Resolution Solution #5 – Spend Wisely – Winter Wedding Outfits

Winter Wedding Parties

Recently a good friend posted a request for help.  The challenge – put together two outfits for an upcoming wedding; one for an ice-skating-cum-cocktail rehearsal party, the other for the wedding itself – an afternoon formal affair with an outdoor ceremony.  The kicker – the wedding is going to be held in Banff where it will be a chilly 40 degrees out.  The wedding party will include some political notables as well as family and is overall a pretty upscale crowd, so we want to keep the quality level high, keep it stylish and au courant yet a touch on the conservative side.  Ideally, we don’t want to kill her budget while we are at it.  This *is* a mission – she need these outfits to be a little bit of everything!

I have been shopping with and for my friend for a long time and I have her style dialed in.  She prefers classic lines but loves a touch of edginess and modernity.  She has a terrific figure and looks amazing in very body conscious styles but is now at an age where she wants to balance sexy with age appropriate, no hoochy-mama clothes, thank you very much!  She is a classic, cool, elegant beauty – think Grace Kelly – which can creep into the land of untouchable, so I like to see her in outfits that have a little bit of softness and fun to keep the approachability quotient up.

Her starting point – she has a beautiful fur-collared coat in black, some wonderfully bold heirloom quality pieces of jewelry, black leggings, terrific black pumps and gorgeous grey boots she can slip on for the ceremony if it’s just insanely cold out.  The rest we need to go get!

A preparatory on-line perusal of cocktail options resulted in a whole bunch of sleeveless, strapless, sparkly and too-short dresses – not quite the answer.  But sprinkled among them were some great possibilities.  After doing our homework we set off on an afternoon shopping expedition – and in a very short time hit upon some terrific options from Tadashi Shoji.  In chiffon and jersey, with on-trend body loving ruching, not too much décolletage, and with hems right above the knee these hit on the perfect blend of sexy day to evening chic and “I am sitting next to my ninety year old grandmother”.   As an added bonus – the jersey will pack like a dream!

Building around the dress is easy.  Start with a pair of sleek black pumps that can be worn bare-legged or with sheer black stockings if it’s cold out.  I love a pair of pumps like the ones shown, with a bit of a platform for both comfort and added style.  Jewelry needs to be kept simple, larger-scaled and bold so they don’t get lost next to the ruched background of the dress.   This terrific gold cuff and stunning cocktail ring are both great options and will add pop.  Earrings need to follow the line – simple, bold – like her diamond studs or diamond and gold hoops.

For the skating party we are going for a combination of skating sporty and cocktail party sparkly.  Her black leggings make a chic, flattering starting point.  Add a black tunic sweater with beading or sparkling embellishment so that it has a special occasion vibe.  Or, pair the leggings with a plain black turtleneck layered with an embellished cardigan or shrug – I loved this one for its combination of party sparkle and sporty appeal.  The sweaters allow for layering up or down a bit for warmth and will work well if she needs to add a jacket – black being the obvious choice.  Accessories stay simple and suitable for skating – everyday classic jewelry and cute, hair-style-friendly black fur ear muffs and black gloves if it’s chilly. 

So, how did this all wind up in addressing that last New Years Resolution?  First of all, any new pieces added will have lives after this wedding weekend and will extend my friend’s existing wardrobe.  The embellished sweater or shrug will be a great layering piece that can go with jeans, trousers or skirts for casual fun outings or even a date.  And, while the Tadashi dresses are not exactly in the fast-fashion realms of price tags, these dresses don’t scream “wedding” so they can be worn to other types of functions – from an office party to a cocktail function.  It will be easy to ramp them up or down with different shoes – imagine adding sexy strappy silver sandals and blingy earrings for a cocktail party.  All in all, she will be spending wisely.  Mission Accomplished!

Note: If you have an upcoming event and need ideas or have some other fashion question, I like a challenge and would LOVE  to help, just drop me a line! 

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