What I Wore: Dinner With Friends

wearing blue velvet jacket, floral silk shirt, Gucci gold marmont pumps. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Going-Out Clothes

jacket | top | necklace (similar)| ring | jeans (similar) | shoes

For a few years when our son was growing up, we didn’t really go out much. Sure, there were family gatherings and the occasional date night with le Monsieur, but most of those were pretty casual events. When the occasion did call for something more than jeans-and-a-sweater, I’d flail around and ultimately dress up some of my office basics with jewelry, bags and shoes. Serviceable, but not much fun.

Now that I’m no longer punching a clock, I have more time to meet friends for lunch. And since our son is older and living more independently, we’re now able to get out more in the evenings, and accept spur-of-the-moment invitations. It’s a lifestyle change my wardrobe wasn’t well equipped to handle. So lately I’ve been focused on beefing up my selection of Going Out Clothes. Not quite Occasion Dressing, but a step or two up from basics.

Our lifestyle is still a casual one, so jeans are often a given. But I’ve been trying to add some easy-but-interesting tops and jackets that steer clear of Corporate Drag. I’m on the lookout for one or two workable evening bags.

French Kande pearl necklace and silver ring with vintage French medallions. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This blue velvet jacket has been a great addition. It’s soft enough to work with a casual outfit, but still adds a luxe element. The floral silk shirt brings some color and pattern. (It’s on sale now too!) The pearl necklace (similar here) adds some lightness. The ring is one of my new favorite pieces. Those are Swarovski crystals around the edge.

Gucci Marmont gold loafers. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

And just for fun, those Gucci metallic loafers (budget-friendly option HERE).

Have recent lifestyle changes prompted you to make updates your wardrobe?

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26 Comments

  1. Jan
    November 14, 2017 / 3:22 am

    Yes – a move a couple of years ago from the suburbs to apartment living in the city centre has really seen our social life fire up! The bars and restaurants we go to though are fairly casual so jeans and a dressier, more luxurious top, sometimes with a jacket and with boots or heels are what I always wear. Loving it!

  2. Mari
    November 14, 2017 / 4:22 am

    Love the blue velvet jacket, perfect for so many occasions!

  3. helen639
    November 14, 2017 / 4:40 am

    I love it! California casual with a touch of elegance. A very versatile look!

    Happy Thanksgiving Susan!

  4. November 14, 2017 / 6:31 am

    That blazer is just perfect for many occasions and I like the top underneath as well. You look casually elegant, difficult to achieve. Well done!

  5. amidprivilege
    November 14, 2017 / 6:36 am

    Love the contrast of the floral and the leopard. Also the color of the velvet jacket. One thing occurs to me, have you thought of having the sleeves shortened a bit? I find myself wanting to see your wrists;). But long sleeves are on trend, so, perhaps you really prefer them that way!

    • Susan B
      November 14, 2017 / 6:38 am

      You’re right, they do need to be shortened. Just haven’t got around to it, but it’s on my list for this week. 😉

      • Pam
        November 14, 2017 / 6:47 am

        I love the long sleeves. Just sayin’, 🙂

        • Lisa
          November 15, 2017 / 2:27 pm

          I figured this was one of those personal taste things!

      • Lisa
        November 15, 2017 / 2:26 pm
  6. November 14, 2017 / 6:54 am

    One of my favorite looks of yours but then, I am a sucker for velvet and have added several items to my wardrobe as it seems to be on trend this year. I have a dusty rose duster very similar to this that I plan to wear with jean.

  7. November 14, 2017 / 6:54 am

    I really like this on you, Sue. The just-Boho-enough elements keep the look lively and expressive, but neatly, elegantly, so.
    As for lifestyle changes and the wardrobe, between retirement, our move to the city, condo life (less storage space) and more, longer travel, I’ve been whittling away at what I need and even what I want. Variety has become much less important, and as I become less interested in changing it up daily, I become more invested in having the central and constant items become just right.

  8. Pink Azalea
    November 14, 2017 / 7:41 am

    Thanks for the inspiration. Last night I told my husband I wasn’t going to accept any invitation that would require new clothes! Just kidding, sort of. I don’t have the kind of going out clothes you described that are a step up from my everyday wear. Love the velvet jacket. The whole outfit is pretty, looks special without being over-done.

  9. Mary Alice
    November 14, 2017 / 8:58 am

    I, too have been on the hunt for some sort of evening bag. AFter weeks of searching, I found it! And it’s really reasonable. The matte gold gives it a little bit of specialness without being over-the-top bling.
    https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/madewell-leather-crossbody-bag/4730756?country=US&currency=USD&cm_mmc=google-_-shopping_ret-_-662927182-_-32036602285_1e624a73-a987-48d2-9bfb-79ece656fedf&cm_mmca1=pla-258511904094_13114188&gclid=CjwKCAiAxarQBRAmEiwA6YcGKKEo0Sk8qiyEZaByto1Uk-n5Z79oV65qPyna8UzjfRDf2m8GoQAyrRoCVgIQAvD_BwE

  10. Kay
    November 14, 2017 / 9:13 am

    I’m afraid the mother-in-my-head won’t let me wear jeans with dressy tops. She is a regular killjoy about fashion trends, but even she might think you look great in that blue jacket.

  11. Maggie Vita
    November 14, 2017 / 9:21 am

    The rich blue of the velvet blazer is so stunning against your fair hair and complexion. Very rich. I love the animal print clutch with the floral top – perfection!

  12. Lisa
    November 14, 2017 / 9:40 am

    Love it! Just shortened my Eileen Fisher black velvet duster coat to jacket length. Not as short as your navy but a couple of inches above the knee. I too have a closet full of clothes but struggle to find something to wear! It can be so cold here in RI during the winter it can be a struggle to find something warm and dressy enough for a night or afternoon out that isn’t fleece and LL Bean inspired. I bought those Gucci shoes but with a higher heel and in bright pink. Really regretting the bright pink. Should’ve gone for the metallic or black. My attempt to mix things up. Major Fail!!!

  13. Cindy Gagliano
    November 14, 2017 / 10:19 am

    thank you for pictures of lovely items and options for budget pricing.

  14. November 14, 2017 / 12:03 pm

    I suspect people want to pet you all the time in that gorgeous velvet. A hazard of luxury, heh.

  15. Gaye Dobson
    November 14, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    You look great! I love the velvet jacket with your jeans, and your floral shirt beautiful but those shoes are just sublime!! I so enjoy reading your blog and thanks for being so generous with your style tips.

  16. Maggie
    November 14, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    Thank you for finding an inexpensive option for the Gucci…. not the same of course! But I am going to try them out in any event! Wish they had the lower heel but I will wait and see!

  17. Karen Lailey
    November 14, 2017 / 2:53 pm

    Your blog inspires me to stop ‘cherry picking’ when I am buying clothes and really think about my lifestyle and the look I want to achieve. I read your blog all the time and it makes me smile. You always look so effortlessly chic (but I know it takes work!!).

  18. November 14, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    Somehow, your blue velvet jacket just glows and photographs like it is six inches deep. Sooo luxe! It was an excellent choice.

  19. Cleo
    November 14, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    I just can’t “get down” with the raggedy cuffs on the jeans! And they’re too short. the rest of the outfit is great.

  20. MariaT
    November 15, 2017 / 4:53 am

    I can’t get in to this trend of wearing jeans everywhere. If I’m going out in the evening jeans are not an option. Don’t people get tired of wearing jeans all the time? I would. I’ve never understood the fascination for jeans. I like my white denim jeans but blue jeans. Rarely for me. Personally I thnk a nice pair of trousers would look better with the soft velvet jacket. Just me, but I’m so over jeans.

  21. November 15, 2017 / 9:48 am

    Love this outfit on you Susan! Jeans are such a integral part of the California lifestyle, I’m always looking for ways to dress them up to take step them away from ultra casual. Love that jacket!!

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