20 Days of Christmas - Red Velvet Jacket

When you think of Christmas style, what piece in your wardrobe do you think of? Is it a bright green dress, an ugly Christmas sweater or maybe a classic holiday vest with jingle bells and bits of bling? One fabric that always says Christmas and holiday gatherings to me is velvet, or the faux version that we see everywhere these days. The original manufacture of velvet was a complicated and costly process and traditionally was made from silk. Today’s velvet is manufactured at much lower cost, on large machines and is made of various types of fabrics including polyester, nylon, viscose and even spandex. Many of the pieces that make it into our wardrobe in the form of tops are these types and are known as “stretch velvet.”

I found this gorgeous red, velvet jacket at a thrift store and fell in love. The color, the fit and the fact that it is made of velvet compelled me to try it on and once I did, I knew I would be styling it for Christmas and other days throughout the winter. This blazer is a brand called Briggs New York.

20 Days of Christmas - Red Velvet Jacket

I wanted a festive, but casual look with an edge, so I chose my Sonoma camo jeans. I also added a recently purchased long sleeve Croft and Barrow striped tee from Kohl’s. Thanksgiving weekend and the week following are great times to find essentials for yourself while you are shopping for everyone else. Long sleeve tees are sold at great prices, so you can pick up a few. Ha, ha.

I couldn’t make up my mind for jewelry so I went with two necklaces for a layered look. Even though the greens on the necklaces don’t match and the metals are different I think it works.

20 Days of Christmas - Red Velvet Jacket
20 Days of Christmas - Red Velvet Jacket

Since I went with dual necklaces, I went for dual bracelets as well and once again mixed silver and gold. If Burl Ives as Sam the Snowman can do it, why can’t I? I also used my daughter’s minty green clutch. Thank you, Rebecca!

My olive green SO ankle boots are making another appearance. I rolled the hem on my jeans so that the whole boot shows. I like the cut out on these. It makes the boot more interesting and also makes them easier to walk in and easier to get on an off. These have an inside zipper as well. You can see these similar ones at Kohl’s. Right now they are marked down from $49.99 to $34.99. Unfortunately they no longer have olive colored ones. But here are a few olive pairs from Francesca’s, Old Navy and these Sonoma ones at Kohl’s.

20 Days of Christmas - Red Velvet Jacket

One thing I have learned from doing this 20 Days of Christmas Challenge is that many clothing pieces have greater potential than we realize. Who would have ever thought to use camouflage jeans in a Christmas outfit? I’m sure someone thought of it before me, but to me it was new. It has also made me rethink pattern mixing. I love this combination of red stripes with the camo. I also really liked the festive look of last week’s, Eva Trends dress with my plaid shawl/vest. You can see that post here.

20 Days of Christmas - Red Velvet Jacket

What do you think of this outfit? Would you wear something like this to a Christmas get together?

For those of you who regularly get my emails, I apologize for not sending an email out last week. I have been swamped with work, family responsibilities and Christmas gatherings and preparations. I haven’t forgotten about you and you all are the reason I keep doing this, so thank you. If you don’t get an email, just go to the blog and check for new content. I appreciate it.

Have a great Tuesday everyone.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.

I’ve added a few shopping links for all things red velvet. These are affiliate links. If you click on a link, I get a few pennies. I appreciate every click. All opinions are my own.


20 Days of Christmas - Eva Trends Dress

Many of you know that I worked with Eva Trends earlier this year on a collaboration where I featured three of their clothing pieces over the course of three posts. I was recently contacted by Eva Trends again and they gifted me three more items to feature on my blog.

Today’s post revolves around the Tori A-Line dress, a light weight piece that really would be perfect for spring and summer. Made of a light weight cotton, this piece will see additional wear in the warmer months. However, since I like to expand my thinking and my wardrobe, I thought it would be fun to layer this dress up for a festive, warm Christmas outfit.

20 Days of Christmas - Eva Trends Dress

I love the fun pattern on this dress. In keeping with many of Eva Trends silhouettes the dress is an a-line with plenty of room. As the material has no stretch, it is helpful that it has a more voluminous outline. I usually don’t like things this long that don’t have a zipper or buttons, but I had no problem pulling this on and off.

20 Days of Christmas - Eva Trends Dress

Here are a few pictures without the plaid shawl/vest.

For this particular outfit, I layered a long sleeve lace tee under the top and leggings at the bottom. Layering is the perfect way to make those summer weight pieces usable in the colder months.

Accessories included a navy blue fringe necklace, a burgundy cross body bag and my burgundy ankle boots.

20 Days of Christmas - Eva Trends Dress
20 Days of Christmas - Eva Trends Dress

You can see in the above picture the dress has a bit of a high-low hem line. I will say, that when you go to the Eva Trends website the proportions on their models compared to our own bodies might be a little skewed. This is a Chinese company and many of their models are smaller than many of us. This dress in the picture I looked at on line, goes down to the model’s ankles. Ha, ha. As you can see that is not the case with me. However, I love it and can’t wait to do more things with it with belts and vests, jackets and jeans.

20 Days of Christmas - Eva Trends Dress

To complete my look I added a plaid shawl/vest for extra warmth and some fun pattern mixing. I think this dress is a perfect, festive piece for the Holiday season even if it is light weight. That just means more layers, which I love. I love to get creative in my layering, so I think this worked.

Eva Trends is offering my followers a 15% discount if you go through my website. Just use the code AC15 at check out. Be sure to go to their website. They have some unique, fun pieces that you won’t find any where else. Many of my blogger friends are featuring their pieces. From warm sweaters to interesting trousers to lovely lace dresses and oversized coats, Eva Trends has many different styles to choose from.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you’ll take some time to shop Eva Trends.

Have a great weekend.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.


20 Days of Christmas - Plaid Pants

Every now and then I have to get outside my comfort box. I have never really liked wearing things that draw attention to my lower half. Especially tight fitting, brightly colored pieces. I prefer a-line dresses to body con styles. If you don’t know, body con is more of a form fitting dress. I prefer dark wash jeans to lighter washes and feel most comfortable in jeans rather than leggings. I don’t wear leggings as pants, or if I do, I have my bum covered. Anyway, when I saw these crazy, red, plaid pants at Target on the clearance rack, I immediately thought of my Christmas challenge.

Those of you who regularly follow me, know I have been doing a monthly column called Outside the Box. These have been posts that I have done to try to challenge myself to get out of my typical fashion mentality. Let’s face it, we all like to be comfortable. Some women are comfortable in heels and dresses. While I can do that, it is not what I turn to when I want to feel secure. My go to, as you know are jeans and cozy sweaters or flannel shirts. But I also know that part of getting older is the urge to get stuck in a rut and not be willing to learn or try new things, thus the idea of getting outside the box.

20 Days of Christmas - Plaid pants

These plaid pants do not have any green in them, so they will be easily styled with other colors, but I thought they were perfect when paired with a newer Croft & Barrow v-neck cable knit sweater and a thrifted blazer.

20 Days of Christmas - plaid pants

This blazer is actually meant to have a double breasted look, but I am too big to button it in that manner. However, when I saw it, it was the buttons on each side that made me want to buy it, that and the color. I think wearing it open, using the buttons for a decoration, works just as well. Since it is more of a forest green, I felt that it keeps the outfit from being too over the top with color.

I decided on silver for my accessories and was excited to remember this large silver pendant necklace that closely resembles a snowflake. That and my SO silver flats and a small silver clutch complete the ensemble.

20 Days of Christmas - plaid pants
20 Days of Christmas - plaid pants
20 Days of Christmas - plaid pants
20 Days of Christmas - plaid pants

I think this outfit is festive and fun and would work well for a Christmas office party, or a lunch date with your girlfriends. Would you wear a pair of pants like this? How do you like to dress up for a Christmas party?

I’ve included a few shopping links for more fun plaid prints. These are affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Layering Love - Christmas Outfit Two Ways

Since Christmas is just a few days away I thought I would show an outfit with a Christmas sweater. The Ugly Christmas Sweater movement has given way to a whole Christmas trend. You can find Christmas sweaters that  are bright, colorful, stylish and absolutely gaudy. Ha, ha. This one I am wearing I got at Christopher and Banks a few years ago. 

Layering love - Christmas outfit

I like the simplicity of it, yet with its bright red color, reindeer and snowflakes, it still says Christmas. I added a pair of creamy white corduroys to keep the outfit warm and cozy. 

I decided on silver or gray accessories. My small hobo bag is just right for a wallet, keys and a few things like lip gloss and tissues. I also decided to go simple with my pendant necklace and silver bracelet.

I thought my gray high top Converse would also be the perfect shoe to wear with this outfit. 

For a more dressed up look I added a gray vest with bling, Swapped out the jewelry for items with a bit more shine and changed the bag to a patent leather red clutch. I also exchanged the Converse for my gray heels. 

Layering love - Christmas outfit
Layering love - Christmas outfit

Here are the looks side by side.

One outfit, two ways, just by making a few small changes. It's that easy. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. We will be doing some traveling, so I will be out of my regular posting schedule, but I will try to post a few things about our trip. 

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by the blog. 

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Holiday Outfit - Dressy Casual - Jeans

There are times during the holidays that an event calls for a look that is more than casual but not overly dressy. This is what I call dressy casual. This is often the perfect choice for a holiday office party, a dinner and shopping date with your significant other, or a party in someone's home.

Here are some tips for putting together a dressy casual outfit for the holidays using pieces already in your closet. 

1. Pick a pair of nice dark wash jeans.

For this look I chose my Rock & Republic boot cut jeans. What makes these jeans a more dressy choice has to do with the cut and wash of the fabric. A boot cut jean is figure flattering on just about anyone, as is a dark wash. A dark wash also looks more polished than a lighter wash. I also feel a jean without tears or holes is more dressy than a distressed look. As you can see these are more fitted as well. A baggier jean gives a look a more casual vibe. Another option for this outfit would be a denim trouser. Here is a version of what I am thinking. Here is a pair from Target

Holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans
Holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans
Holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans

2. Select a blouse appropriate for the holidays.

My shiny cream colored blouse is Jaclyn Smith brand and I found it at a thrift store. A blouse like this can be worn out or tucked in. I chose to wear mine out to keep my look casual, but flirty. 

What exactly makes a blouse holiday worthy? I think the blouse needs to fit you well and serve as a back drop for fun jewelry or scarves. If you want to go with a holiday color like red, green or gold that's fine, but I would keep it a single color. If you don't have a blouse like this, a crisp white cotton blend would work as well. A longer tunic type blouse would also work. A button up or a blouse made from a shiny polyester blend gives a more dressy look. 

3. Choose a few awesome accessories. 

I decided to use burgundy for my accessory color and I chose to stay with that color for my necklace, bag and shoes. I feel that in this case, less is more. This would also work with a few layers of gold chains, a sparkly clutch and heels. I have styled this burgundy necklace from Charming Charlie before on the blog. You can see those posts here, here and here

holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans

This is a unique piece of wood and metal and makes the perfect statement against the creamy background of the top. You can see I also added my burgundy bracelet with the magnetic closure. 

Holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans

This burgundy clutch was a recent thrift store find and I find myself reaching for it again and again. I think burgundy and maroon are a great color to add to many outfits for fall and winter. Especially in the form of accessories. 

4. Grab your heels.

There is just something about a great pair of heels that takes any outfit up a notch. High heels tend to make us walk with better posture and stand up straighter. I don't wear heels very often, but when I do, I feel like I am dressed up. Heels are no brainers with skirts, dresses and dress pants, but they look fabulous with jeans and just look how much classier this outfit looks with them. 

Holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans

These berry colored shooties are Bandolino brand. Here is something with a lower block heel by Franco Sarto. Here is another pair with higher heels from Macy's.

Holiday outfit - dressy casual - jeans

This is an easy outfit to put together as it only has two pieces plus accessories. Once in a while a minimalist approach is the best approach, especially when the holidays can be hectic and fast paced. 

I hope you are enjoying this series on dressing for the holidays. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Be sure to check back on Thursday for an easy way to layer for a day at the mall. 

This post contains affiliate links. Some links provide shopping opportunities. If you click on a link I get a few cents. If you make a purchase through my blog, I get a little commission. All opinions are my own.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull

Holiday Outfit - Casual - Skirt

In this series on holiday outfits I wanted to give you options that you can use for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Although, by the time this series is done, Thanksgiving will be over. I can't believe it is on Thursday. I just took out my turkey this morning to start thawing. How many of you are cooking on Thursday? I really don't mind the work. When I have a special occasion I like to cook. When life is busy my spouse and I will eat out a couple times a week, so when I get the chance to cook, I do enjoy it. The clean up, not so much! Ha, ha

For this week's post I took a leopard print skirt and designed a casual and comfortable outfit that still looks chic and festive. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

Like I did last week, I'll organize this in a way that will help you build a holiday outfit from pieces that you already own. 

1. Pick a casual skirt that you like to wear. I doesn't have to have a print, but prints are fun. In keeping with the time of year, maybe choose a piece that has darker colors or more fall-like tones. Length is up to you. Mini's, maxi's or something in between all work as the foundation for a festive holiday outfit. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

The thing that makes this Jones, NY leopard print, pencil skirt more casual is its texture. It is made of narrow wale corduroy. Corduroy is very close to a ridged velvet. The fabric has the same soft feel, so it is comfortable and movable. Another thing that makes this skirt more casual is the belt loops and front zipper. I have another leopard print skirt that I styled on the blog here, but I feel it is more dressy. It is a smooth chino type fabric with a structured waist that buttons on the side. i'll admit they look pretty similar and I will probably get rid of one of them at some point, but for now, I am guilty of owning two leopard print skirts. Ha, ha. 

Another great casual skirt that you could easily dress up for the holidays is a denim one. Denim is the perfect back drop for all sorts of pretty combinations that stay casual, but still say holidays.

2. Pick a festive companion piece. For my outfit I chose two companion pieces, an open weave pullover sweater with gold threads, and a denim vest with silver bling on the yoke. This sweater is Covington and the vest is Christopher & Banks

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

The bling gives the outfit a holiday feel without being a top that has the actual holiday on it. If you don't have a top with bling choose a vest or sweater in the season's color. A rich burgundy or maroon will work great for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Even a deep purple or rusty orange will give an outfit a holiday vibe. 

3. Pick your jewelry. If you have a more blingy top you might want to forgo the jewelry, lest you feel like a Christmas decoration, but if you think the more the better, then welcome to my world. The goal is overstatement versus understatement

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

I chose a brassy necklace that had a few beads that matched the Butterum color in the skirt. The brassy chain also goes with the brass buckle on my belt. Sometimes mixing metals can clash, but I think in this outfit it works because no one metal takes center stage. They all compliment and work together with other colors in the outfit.

If your outfit pieces have no bling, then you can layer on the jewelry. Try multiple layers of gold or silver necklaces, or mix them up. Gold and silver can look gorgeous on a backdrop of burgundy, dark purple or deep navy. Think about what you own and try different pieces until you find something that makes you say, "I really like how that looks." Chances are, other people will think so too.

4. Add a bag. To pull together the browns in the skirt and the necklace I reached for my Butterum hobo bag. It is roomy enough to fill with additional items for a trip to see the family for dinner or even to tuck a light weight shawl for someone else's cooler home. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

5. Don't forget your shoes. Once again I reached for my Impo gray suede ankle boots. You can see I also went for a dark brown pair of tights, for full coverage of my legs. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

I chose these as they are dressy, but not too dressy. They are warm and I thought the gray color went well with the gray sweater. You could also wear knee hight boots, over the knee boots or even a pair of Keds or Converse sneakers for an even more casual look. The classier your shoes are the more dressed up the outfit will look. Heels, to me always make a dressy statement. You'll see more of that in the next four posts as we get into dressier looks. 

Holiday outfit - casual - skirt

I hope you enjoyed seeing this outfit in my holiday series and I hope it provided some inspiration for you to create a holiday look from your own closet. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull

Here are a few cute skirts and boots to shop for. This post contains affiliate links. All opinion are my own.

Holiday Outfit - Casual - Jeans

Welcome to my series on holiday style. I hope that these next few weeks will take you from Thanksgiving through the New Year in creative and inspirational ways. I grew up in a family that rarely dressed up, except for church on Sundays. Holidays were typically ultra casual, in fact sometimes on Christmas we stayed in our pjs or most comfortable sweats all day long. When I got married and we had children our holidays were always spent traveling so that we could spend time with our extended families. Living out of a suitcase for a week was always a challenge, not because I couldn't fit everything in, but because I had to plan ahead! What was I going to wear on each and every day of our time away? And how was I going to look presentable, but still be warm and comfortable?

Now that I am a fashion blogger, I want to dress in a more festive way, but still stay true to my comfortable, relaxed roots. For this series I decided to take a look at three different approaches to holiday dressing, (No! I do not mean stuffing.) The first two weeks will look at a casual approach, the second two weeks a dressy casual approach and the last two weeks will be devoted to a dressy approach. I will follow that with a post on a New Years eve look. So let's begin.

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

Certainly all of you own a pair of jeans. Some of you may even own a pair of cropped jeans, and/or a pair of distressed jeans. Jeans are a part of my style routine. I wear them all the time, for work, play, dressing up or down and everything in between. Maybe you are not a jeans kind of girl. but whether you are or aren't you can create a casual style using the following simple guidelines.

1. Pick a pair of jeans or casual pants that you enjoy wearing. For this outfit I chose my Vera Wang cropped distressed jeans. Here is a cute pair from Lord & Taylor. You could just as easily choose a pair of mom jeans or a pair of skinnies and just roll up the bottoms for a similar, fun look. 

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

2. Pick a fun sweater. It doesn't have to be a holiday sweater. I think it is fun to wear something with a holiday motif after Thanksgiving, but until then, any warm cozy sweater will do and over sized is even better. Here is one from Old Navy, Nautica and Target

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

I found this fair isle sweater on the clearance rack at Kohls. It is amazing the treasures you can find on the clearance rack for just about any season. This is Chaps brand, which is on the higher end of what I like to spend, so finding it on clearance with a good coupon was a win. I tucked it away knowing I would be able to use it this winter. 

If you are not familiar with fair isle, it is a knitting technique that uses multiple colors to create patterns. This sweater also has some silver threads knitted in, so it gives the fair isle pattern some subtle bling. My fave and perfect for a holiday gathering.

As you can see I had a tank top underneath, but it works because the pinky red of the tank matches the pinky red in the sweater. I am always cold in the winter, unless I am moving around, so I like to have an extra layer or two, but more on that Thursday in my Layering Love series. Ha!

3. Add a few statement jewelry pieces. Jewelry can be such a wonderful outfit booster. A fun piece of jewelry can take an outfit from dowdy to divine.

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

This pendant was another Kohl's clearance find. The bracelet I found on my first visit to Chico's. The two matched perfectly to one another and to the light blue in this sweater. Plus the silver trim goes well with the silver threads in the sweater. 

This brings me to another style question that seems to often come up...to match or not to match? This really is a matter of personal taste. I personally love to have at least a little bit of matching going on in an outfit. I feel that it makes the outfit look polished and gives it a classic, pulled together feel, BUT that is just my personal taste. There are many fashion bloggers who take pride in not being matchy and do a fabulous job at it! Do what is best for you. After all that is what this blogging thing is all about, helping you find your own style!

4. Grab a great bag. Since red is big this fall, I couldn't resist pulling out this Arizona Jeans brand Buffalo plaid tote. A Penney's clearance purchase last year, I got this as a possible Christmas gift, but decided to keep it for myself. Ha, ha. Here is an adorable one from dressbarn

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

A tote bag is a great way to transport things, especially if you are going to visit family at the holidays. Whether you are going just for dinner, for the day or for an extended weekend, a large roomy tote will give your room for all your essentials, a few little gifts and that book you are planning to read in the car while someone else drives. Oh, and don't forget that water bottle! The holidays can be a hard time to keep hydrated because there are so many goodies and fun drinks occupying our hands 

5. Don't forget the shoes. Just because you are going casual doesn't mean you have to wear sneakers, although a cute pair of hi-top Converse would be perfect with this outfit. I chose my wedge heel ankle boots from Impo. Here is a very similar pair from Macy's

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

I love these gray suede boots. They are super comfy, but also stylish. I wear these over and over during the cold weather. 

Holiday outfit - casual - jeans

This is a look that I will most likely be wearing over the next few weeks as the holidays begin. It would be a great casual look for a holiday gathering, movie night or a day out Christmas shopping. I hope the tips I gave you will help you come up with your own casual holiday outfit. 

I would love to hear about what outfits you came up with. Leave me a note about them in the comments section, or leave me a picture on my Facebook page. I'd love to see your looks.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull

Below are a few shopping options. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link, I get a few cents. If you buy an item through a link I get a small commission. All opinions are my own. 

Color Crash Course - Christmas Colors

For as long as I can remember we have associated red and green with Christmas. It probably has something to do with holly, poinsettias, and other traditions passed down through the years. Here is a good website to learn about Christmas traditions, whychristmas.com. Of course I had to take the challenge of coming up with an outfit or two that uses these wonderful colors without looking like a walking version of an ugly Christmas sweater. Here we go.

In the first outfit, I chose to use more green with just a hint of red and a large splash of gold.

color crash course - red and green

For this outfit I wore a green turtleneck sweater. To tone down the "too Christmassy" look, I only used red for my jewelry. I wore gray leggings with my gray ankle boots to elongate my legs, then topped the whole outfit with this gold fringed cape that I got from Chico's. 

color crash course - red and green

Here you can see the necklace and bracelet I chose to bring red into the outfit. The jewelry is not overwhelmingly red, just a few beads here and there mixed in with gold and tan.

color crash course - red and green

Here is a great shot of the fringe on this fun cape. I look a little crazy in this picture. Ha, ha. 

color crash course -

For my next outfit, I decided to use the red for the brighter color and tone down the green.

color crash course - red and green

Again, I wore leggings, this time a blue pair. I kept this outfit even more casual figuring it would be perfect for a Christmas day spent at home. I left the blue and red flannel shirt untucked to give the outfit a very laid back vibe. Instead of a bright Christmas green I opted for an olive colored sweater and an olive necklace.

color crash course - red and green

Can't have casual without a fun pair of sneakers, so it was the navy Keds for this outfit.

Here you have the two outfits side by side.

And just for the sake of being a proud mama, I am including three more pics that I thought were very cool, that my daughter took. 

color crash course - red and green
color crash course - red and green
color crash course - red and green

Let me know what you think of these casual Christmas Day outfits. I always love your feedback.

Next week I will be celebrating with family and will not be posting on Monday and Tuesday. I will finish up this Winter Wonderland series on Thursday the 29th. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. 

Thanks for following my blog!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. 

Shopping Options:

Chicos no longer has this cape, but here is a cute poncho option - Chico's - $59.40

Green Turtleneck - Macy's - $14.99

Red Plaid Shirt - LLBean - $59.00

Olive Duster - Maurice's - $26.40