Holiday Red

Holiday Red

It’s the second day of my commitment to don my most festive duds until New Year’s Day. The interviewing part has already produced a casualty in the form of a too big and too scratchy black skirt with silver threads running throughout. To donation it goes!

Wednesday, I chose a bright red jacket purchased during my first trip to Paris for my 40th birthday in 2007.

My husband detests shopping and waited, arms crossed, on the sidewalk outside Caroll on rue de Rivoli while I frantically tried on jackets and coats. Tops, skirts and the like would take too long. He was waiting and we had monuments to see, escargot to eat and Burgundy wine to drink.

In record time, I found two jackets: a black Chanel-esque jacket that I wore recently and this red jacket.

On the agenda for Wednesday was visiting a dear senior client of mine to chat and deliver some sweets, a trip to the library and the market and finishing the very, very last of my holiday shopping.

I started with a base outfit of a black pencil skirt, black sweetheart neckline long sleeved top, the red Paris jacket and black pumps.

Feeling daring, I whipped out a new pair of boldly patterned stockings, something I never wear, and a red and leopard print handbag, also purchased in Paris.

Although I like the pattern of these stockings, they aren’t very flattering on my shapeless, skinny calves. Maybe I should try a horizontal stripe? I kid!

After seeing these photos, I decided the stockings and bag were too much for what I had going on Wednesday. I toned it down by ditching the stockings altogether and carrying my old standby handbag, a vintage Salvatore Ferragamo.

There…much better.

Of course, I can wear this jacket year round, But I don’t.

There is something about this bright red shade that makes me uncomfortable. I’ve recently discovered that wearing loud colors is not easy for me (remember the hot pink trench?).

Like most things I have issues with, it stems from my teen years. I was a very tall teenager; nearly 6 feet tall at 14 years old. I was told that women with height should make an effort not to stand out too much by wearing lots of neutrals and no patterns.

At 44 years old, it’s time to offload this and other outdated notions to which I subscribe and learn to feel comfortable standing out, don’t you think? Sounds like a 2012 New Year’s resolution to me!

Tomorrow, I am interviewing a Kelly green sweater – let’s see if it goes in the donation pile or in a post on the blog – and I’m doing a review of a new mascara.

Do you ever feel uncomfortable in bright colors or bold patterns?
Tell me about it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.



  1. December 22, 2011 / 4:43 am

    I´m not that much for bright colors, it feels like I disappear since I have pale skin and so on. I do love it on other people though.

    You look really pretty in these pics! 🙂

  2. December 22, 2011 / 4:46 am

    I think bright red is REALLY one of your colors! You look great and I loved the leopard and red handbag with the outfit. Such a fun touch.

  3. December 22, 2011 / 4:51 am

    I’ve always been drawn to bold colors. I wear black and brown a lot, but have never been afraid of color. With that said, I don’t have a lot of red.

    You look nice. That jacket would look great with black pants, too. Of course I’m so informal, but I think it would give a nice pop to a pair of very nice jeans, black turtleneck, and, and leopard or zebra ballet flats.

  4. December 22, 2011 / 5:02 am

    You look pretty vampy in the first photos! But you look equally good in the second. That little red jacket is fab and it really suits you. I love strong colours but I mainly wear a lot of black myself. Laziness! x

  5. December 22, 2011 / 5:11 am

    I love the first outfit so much…the bag is incredible!! Skirts and fancy tights are my favorite look for me right now…I am overdoing it a bit!

  6. December 22, 2011 / 5:20 am

    I love that red coat on you, but I also shy away from red. I’ve relegated it to an accent color except for one perfect shad red sundress I own that fits like a dream.
    Also, saw you over at CC and wanted to say I bought my first clarisonic mia and used it last night for the first time (with proactiv). I dont’ know if it will clear up my acne, but my skin has never felt silkier. Why did I wait this long? (oh I know, the money). Also, I swear by hanky panky.

  7. December 22, 2011 / 5:49 am

    LOVE the red jacket! You should wear it yr round, you look great in red!

  8. December 22, 2011 / 6:04 am

    Love the jacket, and I love Carroll too, one of my favorite French “chain” retailers. It’s definitely a statement piece, and I agree that the simpler look lets it take center stage. You look great!

  9. December 22, 2011 / 6:20 am

    I love both outfits and that red jacket is great!! I’m a fan of the striped tights.

    Oh I am so glad someone else understands the insecurities one sometimes feels of being tall….most of the time I love it, it is an asset but for the longest time, I was always the tallest person either in school and in my group of friends, and to make myself ‘fit in’ more, unfortunately I developed a slouching problem which I am combatting to this day…

    I too would always wear neutrals or a safe palette but over the last few years, I have tossed that aside in favour of reds, blues, greens, purples….I still love my beloved black though! 🙂

  10. December 22, 2011 / 6:39 am

    Bright colors and patterns aren’t my thing but I will wear something bright before a pattern. My wool winter coat is red and I love it. It brightens me up during the cold, drab days of winter. I used to shy away from red altogher but found if I wear a berry red it is a good thing. ~~Bliss

  11. December 22, 2011 / 6:42 am

    You look great in red, but IMO, a bluer red would be better. This one has too much orange in it, a little “hot”. That being said, no, I don’t wear color either much at all. I don’t feel I’m “me” in it, which I think you understand. All colors have to be deep or grayed out for me to feel right in them.
    But you look great in that jacket and the whole outfit is perfect.

  12. December 22, 2011 / 7:04 am

    The only issue with the stockings is that one was twisted on your leg! It’s critical that you “follow the stripe” to make sure they are perfectly aligned.

    They look stunning with the outfit, althought I would go with the black bag if wearing the stockings and the leopard bag if not. One bit of zazziness in an outfit is eye-catching. Two is visually exhausting

    Beautiful jacket with a lovely story!

  13. December 22, 2011 / 7:46 am


    You look A~Maz~ing! I actually really like the first try, but hey, you would look gorgeous in a sack.

    Love that red.


  14. December 22, 2011 / 7:48 am

    You look great in red and I do like patterned stockings.
    I think the leopard bag and the stockings might have been in competition to each other so I would opt for that black Ferragamo bag with the stockings.

    I do not wear many patterned garments as I am short and curvy so they make me look large and I feel uncomfortable and dowdy.

    I say bravo to saying goodbye to outdated ideas and embracing the joys of dressing in what makes you happy.

  15. December 22, 2011 / 7:59 am

    @tinajo You’re smart about considering your skin tone when it comes to bright colors. I have a light olive complexion, so bright colors are okay on me. It’s the standing out like a stop sign that I’m uncomfortable with 🙂

    Thank you for stopping by!

  16. December 22, 2011 / 8:01 am

    That is a fabulous outfit. Nothing like a good thrifstore find.

  17. December 22, 2011 / 8:02 am

    The patterned tights are perfect! I see nothing wrong with your calves. The skin-tone-tights change the look into an “office lady style” while the black tights are just perfect!

    I see what you are talking about – I am “only” 5’10” and still everytime I wear heels, everyone’s jaw drops immediately.

    Red really suits you well.

  18. December 22, 2011 / 8:07 am

    @Juhli Thank you, Juhli. I think the red leopard bag looks pretty good with the jacket, too. I should have tried bare legs with that bag…too much going on with the stockings *and* the leopard print.

  19. December 22, 2011 / 10:04 am

    Oh you should wear bright colours more! You look beautiful in red!

    My entire wardrobe had GTH written all over it…bright colours, bold patterns…pink is my neutral lol!

  20. December 22, 2011 / 10:19 am

    My favorite outfit yet!! I actually adore this with the patterned tights and leopard bag, but like it very much the second way too – but maybe give the first way a chance again sometime : ) That red is beautiful on you, I think it is definitely time to let go of some of your old rules and push yourself out of the comfort zone. That is how you find new things you love, sometimes it just takes some getting used to!

  21. December 22, 2011 / 12:08 pm

    Merry Christmas Adrienne to you and your family!
    T xx

  22. December 22, 2011 / 2:19 pm

    @Hines-Sight Good for you for not shying away from bold colors. I will wear the red jacket with black pants as soon as I get some. I asked Santa to buy me a pair at J Crew. We shall see if he had time to order them for me 🙂

    Jeans also work well and I almost wore a turtleneck but opted for the sweetheart because she doesn’t get out much anymore.

    I like the zebra print idea….will have to see what I might have in that print to go with the jacket.

  23. December 22, 2011 / 2:29 pm

    @Sulky kitten Is vampy good?? I think I did look a little too *meow* in that first get up to go off visiting an elderly man and hanging out in a public library in the middle of suburbia. I am glad I changed into something a little more subdued.

    I like bold colors, also. Just not usually on me. But I am slowly getting used to it. Encouragement from readers certainly helps!

    Black: my favorite color to wear, too. I went three weeks without wearing it last August and was so glad when I welcomed it back into my wardrobe.

  24. December 22, 2011 / 2:39 pm

    @Pam @ over50feeling40 My outfit would probably be fine if I lived in a big city or somewhere flashy like Las Vegas, where I grew up. They say, you can take the girl out of Vegas, but you can’t take the Vegas out of the girl. This is proof that that is true 🙂

    Had I been going to meet girlfriends for after-work drinks, for example, the first look would have been acceptable. Maybe I will try it again when I’ve got something fun planned one day. I do like the combination…

  25. December 22, 2011 / 2:56 pm

    @Kristi I am crossing my fingers that my husband ordered a Clarisonic for me. I asked for the big one so I can more easily use it on my body.
    Hanky Panky is the only brand of undies I wear – no others even come close to their fit, comfort and cuteness. I always ask for a new batch at Christmas.
    If I get the Clarisonic, I’ll let you know how it works on my skin. I have only heard wonderful things about them.

  26. December 22, 2011 / 3:37 pm

    @déjà pseu Caroll makes some beautiful things. I am going to make a point of spending some time there when we next go to Paris – husband can stay at the hotel or get a beer at a nearby cafe 🙂

  27. December 22, 2011 / 3:41 pm

    @LR @ Magnificent or Egregious I’ll bet you and I could talk for hours about what it’s like being a tall woman. Most of the time, I love it. But it does come with its issues.

    I used to slouch, too. And sometimes I still do. At least I catch myself doing it and straighten up.

    Black is my favorite wardrobe color – always has been, always will be.

  28. December 22, 2011 / 3:44 pm

    @steppingmywaytobliss I’ll wear brights before patterns too, unless it’s a small pattern.

    Berry red is a little softer and more feminine than the fire engine red of my jacket. I love berry reds – with a bluish hue. I bet you look great in your winter coat.

  29. December 22, 2011 / 3:47 pm

    @kathy peck I totally agree, Kathy. A bluer red would be much better on my coloring.

    I do understand the not feeling like “you” in bright colors. I feel the same way. I have to be a certain mood to wear them.

  30. December 22, 2011 / 3:49 pm

    @Marmie Welcome! And thank you for the comment. I should have tried the black bag and the stockings together. Next time, I will wear that and I will make sure my lines are straight 🙂

  31. December 22, 2011 / 3:51 pm

    @Julia Thank you! Love your comments – they always make me smile 🙂 I think I’ll try the jacket with jeans and the leopard handbag this weekend…I do like that bag with the jacket. xoxo

  32. Helen
    December 22, 2011 / 4:31 pm

    Hello – this is my first ever comment (been reading your blog for months and love it!) but I was driven to say something about the tights – I LOVED the patterns one – definitely not too much!

  33. December 22, 2011 / 7:52 pm

    I love bright colors, but stay away from bold patterns. At a meagre 5’2″, I feel like the patterns will just engulf me and swallow me up 🙁

  34. December 22, 2011 / 7:56 pm

    You wear red wonderfully! I’ve only begun to wear it myself in the last few years. I’m a fan of colour, generally, but at 5’3″ I’m careful it doesn’t overwhelm (so opposite end of height spectrum but same nervousness about colour)

    I have to say you’ve inspired me to work more of the colour and sparkle over the holidays, even when I’m “just” at home — after all, what am I saving those pieces for?!

  35. December 22, 2011 / 8:24 pm

    Hubba Hubba! 😉

    Seriously, you look great. I keep saying I need something red but haven’t found the right thing yet. I don’t own as many bright colors as I used to. But I need introduce more color because I think now that I am older, drab colors make my complexion look blah.

    Will be curious to see your Kelly green sweater. That is one of my best colors, I always get compliments when I wear it.


  36. December 22, 2011 / 10:06 pm

    I like it with the black striped stockings, but with the black bag. It looks fantastic!
    And I’ve never been confident in bright colors and patterns, (I wish I was though), my wardrobe is a see of neutrals. It’s very boring, I’d like to spice it up a bit 🙂

  37. December 23, 2011 / 2:54 am

    You know my views on Colour- I am a Fan! Love the jacket xxx

  38. December 23, 2011 / 9:00 am

    @hostess of the humble bungalow You’re right about the bag and stockings being too much. I’ll try the stockings again sometime soon. They do add so much interest to an outfit.

    Patterns are tricky. And because they’re tricky, I usually avoid them.

    It is difficult to retrain yourself away from old ideas, especially those ideas and notions created in youth. When you’re young, you believe everything adults tell you.

  39. December 23, 2011 / 10:01 am

    @Jane W. I do wish that jacket had been a thrift store find. With the already somewhat high Caroll prices and a terrible exchange rate, we paid more than I care to remember for that item.

  40. December 23, 2011 / 10:03 am

    @Paula I get the jaw-dropping thing on a regular basis – heels or no heels. It sounds like you know how I feel about standing out.

    Maybe I’ll wear the stockings to work next week with the pencil skirt – I rather like them, too.

    Happy Holidays!

  41. December 23, 2011 / 10:43 am

    Hilarious Adrienne, I can just see you slinking into the library in that first outfit…there would have been a sudden influx of library card renewal among the male population…and you would have needed a defibrillator for the elderly client…Minx!! x

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