Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday dressing ~ Hostess Style

Today I want to chat about my thoughts on dressing for the holiday season.
Views are strictly my own and I am not professing to be an expert on fashion...

Hostess Style aka Grammy Style,
is an honest, comfortable, and affordable way of dressing.
I have new, vintage, and thrift shop finds in my closet.

Essentially, I dress to camouflage my figure flaws,
drawing focus on the better bits and minimizing the mid section!

My wardrobe is small, curated, and bordering on spartan,
and it leans decidedly toward conservative...
The colours tend to be mostly black and grey.

Black is so versatile that I keep getting drawn back to it time and again.
It looks dressy in daylight and elegant at night. You get a lot of mileage out of black clothes as they go with everything...that's the "practical" coming out in my personality!

Black is rather like a backdrop,
a black canvas perhaps, just waiting for accessories.

The iconic LBD is still as popular today
as it was when it was first introduced many decades ago...

I own several little black dresses and they are so easy and effortless to wear.

I recently purchased a simple black skirt that sits slightly above the knee.
It will get worn quite a bit over the holidays and can be dressed up or dressed down. I already own several pairs of black shoes; flats, kitten heels and pumps as well as Chelsea boots.
This budget friendly addition is a welcome garment for the festive season.

At this time of year I like to add a bit of sparkle...

St. John black knit top with beads...
great with my new skirt or pants.

Can you imagine this top worn with my boyfriend jeans
black leather "moto jacket" and Chelsea boots?

Vintage wool and sequin top from Woodwards,
It's party time!

Sparkly jewels
J Crew necklace and two vintage Sherman brooches.
Festive dressing can involve a few bling-y pieces and at this time of year I like to play at bit more with accessories when dressing up.

I also like to take some extra time with my skin care regime.
A morning spent quietly sipping tea and giving myself a facial 
is my idea of luxury.

Sleep has been hit and miss for me for the past few months 
I go to sleep but wake in the night and I do not fall back asleep easily.
Unfortunately this pattern of waking seems to show up on my face...
it is actually bugging me as I used to be such a great sleeper.

As a result 
I have been focusing more on healthy eating 
making sure that I stay hydrated

taking time to set aside a few minutes to meditate
and focus on my breathing

I also think that I need to get back to practising Yoga in the New Year.

Bone broth with turmeric

Nourish, just as its name suggests, serves healthy nutritious food. 
Many of the options are dairy and gluten free.

Poached eggs on a bed of kale, mushrooms and sweet potatoes 
topped with a cashew cream hollandaise.

Nom Nom!

So how do you like to dress for the holidays?
Are you drawn to bright colours or do you prefer neutrals?

What, if anything, are you planning to add to your wardrobe?

I like to add a splash of scent everyday
and two of my favourites are
Mitsouko by Guerlain and Jour d' Hermes

Hope your week is off to a great start...

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~


  1. Like you, I have a wardrobe that is mostly black and gray because I am also very practical. My 93 year old mother has taken to saying, "You never wear color.". I've tried to explain to her that I am practical and thrifty. I agree with you Leslie that our black wardrobe items get a LOT of mileage.

    My holiday dressing will be very low key as my main activities will be at home with family and a few friends. I do have a deep red top to wear on Christmas Day!

    I do enjoy your wardrobe posts. I like how you have curated and pared down your wardrobe to what works best for you.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. I've enjoyed your blog all year long and thank you for writing it.

    1. Seasons Greetings Susan!
      Thank you fro all your thoughtful comments throughout the year.
      Being practical and thrifty can stand us in good stead, especially when money is tight or when the economy is suffering a downturn.
      Enjoy your Christmas with your family and I will think of you sharing your day wearing that deep red top!

  2. Love your sparkly tops, hostess. Merry Christmas to you!

  3. Yours is a versatile wardrobe -- never boring despite your description of it as rather spartan. I also tend to rely on black although I do love a splash of colour as well, and I enjoy some variety of texture (sparkle or velvet or leather or metallic) at the holiday. At the moment, my lifestyle doesn't include as much entertaining as yours nor as many festive events, but I miss the dressing up a bit so am taking advantage of any excuse! Just posted a photo on IG on my new leather skirt and how I wore it for lunch with my sister -- I'm hoping it will becoming a new staple, dressed up and dressed down.
    My sympathy (and some solidarity, sadly) re the sleep -- like you, I'm tweaking habits and diet and evening alcohol, trying to get to a couple of yoga classes a week, etc., and I think it's helping. It's a tough time of year for those of us who are at all sensitive.... Take care and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    1. Mater, I have been off line for a few hours and I will check out your IG post. I love the idea of a new leather skirt...and I am in total agreement about mixing up textures.
      It is a great way to add interest and one that can make the simple basics look chic.
      Oh I know that sleep issues trouble many of us...I empathize with you so much!

      I have started drinking decaf tea and indulge in only one real coffee in the morning and if I have another one later in the day I am opting for decaf.
      Next up on my list to try is reducing or cutting out wine and the time on the internet before bed.
      Happy Holidays!

  4. I always say I dress very "plain", I don't even do sparkly. I suppose I don't want to draw any attention, plus I prefer plain and I'm very practical. And I'm okay with that. I think it all "wears" well. I like to be able to mix and match and plain serves that well. In the last number of years I have added a fair amount of black to my wardrobe, but just recently I realized that as a young person I shied away from black and preferred navy/blue. Strangely enough blue has always been my favorite color and I believe I followed the crowd in changing to black. So now I'm gravitating toward navy again. It always looked better on me anyway!

    1. Choosing clothing that suits you, is comfortable, and appropriate is the ultimate goal and it seems to me like you have already figured that out.
      Dressing to reflect your personal taste is always the best approach...in the styles, colours that flatter, and the accessories that you choose to wear.
      Wishing you a joyful festive season.

  5. Love your sparkle tops. St. John makes a great quality garment. Sounds like you are enjoying the season. (I also like their Indigo sheath dress with matching sweater. Very regal color.) Will check out the perfumes you suggest. Right now I like Alexandra DeMarkoff, Alexandra perfume. It is nice on Winter cold days. Wishing you all the joys of Christmas. Susan

    1. St.John make some beautiful clothes...their line is not available here in Victoria so I usually only see them when we visit Seattle.
      There are so many lovely scents...it is difficult to choose just one!
      I must try to find your perfume and try a sample.
      Best of the season to you and your family,

  6. I love a grey/blue/black palette with grey hair and blue/grey eyes. It always looks "pulled-together". We're just outside of Puerto Vallarta for Christmas and I brought turquoise and black which is my summer version. Vintage Woodward's and the Eaton box are special. My Nana worked for Eaton's in Winnipeg before she married (87 years ago). Ladies were required to leave upon marriage (imagine!) but she received a lovely Limoges cocoa set. How times have changed! I have a black sweater with pearls, and a grey cardigan with rhinestones with make every outfit festive.

    1. Your festive travel outfits sounds lovely to me...it must be nice to be somewhere warm!

      The rules for women in the workforce seem unfair by todays standards.
      We must consider the time and there were "expectations" that once married a woman's place was "in the home" and a family would take up all her time and energy....

      Enjoy your time away!

  7. Black, grey, white and blue make up the bulk of my wardrobe. So versatile! Bits of deep red have been creeping in lately and I rather like the pop of colour. Your sparkly tops will be perfect for the holiday season.

    Merry Christmas, Leslie!

    1. Having met you, I know how lovely you would look in reds and particularly blues with your pretty blue eyes. A pop of colour lifts our spirits too.
      Happy Holidays, I loved the picture of you with your family!

  8. What beautiful tops. They would dress up anything. I must say I wear mostly black - I opt out for it because it is so easy and I am a lazy dresser. It looks like you are going to look very elegant for the holidays.

    1. Black does make it easy getting dressed and if we are lazy in that department we make up for it in our homes and gardens!
      Best wishes for a Happy Holiday AdrienneQ

  9. I love these posts about your wardrobe and I love your wardrobe! I'm all about keeping things simple and re-read many of your posts when I want inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing your life and style with us. Happiest of holidays to you and yours ;-)

    1. Lori thank you for stopping by to read my blog...
      i wish you all good things...for the holidays and in the New Year.

    2. I love your wardrobe posts too! Your colors are mine. I'm working on Project 333 with help from The Vivienne Files so your posts inspire me too. Merry Christmas to you. ~Mary

  10. Other than the school holiday concert, I've had one opportunity to dress up. I wore black brocade (with silver threads) trousers (new for the occasion-we were told it was a suit & tie event), wine drape-neck shell blouse, black vegan leather (yeah, pleather, but high quality) waterfall jacket, black vintage store Oscar de la Renta low heel shoes, gold & silver bead vintage store clutch, rhinestone earrings, black &silver bangles. I was happy I was comfortable all evening.
    For my job I wear lots of color. My classrooms are in a basement, one with no windows, and I need color!

    1. Wearing bright colours is a great choice as it helps keep your students focused on you!
      Oh your outfit sounds so elegant...holiday dressing can be such fun.
      Happy Holidays

  11. I sleep better since I got a CPAP machine. I didn't realize that I needed it until I had some issues with anesthesia during surgery a couple of years ago. Now that I have one, I know that many other people do as well. It takes a little getting used to though.

    1. Hi Cynthia,
      I have heard of those CPAP machines and If it helps you sleep thats fabulous. Several friends have resorted to sleeping pills and one is on medical marijuana for her sleep disorder!
      I went for an extra long walk yesterday and I did sleep until about 4:30 before I woke and I managed to get back to sleep which is wonderful as I have a lot to do in the kitchen today!

  12. Your wardrobe always looks so comfortable and chic. Definitely this is the season for adding some bling, and some heavier perfume. I like Mitsouko, but my favorite winter perfume right now is Coco by Chanel.
    I never wear black. Except I just bought a black dress. I guess never say never! I will see how I feel wearing it. It would be nice if I liked it because it is so much easier finding basics in black.
    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas. (And best wishes for the sleep issues. ugh . . . it is awful not to be able to sleep!) xo Deborah

    1. With your lovely complexion and gorgeous grey hair that black dress will be so elegant...and with a splash of your Chanel Coco perfume I think you'll be ready for a party! I do hope you'll like the black dress, there are so many different styles too so you may want more than just one!
      I have been following your blog for some time and only now am I really appreciating how you have suffered with the sleep deprivation...it is very frustrating.
      Hope you have a lovely Christmas and that you are enjoying your new kitchen!

  13. Well done with the neutrals. I also love black as an every day staple and especially with vintage Sherman. Your daughter collects vintage jewellery, doesn't she? Mine do too. Sleep is so hard, isn't it? I've been talking to my wellness centre doctor about my sleep and might have some answers soon. You've inspired me to write some more of my wellness posts and share. Hope your holidays are lovely. Check back soon.

    1. Our daughter collects all kinds of jewels! She loves sparkly things and is currently collecting Georgian jewelry.
      Oh if you have any tips on sleep I would love to hear them, I am hoping to get on top of this issues without using drugs as I have read that sleeping pills can be addictive and that they can make you feel very groggy in the morning...
      Will keep my eyes open for your blog posts.
      Thank you

  14. Ah,I've forgotten the scent of Mitsouko-so clasic!
    Love your sparkly tops-with jeans and leather jacket-I like your kind of glamorous "Granny style",indeed!
    Actually,I like black outfits,with jewels or colourful scarf or simply with golden necklace,camel coat and red gloves,but,same as Jeannine,I'm going slowly back to navy again (and now mix it together)
    Last year I needed to add some colour so I've purchased red cashmere dress. During these festive days it is often out. My other outfits for going out are LBD ,silk wide trousers with velvet top or white embroidered silk blouse,maybe sequined top (our theatres and concert halls are not too warm ,so I'm always afraid to go sleveless and it is too dressy for private parties starting in the afternoon )I resisted to add anything this year-although a silver t-shirt was a little tempting.
    I hade sleeping problems once too,it was connected with neglecting my own biorhytm- I am sleepy earlier than my family members- but when I started going to bed when I felt I need it-without a support,I must say ,because the house have to be peaceful, but eventually I managed.
    Happy holidays to you and your family!

    1. Your red cashmere dress sounds wonderful...red is not a good colour for me but I like it on others. Navy is a classic neutral, my Mother had a classic navy suit that she wore for many years and had it altered several times to keep it looking current...those were the days when seam allowances and hems were generous!
      Accessories really make such a difference and I like your attitude to dressing Dottoressa. I rarely wear a sleeveless top except in the summer time and if I am at a gathering I usually wear a lacy shrug or shawl...my arms are not as toned as they used to be !!
      I have tried going to bed earlier this past few weeks and it seems to help as my problem is not falling asleep but waking in the middle of the night so if I get a few extra hours it seems to help me function better the next day.
      Seasons Greetings to you and your family!

  15. My default color is black too! It's just so very easy and elegant, as you say. My sympathies on the sleep. It's been a challenge for me lately too. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

    1. Do you ever wonder why we experience sleep disturbances at this stage of life?
      I do...
      my Mother, who is 89 has some problems with staying asleep and my younger sister, who is extremely active riding horses and hiking with her dog every day, also complains about this issue.
      Merry Christmas to you!
      Enjoy your celebration with your family and especially that adorable grandson XO

  16. I will depend on black slim pants from Chico's for the holidays. For a Christmas eve cocktail party, I am adding a sweater, shot through with silver threads, silver dangly earrings and a cherished bracelet. On Christmas Day, I have a comfortable coral, cashmere sweater and for a New Year's party, a sparkly golden, tiered top (hard to describe, but very pretty.) These pants are so versatile that I hope Santa brings me a Chico's gift card so I can buy another.

    Have a wonderful holiday.

    1. We do not have Chico's here in Canada...it sounds like a marvellous shop. Many bloggers write about that shop. Hope your Santa wish is granted!
      Your coral cashmere sounds cozy and such a pretty shade to wear with those black pants.
      Best wishes Kristien.

  17. I enjoy peeking into your life.. love the 'glam' shots ! Happy holidays to you and yours.

    1. Seasons Greetings Gwen and best wishes for a Happy New Year!

  18. Black is always so elegant, and my go-to color for most purchases. Love your sparkly tops too. Have a wonderful Christmas Hostess and thank you for this peaceful blog with your soothing voice.

    1. Thank you K
      Best wishes for the holidays and I am sure that you will enjoy your darling grandchildren! My goodness but they grow up so fast...we are going to be "decorating" gingerbread men today and I hope to get a minute to take a few photos of our finished cookies!

  19. I just wanted to thank you for your blog. I just discovered it recently and come back to it often (sometimes on the same day). Not only is it beautifully written with lots of helpful information but it's a huge help when I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed. You bring me a more peaceful feeling and make getting on with my day much easier and productive. Thank you so much.

    1. Thank YOU for stopping by and reading my blog!
      If you come away after reading my blog posts feeling calm and peaceful then I have obviously done something worthwhile...
      Seasons Greetings and a Very Happy New Year to you.