Holiday Party Outfit (on a budget)

Holiday Party Outfit (on a budget)

Saturday night, Bill and I attended a holiday party at a local winery.

It’s been pouring rain on and off around here – mostly on – since Thursday. While I wanted to wear a dress or skirt, the pouring rain and chilly wind made that sound like a bad idea.

Jeans seemed like a much better choice. Thankfully, Sonoma County is a mostly casual and laid back place to live. I knew I wouldn’t look out of place in denim.

To dress my jeans up, I wore this black sequin top I found at Goodwill last month for just $9.00. It is in perfect condition…not a sequin out of place or missing.

I wore it with some cheapo Old Navy straight jeans that I bought ages ago for $20.00, and I used the belt from this dress to fashion a bow belt on my jeans.

I wore super-comfortable pointy-toed Calvin Klein pumps, that were a steal at just $69.00 and borrowed my stepdaughter’s metal mesh evening bag that she bought a few years back at Payless Shoes for $6.00.

For jewelry, I kept it very simple. I wore my Cookie Lee snowflake pendant that I drag out every holiday season…

and my new bracelet from April’s collection (wholesale pricing made it just $32.00).

Excluding the snowflake pendant – because I can’t remember what I paid for it, it’s so old –  and my raincoat, my entire outfit was only $136.00!

While seated at our table last night, a woman in her 20’s asked me where I’d gotten my sequin top. She said she’d been admiring it all night. When I told her it was from Goodwill, she laughed and said her gorgeous beaded gold and ivory tank was a flea market find….a gal after my own thrifty heart!

I have proven to myself, and hopefully to you, that there is no need to spend the big buckaroos to put together a festive and stylish outfit to wear to holiday parties, especially when dressy-casual is an option.

And don’t forget…How I Wear My: Plaid will be up this Tuesday. Please submit a photo of you wearing plaid to me or to Jill by Monday afternoon at the latest if you would like to be featured. We would love to have you!




  1. December 2, 2012 / 8:13 pm

    I have a sequined top like yours…now I need to get my mitts on some sexy skinny jeans and some of those killer heels…
    You look amazing…
    seriously I love how you are rocking this look.

  2. December 2, 2012 / 8:25 pm

    I love sequins. Whether a sequin top with jeans (in which you look fab!) or a sequin mini skirt with a oversized sweater. Sometimes a woman just needs to sparkle, non?

  3. December 2, 2012 / 8:41 pm

    You look marvelous! Sequins and jeans do go together – great finds and example.

  4. December 2, 2012 / 9:52 pm

    @hostess of the humble bungalow Thank you, Leslie! I really adore my pointy pumps. They are one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I own, but they don’t look like they would be with that dramatic point.

  5. December 2, 2012 / 9:54 pm

    @Kate I’d love to come across a great sequin skirt someday. Something in a champagne or blush color would be lovely. And yes, I agree…sometimes a woman needs to sparkle 🙂

  6. December 2, 2012 / 9:55 pm

    @Thyme2Be Thank you! I didn’t intentionally set out to wear a budget-y outfit, it just happened that way. I guess it’s an indication that my wardrobe is becoming more and more secondhand…which is a very good thing!

  7. December 2, 2012 / 10:53 pm

    Wow, Adrienne, I love this outfit. The bow belt just makes the whole outfit come together.

  8. December 2, 2012 / 11:31 pm

    That top does look great and I’d wear it with denim too – though I’d put a blazer on top since it’s a bit colder in our part of the world 😉

  9. December 3, 2012 / 12:25 am

    The top is sooo glamorous! And what a bargain! I like the way it lifts the jeans out of casual mode into evening dress territory. I love the snowflake pendant!

  10. December 3, 2012 / 2:48 am

    I adore your top, Adrienne. You look so wonderful!!!

  11. December 3, 2012 / 4:57 am

    You look lovely, Adrienne…I love this look, so simple and elegant. And you know me, gotta love Goodwill…I am never surprised at the treasures I find there! Thanks for entering my giveaway!

  12. December 3, 2012 / 5:56 am

    Casual glamour – just perfect, Adrienne! I love that you still treasure your snowflake necklace too. Thanks for sharing all the beauty with Visible Monday.

  13. December 3, 2012 / 6:27 am

    Amazing look without breaking the bank. You look fabulous!

  14. December 3, 2012 / 7:16 am

    What a great festive look, and no one would guess you put this together on such a clever budget. Mind you, the crowning glory of the outfit is your fabulous hair, and that can’t be found at the Goodwill! 😉

  15. December 3, 2012 / 7:20 am

    Very pretty top!

  16. December 3, 2012 / 7:37 am

    You look so great and festive. Sequins aren’t my favorite, as you know, but with the jeans and pumps, the top looks wonderful and festive. And the snowflake pendent is a perfect holiday touch.

  17. December 3, 2012 / 8:16 am

    @Mademoiselle Poirot I tried to wear a jacket over it and it was too bulky…which is too bad because a blazer or little jacket would be cute.
    Have a lovely week, MP!

  18. December 3, 2012 / 8:21 am

    @Veshoevius Sequins are so popular right now and they’re an easy way to turn an otherwise dull outfit into something festive…so glad I found sequins for a bargain.
    Thank you for stopping by today!

  19. December 3, 2012 / 8:25 am

    @Leigh Powell Hines When I bought that snowflake pendant, I had no idea I would be wearing it for so long! I have had it for about 10 Christmases!

  20. December 3, 2012 / 9:28 am

    I now love sequins because I wear a lot of black and it livens things up a bit. Love your outfit. Your hair is looking fabulous!

  21. December 3, 2012 / 11:48 am

    I’ve been kind of blue about being on a budget this holiday season, and it made me smile to see someone look fantastic without breaking the bank! Kudos to you–this post was really encouraging to me as I try to stay away from my favorite shops and work with what I have…

  22. December 3, 2012 / 12:05 pm

    Very pretty! I think women try too hard sometimes.. simple pieces that fit well, a good pump, and a little sparkle 🙂


  23. December 3, 2012 / 12:46 pm

    I totally agree Adrienne. Style is something that money cannot buy!

    You can buy a stylist, but often they get it wrong too. I tried to help a friend some 25 years ago who thought that her outfit was appropriate just because she had spent a load of money on it- but she was way underdressed for the occasion.

    I have seen some people spend way too much money on looking absolutely hideous!!!

    xx j

  24. December 3, 2012 / 1:42 pm

    @Pam @ over50feeling40 I am a Goodwill girl all the way! I went there today – my usual stop on my way home from a weekly Monday morning appointment – and found a Calvin Klein dress that might work for New Years Eve!
    I wish our local Goodwill was as great about promoting itself as yours is. I think more people would shop there if they would get the word out more.

  25. December 3, 2012 / 1:43 pm Thanks, Jeannie! I am not planning on buying anything new to wear to holiday events…it’s going to be secondhand duds and shopping my closet this year.

  26. December 3, 2012 / 1:47 pm

    What a fabulous find! I love denim and sequins together. Unfortunately my 1 plaid item didn’t make it out of the closet for a picture this weekend, but I will be sure to participate next month! Can’t wait to see everyone though as usual : )

  27. December 3, 2012 / 1:47 pm

    @materfamilias My frizzy hair, that is! The weather is not kind to my big hair. Thank you for the lovely compliment about it, though.
    I enjoy the challenge of picking out an outfit that consists of at least one secondhand items and feeling good in it. It really is possible to feel confident and stylish in used clothing!

  28. December 3, 2012 / 1:51 pm

    @Ginny Thank you, Ginny! And thank you for stopping by today. Love your name, by the way.

  29. December 3, 2012 / 1:54 pm

    @Kathy To be honest, I have never been one for sequins myself either. But if they are styled in a casual way, I think they can look great. I like Kate’s comment above about a sequin skirt with an oversized sweater. And I like them with jeans, of course. I wonder how sequins would look with those Gap ankle khakis? I’ll have to try that and see.

  30. December 3, 2012 / 2:02 pm

    @Sulky Kitten That is one great thing about sequins…they can really liven up an outfit without adding lots of color. I like to dress as uncomplicated and comfortable as I can and this top allows me to just that!

  31. December 3, 2012 / 2:05 pm

    @Lauren T That is so great to hear, Lauren. There is no reason any of us have to buy a new holiday outfit this season. Shopping secondhand, borrowing from friends, and shopping our own closets is not only great for your wallet but it’s good for the environment too!

  32. December 3, 2012 / 2:08 pm

    @Leslie I agree. I always take off one accessory before I leave the house. I just don’t look good in lots of “stuff”. I believe that letting one or two pieces stand alone is much more appealing than showcasing several. And if I am wearing something really blingy, like sequins, then I pare it way down…no earrings, no watch, no rings other than my wedding set, and nothing in my hair.
    Other people can look great with lots of stuff going on, I am just not one of them!

  33. December 3, 2012 / 2:20 pm

    @Jodie aka Mummaducka’sKaos You are right. There are some who think dressing like the mannequins at the mall gives them instant style…and to an extent I suppose it does but it’s not an organic style. And it doesn’t always represent who someone is.
    There is nothing wrong with spending lots on the latest trends it just makes for a crowded closet full of clothes that won’t be worn much or for very long and don’t have much meaning to the wearer. For some people, that doesn’t matter and that is fine. For me, when the woman at the party asked me where I bought my top, that is the sort of thing I live for. It’s the association, the “getting the word out” so to speak, about secondhand that gets me excited. So my outfits need to represent that message properly. I sure hope I making myself clear…this is rather hard to articulate!

  34. December 3, 2012 / 2:21 pm No problem about the plaid. I hope that you will join us come January. We picked a pretty simple theme for next month.

    Lovely to hear from you!
    xo, A

  35. December 3, 2012 / 2:24 pm

    @Patti I do treasure my snowflake pendant…that old cheapo thing! I never really get tired of it and it’s a nice, easy way to make any outfit look a little more festive.
    Thank you for all of your hard work putting VM on for us all week after week…you deserve some sort of award!

  36. December 3, 2012 / 7:08 pm

    Oh I’m so happy you busted out the sequins! I love this top on you. You look so good. Can’t wait to see the plaid post! XO, Jill

  37. December 5, 2012 / 7:19 am

    I am going to a New Years Eve party and I have a similar top. Great idea with the ribbon Belt. Okay we have the same first name so now Ill adopt your great style too. Thanks for sharing.

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