Growing up in China we didn’t have many house pets. One of things I found very strange when I moved to America is how spoiled so many of the pet dogs and cats are here. I would even get a tiny bit angry hearing people talking about how much they spent on their pets for some reason or another. We may have had one of these animals around the house in China but they had to work for their keep! A cat had better keep the mice out of the rice bag or he wasn’t going to be welcome very long. So it was quite a shock to me when a cat moved into our house. My father-in-law had been having some medical problems so we took in his ancient cat, Red. He was aptly named as he was a red Siamese cat who had seen quite a few years. He’d had an ear infection long ago that left one ear perpetually folded over giving him a permanent look of undignified silliness. By the time we brought him home he was mostly blind and deaf but could always still find my lap when I sat on the couch. I could tell he had been quite handsome when he was younger and I know you can’t apply human characteristics to an animal but he always reminded me of a gentleman. That is until he would smell some shrimp I was cooking! Then he’d shift into his ninja thief mode as he tried to steal some from my plate! I still think people here are a bit silly when it comes to their pets but living with Red stopped me from seeing red about it! Now when I see a cute picture of a kitten or puppy on my computer I fall in love with them. I still don’t have my own pet, yet, but have a granddog and 3 grandcats so am sure I will one day!
If you’ve been paying attention (and I hope you have!) you will know that I am a BIG fan of animal prints on my statement pieces and accessories. I just love the tough chic feeling these patterns bring to an outfit. Animal prints are incredibly versatile and can go with almost any color. For today’s look I wanted an outfit that would let me rock the office and used the Leopard print blouse to add a more formal sophistication. Pairing it with a sleek shapely tan leather pencil skirt was the perfect compliment. I love the way a pencil skirt adds shapeliness and a bit of retro glam and have several in my wardrobe. Choosing one in leather added another touch of texture and depth to the outfit.
A statement piece such as my Leopard print blouse can be pretty loud on its own so I don’t need to add a lot more to make the point I was going for. To make sure not to go overboard I kept the rest of the outfit clean and mean with basic black for my tights and heels. This picks up the black in the animal print but stays nicely muted. OK, I just can’t help myself so you just know there’s got to be at least a little color pop! That’s where my bright blue velvet bag comes in. Both the cross body chain strap and the blingy metal accents shine through loud and clear to echo this tough modern vibe. Monday will never know what hit it!
Leopard print blouse @Calvin Klein @Lord & Taylor
Leather pencil skirt @Kardashian @Sears
Blue bag @Saks 5th Avenue
Black Heels @Nordstrom Rack
Sometimes I get the feeling that I was born in the wrong era. I watch old movies showing those pencil skirts, frilly cuffs and collars, high heels and cool stockings and think to myself, “I could wear that!” I’ve recently gotten a retro pillbox hat with mesh veil and my own pencil skirts. The clean cool lines of these fashions never go out of style. I prefer modern movies for entertainment but for glamour and sophistication you can’t do better than old time Hollywood. Both of my husband’s sisters live in the Los Angeles area and we went out for a visit a few years ago. I think Hollywood Boulevard is probably a bit different than in the good old days. Human statues and people dressed as all sorts of movie characters were all competing to try to get my money. It all made Disney’s Fantasyland the next day seem realistic by comparison!
Of course when your blog is named ColorAndGrace you can’t get by with black and white so sometimes I like to add my own touch of color to a feeling of old time Hollywood glam. Today’s outfit starts with a long and soft dusty pink lace skirt. This is a very useful piece as it not only looks good during the hot summer months but also works well in cold weather when layered over something a bit more seasonal. Lace has the ability to look very feminine and classic while also adding some nice texture and dimension to your outfit. The fact that it’s open for you to see through makes it able to pair with all sorts of interesting inner layer pieces. The pleating on this skirt adds even more depth and form while the floral pattern in the lace is as soft as the color.
I stayed in the same color palette when I paired the skirt with a pink and grey horizontal striped wool sweater to keep me warm and cozy. The sweater features quarter length sleeves so I made up the difference with my long two tone black and grey leather gloves. Pink and grey get along together very well so the gloves were a natural for both function and fashion. My skirt features a wide brown band at the waist to flatter my form as it acts as the perfect border next to the colors and stripes of the sweater. The brown of the integrated belt and on the sweater gave me inspiration for my choice of coat and I pounced on my faux fur leopard pattern piece for that perfect touch of glamour. Never one to miss a chance at a pop of color I finished up with my bright red leather bag(You also can see different looks here, ) with shiny metal trim and a kiss of bright red lipstick. Of course you can’t be seen in Hollywood without your celebrity sunnies so I went with my clean white oversized pair. All in all it’s a look that’s ready anytime and anywhere!
White Sunnies @Fendi
Leopard coat Vintage
Pink and Grey striped sweater @The Limited
Red leather purse @Michael Kors
Two tone long leather gloves @Simply Vera Wang
Pink skirt @ Boots @Lord & Taylor