Holiday Party Dresses Under $200

I have returned.  My last fashion post was about New York Fashion Week (September), and here we are only 10 weeks away from the Fall/Winter Shows in February.  Why the hiatus, you might ask…  I left my stuffy corporate job for something very different.  I’m definitely on the right track now, but getting “situated” takes a little time for this particular role.  Was it the right move?  Absolutely.  No question about it.  So, slowly yet surely I will be able to create my own content again, beginning with this gem from (you guessed it), NYFW.

I thought that this final look was perfect to share right here at the holidays.  Emerald green is one of my favorite colors and although breathing was issue after scoffing down all the pasta in EATLY, this has to be my favorite look of all time.  Velvet is in, again.  Is it even worth me mentioning that?  So, raid your mother’s (or grandmother’s) closet and see what you can find.  This dress was found at Buffalo Exchange consignment store in Atlanta.  My dear friend, @modern.boy.vintage would be so proud.  I think I paid $25 for it.  The shoes are by a brand that I can’t even think of at the moment (they’re currently being re-capped on the bottoms… am I the only one who has to do that constantly?!).  But they were a Christmas gift from my mom last year and really made this look complete.  I mean, jewel tones, for the holidays?? Groundbreaking.

This look was shot in Tribeca.  If you’re not familiar with the neighborhood, perhaps I should dedicate an entire post to my love for New York.  Every corner is begging to be the setting of a fashion shoot.  If only I could master the art of self-portrait (I’m looking at you, Cindy Sherman).  But for now, my new friend and photographer, Alexandria Murray is killin’ it.  We ran back and forth through traffic shooting this dress and then we drank champagne before I headed out to the NYFW opening party.  Can life really get any better?

So, for the month of December, I leave you with this list of a few of my favorite things (holiday party dresses), under $200.  Scroll to the bottom…

Thanks for sticking around and have a Happy Holiday!

Holiday velvet dress

Holiday velvet dress green

 

Holiday Party Dresses (under $200):

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Suiting Up

It’s no surprise that the fashion of the ’90s is back.  That being said, I do not take that 100% literal.  This windowpane plaid suit, when buttoned up could be very reminiscent of Cher Horowitz’s iconic yellow suit from the movie, Clueless.  Yes, I did skip the thigh high stockings and mini backpack purse.  Sorry, Cher.

I purchased this set (sold separately) during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, hoping for it to be a great go-to outfit this Fall.  For work, I will probably pair it with pointy toe pumps, but these strappy lavender heels were perfect for bottomless mimosas at The Oyster Bar at the Roxy Hotel in Tribeca.

September in New York, in my opinion, is the perfect weather scenario.  This year, however was unusually hot.  Not only that, but it drizzled rain the entire weekend.  Hence the location of this shoot – the lobby of the The James Hotel.  Our original plan was to shoot it on the cobblestone streets of Chelsea, near the flower markets, but the weather would not cooperate.  If ya gotta relocate a shoot to indoors, finding a stellar hotel in NYC is cake.

Skirt suits are being seen far outside the boardroom this season.  Coco Chanel made skirt suits a status symbol in the 1950s, following which time they were synonymous with business.  In the ’80s women attending high brow meetings with corporations were often seen in designer skirt suits, in the ’90s they became shorter, louder in color and were suddenly trendy with teens.  Now, they can go from the board room to the street.

Aimee Song pairs skirt suits with Louis Vuitton Archlight Sneakers.  Don’t even get me started on this sneaker trend.  I saw Louis and Balenciaga sneakers everywhere during fashion week, and I just don’t get it.  Sometimes I gotta stand my ground and say “WTF?!”.  The point is, skirt suits are still a power symbol, but times are a changing and so are the office dress codes.  Yes, industry has a lot to do with it, but suits are worn less and less M-F and popping up more and more on the runways.  Is this a sign that avant garde designs are becoming fewer, and more attention is being paid to tailoring and technique?  Only time will tell.

 

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All That Glitters

Sequins, shimmer, glitter… FINALLY I’m not just being “extra”.  Okay, I’m always going to be a little extra, but if ever there’s a time, it’s now.

I styled this skirt to be worn casually during the day.  Traditionally, it could be worn as special occasion evening wear but I think that pairing it with a cotton top makes for a fun juxtaposition.  I would even go so far to say that black combat boots would be killer, but alas I wore mirrored strappy heels – after all, I like to be a fancy pants.  I paired it with an oversized leather tote and tied a silk scarf to the handle.

When one thinks of glitter and sparkle, what designer immediately comes to mind?  For me, it’s Kate Spade.  One phrase that was trending after her unfortunate passing this past June, was that “she left a little bit of sparkle everywhere she went”.  Creative Director, Angela Weiss took that phrase to heart when planning the SS19 show (last week), adding an element of sparkle in many looks, including a stripe of glitter down the runway.  What a lovely sentiment.  Hopefully she will be remembered for who she was in the beginning – what we know Kate Spade NY to be – a bright and joyful brand that embodies women who carpe diem the shit out of this life, being as “extra” as they wish, every step of the way.

But you don’t have to be young, extra, or a trendy influencer to embrace the sparkle craze.  Saks Fifth Avenue SVP Fashion Director, Roopal Patel was asked about the shiny embellishments taking front stage in their department store, and she responded with, “We find that sparkle has no age limit; there is a wide appeal to all of our customers to add sparkle and shine to their wardrobes,” she says. “For so long sequins and embellishment were used for holiday dressing, but now designers are playing sparkle into everyday silhouettes. Through bejeweled necklines, sparkly collars, and rhinestone trims, popular brands like Gucci, Prada and Miu Miu have brought the idea of adornment into daywear.”

Being “extra” is now just being one in a crowd (at least it is at NYFW).  Find your favorite shimmer, mix it up with different prints, colors, and textures or just add a touch with your shoes or bag (I’m looking at you, Kate Spade NY).  Dress it up or dress it down.  Not your thing?  More into linen or lace?  Move along… because after all, knowing your style is the first step to looking and feeling your best (*shameless plug* read my blog post on “Defining Your Style” here).

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Images by Viva Lux Photography

 

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boho in soho

It’s here… New York Fashion Week!  At least for one more day.  I was in NY over the weekend and the weather was crazy.  It went from hot and humid with misty rain to a cold, windy, downpour.  Thanks, Hurricane Florence.  With that said, not even sideways rain can ruin NYFW.  I put on my most waterproof heels – these nude patent leather pumps, and headed out.  September weather is often difficult to predict, which is why I love this boho maxi dress by Free People.

When the temperature drops in Atlanta (Halloween night, no doubt), I’ll pair it with a denim jacket or cardigan and tall boots.  The print is very detailed and contains somewhat of a 1970s vibe, which is perfect given that this season’s trends are heavily inspired by the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.  The material is very light and as you can see, flowy.  It moves with every step.  I actually changed into some light orange/rust colored booties right after this shoot so that I could walk through the city.  It’s very versatile and can be dressed up or down, depending on where you’re headed.  New York Fashion Week, or a fall festival.  I’m ready for you, October.

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photography by Lydia Hudgens

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On Wednesdays We Wear Black

What better to wear with an all black ensemble than a bright red classic peacoat?  I think that an all black look, head to toe, is uber chic and gives off that edgy, yet still feminine vibe.  This slightly off the shoulder sweater is fuzzy and warm, perfect for cold winter days, like this one at New York Fashion Week in February.  Over-the-knee boots paired with a mini-skirt, not only take this look to the next level trend wise, but keep your legs nice and toasty. This classic red peacoat is a closet staple, which I have owned for 10 years!  This style is classic and I believe that everyone should own at least one.  I have several colors which I have acquired over the years and sometimes they take an outfit from okay to over-the-top just like that. ^

Let’s talk more about NYFW… the main venue switched this year from Skylight Clarkson Square to Spring Studios in Tribeca.  Here, you will find street photographers lined up for days shooting some of the most trendy, unique, and outrageous styles.  Looking for outfit inspiration?  No need for invitations to exclusive runway shows (although I would have died to attend the Zimmerman show).  You will find real people, wearing real outfits all around Tribeca.  Everything from top designers (see global influencers like Caroline Daur and Aimee Song) to everyday fashion lovers like you and I… Their styles are real and speak to their individuality.  And do not be shocked to see a Zimmerman floral top paired with vintage distressed Levi’s found a thrift shop.  Nothing is against the rules.  Lydia Hudgens (my photographer for this particular look) is amazing at capturing streetstyle during NYFW.  You can view some of her work here.

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