Holiday Dressing: Festive Without The Fuss

casual holiday dressing with black and navy

I always enjoy a collaboration with Lisa of Privilege, and as it so often seems to happen, we’re on the same wavelength. When we started comparing holiday dressing ideas, we were both leaning toward black and navy. It’s a combo that retains the sophistication of black, but the navy softens and lightens up the look. Both navy and black are versatile, and can easily be re-mixed with other colors in a wardrobe.

earrings (similar) | top | watch (similar) | ring | bag | jeans | shoes (similar)

Our holiday celebrations tend to be more casual and low-key these days: smaller gatherings with family and friends rather than big splashy events. So I don’t really need dedicated “party” clothes. I’ve been looking for a piece that adds a little festive sparkle but slots nicely into my wardrobe and can be re-mixed in a more casual outfit. When I saw this top, I knew I’d found it. I love the sheer sleeves and tunic length. For those who like to tuck, that’s also an option. Because the back is sheer, I added a camisole underneath.

Clare V leopard clutch, Michael Kors watch

Above: the nail polish may look black, but it’s actually navy.

After trying a couple of pairs of black pants with this top, I remembered my “What Would Emmanuelle Alt Do?” mantra, and put on my favorite black jeans. Just Right! Because the top has pattern and sparkle, I’ve kept jewelry to a minimum, just earrings, rings and a watch with a pretty blue face. The leopard print clutch does a little pattern mix dance with the top.

For those of you who prefer skirts…

holiday outfit in black and navy

 necklace | top | bracelet | lipstick | bag | skirt | shoes

Here’s a longer velvet skirt in navy (also offered in Petite and Plus.) That lace top could be worn out or tucked in. If you do prefer to tuck in, I’d finish off with a simple black or navy obi or satin belt, (or cobalt or fuchsia if you need more color). You could even do a wide grosgrain ribbon if you’re feeling cheeky, and fasten with a brooch.

I love what Lisa’s put together too, do go visit here.

How do you add a bit of sparkle for casual holiday celebrations?

Casual Holiday Dressing

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19 Comments

  1. November 16, 2016 / 7:17 am

    Ah, Sue, I love that blouse! And your hair is perfect. Funny how we both went for a beige/gold bag to complement, mine in cool tones, yours in warm. Such a pleasure to collaborate with you. <3

    • Susan B
      November 16, 2016 / 6:52 pm

      Mwah! <3

  2. November 16, 2016 / 7:23 am

    That’s a beautiful blouse!
    I am planning to wear a white silk blouse with black palazzo pants. The pants are great in summer, because they’re loose and silky. They look dramatic, yet are very comfortable for the six-hour dinners that await me chez SILs.

    • Susan B
      November 16, 2016 / 7:27 am

      Thank you. Ah yes, it’s important that pants be comfortable!

  3. November 16, 2016 / 7:30 am

    I’m wearing a navy top and black jeans for Thanksgiving. Love the color combo and you look great.

    • Susan B
      November 16, 2016 / 6:51 pm

      Thanks so much KSL!

  4. November 16, 2016 / 8:04 am

    You just reminded me of a dressier navy top in my closet. I can wear it with black brocade jeans. I could wear navy or silver ballerinas. I like how you so often include a touch of leopard.

    • November 16, 2016 / 8:21 am

      This would make a really excellent outfit!

    • Susan B
      November 16, 2016 / 6:51 pm

      Joanne, sounds perfect!

  5. RoseAG
    November 16, 2016 / 9:35 am

    I like this shade a blue with black better than a dark midnight blue. My thought with black/blue is that one runs of the risk of looking like you thought the colors were the same but had bad light in your closet.

    • Susan B
      November 16, 2016 / 6:50 pm

      Hi Rose, I think both shades of blue can work, but the darker you go the more you need to vary the texture between the two pieces.

  6. RobynH
    November 16, 2016 / 2:17 pm

    My sister-in-law (whom I adore) talked me into buying this stunning blouse, and then she talked me into buying EF cropped satin pants. I love shopping with her! I am a jeans girl as well, and I love the pairing of this top with black jeans for a relaxed look. In the southwest, black velvet with blue jeans has always been a favorite of mine. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Susan B
      November 16, 2016 / 6:49 pm

      Hi Robyn, I’m sure you’ll enjoy wearing both pieces!

  7. Nancy
    November 16, 2016 / 6:42 pm

    I love the lipstick you used in the photos, Susan. What color Chanel Rouge Coco did you use?

    • Susan B
      November 16, 2016 / 6:49 pm

      Hi Nancy, thanks! I’m wearing Rouge Coco in “Arthur” #440.

  8. November 16, 2016 / 6:44 pm

    I’m glad that you wrote a post about casual holiday dressing. Like yours, our holiday gatherings are small and informal. And to tell you the truth, I don’t want to get dressed in Glitz. I like being comfortable. Those ghillie shoes–I have two pair and they will be worn next month!!!

    • Susan B
      November 16, 2016 / 6:48 pm

      Thanks Catherine! I think this is true for so many of us now.

  9. Suz
    November 17, 2016 / 6:38 am

    You and Lisa both look great. Thank you for mentioning in your comments reply “the darker (navy) you go the more you need to vary the texture between the two pieces.”
    Very helpful.
    Thank you again for this post. Suz from Vancouver

  10. Nicole K.
    December 3, 2016 / 1:08 am

    I keep meaning to ask about the glasses! Did you post about new frames and I missed it? I’m loving these. Can you share the make, etc.?

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