Privilege Blog

Festivities Both Lovely And Sensible, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:44am

As light lowers here in the Northern Hemisphere, we gather by the hearth. In modern parlance, I’m talking parties. In less modern speech, we might discuss party clothes.

Nobody says party clothes any more, right?

In years gone by I bought new outfits every year to mark our winter holidays. Many of them hang in my closet still, because I’m unlikely to wear a tight-bodiced Prada dress while I write, or garden, or walk, or cook dinner. Last year I wised up, if you can call pearl-studded gold booties wise, which I can and will.

This year, all I wanted for Christmas, and Diwali, and Thanksgiving or any other celebrations for that matter, was a new silk satin blouse. Very important that it not be crêpe. We cannot plumb the depths of human style impulses.

Partly I just didn’t feel like spending a ton of money, partly I wanted to focus very particularly on color, probably I was influenced by Keri Russell in The Diplomat. Again, who knows why we want what we want? Fortunately, this year silk blouses are ubiquitous, the colors myriad. Myriad, I tell you.

I wanted Definitively Not Business, therefore slouchy and oversized. Were I 25 I might have chosen to reveal skin as a design element but these days I’m Artsy-forward. I went for Skye blue. On sale, bonus points!

Pale blue silk blouse

A digression. I plan to wear it with ankle-showing black pants with an “embossed” pattern in the fabric (what’s the word for that?) And maybe this necklace, and my wedding shoes, which I still have. The shoes mix pale gold and silver, warm and cool. Like me. Theme!

Jimmy Choo shoes by Emilia Jane Photography

But Lisa, you might ask with good reason, are you not an Autumn? Shouldn’t you be looking for colors in that palette, and eschewing black? Yes, but.

  1. I fall on the border of blue- and yellow-toned so I like to mix it up, at the margins of my outfits such as they are.
  2. I have blue eyes, and sometimes that’s where you stack your chips. Lucky number cornflower!
  3. As long as I don’t wear warm colors with my black, except neutrals, I find I am pleased enough with my appearance.
  4. Lipstick. Yes, lipstick. At parties we color our lips and they can do some heavy lifting for that ol’ color balance.

This year the silk blouse selection, as I said, is pretty darn good. Here’s an entire enterprise doing almost nothing but blousing us silkily while our Sturdy standby Nordstrom offers a nicely useful range of colors and sizes.


Tobacco silk shirt


Color is warming. May your festivities bring hope of joy for all. I hope you have a nice weekend.


Photo credit for shoes to Emilia-Jane Photography. Some links may generate commissions


17 Responses

  1. Beautiful, Beautiful silk blouses. Gorgeous colours. I am down to one silk blouse ! Now that I see the selection you have shown well ….. perhaps a shopping spree is ahead.. Thank you.

    1. You are ever so. welcome:). I have had more than one in my life, and somehow now had none. Remedied!

  2. I … don’t have any silk blouses. But your post is inspirational! Though what I really really want is I think a vintage intarsia cashmere sweater with a geometric pattern.

    1. OMG my favorite cashmere sweater ever had that kind of pattern. I think I wrote about it here on the blog? Silk blouses are not a requirement for style;)

  3. Lovely shape and colors, Lisa. I am currently obsessed with velvet and deep autumn hues of corduroy. Each will have its occasion. Silk with cashmere has to be one of the most luxurious feelings.

    I am of the mind lately that everything goes.

    When you live in the woods, who’s going to know? ;)

    1. Oooooooh, velvet. I love wearing clothes so soft people like to pat my shoulders.Your woods, my suburban sofa, we wear what we please!

  4. Jacquard pants?

    We went to New York last week and as we waited for our reservation it seemed that everybody that went past had on black boots. Inspired I’ve been looking at them online and the silhouette of your metallic booties, without the embellishment down the back, has come up several times. They were a good pick. I’m not sure they’d be my choice for walking around in New York, but they’ll be stylish for a party.

    1. JACQUARD! I knew I knew the word, just couldn’t find it in my brain. I would love to wear my booties in New York somehow! How fun you got to take that jaunt.

      1. That is very similar, and it’s the same brand. Something about it says fall and winter elegance to me.

  5. That blue is so dreamy and will be stunning on you. I don’t think I love the shoes with it ~ I’d keep it simple with something like black velvet Venetian flats. Is that OK to say?

    I’m wistful thinking of the excitement of shopping for holiday outfits which I also used to buy specifically for holiday parties, entertaining around the holidays, meals out……I don’t like to get dressed up often, but I do love it on occasion, which really isn’t part of my lifestyle anymore.

    1. It’s more than OK to say! I can see why you would suspect the pumps, but I’m pretty sure they work OK, precisely because the pants are jacquard if that makes sense. Velvet flats would be classic and luxe and lovely.

  6. I have to agree with KSL. The blue shirt would be great with black velvet Venetian flats…elegant and comfortable.

    1. With any lucky I’ll own this shirt long enough that I might also possess a pair of those Venetian flats…

  7. I had a beautiful teal silk shirt decades ago that I wore out! Silk is such a lovely fabric to wear…that cornflower blue is stunning and will be fabulous with your blue eyes and silver hair!!!!
    Embossed dress pants will be a luxe pairing.
    Love to see you in the outfit when you are ready to party :-))

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