How to Dress Up…Beyond the Dress

December 16, 2015

When you have a wedding, Bar Mitzvah or holiday party to attend, do you spend all your energy finding the basic garment and then panic when you think about all the extras you need to finish the outfit?

‘Oh, yeah…what am I going to wear to keep warm if the venue is cold?’ or “I need to wear a coat, but all I have is my parka and that looks terrible!”, or “Oh, no…all I have is my beat up daily tote bag to carry all my stuff.”

If you hate to shop then you most likely run out of steam after finding the clothes – accessories seem way too overwhelming to consider. Then when the day of the event arrives and you get dressed you wish you had found the time and energy to go the extra mile!

I’ll make it easy for you! Let’s talk about coats and shrugs and handbags, oh my!

Keeping Warm

Yes, women are wearing sleeveless all year round even in the frigid northeast winters, but if you, like me, cannot bear the thought of shivering all evening or grabbing an old, worn out cardigan from your dresser or even having some poor man take pity on you and throw his jacket over your shoulders, then planning ahead a bit will help.

Whether you are wearing a dress or pants with a sleeveless top, here are some ideas:

This gorgeous jacket can dress up a basic little black dress. It is nicely fitted so it will look good over a dress, with black pants or a pair of dark wash (or black) jeans. All you need is pretty earrings and a bracelet, if you are so inclined, and you are good to go.

Or, maybe you just want to cover your upper arms a bit but don’t need a lot of added warmth. Then, this wrap (comes in black and champagne) will do the trick and it’s hands-free – no fussing with wraps that come unwrapped!

If you don’t need to be so dressy but don’t want to feel like you are wearing your work or ultra casual clothes to the event, try this pretty understated velvet jacket:

Or go with something a little more offbeat by one of my favorite designers, Joseph Ribkoff.

And, you HAVE to see the back:

These are just a few of the many, many ideas (in misses, petites and plus sizes and a wide variety of price points) you can see HERE. Including one of my all time favorite jackets from Joseph Ribkoff (that comes in black, vanilla and navy).

Add a Fun, Pretty Handbag

Does this sound familiar…you get dressed and look great AND THEN, as you are leaving the house you reach for your everyday handbag. Bam! The outfit loses something immediately. We’ve all done it!

You do not have to choose a handbag that is a teeny, tiny clutch or is loaded with sparkles. Just find a more refined or smaller bag to complete your outfit…something in which you can put your wallet (or driver’s license, cash and a credit card), lipstick, keys, cell phone and whatever else you need (eyeglasses? medication?). It doesn’t have to be the size of Milwaukee to fit the bill.

In fact, sometimes even if your outfit is very basic – nice jeans and a pretty sweater, let’s say, if you add a fun handbag, everything (including your attitude) brightens.

Here are a few ideas:

When you don’t want to give up too much space, but want something more elegant than your daily handbag, here is a great option (and it is incredibly well-priced):

What if you are dressed all in black and want to add a spot of color. I have several ideas in the catalogue for you to see, but this one makes me smile:

Or how about something extremely elegant and timeless:

Or a little bit wild?

Of course, you can see a wide variety of handbag options HERE.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Along with the handbag, your coat is something that is easy to overlook…until the 11th hour. The last thing you want to do is throw on the parka you wear to walk the dog when you are feeling festive and elegant.

I found some remarkable coats. Here are a few and you can see the rest (at a wide variety of price points) HERE.

Sometimes a very simple fit and flare coat adds pizzazz and elegance:

Or how about something with some sparkle:

And, sometimes you need or want something longer and they are really hard to find (except in the huge puffer coats that make you look like the abominable snowman). Try this for super elegance – you won’t want to take it off all night!

And, of course, if you are looking for something totally striking and different, this coat might strike your fancy:

Don’t stop here…check out the rest of the gorgeous options HERE. A beautiful coat is an investment in your wardrobe – something you will have for years and you will smile every time you go out and put it on-delighted at how smart you were to get something so beautiful and practical!

A Note About the Clothes: All of the garments pictured here (and in the catalogue) are vegan/cruelty-free (made from fabrics that did not harm any animals). Please note that I am passionate about ending animal suffering and choosing cruelty-free clothing is just one aspect of a vegan lifestyle. If you have any questions about being vegan please let me know. I am happy to help and will answer any questions with kindness and compassion.

Some of the affiliate links may generate commissions for Total Image Consultants which helps support the time spent creating these very specific recommendations.

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