to give you the most elegant effect. For instance, you can see how I created a column of black with spring colors in this previous post. Same pants and similar cashmere sweater. Even in that post, the solid pink coat looks more refined and elegant than the green cardigan.
But that’s okay. Just keep this in mind when creating your column of black. If you want elegant, top the black column with a grey, camel or even blue or red coat. If you want more casual, opt for a cardigan. If you want a professional look, choose a camel or tweed blazer. And if you want super casual and relaxed, top your column with a twill field or safari jacket. The possibilities are endless and the topper you choose will largely determine the final effect.
I love wearing a column of black. I think I said that already. Ha! If you’d like I can create more similar looks with different elements. Do you want to see more columns of black? Or maybe a column with a different color? I created a column of denim in this previous post. And don’t forget to take a look at my old post, Creating a Column of Black with Spring Hues if you’re interested. (Psst! Just between me and you, I happen to know that a favorite retailer is coming out with a similar pink trench this year!)
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Blessed for My Day
When our hearts are broken over sin and disharmony and strife, it’s a quick ride into depression. With the weight of bad news or news of the bad weighing heavy on our shoulders and hearts, we can soon lose hope and begin to feel like all is lost. I’ve been there in recent days, and you probably have, too. Honestly, if our hope hinges on anything in this world, there truly is little to look forward to.
But whether you’re dealing with a personal battle or just watching the war of the worlds on the evening news (maybe stop doing that???), I want you to know there is hope to cling to. In Nehemiah told the broken hearted people gathered around the ruins of Jerusalem not to grieve, “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Then the Levites went among the people and calmed them with a reminder that “this day is holy.” Sister, this day is holy. Psalm 118:24 says, This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
If God has given us another day to live, it’s a holy day. We have work to do, purposes to fulfill, people to bless, prayers to pray and lessons to learn. Let’s choose to see this day – whatever it may hold – as holy unto the Lord. And let’s remember that the joy of the Lord is the strength that will help us to walk through it with hope and purpose and confidence.
Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” ~ Nehemiah 8:10-11