holiday party attire: cocktails

Tuxed up

The second holiday evening event we attended over the weekend was a Swanky Cocktail Party™. I decided to try a “le smoking” inspired outfit instead of a dress and put together the combo above. I felt comfortable and appropriately dressed, and was happy with how it worked out.

Earrings, Ring and Necklace: vintage from Beladora | Jacket: Helmut Lang | Top: Eileen Fisher |
Pants: Vince | Bag: vintage Chanel (similar) | Shoes: Cole Haan

Tuxed up 3
Nail polish: Dior “Nuit 1947″

The party was a blast! The food and drinks were fabulous, but best of all our hosts had invited an eclectic group of intelligent, accomplished and especially congenial folks, and we really enjoyed meeting and conversing with many of them. I also had a chance to see and catch up with some good friends from the bloggy world, which was such a pleasure!

Tuxed up 4
That isn’t white hosiery…that’s my skin! ;-)

What’s your go-to holiday cocktail party attire?


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holiday party attire: casual (ok, very casual)

Peacoat 1
Scarf: Eileen Fisher | Coat: J.Crew | Jeans: Eileen Fisher | Bracelets: Tory Burch and Aurelie Bidermann | Sweater (not visible): Eileen Fisher (similar)  | Boots: Paul Green (similar)

We had two holiday events on the calendar over the weekend, and here’s what I wore to the first. While this might not look like typical Holiday Party Attire™, it was perfect for an event we look forward to annually: our friends’ Boat Parade Party in Long Beach. Because I knew it would be a cool evening, and we’d be watching the parade from the deck of their docked sailboat, casual, warm and comfortable was the way to go. But the scarf adds a little subtle sparkle, as does the jewelry.

More like these:


Peacoat 2
Love this J.Crew pea coat so much!!

Peacoat 3

The weather for the event was as close to perfect as it gets: cool, clear and calm. I decided to bring along my DSLR camera this time to try to get some good low-light shots, and I think these are an improvement over the smart-phone pictures from previous years.

Holiday Cheer 2

LB boat parade 1

The Francophile entry...berets, scarves, champagne and the Eiffel Tower...
The Francophile entry…berets, scarves, champagne and the Eiffel Tower, sparkling comme l’originel!

LB Boat parade 10

LB Boat parade 3
Dragon boat, synchronized paddling
LB Boat parade 4
following close behind, the dragon’s tail?
LB boat parade
only the smaller boats can make it under this bridge…the taller ones stay out in the open part of the marina.

LB Boat parade 8

even a few intrepid kayakers! (that water is COLD.)
even a few intrepid kayakers braved that COLD water to join the fun
King Kamehameha made an appearance...
King Kamehameha made an appearance…
and of course, so did Santa!
and of course, so did Santa!
in a sled pulled by his trusty....dolphins?
in a sled pulled by his trusty….dolphins?

We all thought this was one of the best years for parade entries in quite some time. After the parade, it’s back to the house to eat…

homemade tamales!!
homemade tamales!!

Sadly we had to miss out on those tamales and other goodies as jeune homme was still recovering from an ear infection and tiring fast, so we made our apologies and took him home to bed.

How is your holiday party season shaping up? What’s your favorite kind of holiday event?

Holiday cheer 3
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reds, reads, and random things

Chanel Rouge Allure "Incandescente"
My current red lippie: Chanel Rouge Allure “Incandescente”


My obsession with red lipstick has only gained momentum in recent months. After trying many shades, all of which eventually turned pink on me, I’ve returned to the scene of my last successful ruby heist, Chanel Rouge Allure in “Incandescente.” This one looks absolutely scary in the tube, and if applied full strength is a bit much for daytime.

Googling “how to wear red lipstick,” I turned up this blog post from Garance Doré from last year, wherein she describes using her finger to press the color in.  That works brilliantly with this lipstick (which is highly pigmented), but if you don’t want to get your fingers messy, just pressing right from the tube onto lips (as opposed to swiping) gives a more stain-like effect. I’m not one to employ a four-step application process, but I do need just a tiny bit of gloss on top for moisture. I’ll also use some lip liner for definition on first application of the day, but don’t bother with it after that.

Simply Luxurious Life bookReads.

Shannon Ables of The Simply Luxurious Life blog has written a book! She graciously offered to send me a copy which I received last week. While I’ve only had time to read a couple of chapters and skim a few more, I can say that if you love her blog, you will love this book. Don’t we all need reminders from time to time to slow down, drop some of the multitasking, and just savor life? Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life by Shannon Ables is available in both paperback (great for gifts) and Kindle versions.

Rebecca Minkoff Love Crossbody bag

Rebecca Minkoff.

If you’ve loved the look of a Chanel “Boy” bag but don’t happen to be an heiress, this “Love” bag from Rebecca Minkoff is a great look-for-less alternative. I examined this bag up close yesterday and was impressed with the style and construction. I also like her version of the bucket bag.


J.Crew – 40% off coats, hats, scarves and 30% off everything else, code GIVETHIS.
Eileen Fisher – 40-60% off select styles.
Ann Taylor – extra 60% off Sale styles
Halsbrook – up to 50% off (if you’re looking for some wardrobe investment pieces that skew more timeless, this is worth checking out)
Net-a-Porter – up to 50% off (also Designer Clobber, some on the trendier side. Someone please buy this Alexander McQueen “Art Nouveau” silk scarf, I need it to quit tempting me!)
Nordstrom – check out the kate spade new york sale items for some great gifty things.


By the time this post goes live, the big storm that’s hit the Northwest should have made its way to LA. Our bathroom cabinets have dried out and have been treated with an anti-mildew paint, so we’re holding a good thought that the smell will not return. In the meantime a monster vent fan has been installed in the ceiling, and the one in the shower replaced.

Do you wear red lipstick? If so do you have a favorite color and method of application?

Bon weekend!
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black & leopard

black+leopard 5

Inspired by Virginie Mouzat, I decided to style this Helmut Lang sweater very simply, and accent with my favorite pair of leopard boots. I purchased it last week from the Net-a-Porter sale. (It’s now sold out there, still available and on sale at Neiman Marcus.) I’d also ordered the Elizabeth and James leopard cardigan which, as I’d feared, pretty much swallowed me whole. They were sold out of the smaller size at the time, but I’m going to continue to stalk it in case it becomes available again. But I do love this HL sweater. It’s soft, light, drapes well with nice movement and swing. Sweet Spot: hit.

black+leopard 4

I wore this outfit Saturday night to an impromptu evening out. Impromptu, because our sitter showed up unexpectedly (we’d previously thought he was unavailable). We grab our little miracles where we can. ;-) It’s almost impossible to get last-minute weekend reservations at popular restaurants in LA but we often can get a seat at the bar and order from the dinner menu while enjoying a more convivial atmosphere, so that’s what we did.

Earrings: Alexis Bittar | Sweater: Helmut Lang | Tank: Eileen Fisher |
Bracelets: Stella and Dot, Aurelie Bidermann ( and similar) | Jeans: Frame Denim |
Bag: Givenchy | Boots: Cole Haan, several years old (similar)

These boots are showing a bit of wear, but I'm not ready to retire them yet.
These boots are showing a bit of wear, but I’m not ready to retire them yet.

Have you enjoyed any impromptu events lately?

I’m absolutely delighted to be featured today on 40+ Style! Read the interview here.

Linked up with Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.


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the gift I’d give…

Dream Kitchen

The topic of this month’s By Invitation Only is “if money were no object, I’d give…”

If money (and space, and time) were no object, I’ve wave a magic wand, and give le monsieur our kitchen renovation, all done (having skipped the painful renovation process) and with plenty of space and storage.

It would include a huge pantry…

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 8.50.51 PM

and some state-of-the-art wine storage.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 8.52.27 PM

But the best part is, we’d be done, all of the headaches and bickering bypassed, and we’d be able to enjoy entertaining in this space over the holidays.

A girl can dream.

By Invitation Only

To see the rest of the By Invitation Only fantasy gift ideas, go visit the linkup at Splenderosa.

All photos from

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