How to style a tough chic Valentine’s Day outfit

Super bowling a strike!

I am SOOOO pumped! It’s been a long season but it all comes down to today! Finally, the Idina Menzel and Katy Perry concert! I’ve heard there’s some sort of baseball or football game happening too but really, who cares about a bunch of big sweaty guys knocking each other on the ground? I might watch some of the clever commercials that are on between the opening act and the headliner but I’ll use all that grunting time to catch up on my stack of fashion magazines! I tried to talk my husband into a mall day. I figured it would be pretty empty there. After all, I’m all about the NFL! At least I am if that stands for Newest Fashion Labels! But he seems convinced that he needs to be in front of the TV today. Oh well, he has been working pretty hard helping with my blog so I guess one afternoon off a year isn’t too crazy. And to make it interesting we do have a small wager on the game. If Seattle wins he takes me to the mall, and if the Patriots finish on top, I take him to the mall! I’m good either way and he does owe me for being so nice!

How to style a tough chic Valentine’s Day outfit
How to style a tough chic Valentine’s Day outfit

If you’re a loyal reader (Thanks!) you will have seen this long wine colored skirt before. So if it looks familiar it’s because I featured it here. My goal today was to present a look that is tough but also chic that would be just the thing for a Valentin’s Day dinner date. For a romantic night out I always like the classics. To me that means either a pretty dress or skirt. My rich color flowy long skirt never let me down yet so I knew it was a good piece to build from. Even with a heart shaped box of chocolates nearby I never like to come off as sugary sweet. So I wanted to be sure to show a bit of attitude.

Motor Jacket
Motor Jacket

That’s where my short black leather biker jacket roars into duty. This piece features lots of blingy studs and zippers to make sure a bit of edge comes through. Underneath the leather is a fun black jeweled cashmere sweater to echo the color of the skirt and add it’s own splash of pop. To keep the tough chic theme going I used my leopard print bag with my leather and leopard booties. These accessories were the right choice to partner with the leather biker jacket. Of course I never want you to forget that I’m a lady so topped the look off with my chic jeweled knit hat. I think this outfit not only brings hard and soft together, it makes them best friends!

Wine long skirt
Wine long skirt
leopard booties and bag
leopard booties and bag
Black Knit jewel hat
Black Knit jewel hat
How to style a tough chic Valentine’s Day outfit
How to style a tough chic Valentine’s Day outfit
How to style a tough chic Valentine’s Day outfit
How to style a tough chic Valentine’s Day outfit

Knit hat, Cashmere sweater & Leather and leopard booties @Nordstrom Rack
Biker jacket and wine skirt @Forever21
Leopard pattern purse @Guess
Cheers!

Grace

How to mix dressy and casual.

Chinese talk out order.

When I lived in China I went to university to become a teacher. My major was Education with a Minor in Political Science. After graduating, I worked for a time in as a teacher in my hometown. When I moved to Shanghai I left teaching for work in the corporate world. After I came to America I decided to give teaching another try. As you can imagine, learning PolySci in the People’s Republic of China was a very different experience than it would be at an American university. So I figured teaching government or history would be a big problem for me. What to do? Luckily it was starting to become more and more popular to offer Chinese in some of the local school districts. That sounded like the job for me! My first task was to get my teaching degree recognized here in Michigan. Lots of paperwork, money, contacting my college in China, money, official transcripts and translations, money, applications and money later and I got a decision. Yes, I could teach in Michigan. But ONLY Political Science! Even though I had been born and raised in China and grew up speaking, reading and writing Mandarin, the Department of Education decided I wasn’t qualified to teach Chinese! BUT, if I wanted to take some classes, take some tests and, you guessed it, paid some money I could become certified to teach my native language! The one thing I am sure I learned is that governments are pretty similar all over the world; they LOVE their paperwork!

How to mix dressy and casual
How to mix dressy and casual

As in my job, I’m challenging myself to go in a fashion direction that I don’t usually go. My outfit today is a bit out of character from my usual comfort zone. I don’t like to be locked into a single style or theme and try to mix it up a bit. This long flowy black skirt with gold sequined vertical stripes is very feminine and fancy. It’s a perfect party skirt but there’s only one problem with that. I don’t attend a lot of parties! Even though I don’t go out on the town often I didn’t want to leave such a beautiful piece wasting away in my closet. So I found a way to still wear it by using the rest of my look to dress it down. The first thing I did was get my leather and shearling bomber jacket back into action. This coat had been biding it’s time just waiting for the chance to answer the call of duty.

Bomber Jacket and dressy skirt
Bomber Jacket and dressy skirt

I could have gone with a safer black or gold coat but this time I wanted to climb a bit further out on the limb. This coat is very warm but also very casual. Most people would probably pair this type of outerwear with their favorite jeans. Swapping for the high style long skirt paid dividends though. This length of skirt can be more challenging for a petite (read short) person and emphasize their lack of size. To compensate I stepped into my high heel leather and leopard booties. This not only added height but by staying in a similar color palette, really anchored the outfit nicely. The next step was to add some colorful accessories to bring some playfulness to the whole outfit. My bright green leather cross-body bag really pops and rocks. Greens and blacks play well together so I topped everything off with my teal wool hat to keep the balance between casual and formal just right. Class dismissed!

Teal winter wool hat
Teal winter wool hat
Bomber Jacket
Bomber Jacket
Black long skirt
Black long skirt
Leopard booties
Leopard booties

Wool Hat @Lord & Taylor
Bomber Jacket @TJ Maxx
Green Leather Bag @Michael Kors
Skirt and Booties @Nordstrom Rack
Cheers!

Grace

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Over 40s Petite fashion and life style blogger