Holiday Dressing Part 3 / Jumpsuit

 

Shopping Guide:

On Brooks:

Off-the-shoulder jumpsuit: Jay Godfrey via Nordstrom (another similar version here)

Velvet Choker: Gifted on Italia Collection shoot – purchased from Nordstrom.

On Chantelle:

Off-the-shoulder velvet trapeze dress: Alpha Omega

Lace Choker: Resurrection

 

Holiday Party 3: 

What and where: A corporate company holiday party at city hall.

What I wore: An off-the-shoulder wide legged jumpsuit and sky high heels.

Why I chose it: My date didn’t specify a dress code so I figured that this dressy designer jumpsuit could pass easily between cocktail to semi-formal to an edgy take on black tie.

How did it go: I’ll be honest, I could have gotten away with a gown and kind of wish I had but this was a safe bet and is a super flattering and versatile addition to my closet.

Next up this week: What I wore to the Guardsmen Christmas Tree Lot Party which is a cocktail party where anything goes and you are bound to run into at least one ex-boyfriend. Spoiler alert: I got the pleasure of seeing two of them in the first 5 minutes. Thank god for plunging necklines.

 

💋 Brooks

Holiday Dressing Part 2 / Printed Full Skirt

 

 

Shopping Guide:

Printed Asymmetrical Skirt: Fleur de Paris – purchased on recent trip to New Orleans.

Scrappy Black Sueded Heels: Forever 21

Velvet Choker: Gifted on Italia Collection shoot – purchased from Nordstrom.

Black Bustier: Bebe

 

Holiday Party 2: 

What and where: Annual family holiday tradition to see a play (this year Cirque de Soleil) and get a nice dinner together (Epic Steakhouse). Side note: We ALWAYS end up taking our family Christmas photo together so you kind of HAVE to kill it on this night every year.

What I wore: A dramatic printed skirt and bustier top.

Why I chose it: My parents aren’t conservative – thankfully – and my extended family appreciates fashion risks. I also recently bought this skirt in NOLA I felt like I had to find somewhere to wear it, this event was a safe bet and I knew it would be forever documented in our annual family photo so that motivated me a bit.

How did it go: I’ll be honest, I was pretty cold and put on a sweater after about five minutes but it was definitely a great choice for photos.

 Next up: My best friend’s stand in date to the Lyft holiday party on Thursday!

 

💋 Brooks

Holiday Dressing Part I / Sequin Romper

 

 

 

Shopping Guide:

Sequin Romper: Misguided from Nordstrom 

Scrappy Nude Heels: Steve Madden

Drop Necklace: Marika from Boutique Fawn

Black Wool Jacket: Zara (similar here)

 

Let’s talk about holiday parties. We love them, we hate them and as women we typically panic about what to wear to them. I’ve broken down our main issues – and, yes, even I go through the “what to wear” obsession.

 

A women’s mind when dressing for a holiday party:

  1. “How dressy do I go?” Are sparkles too much, do I wear floor length, is everyone going to be in casual cocktail wearing flats if I wear heels? Can I wear pants? What on earth do you wear with pants?
  2. “Is this too sexy?” My boss has never seen me in anything other than jeans and a flowing top, do I really need to let him in on the fact that I have a waistline?
  3. “Is this too fashionable or edgy?” or my favorite “Is this a bit much?” We are basically afraid of standing out in a room, good or bad, because no one wants to be the topic of conversation over coffee Monday morning from our co-worker or our conservative Aunt.
  4. “Dude, it’s really cold out!” So you put on the faux fur coat that you bought on discount thinking it would be the perfect dressy winter coat. You know, the one you’ve tried on in your bedroom 6 times but never actually left the house in. Then you take it off yet again, because “it’s a bit much.” So you put on your go-to black wool coat, a pair of tights and booties and convince yourself you are doing it because it adds to the look not because of the impending fear of frostbite. Off you go!
  5. Then, of course, there is the plus one issue. No one ever wants to be the embarrassing plus one at someone else’s party. Whether it’s a work party, dinner with friends, or family gathering, no one wants to be “that girl.” We have all seen her, we have all judged her and if we were nice we did it subtly. I like to think I’m one of the nice women out there, and even I have thought: “Oh man, that’s a bit much isn’t it.”

 

Now, because of what I do for a living, I’ve avoided my own office holiday party over the years. Yet somehow, every year, I end up being the plus one to any and all of my friends that don’t want to show up to their party alone. To be honest, I kind of love it. There is no pressure on me to do anything other than not make too much of a bad impression. And I get to meet great people outside of my network, play dress up for a night AND the best part of all, report back to you on what to wear to each of these types of events. This year, I’m single come holiday season. The bad part, being a 30 year old single woman at Christmas time kind of sucks in a lot of ways. Don’t get me started on how we aren’t allowed to buy an extra plane ticket and fill in the name later. You are seriously killing me airlines. Good news: I’m once again the token single friend of the holidays which has left me with not just 1 invite but 7 of them. Dinner parties with potential set ups, office parties when their boyfriend is out of town, big ticket events where you wear sparkly mini dresses and dance the night away, I’m in for them all.

This year I did something a little different, I pre-planned my holiday outfits. Usually, I just buy something last minute or impulsively shop a friend’s closet; but this year I made a game plan. 7 parties in two weeks neccesitated it. Then I took it a step further, I documented it for you. So over the next two weeks, we are going to do a holiday dressing guide over here at 5 o’clock and hopefully I can give you some insights from the perspective of the “outsider” along the way. Let’s get started.

Holiday Party 1: 

What and where: Girls dinner and drinks downtown to exchange gifts before the chaos of the holidays begins.

What I wore: A sparkly romper and scrappy nude heels. And a basic black wool coat because I was freezing and my faux fur was “too much.”

Why I chose it: Well, it’s been hanging in my closet for a year, this is the least conservative and most flexible dress code I have all season AND it allowed me the flexibility to meet up with a date post dinner (you know – just in case).

How did it go: Pretty perfectly. Sparkles are NOT my thing. My ex hated them, and I didn’t love them to begin with so I kind of got used to the a no-sparkles  closet. I don’t even want a diamond engagement ring, that’s how non-glittery I am. But, this romper somehow worked for me with a big thank you to my little sister who gave it to me for Christmas last year. The shorts and sleeves made it still feel a little boyish and casual yet the plunging necklace felt sexy. Also, the girls gave me great reviews and it has already been borrowed this holiday season. That’s always a win in my book.

 Next up: A plus one date to a tech start-up’s rooftop holiday party. Wish me luck….

Until next time!

💋 Brooks

Mixed Berries / Look of the Day

Shopping Guide:

Berry Sleeveless Knit Sweater: BP by Nordstrom (similar here)

Quilted Leather Boots: Nordstrom Rack (similar here)

Berry Sueded Skort: 3.3 Field Trip by Project 20 (similar here)

Black Wool Jacket: Zara (similar here)

All Jewelry from Boutique Fawn

 

I know it’s shocking – note subtle sarcasm – but I do not have a team of professionals at my disposal every morning ready to document my daily outfits. For someone who works so often with professional photographers, I’ve realized how awkward and slightly unprofessional it would be to ask them to snap a quick OOTD picture of me in between takes. Yes, we will be avoiding those eye rolls, thank you very much. That said, most of these blog photos are the result of me asking a slightly annoyed but willing friend to grab my camera and “5 o’clock me” as we’ve started to call it. It was certainly easier when I lived with my younger sister who simply can’t justify refusing to help me. On a lucky day, however, I get to meet up with one of my photographer friends for coffee or work dates and then the magic happens. You know the magic I’m talking about. They basically make me look taller, thinner and younger than I actually am IRL or on my i-Phone 6. I’m telling you, the right lens, the right light and the right person holding the camera certainly changes things – note above images.

 

One thing that becomes blindingly clear when you start to document your outfits is that you quickly comes to terms with any and all of your style habits. For example, I like skirts. Apparently a lot. Skirts and boots, skirts and knee socks, skirts and tights. Oh, and I don’t accessorize well. I’m not sure I care about that one but I may decide to work on it someday. Someone I find it in me to accessorize my clients, my models and my shoots but I think when it comes to me I’m just lazy. I may not look lazy, but I have a very short attention span and accessories are mostly limited to a handful of go-to pieces. Let’s be honest, it takes enough thought in the morning to pick out a fashionable outfit before the dog begs me for a walk let alone match my purse to my shoes and then rinse and repeat at work all day long. Let’s call it minimalism for now, we can call it laziness later.

 

Another thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve recently been obsessed with the colors berry, burgundy, wine and maroon. Need proof? Check out the last few blog posts, berry lips and legs are everywhere. Now here’s the funny thing about this, back in the 90s my mother wore a whole LOT of this color. It was everywhere, it was on her, it was on the drapes, it was in the floral printed couch; even our plates had berry edging on them at one point. She just could not get enough of this wine red palette and I absolutely hated it. I was a pre-teen and I’m pretty sure anything she wore or liked at the time was going to become “a thing” with me. But really, my sister and I terrorized her about the color telling her it was “a total mom color” and “so not cool.” Well kids, Mom still wears berry and now I’m the fool because I finally realized that it is so universally flattering it’s unfair.

 

Conclusion: Sorry Mom, teenagers are the worst. Oh, and your vintage Levis 505 “Mom jeans” were pretty cool too. 

 

 

Until next time!

💋 Brooks