Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A foray into fashion-ology from the Humble Hostess

Wearing too much BLING can be distracting...
it's nice to own and fun to wear but it does need to be worn in good taste
and to my mind that means using restraint.

Can you spell sumptuous?
Diamond rings in
pink, white and yellow gold
Oh Santa Baby...

these rings are from Cartier
bracelets are available that match the rings.

Party season...calls for dressing up a bit least it does for me.
I used to have the tendency to wear all my sparkly bling at once...
(I absorbed this through my Mother who wears many rings on her fingers)

I approach festive dressing with some trepidation....

Do I have enough after 5 clothes to carry me through without going out and doing some last minute frenzy of panic shopping?
And why do I feel pressure about getting dressed, I do it everyday with relative ease...

While I realize that I am not required to wear a new outfit for every event...there is a sense that I do not want to be repetitive and boring or worse, dressed badly.
So I have considered my options, The French minimalist approach is what I adhere to.

As I see it this translates to owning at least one LBD that you love, is flattering, and fits well and it will outlast any fashion fad. (I have several)

A black top and black bottom be it a skirt or dress pants are superior workhorses...
do not underestimate their value. Consider them as a blank slate on which you choose where to add emphasis...highlight and accentuate the positive. Consider your figure and add accents where you want people to focus. (camoflague the areas that you wish to hide)

Conversely a crisp white shirt with "collar points up" a black trouser or skirt looks striking and can be dressed up with ropes of pearls clustered at the neck...maybe some small studs and you're done.

I like to mix things up and wear my basics with a different attitude...
I add lipstick that is darker/richer for evening and focus on my eyes which I line with kohl and dust with a bit of shadow.

A simple and elegant pashmina shawl...
ethnic or dazzling drop earrings with hair pulled away from the ears
or worn in an updo so they really take center stage.
Bling works well here!
If the earrings are large I skip the necklace and add one bracelet.
I feel more comfortable when the pieces are worn farther apart so they don't compete with each other.
I do not want to look like a Christmas tree.

One striking statement piece of jewelry packs a punch when worn solo...or if you are a woman of some serious restraint do not wear any gems, maybe just a killer pair of shoes in a colour that compliments your painted toes.

Go easy with the many people are allergic these days...I apply it with a very light touch.
People don't want to smell you before they see you.

"Put your best face forward" was what Mother would advise.
I recently went to a spa and treated myself to a microdermabrasion facial
which left my skin feeling dewy and soft...
Thanks Mom!

Wear everything with a smile...and don't be afraid to laugh and enjoy yourself.

Isn't it more about attitude and zest than it is about the clothes...
aren't they just icing on the cake?

I adore pearls with a smile...
let's face it, I've yet to meet a pearl that I didn't like.

I am not a fashionologist, I defer to the experts...

I get inspiration from a variety of sources but ultimately what I choose must look decent, feel comfortable and appropriate for the event.

What are you going to be wearing this season?
I look forward to your comments/critiques.


  1. Your style sounds very Parisian and sophisticated, and it is wonderful to have found a look in which you feel both elegant and comfortable. I am feeling that being 41 is an in-between age for choosing styles - easy to look silly in clothes that are too young/trendy but not quite ready for the older, classic style either - help! I think that finding clothes that flatter one's body shape and colouring is the key, and buying fewer,better clothes as one gets older! That is where I am!xx

  2. I think we are very similar Hostess, in our style sense. I've learned to embrace the classics rather than fight them. I'm not a cliche in a black dress and pearls, I'm just me, wearing what I like! Your Christmas outfit ideas are wonderful.

  3. So funny! I just did a de-blinging post recently because I was concerned I was over doing it in the flash department.
    I wish I had a long strand of pearls. I almost bought a faux strand at Nordstrom a couple of months ago and didn't because I was trying to behave I'm wishing I had been naughty!

    That ring at the top of your post is stunning. I have a friend from college who has a Cartier ring with the same shape, but little tiny diamonds dispersed throughout, as her engagement/wedding band. That was almost 20 years ago and I'm sure it looks current today.

    I have my husband's fire department party this Friday and want to wear a new black skirt I bought at Target with textured tights, pumps or maybe booties - but I have no idea what to wear on top. I need to get on that asap!

    Have a wonderful day!

  4. Wonderful fashion tips. Very classic and very french. I might overdo it is the home decor area but I am very restained in what I wear...I do like something at the neckline and since I wear my hair down and earrings don't show that usually mean a necklace or a scarf. I am a big fan of black...skirts, pants and dresses. Great post.(-:

  5. Beautiful ring. Of course, I agree with you on simplicity and classic style. Which tends to say only ring at a time, right?

  6. Does the diamond Trinity count as one ring or three :)

    My Parisienne GFs will really pile it on for cocktails or evening, certainly more than one ring, and sometimes an armful of bangles, too- or a diamond pin. All real or high level costume mixed in a la Chanel.

  7. Great post and impeccable taste, Hostess.

    I agree entirely.

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop GirlA blog

    PS - especially loving the Cartier ring.

  8. I admire the simple, classic restraint and at times I aim at it myself, but I'm also conscious of always wanting to wear at least one fabulous element. That doesn't mean expensive bling, for me, but might be a great pair of high-heeled strappy sandals or a sparkly cuff or a sequinned top peeking out from behind an otherwise restrained jacket worn over the classic black jersey pants. Sometimes it might even be pearls, in which you, Hostess, are fabulous all the time! Happy party-dressing!

  9. Dear Hostess of the Humble Bungalow,
    thanks for this post! I often like the LBD - it makes the jewellery shine without making me a rival of the Christmas tree :-)
    But I know how you feel on presenting something 'new' ob a festive occasion. My son begged me to wear my shoulderfree little pink dress an New Years Eve again - his friends were so impressed the last time (and well they might be!) - but I wonder: I fear to disturb the memory. To copy oneself is easier in something classic than in something very bright and dashing.
    Whatever you wear, dear Hostess: you will look gorgeous, and I wish you a Beautiful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Britta

  10. Belinda @Wild Acre- You sound very much in tume to your inner voice when it comes to fashion. Trust those instincts!

    Fiona- We have a lot in common and I love your posts!

    Adrienne- I hope that you found a top...and the pearls that I am wearing in this post are the least expensive strand that I own...they are fresh water pearls in a long Opera length which were $100 a couple of years ago. Good luck being "naughty"

    LaVieQuotidienne- Happy that you agree!

    LPC and Duchesse-The Cartier ring is one ring, superior design with plenty of that wow factor...imagine the twinkle in candlelight...

    SSG- I think that you have the same basic theory but you punctuate your wardrobe with lucious and luxe designer pieces.

  11. materfamilias- I have seen many of your online ensembles and you have a comes from within...and I think that your smile is your best accessory.

    Britta- I am curious about your lovely pink dress...please show us! If it had rave reviews it must be worthy of another show.

  12. I wish I was going to be wearing that Cartier ring! This holiday I am wearing grey dresses, shimmery sweaters, pearls and an occasional bit of bling. Lily is wearing Christmas sweaters, bling, and an occasional reindeer hoodie.;-)

  13. Oh Hostess, I wish I could be the small girl in your room watching you when you are getting ready for a party. A bit powder here, a bit there, changing earrings until you find the right ones! Actually I got the permission to sneak in our maid´s room as a child and watch her get ready for the night out. Lovely memories!
    I will wear my pearl necklace!

  14. LaBeletteRouge- It's a pretty arrangement of diamonds and wear the rings...I'll wear the bracelets! Lily needs to model her she the picture on your Christmas cards?

    metscan- I used to watch my mother get ready and she would dab Shalimar on my pulse points...she was ever so much more glamourous than I ...sipping her martini at a vanity table...
    I love your pearl is a statement piece for sure.

  15. I've just come across your blog through another blog and love it! Very glam post!Gorgeous pearls!
    I have been eyeing off a Cartier trinity ring with diamonds for years, unfortunately, the purchase still hasn't been made.

  16. TheStylishShoeGirl- welcome! I agree that the Cartier rings are very desirable...I wouldn't say no if someone gave them to me but I have several rings and do not "need" any more.

  17. I've been pulling out all the stops this season; Barguzin sable coat, Hermes croc Kelly, pearls and diamonds. Mainly wearing Lida Baday, and Olsen in shades of black, taupe, brown, and red.

    For the past few years my life was sitting on the sideline; now I'm back in the game!

  18. theduchessofH- Hooray for your stepping out in style...Olsen does have garments with a European zeal and they feel great on...and pearls and must look stunning!

  19. I wish! lol. Life is short, and there is no point in saving fine things, for a future; that may, or may not come.
    I take care of my belongings; but I use them, and enjoy them. If somebody wants them after I'm dead and gone? Great. If somebody wants them before? I suggest they buy their own.

  20. theduchessofH- I agree use it or lose it....and we make the best of what we have...while we are here.