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.


Holiday Outfit - What Will You Be Wearing for New Years?

I don't know about you, but I am having severe Christmas with drawl. Do any of you experience the after Christmas blues? We had a great time with family, but all the work and anticipation leading up to that precious time is over. It makes me sad. Not sad that I had to do a lot of work, but sad that it is over. Our families are precious to us and time is a gift, so when it disappears in the blink of an eye it can leave me feeling like I just got the wind knocked out of me. I have found the best thing for me to do when I am feeling that way is be grateful, pray and move forward. On to the next thing. 

Christmas is over and the new year is on the way. My husband and I don't really do anything on New Years Eve, except go to bed early. Ha, ha. However, maybe one of these days we will get all dolled up and go to a party. You never know, what the future will bring. If I did go to a New Years Eve party this outfit, might be the perfect choice.

Holiday outfit - New Years Eve

This gold skirt is a great piece to build an outfit around for New Years. It flows and shimmers. This is Lauren Conrad brand from Kohl's. I ordered it online at the end of the spring season so I got a good deal. 

For the top I chose a sparkly gray sweater from ANA. It's a loose weave, but close enough that I didn't need to wear a cami underneath. I also added my City Steets floral bomber jacket from JC Penney. I think it gives a fun, but casual vibe to this dressy outfit. You can see how I styled this jacket before on the blog here

Holiday outfit - New Years Eve

I chose a rose gold pendant necklace and a gold clutch. When you see the clutch and skirt together, the skirt looks more blush or tan, than gold. 

Holiday outfit - New Year's Eve

These heels you have seen before. A simple pump in any color is a good way to dress up an outfit. Heels don't have to be complicated with straps or embellishments to add class to your outfit. A heeled shoe elevates your look regardless of how fancy it is.

Holiday outfit - New Year's Eve
Holiday Outfit - New Years Eve

What are your New Year's plans? Will you be going to a party? We will be traveling south looking for warmer weather. We hope to meet our kids in the Tampa area to spend the New Year's weekend together. 

Have a blessed week and a Happy 2018! 

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 - Skirt

Christmas is less than a week away. Every year I have a hard time wrapping my head around how fast the holiday season comes upon us and then passes us by. I have a busy week, but I am trying to keep my blog posts three days a week, even through this holiday time. 

Once again I am looking at a dressy holiday outfit. Today I am showing you how you could take a plain skirt and dress it up for a more formal look. Again, I chose a monochrome palette. You certainly don't have to choose monochrome for a formal look, but it really is an easy way to make an outfit look classy. I chose gray for this look. I know gray is not a color many people would choose, but gray can add a touch of elegance without going as stark as black. The beauty of gray is that it comes in different shades from  neutral, to light to a dark charcoal. 

Holiday outfit - dressy - skirt

I love this pretty red bush that was behind my daughter's apartment complex. It was the perfect backdrop for this holiday outfit. 

I found this gray pleated skirt at Kohl's on the clearance rack. It is Apt.9 brand. I saw this skirt last spring when the new season started and I just loved it, but I didn't want to pay the full price. Being a thrifter, I have the attitude that the price is more important than being what I'll term, trend timely. All that means is I am willing to wait on a piece that is more trendy to pay less. That's just me. Before I became a fashion blogger I never paid any attention to the trends, so I figure I am doing better, in that I follow trends, even if I do it later than when they first appear. Here is a pretty metallic one from Macy's.

Once I decided on the skirt I tried a few different tops with it, but settled on this gray Loft short sleeved sweater with pleated, ruffled collar

Holiday outfit - dressy - skirt

I added the Worthington drape for warmth and to add softness. Even though i only used gray for this outfit, changing the shades of gray (no pun intended) makes it more interesting 

Holiday outfit - dressy - skirt

The jewelry I am wearing I've had for some time and thought it went well with this gray palette. 

Holiday outfit - dressy- skirt

My little gray clutch is a brand called Urban Expressions. Here is a pretty red one from DSW

Holiday outfit - dressy - skirt

These gray pumps are Comfort Plus by Predictions. They are cushy and the heels aren't too high. Here is a different brand, but similar look from DSW

Holiday outfit - dressy - skirt

What would you wear to a formal holiday event? I'd love to have your input. 

I hope your week is off to a good start and that you are ready for the holidays. Remember to take some time for yourself. You are the only you there is and you are beautiful!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. 

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

Layering Love - Add a Vest

Continuing my series on layering, I wanted to look at several different ways of adding layers without adding bulk. A vest is a perfect choice for adding warmth around your core, but still allowing you to show off those fancy sleeves. 

Fancy sleeves are all the rage right now. Bell sleeves, laced sleeves and sleeves with layers of ruffles can be found in many of our frequented retailers. By wearing a vest, you give yourself an extra layer of warmth, and let your pretty sleeves show off. 

Layering Love - Wearing a Vest

Since velvet is very trendy right now, I wanted to show off this top that I have worn on the blog before. You can see that post here. This pretty bell sleeve top is Notations brand, which is sold at various retailers including Target. Mine was thrifted. 

This picture shows the sleeve up close. Isn't the pattern pretty? I love the black background with the pink flowers. It is a true winter floral. This pic also shows my green clutch. I decided on green for the clutch and jewelry to pull in the little bit of green in the leaves on the top.

Layering love - adding a vest

The faux leather skirt is Worthington brand which is sold at JC Penney. Mine was thrifted. I never really had an interest in getting a leather or faux leather skirt until I saw Jodie from Jodie's Touch of Style do a post showing off hers. I'm glad I made this purchase. You can see a couple of Jodie's posts on styling leather skirts here and here

Layering love - adding a vest

Instead of tights I wore heavier leggings. Once again, another way to keep warm. 

The long black vest I got at TJ Maxx and it is brand called harve bernard. Kohl's sells this brand also. As you can see the vest is knee length and has a slight open weave. This will be a good add on piece for fall, winter and spring.

Layering love - add a vest

I didn't even realize until I looked at the inside of this boot for the brand that these were Ralph Lauren. No wonder I like them! They are leather, look nice and are comfortable. Win!

Layering love - add a vest

Do you like to wear a vest for added warmth in the winter? How would you style your vest? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments. section. I always appreciate your feed back and support. 

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

Holiday Outfit - Dressy - Pants

There may be an occasion during the holidays where you want to get dressed up. Maybe you are going to see a stage play such as, A Christmas Carol, or you may be going to a holiday party at the office that is a little more upscale. A great way to get dressed up using pieces you already have in your closet, is to go for a monochrome look. 

Monochrome is choosing one color scheme for your whole outfit. Black or navy is a a great choice since this darker color always looks classy and can easily be taken up a notch with the right accessories. The inspiration for this outfit came from a Chico's catalog that I got last year before the holidays. 

Holiday outfit - dressy - pants

For my outfit I chose a pair of Daisy Fuentes black pants from Kohl's. Here is a pair from H&M. My sleeveless top is from Christopher and Banks. I think the drape neckline on this top is part of what makes it look more dressy. Here is a long sleeve tee version from JC Penney. 

Holiday outfit - dressy - pants

The jacket was a thrift store find. It is very similar to the Chico's inspired outfit, which featured a sheer, mid-thigh over jacket. This one I found, has no label in it, so I don't know what brand it is. 

Holiday Outfit - dressy - pants

To keep the look more formal I chose my accessories for their classic dressy vibe. The faux pearls and the real freshwater pearls mingle in varying lengths against the black backdrop of my blouse. I also had the pearl bracelet with the gold and faux rhinestone cross, which seemed the perfect accompanying piece. 

Holiday outfit - dressy - pants

The strands of pearls and beads are not exactly the same color, but it adds interest to the outfit. I grabbed my pewter clutch to complete the look. 

Instead of regular heels I went for the heeled ankle boots. When you are wearing longer slacks, a heeled boot looks perfectly dressy. 

Holiday outfit - dressy - pants

The beauty of a monochrome look is that is elongates you. It makes you look taller, classy and put together. 

Holiday outfit - dressy - pants

If you have a more dressy party or event to go to and don't want to spend a fortune on a dress you'll only wear once in a while, try the following suggestions.

1. Start with a dark skirt or pair of pants. Navy or black work best for a dressy occasion, but look for something that you have other pieces in of the same color.

2. Find a blouse, light weight sweater or other top that says dressed up. Fabrics do a lot to make an outfit look dressier. Look for fabrics that are silky, flowy or drape well. 

3. You don't have to wear a jacket like I did, but having some sort of over piece adds warmth and interest. A waterfall cardi, a button up tunic worn as a jacket or even a moto jacket can all dress an outfit up.

4. Wear heels if you are able. Heels make us walk with more confidence and stand up taller. If you can't wear heels, then choose a pair of flats with a pointier toe or made of a material like velvet. Velvet dresses anything up.

5. Add the perfect accessories. Silver and gold are alway a good choice to wear with a monochrome outfit, but pearls or iridescent beads in solid colors can add a touch of class. Do this for you bag choice as well. A clutch with bling always says upscale. 

I hope you enjoyed this outfit. Do you like to dress in monochrome? Do you have a go to outfit or clothing piece that just makes you feel like a million bucks when you wear it? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 

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

Holiday Outfit - Dressy Casual - Skirt

Here we are five days into December. Only nineteen shopping days left. For my husband it's two. It doesn't matter what time of year it is, there are only two shopping days until Christmas. Ha, ha. I usually get my shopping started  mid to late October. I'm pretty well finished now, except for a few stocking stuffers. I am guilty of spending too much and buying too many things, but the way I figure it, my kids are working hard to pay the rent, bills and other necessities of life. They aren't going to buy that pair of fuzzy socks, even though they love wearing them, because they don't want to spend the money. So, this mama, likes to give them a few of those luxuries that they wouldn't necessarily buy for themselves. I tried to pare it down this year as we are flying them all to Florida for a family vacation, but I will still have a few gifts to put under the tree, thanks to coupons and shopping sales. 

Here's my step by step guide for this week's holiday outfit. 

1. Comb your closet for a fun skirt that is not too dressy, but not too casual. 

I am wearing a Jones Wear Studio plaid skirt. In all honesty I cannot remember where I got this. Macy's sells Jones Wear and so does dressbarn, so it could have been either, but I have had it for a while. This type of plaid skirt is not popular today, due to the length, cut and style, but it was a popular style for me in the 90's. Why get rid of something that still fits and looks nice! Besides, plaid is trending right now, so I figure I can't be too far off the fashion wagon. Plaid is part of what keeps this outfit more casual, as well as the heavier weight fabric of the skirt. 

Holiday outfit - dressy casual - skirt

2. Find a blouse or sweater that coordinates with one of the colors in your skirt. (This could be reversed by choosing a solid colored skirt with fun printed top.)

I used the same silky Jaclyn Smith cream colored top as I wore in last week's post where I paired it with jeans. You can see that post here. The combination of the plaid, heavier weight skirt with the silky material of the top really makes this outfit a perfect example of dressy casual. 

3. Spend a little time picking out your shoes and your bag.

I went for a little more of a retro look with the shoes. These A2 by Aerosoles are comfy and stylish. I like the multi layered look. I think pairing these cute shoes with this outfit adds to the festive holiday look, but still keeps the outfit from being over-the-top dressy. 

holiday outfit - dressy casual - skirt

I kept my bag simple, but I thought it went well with the color of the shoes and the colors in the skirt. 

Holiday outfit - dressy casual - skirt

4. Add a few statement accessories. 

Being a woman of layers and feeling cold easily, I decided I needed something to throw over my shoulders that would still keep the outfit chic and stylish. This berry colored scarf was the perfect width to make a shawl. 

Holiday outfit - dressy casual - skirt

I show it open in these pictures, but you could also tie it at the front for a cozier look. 

Holiday outfit - dressy casual - skirt

My jewelry is understated, letting the shawl and the skirt take center stage. 

Holiday outfit - dressy casual - skirt

Here are the looks side by side. You could easily remove the shawl if you get to warm. 

Do you think this works for a dressy casual holiday outfit? What is your favorite thing to wear at the holidays? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I've included a few shopping links for plaid skirts. These are affiliate links which means if you click on a link I get a few cents. If you purchase something through a link, I get a small commission. Every little bit helps. All opinions are my own.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for another layering love post. Also, if you love holiday movies, I'll be talking about lessons learned from another one of my favorites on the faith page. Check back tomorrow for that. 

Until next time, have a great day and thanks for stopping by the blog.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.

 
 

 

Layering Love - What to do with a Light Weight Sweater

When the temperatures begin to fall I start to dress in layers. Much like a bear getting ready to hibernate, I add layers to keep me warm. Unfortunately, through the holidays I often add a layer of fat as well as clothing. To keep from looking like the Michelin Man, or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man it is important to add layers that don't also add bulk. Bulky is fine if you are staying home, or if you pair skinny jeans with a heavy sweater, but there are days and times that we just don't want the heavier layers. 

Today's outfit is built around a light weight long sleeve sweater from Old Navy that I found thrifting. When I saw the word Joy written in gold threads across the front I knew it was coming home with me and would be a perfect piece for holiday dressing.

Layering love - what to do with a light weight sweater

For this casual look I wore my Gloria Vanderbilt olive green skinnies. 

Layering love - light weight sweater

My shoes are Sonoma suede ankle boots with a low block heel. This olive colored tote bag is Style and Co brand and is also thrifted. I added the blue fringe dangle for an additional pop of color. 

DSC_0008 (2).jpg

For my extra layer I added my purple Christopher and Banks moto jacket. I love these kinds of jackets. They are not too heavy, but add the perfect layer of warmth. These work quite well for shopping, where you are just running from the car to the store. I also, occasionally where one to work to keep warm in the cold office. 

To keep the look simple and not detract from the lettering on the sweater, I chose a short statement necklace. It has a little bit of purple in it and goes well with both the sweater and the jacket. 

Layering love - light weight sweater
layering love - light weight sweater

Do you have a light weight sweater in your closet? This is one way you can wear it while still keeping warm. Lighter layers are the perfect way to add warmth without adding a lot of bulk. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Have a great weekend!

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.