From Classic to Creative: 10 Evocative Special Occasion Looks

Whether it’s for a holiday party, a special occasion, or a last-minute “Want to meet for drinks?” invitation, you don’t want to have to fuss over your outfit.

With the hustle and bustle of life, you want to be able to open your closet and effortlessly pull together a memorable outfit that matches—and showcases—your style personality, right? Then all that’s left is hair and makeup, and you’re out the door.

Are you wondering if it could be this easy? Let me help!

Here are some elegant, festive outfit recipes that will keep you true to your style.

1. Reveal your dramatic style. Pick the brightest, boldest tunic top you own, and pair it with a leather skinny pant, a dark ankle-length jean, or a metallic legging. Throw on your most classic pumps, and call it party time.

2. Reveal your classic style. Black and white is always right. Gather your prettiest black and white items and mix and match pieces to see what plays well together. It could be a long black pleated skirt with a white satin blouse, or a column of black separates with a white wool coat or a black tuxedo pant with a fine silk and cashmere top. There you have it: a timeless look that’s always in style.

3. Reveal your funky style. Dress up distressed jeans with patterned or colorful pumps. Add a white silk blouse, and wear it open at the neck to show your statement necklace, dancing in the light. You’ll be dancing, too!

4. Reveal your feminine style. Wear separates in soft, blush tones. Mix up the fabrics to combine shiny finishes and matte surfaces for a lush look. Add your vintage diamonds. Absolutely irresistible.

5. Reveal your bohemian style. Layer a long ruffled sheer floral print dress over an above-the-knee slip. Add black fringed booties and chandelier earrings. Add one more favorite accessory. Your fashion statement is free and full of expression.

6. Reveal your minimalist style. Wear a black turtleneck, cigarette pants, and pointy-toed kitten heels and take the stage. Sometimes less is much, much more.

7. Reveal your creative style. Pull out a silk kimono and wear it with a slim-fitting turtleneck and patterned pants. Add fabric flats and a painted leather purse. You’re a pro at mixing prints, so go for it. Everyone will want to know more about you.

8. Reveal your glamorous style. Think movie-star glamour and pull out a faux-fur coat or cape to wear over a sultry red dress. Add hot-pink lipstick or a shade of red lipstick that blends with—but doesn’t match—your scarlet ensemble. Wear nude pumps to keep attention on your face. Heads will be turning.

9. Reveal your alluring style. Pull out a black leather pencil skirt. Add fishnet stockings and cheetah-print heels. Wear a sheer, billowy blouse with gathered cuffs. Add a couple of cocktail rings. It’s a look that exudes confidence.

10. Reveal your ’60s style. Wear high-waisted palazzo pants with a close-fitting short-sleeved angora sweater. Tie a small, subtly patterned silk scarf at the neck. Stack on bracelets or bangles. Be willing to share your Frank Sinatra playlist at the party.

Do you feel like your personal style is a combination of one or two of these looks? It’s not uncommon. I’d love to help you create outfits that not only match your style but also allow you to enter a room feeling like your best.

Call me – let’s chat about a service that’s right for you!

Dressing Up Denim

You’ve been invited to a party. The invitation calls for dressy casual. You have both dressy outfits and casual outfits in your closet but how do you mix the two? This gets my creative juices flowing and it’s where I have the most fun with my clients!

Would you be surprised if I suggested you start with jeans? Jeans aren’t right for every occasion, but with some fashion finesse, you can make them party ready.

Pretend I’m in your closet right now. Using your jeans as a base, I’m going to help you look through your tops, jackets, jewelry, shoes, and handbags for ingredients that will make you party-ready.

When you see your wardrobe through my eyes, you’ll be surprised at how effortless combing the two can be for a last-minute party invite. No stress dressing.

It all starts with the right jeans

Here’s a guideline for the best jeans to use for your casual chic or elegant casual outfit.

  1. The darker the denim, the dressier and more formal it is, which works well with the fancier items you’ll be wearing on top.
  2. If your party leans more to casual than elegant and you love jeans that are distressed in some way—holes or fading—plan to wear a dressy shoe.
  3. High-rise jeans are a great base. They’ll look great with any fanciful top or jacket.
  4. You could start with a denim jean that is coated, so it takes on a different hue. Or consider a jean with some elegant embroidery.
  5. Beware: dark indigo jeans can discolor lighter-colored leather handbags. Pay close attention to your handbag selection for the night. They can also stain any part of a lighter-colored bootie that they come into contact with.


Find unique jackets in your closet

Now let’s get to what you’re wearing on top. Jackets can play a crucial role in dressing up jeans. Leave your work jackets out of the mix for now. Focus on more festive choices and think outside the box.

This list of jacket styles will love to dress up your denim.

  1. Statement pieces like kimonos, dusters, Asian-inspired jackets, or vintage bed jackets
  2. Blazers in velvet, leather, lace or jacquard prints
  3. A tuxedo jacket
  4. Knit or woven jackets with fur trim
  5. A heavily embroidered or quilted jacket


Tops that are just right for going out

Look at your tops through a ‘dressed up casual’ lens. Do you spot tops that you may have worn in other parts of your life, but that would look well accessorized for denim outfits?

Here are some looks to consider.

  1. Blouses with statement sleeves like ruffles, ties, pleats, or ribbons
  2. Romantic blouses with lace or leather trim.
  3. A knit or woven or top in a bold, bright print
  4. A sheer print top with a camisole or bustier underneath
  5. A sweater with pearl or sequined details, or a cashmere sweater that is delicate or feminine


Jewelry selection is a must

If you’re wearing simple clothing pieces, then your jewelry choices will lift your outfit into a dressy casual party scene. Go beyond your tried-and-true everyday pieces. Consider vintage or crystal jewelry or any of your fine jewelry like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and pearls.

If you’re wearing tops that are already sequined or jeweled, then your jewelry may need to back off a little.

Here are some ideas for using accessories to make your outfit sparkle and shine.

  1. Chandelier earrings or dangly earrings
  2. Statement necklaces or double or triple layered chokers
  3. A sparkly brooch or a collection of pins worn together
  4. Bold cocktail rings, rings on many fingers, or stacks of rings on a finger or two
  5. Cuffs or layered bangles that have lots of shimmer and shine
  6. Mixing in fine jewelry with costume jewelry


Shoes matter, both functionally and fashionably

You may have shoes in your closet that will only work if you’re sitting at a table, rather than standing at a table all night. Be careful. Know whether a two-hour shoe will work or whether or not you need to wear a shoe that you can dance in all night long.

Here are some shoe choices for nightlife.

  1. High heels or kitten-heeled pumps in patent leather, exciting colors, or fabrics
  2. Comfortable flats that have fanciful details like bows, sequins, ribbons, or applique
  3. Metallic flats or booties
  4. Velvet slippers, flats or booties
  5. Heeled sandals


Handbags need to be a lot more special than your workbag

For many gatherings, the purse you choose only needs to hold your lipstick, a credit card, some cash, and your smartphone. You may have cocktail handbags that you’ve used for years. I encourage you to take a closer look at them this year. Do they still look viable or does yours need an update?

Here are some handbag selections for your jean party outfit.

  1. Smaller crossbody bag with chain straps
  2. Fabric bags made with beautiful tapestry or damask fabrics
  3. Small framed bags including vintage bags
  4. A small handbag in an intense color or a metallic
  5. Hard, rather than soft, clutch in faux reptile


Could you use a few fancy casual denim outfits in your wardrobe? I’d love to help you assemble them, so you are party ready at any moment. Or maybe you’ve realized some gaps in the “party department” of your wardrobe. Let me help you discover them. We can set up an appointment and get this party started. Call me!