Well, the big weekend is finally here! President’s Day! What? Oh, I guess February 14th is some other holiday too. OK, OK, I’m joking! I know its Valentine’s Day. But for me personally, I’m happier about Lincoln and Washington. Because I get Monday off work! It’s a good thing too! This afternoon we are hosting our mostly annual Chinese New Year party! The holiday isn’t really until later this week on February 19th this year, but it’s hard to have a party on a day when your guests have to go to work the next morning. So for almost every year since I moved to America, my husband and I invite family, friends, neighbors and coworkers to have some fun, food, refreshments and make some noise. It’s a bit dangerous to set off fireworks inside the house and more often than not, Michigan in February is too cold and snowy to go outside. So instead, we have our guests blow up balloons and then, when we have enough covering the floor we pop them. It’s traditional to make some noise to scare away the mythical Nian. He’s sort of like the bogeyman of Chinese New Year legends. It’s pretty funny to see everyone jumping and stomping on them and chasing the runaways down until the last one is gone. The colorful bits of rubber get everywhere and we often find a piece or two in some corner months later. This year is a bit different because the New Year and Valentine’s Day are both in the same week. The younger romantics among our guest list had “other plans” of course. But it seems there are plenty of others who have been married long enough that a party with some good food counted as their Valentine’s Day date. We Chinese also like a two for the price of one sale!
Whew! We made it. Here is the last of my Valentine’s Day suggested outfits. And not a minute too soon! If you are reading this from the far side of the Atlantic, HURRY UP! You only have a couple hours to finish laying out your outfit! If I don’t mind saying, I think I saved the best for last. Not that I didn’t love all my looks. That never happens. If I don’t love it, I don’t wear it. And I certainly wouldn’t show it to my loyal readers! Today, I’m wearing a knee length cream colored cotton skirt. It has a nice flare at the hem to give me that shape that I love. I’ve featured this versatile skirt with some other looks. You can check those out here and here. It’s really impossible to go wrong with classic black tights when paired with a light or white colored skirt so that’s what I chose. My black leather heeled pumps are a smooth shiny finish to the tights and give those extra couple inches of height that nature left out!
For the top I went with a trendy and colorful leopard pattern cashmere cardigan sweater. The tan field nicely shows off the black and gold of the print and looks great when paired with the same color palette skirt. I added my orange red leather clutch purse. This bag has shiny gold metal trim along the entire edge to really give it some interest and texture. The long thin chain strap is a natural accent and adds its own layer of bling. When it’s time to go outside into the winter, I wrap my faux fur collar around my neck to keep both warm and stylishly chic and finish with my long black wool coat. I love the function, color and style of wool and cashmere. I much prefer the feel of these natural fabrics so much more than the noisy, cold, shiny manmade materials you see on those Michelin Man coats. Anyway, I hope you were able to get some good ideas or inspiration from these Valentine’s Day looks. Enjoy your day, and more importantly, light up your night!
Wool coat @China
Cashmere sweater @Lord & Taylor
Faux fur collar @Thrift store
White Cotton Skirt @White House/Black Market
Leather heels & Purse @Nordstrom Rack
If you’ve been a regular reader you will have learned that A: I’m Chinese and B: the Chinese are a bit superstitious. Not so much for the black cat crossing our path or even breaking a mirror. We do like a good fortune telling though and always want to sit on the north side at the mahjong table so you face south for good luck. But everyone knows that! Today is Friday the 13th. For us Chinese the number 13 doesn’t hold a place of terror in our minds. I’m always so happy on any Friday that I can’t imagine it being unlucky! It’s only been in recent years and in the more tourist visited cities that our hotels skipped a 13th floor, and that sounds a bit silly to most Chinese. This year’s calendar must be especially troubling to westerners as we get two months in a row with a Friday the 13th. Don’t get me wrong, the Chinese do have special feelings about some other numbers though. The number 9 for instance is considered very lucky for love and relationships. It’s not unheard of for a man to spend hundreds of dollars to buy 999 roses for that VERY special woman. Drivers will pay a premium to get a license plate with lucky numbers and a phone number heavy with 6 and 8 is one you’ll never want to give up! Of course I don’t follow such silly beliefs, this is 2015 after all. Oh sorry, I have to run. My husband and I have a 9 o’clock reservation for dinner at our favorite restaurant. We asked for table number 9 but that’s only because it’s set up so I can face south!
This is the second to last post for my Valentine’s Day suggestions. Tomorrow is the big day and I’ll finish up early enough in the morning so that if you haven’t seen anything that fits your mood yet there will be one more chance! Today is another comfortable shapely sweater dress. This one has a rich blue background and is covered in geometric shapes such as triangles, rectangles, arrows and lines in blue, black and gold. This focus piece really makes a statement and reminds me of Native American patterns I’ve seen. The hem is flared out and a bit longer at the sides than in the center for an interesting cut that adds depth and texture while helping to flatter my figure. This dress definitely has some color going on so I didn’t want to make the outfit too busy. That was easy to accomplish by going to my timeless and classic black tights and black leather heeled pumps. They really tie into the black highlights in the dress pattern without fighting for attention.
The sleeves end just at my elbows so left plenty of opportunity for some sparkle on my wrists. I love to use bracelets, rings and wristwatches to set off and compliment a piece like this. They coordinate well with virtually any color and style and add a bright pop of their own. Small splashes of red, gold, black or even thin bands of animal prints add a bit of class and are always on trend. Another touch of classic elegance came in with my soft pink quilted leather clutch. The shiny chain strap nicely matches the jewelry and the gold highlights on the dress. When it’s time to brave the elements I can’t go wrong with my coordinated soft pink winter coat. The final touch to the look came with my oversized and over cool round white sunnies. When you have an outfit that looks this good, you don’t need luck!