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The holidays are here. Do you have something—other than workout clothes—to wear to dinner and social events with friends and family, or maybe there’s a special Christmas or Hanukah service you might attend? This time of year most of us have a tendency to eat and drink too much and watch football while eating our second piece of pie, but we can be comfortable and stylish at the same time.  

When I saw this burgundy velvet blazer my heart skipped a beat. I’ll wear it forever! 

I’m trying to bring more color into my wardrobe, and the one color that keeps coming up is plum. When wearing velvet generally I do a high/low: Pair a velvet blazer with jeans so it’s not too-too, or if I’m wearing velvet pants I’ll wear a simple sweater or a pretty blouse. In this case I decided more is more! 

‘Tis the season to bring it all out!

My jacket is from M.I.H Jeans and was inspired by a photo of Jane Birkin, ’70’s fashion icon, wearing a velvet smoking jacket. The jacket I’m wearing is a fully lined cotton-velvet, and it’s beautifully tailored. The tie belt will customize the fit, or you can tie it behind your back like I’ve done in this photo. I’ve given you three different price points on blazers, plus I’ve added a cute velvet bomber jacket with a fun lining! Even if you want to wear comfortable pants, any of these jackets will dress up your look.

Did I tell you my 30-something friend, Taylor, was the one who got me thinking about coloring outside my style lines? The Christmas after James died she gave me a black leather and pearl bracelet. Cool with a rocker chic vibe! She bought it because she said it looked like me. Wow! Really? I’ve worn it constantly and need to have one of the pearls secured because it’s loose.

Taylor’s gift gave me permission to rewrite my personal style book!

Because of Taylor’s gift I was primed and ready when my friend Vinetta, at Neiman’s, suggested I buy the leather pants I’m wearing. That was maybe five years ago. I was hesitant, because I didn’t know anyone my age–except on Instagram–who wears leather pants, but you know what? I decided I didn’t give a hoot. Since then I’ve lived in these pants, so they were worth the investment.

If you want to try leather pants, what if you start with faux leather leggings? They’re less expensive. If you’re feeling outside your comfort zone, do a high/low by dressing them down with something casual like a big, chunky sweater, a long scarf and sneakers or ankle boots. Then wear them! Enjoy them! And don’t give a flying flip what anyone thinks!

I’m wearing Dallas home furnishings and accent piece designer, Jan Barboglio’s, nickel cross with black wooden beads and leather tassels. I’ve had it for years. Sometimes I hang it from a lamp or a curtain rod where I can see it. Other times I wear it like a necklace. Living in San Antonio I see lots of her gorgeous things. Here’s an interview I did with Jan Barboglio a few years ago. Speaking of a woman over 60 who dresses how she wants… That’s Jan! And she lost everything in a fire. She’s so inspiring, and her personal style is one of the things I love most about her. Here’s her smaller cross with red beads. It’s beautiful.

My sneakers are Vince Camuto. I saw a woman at UPS wearing a pair and asked where she got them.

BTW, the butcher block I’m leaning against was the first piece of furniture I bought when my first husband and I set up house. For 40 years it sat in the middle of my kitchen—before islands were popular—with a crystal chandelier hanging over it. The same chandelier is now in my master bath. That butcher block holds many fond memories like when my friend, Joe, and I spent the afternoon making tortellini filled with prosciutto, veal, spinach and fresh grated parmesan cheese! We left the kitchen for a minute and my dog, Phydaux, ate them all!!! Joe and I collapsed in gales of laughter and opened another bottle of wine!

I hope you make wonderful memories this holiday season!

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  1. Best accessory in this shoot? The second shot with the “I don’t care what they think, I’m loving it” smile and the chalice of red wine xxxxx

    • TJ, That is a “chalice,” isn’t it? LOL! I’ve had those “balloon” goblets for years. They used to be fashionable for red wine. Now I can’t imagine drinking that much red wine, plus a third of that keeps me awake. Something it didn’t used to do. I’m glad you appreciate the “I don’t care what they think” smile. It’s take a lifetime to cultivate! xoxo, Brenda

  2. Dear Brenda –
    Reading your blog is getting expensive. After the last one, I ordered leather leggings. Now I’m in love with that velvet, kimono-style blazer! Between you and Hilde, I’ll be the best-dressed gal in the RV park!!

    • LOL! Donna, you can’t feel guilty about the Hue leggings. They won’t break the bank. The velvet blazer… Just consider it investment dressing. You’ll have it forever and can wear it with so many things! You’re always on the best dressed list. xoxo, Brenda

    • LOL!!! Diane… !!! I can’t stop laughing! I may never wear leather pants again! On some level I knew I was setting myself up for something like that but that show was so funny and I missed that episode. If it helps, my pants don’t make noise when I walk. My ski suit does, however, and I’m self conscious because I look like the Michelin tire man in it! Do supermodels have these problems? I always think they can put on anything and look gorgeous. That’s a question for Kim Alexis. I’ll ask her. You’ve left the best comment ever! Thank you, I think… Brenda

  3. Wear crosses all the time. Love your hunky cross, perfect.

    My house wears them too in every room. Each unique, yet subtle.

    Oddly, not the garden, it’s God’s sanctuary paradise gift and words of the bible written in foliage, soil etc….

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

    • Hi Dear Tara!! I have a beautiful jeweled cross hanging from my makeup mirror on my dressing table; a six-foot, Mexican, wooden rosary hanging from the curtain rod in my bathroom and this Jan Barboglio cross/beads which is sometimes in the living room. My sweet neighbor is from South America and lived in a convent there for years. She goes to mass every day and brought me a silver framed image of Christ as a thank you for something I did for her. I’m surrounded by God’s love. You’ll be interested to know my “garden” is still in the same condition as when you saw it, but this week I’m getting bids to finally have something done. Our winters aren’t too bad, so there’s a lot I can do now, and the landscape contractors are looking for work so their prices will hopefully be better. Love your new haircut!!! xoxox, Brenda

    • TOF, I’m still pondering why I wore kitten heels a few weeks ago in my post about Whistle River’s beautiful skirt. In reality, that wouldn’t have happened. My feet are 6A narrow… I walk out of most everything I put on, even with pads and orthotics, but I continue to look for comfortable shoes and I’m having a thing for sneakers!! Yay!! Thank you! xoxox, Brenda

  4. It’s gorgeous! A smoking jacket fits your style perfectly. I love everything about your outfit. I’m afraid I still haven’t got up the nerve to wear leather pants but they really look great on you. Strange, because as a biker I was all decked out in black leather, including chaps. So, what’s holding Me back?

    • Hi Joanna, Only you can answer that question. Maybe it’s because on the motorcycle you had a good reason to wear leather. It was the smart thing to do. It protected your body, plus it was “the cool look.” Everyone wore it for the same reasons. Without the bike you may feel like a fish out of water in leather, but I’m betting you’ll get over that if you try a pair of leather pants or leggings. Wear them with an oversized sweater. You want the contrast of a big sweater or jacket against the more narrow leggings. It will make it more comfortable for you. Not like a “costume” if you will. It will be cool. xoxox, Brenda

    • Christina, If you’re like me, you’ll have to be deliberate in trying to find things with color. It might be something as simple as a scarf. The blazers I’ve listed run the gamut of prices. What if you order one… or two and check them out? I usually order two different sizes and send one… or both of them back. Return shipping is free, so if they don’t fit, send them back and you haven’t spent any money. Online shopping is really the new “Fitting Room.” You’ll never know till you try! xoxox, Brenda

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