Keeping It Simple For The Holidays

An easy holiday outfit with EILEEN FISHER separates: a cobalt blue sweater and black slouchy pants. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

It’s Christmas Eve already! How did we get here so fast? Wasn’t Thanksgiving just last week? Between travel and all of the other holiday preparations, this month has just flown by. I’m ready to slow down, and make some space to savor the rest of the holiday season.

I’m delighted to partner with EILEEN FISHER for this post. All ideas and opinions are my own.

Over the years, I’ve come to embrace simplicity, and that includes how we celebrate the holidays. While there’s much to be said for traditions and how they connect us with our families and history, they can also create added pressure and expectation. I’ve been working on letting go of what no longer feels meaningful or authentic. And on letting go of self-criticism, comparisons, or trying to live up to someone else’s Instagram-fantasy life. (This is as decked as our halls are going to get this year.)

Several friends of mine are in the same place. They’re creating new traditions with families and friends: taking a trip or cruise, perhaps, or even just cooking something different (and simpler) for holiday gatherings. Some are letting their adult kids take over the hosting, or getting together with a group of friends. In one way or another, many of us are looking to simplify and make space to enjoy what matters most.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is my favorite part of the season. The rush is over, the pressure’s off. It’s like a deep breath after a sprint. I look at this interval as a time to regroup, restore, and reflect before launching into a new year.

Festive, Not Fussy: An Easy Holiday Outfit

Cheers! Style blogger Susan B. toasts the holidays wearing a cobalt blue sweater, pearl necklace, black pants and brocade mules. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Sweater (c/o) | Necklace (similar) | Pants | Ring | Shoes (similar)

We’ll be gathering with family for New Year’s Eve at my BIL and SIL’s home to enjoy some delicious food (BIL is an amazing chef), play games, and ring in the New Year together. “Festive, Not Fussy” is my holiday style mantra, and simple shapes with gorgeous texture and color make for stress-free dressing. Comfort is non-negotiable for me, so I love the soft fabrics and easy fit of these pieces.

The sweater (gifted) is the softest cashmere/silk blend, and lightweight enough to wear indoors. (Everyone who’s hugged me while I’m wearing it has remarked, “ooh, soft!!”) I’ve been styling it with casual outfits as well the last few days. The Easy Pant is one of the EILEEN FISHER System pieces. They’re comfortable, flattering and washable, and can dress up or down. Also now offered in Midnight (navy)!

The accessories are all from my travels. The silver and pearl necklace was purchased during one of our visits to the Napa Valley, and ring is from a prior Paris trip. I found these shoes on a clearance rack during a girlfriends trip to Vancouver a couple of years ago.

Regular readers of this blog know that I’ve been a big fan of EILEEN FISHER for many years. Her simple, wearable styles are the foundation of my wardrobe. The pieces are designed to work well together, which makes it easy to build a wardrobe over time and across seasons. The company commitment to sustainability and ethical manufacturing makes EILEEN FISHER a brand I feel really good about supporting. And the clothes travel well too!

Style blogger Susan B. wearing a blue EILEEN FISHER sweater, silver and pearl necklace, and toasting the holidays with a glass of champagne. More at une femme d'un certain age.

Cheers!! How will you be celebrating the holidays?

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  1. This is a lovely picture and I love the simplicity of your mantel decoration. Sometimes the simplest things are the most beautiful. Thank you for the time and effort you put into your blog posts. I always look forward to them. Wishing you all the best for the New Year.

    1. Thank you for all of your wonderful guidance and fashion ideas especially the travel
      suggestions, they are the best. You share so much of yourself in your posts, makes it so personal
      and meaningful.

      Happy 2019 to you and your family

  2. What a lovely holiday outfit! That sweater does look soft. I love your message about enjoying a simpler holiday. I know too many women that are exhausted from all the preparation because they cannot let go of high expectations. I pared my holiday decorating down this year and I found I really enjoyed my tree more. You don’t have to put up boxes of decorations just because you always have. I look forward to a lovely and simpler Christmas at my son’s home. Merry Christmas to all!

  3. I do like your fireplace. And agreed about festive not fussy. Presently watching Muppets Christmas Carol with all the lights twinkling, my daughter wrapping presents and having just had a lunch of spinach soup, bread and cheese. We got up early, walked through frosty streets and did shopping in the local town. Carol service on the menu. This is how Christmas Eve should be. Hoping you have a merry and love-filled Christmas in the dancing firelight.

    1. Thanks, Josephine! I so enjoyed spending time with you in Paris, and look forward to seeing you in London next year. Happy New Year!

  4. I love the festive not fussy style of holiday dressing and decorating! And the week between Christmas and New Year’s is one of my favorites of the year too. Always feels cozy, relaxed and festive to me. Enjoy your holiday season!

  5. Merry Christmas to you, Le Monsieur, and your Jeune Homme. You look elegantly festive and ready to savour the true joy and peace this time of year can offer. (I share your preference for the days between Christmas and the New Year.) xoxo

    1. Thanks very much, Frances! I hope you and your family are having a wonderful time together, and that 2019 brings good things for you all.

  6. Finally..!! A collaboration with Eileen Fisher. I know how big a fan you are of this brand. Thanks to you I bought a few pieces of EF in Vancouver. You are absolutely right in your praise of this brand.
    And you look so chic and elegant in that bright blue sweater. Gorgeous trousers and shoes too. If I had the gear I would copy you, pearls and all.

    1. Thanks very much, Greetje! I’m just delighted for the chance to work with them. Happy New Year to you, and looking forward to seeing you in 2019!

  7. Merry Christmas beautiful friend! Your decor and your home are so warm and inviting. That blue sweater is stunning!

  8. Lovely, Susan. Thank you for all your wonderful posts, and to you and my fellow readers, happy holidays. May the new year bring us stability, serenity and peace.

  9. Happy Holidays, and thank you for your wonderful posts. I have been simplifying for a few years now, and it feels right, doing more of what pleases me, and less of what is expected of me. This year I turned off the TV and regular radio stations, put the news to the side, bought gifts early, and simplified the decor. I have the classical internet radio on, and I’m enjoying the extra free time , it’s nice.

  10. Thank you for your latest blog and its useful advice on some slightly new approaches to the celebration of Christmas as one gets a bit older – very inspiring. I’m thinking your hair length is making you look quite a bit younger Susan. Have a lovely Christmas Day. All the best from York!

  11. We are thrilled here in Australia that it wont be too hot for Christmas day. I am wearing white shorts, red silky top and blue sandals and am off to the beach early for a swim with the grandkids while my husband cooks a turkey on the bbq. Summer fruits made into an eton mess for desert. Merry Christmas to you and thank you for your blog josephine.

  12. Susan, I so endorse your relaxed approach to the holiday season. It’s been eight years since I’ve put up a Christmas tree, and I’m still not yearning to do so. That’s when my dear husband and I took to the high seas to celebrate the holiday season, while never having to cook a meal, wash a dish, or make a bed. It is a wonderful time to cruise.

    This past January my beloved passed away. This holiday season I am “home alone” for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but that’s my choice. Last night I was with family, which was lovely, but now it’s time to sit, breathe deeply, remember and make new plans.

    It will be enough.

    1. Hi Ann, I’m so sorry about your loss. The holidays can be so tough when someone we loved is no longer with us. It sounds as if you’ve found a good balance for yourself this year. Thanks for reading, and sharing your experience.

  13. We are thrilled here in Australia that it wont be too hot for Christmas day. I am wearing white shorts, red silky top and blue sandals and am off to the beach early for a swim with the grandkids while my husband cooks a turkey on the bbq. Summer fruits made into an eton mess for desert. Merry Christmas to you and thank you for your blog.

  14. Happy Holidays, Susan! Thank you for all you do.

    I too love Eileen Fisher, whose clothes I discovered on your blog. Don’t know what I’d do without them.

  15. Wishing you and your family happy holidays. It’s very soggy and humid in the north island of New Zealand so a shift linen dress and sandals are as festive as I felt like.

  16. You look fabulous in this blue sweater! And I love your idea of paring down and streamlining Christmas preparations and celebrations. We’re planning on that for next year.

    Like you, I’ve made Eileen Fisher a centerpiece of my wardrobe for many years. But now, I’m seeing a lessening of quality in the line at the same time as rising prices. i’ve been very disappointed in how many pieces have held up. Right now, I prefer to spend a bit more on a line such as Lafayette 148 and get better and long lasting quality. I still have every Lafayette piece I’ve ever owned and many from Eileen Fisher are not wearable.

  17. Susan, I have always loved this picture of you at the holidays. Your decorations and your outfit are just perfect. Elegant but simple.