It can’t be. No, it CAN’T be! I really have to go back to work? It doesn’t matter how long you get off for the holiday break, it’s NEVER enough! There’s some little known law of physics that makes this time go much faster than any other! If it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun then I must have been having an absolute riot! Well, looking back it was pretty fun. So much great food, good times, family dinners, and parties, and dinner parties! So I really can’t complain even though I feel like it! Oh well, back to the daily routine it is!
I’ve spent pretty much my adult life dressing for an office or other professional environment. A long time staple for women’s office wear is brown plaid pants. I’ve put a sportier track on the traditional pattern by going with a skinny version. As always skinnies tend to make me (and you) appear taller and thinner. And that’s definitely a good thing! Living with the often harsh reality that is Michigan winter I tend to wear boots. A lot! So when looking for stylish slacks for the season I like to stick with skinnies. As you can see, I prefer to tuck my pants into my boots and with the narrow leg all the way to the ankle they don’t bunch up and crowd my leg. My husband jokes that I sometimes look like I’m on the way to ride my horses but tucking my pants into my boots keeps me drier and warmer. It’s a lot easier to wipe the slush and slop off my boots than my pants. And the real bonus is it looks stylish and sophisticated. So I told my husband that if I ever do get horses he’s cleaning up after them!
I chose my crisp white button down shirt to reinforce the working girl feel. But, I’ve never been a big fan of all work and no play. Too much of a business feel can come off as being stuffy and uptight. So I added a cool light tan short jacket to create interesting layers and tone down any seriousness. The light pink quilted bag adds even more feminine feel to soften the corporate look. After a long relaxing time away from work, I needed some color to pump me up. I am able to bring the sunshine with me everywhere with my cheerful bright yellow coat. There’s no reason why you can’t have a bit of fun in the office! I don’t know about you but I work hard so I can play even harder!
Yellow Coat @Macy’s
Tan Jacket @Sears
White button down shirt &Pink Purse @Express
Plaid skinnies @Nordstrom Rack
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!
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.
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.
Knit, Leather Skinnies & Booties @Nordstrom Rack
Coat @Ivanka Trump
Shirt-dress @Ann Taylor
Velvet Purse @Forever 21
Au revoir and Cheers!