Say oui to layers!

Until about 8 years ago, I’d never left my native China. But when I moved to America to marry my American husband it opened up a lot more borders. He often travels for work and because my teaching job leaves my summers open, if the timing is right sometimes I can tag along! This was the case in the summer of 2010 when we spent several weeks in Munich, Germany. What a great base of operations for exploring the Alps and beyond! I have always dreamt of seeing and smelling the lavender fields in the Provence area of France. Unfortunately, it’s still a dream as we got there about two weeks too late! Timing really IS everything! Oh, we still made the best of the trip and visited Lyon on our way to the beaches of Cannes before heading back to Munich. The concierge at our hotel directed us to a small hidden gem of a restaurant in the old part of Lyon. I’ll never forget walking along the narrow stone streets around this corner and that to arrive at the open walled eatery. It was decorated in rich dark wood and heavy soft velvet curtains. Mmmm, the wine, the croissants, the roast duck…SORRY! I got lost in the past for a minute!

Black leather skinny pants
Black leather skinny pants

For today, I’m highlighting a classy layered outfit. I’ve always liked the effect it brings. For some reason it makes me think of the French women I couldn’t help but notice. It’s a classic way to create a sophisticated look and feel that’s just right for mature women. I’ve kept with a mostly dark color palette for the whole collection to go with a more edgy vibe. A touch of basic white here and there can really help to add some contrasting sharp crisp lines. I was able to achieve this with the 2 tone shirt in a very distinguished grey and white. The next layer is also in the grey and white family but is a fun nature print. Its shirt-dress length contributes to the girly feel while helping promote the layered theme.

Brown faux fur long coat
Brown faux fur long coat

My new favorite coat covers me with class while keeping me warm. It’s toasty wool with an always sophisticated faux fur collar. The classic simple cut really flatters my body and the rich brown color is very versatile as it pairs with pretty much any color. I went with my form fitting leather skinnies with leopard booties to contrast with the loose fit of the top. If you have a smaller frame like me you probably want to avoid using loose fitting clothes on your whole body. They can make you look shorter and wider than you really are. And who needs that? Of course what I did need was my signature colorful pop. Reminded of the rich curtains in the Lyonnais restaurant, I was drawn to this bright blue quilted velvet purse. I finished on top with my grey knit jeweled hat that was underscored with my cool big sunglasses.

grey shirt dress
grey shirt dress
Leopard booties
Leopard booties
blue small cross body bag
blue small cross body bag

Knit, Leather Skinnies & Booties @Nordstrom Rack
Coat @Ivanka Trump
Shirt-dress @Ann Taylor
Velvet Purse @Forever 21
Sunglasses @Chloé
Au revoir and Cheers!

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Soft with a chance of scattered toughness.

Winter Weather Advisory! I HATE it when I see those words on my phone! If anyone’s out and about in the nasty weather affecting the middle of the country please be careful out there! We have a friend who’s been trapped in icy Texas for 2 days now! To make it worse the hotels were full and restaurant’s kitchens were empty! NOT a good way to start the New Year! But luckily I have the perfect solution! Today I’m curling up with my fuzzy throw blanket next to a roaring wood fire and sipping on some tasty Carolans Irish Cream!

Loft Haul
Loft Haul

The crackle of the fire is music to my ears just like a sunny day is music to my eyes! And with that clever segue I wanted to address some readers who have asked how I can have sunny pictures every day. The simple truth is I can’t! The realities of my usual work schedule and the typical winter weather in Michigan mean I often go to work and return home in darkness this time of year. So when my phone isn’t warning me of ice and snow I take advantage of it. Luckily I’m a bit compulsive when it comes to planning my schedule. My coworkers sometimes even make fun of me for it but this character flaw means I usually have several outfits matched up and ready to go to take full advantage of any elusive sunshine that comes my way. For those of us who don’t have to worry about falling coconuts under the palm trees, a bit of organization and preparation can go a long way!

Leopard coat
Leopard coat

In yesterday’s post my outfit had a more diva tough city look. For today I wanted a bit more sweetness and style. I started with these great, slightly ripped skinny jeans. I knew I scored a win when I found them at Loft. The Loft stores usually have a pretty large selection of petites I need for my best fit. I normally wear a 4P but this time I found that a 2P was perfect. I’ve mentioned before that you can’t always trust the size tag and have to try, try, try them on! I’ve found that jeans especially are more forgiving when worn often. They tend to soften and loosen up the more you move in them. I especially love this pair because of the high waist. It helps keep my tummy tucked in and is a HECK of a lot easier than dieting! And of course skinny jeans in general help show off while slimming down the thighs and legs. The Loft was quite a treasure chest for this outfit as I also found the soft cute pink sweatshirt featuring a French phrase design. I used the sweatshirt to cover my pink chiffon button down shirt. Helping to complete the pretty in pink theme is my soft quilted bag from Express. Altogether this added up to a comfy, sweet weekend look. But hold on! That shouldn’t be the goal for anyone my age! Time to toughen up! The heeled leopard and leather booties paired with leopard print faux fur jacket should help put a stylish edge on all the pink softness. That’s better!

ripped skinny jeans
ripped skinny jeans
leopard booties
leopard booties
Pink chain bag
Pink chain bag
leopard prints
leopard prints
light pink letter sweatshirt
light pink letter sweatshirt

Leopard Coat @Guess
Skinny Jeans, Pink Sweatshirt & Pink Button Down Shirt @Loft
Leopard & Leather Booties. @Nordstrom Rack
Purse @Express
Cheers!

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