What to wear on Valentine’s Day. How to style a Red Cashmere Coat

One if by land; Two if by sea!

We Chinese are in general a superstitious people. It’s not at all uncommon to plan your life around something a fortune teller predicted. At the very least you always remembered what was foretold and if it happens, you wonder how they knew! I remember hearing that I would do a lot of traveling when I got older. I thought to myself, well maybe one day I’d make the 1000km trip to Shanghai but that was about it. When I met the American man I would later marry it soon became clear that my travels would be a bit more far flung than I thought! Since then I’ve been to some other Asian countries, the USA and Canada, a few sunny destinations in the Caribbean and several countries in Europe! Somewhere in northeast China is an old fortune teller that owes me a good “I told you so!” I guess I really got my money’s worth on that one!

What to wear on Valentine’s Day. How to style a Red Cashmere Coat
What to wear on Valentine’s Day. How to style a Red Cashmere Coat

Another trait we Chinese share is that our cultural traditions run deep. As an example, the color red is very important. For Chinese it signifies good luck. It’s the color of the envelopes that carry our money gift on Chinese New Year and it dominates weddings and festivals. It also happens to be one of my favorites! I try to include in my wardrobe pieces that can stand the test of time. A good example of that is my bright red cashmere coat. After all it’s not just the British that look good in red coats! I’ve had this warm and classic pea coat for more than 10 years and it’s never failed me! I love the vibrant color and soft fabric. A good fitting pea coat is a must have for anyone living somewhere that requires they own a snow shovel! The shape is very flattering to a girl and of course you can’t beat cashmere for classic comfort. If you have a focus piece in such an attention getting color you want to take steps to not let it overwhelm your outfit. To tone things down just a bit I limited the rest of my outfit to the tasteful combination of black and gold.

Coat & Scarf @Old friends from China
Coat & Scarf @Old friends from China

I could easily have gone with a pair of tall black boots but I was aiming for a cleaner look so went with my oh-so-useful leather skinnies and wedge booties. If you’ve been reading my posts (THANK YOU!!!) you will have seen these skinnies before. You can check out other appearances here, here, here, here, and here. A bright red statement piece is a natural when paired with classic black & white. I don’t always like to fight tradition so brought out my black & white scarf featuring and oversized hounds tooth pattern. This piece is yet another of my long time closet residents that is never out of fashion or trend. I kept the theme going with my small black cross body purse to add a bit of contrast, interest and texture to the look. I love how the metal chain strap and shiny accent on the bag combine to bring a tough modern vibe to the classic red, black & white combination. With the bright red of the coat and bling on the bag I needed some eye protection. I not only got plenty of that but also finished strong with my crisp clean white sunnies.

Sunnies @Fendi
Sunnies @Fendi
Purse @Saks 5th Avenue
Purse @Saks 5th Avenue
Leather skinnies and @Calvin Klein Wedge Booties @Nordstrom Rack
Leather skinnies and @Calvin Klein Wedge Booties @Nordstrom Rack
What to wear on Valentine’s Day
What to wear on Valentine’s Day

Coat & Scarf @Old friends from China
Sunnies @Fendi
Purse @Saks 5th Avenue
Leather skinnies and @Calvin Klein Wedge Booties @Nordstrom Rack
Cheers!

Grace

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How to style for a formal Monday

Good kitty!

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!

CK animal print shirt
CK animal print shirt

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.

Leather pencil skirt @Kardashian @Sears
Leather pencil skirt @Kardashian @Sears

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!

Leather pencil skirt street style
Leather pencil skirt street style
How to style for a formal Monday
How to style for a formal Monday
How to style for a formal Monday
How to style for a formal Monday
How to style for a formal Monday
How to style for a formal Monday

Leopard print blouse @Calvin Klein @Lord & Taylor
Leather pencil skirt @Kardashian @Sears
Blue bag @Saks 5th Avenue
Black Heels @Nordstrom Rack
Cheers!

Grace

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Over 40s Petite fashion and life style blogger