I have a love/hate relationship with December. The holiday festivities and Christmas lights make me so happy, but the hordes of crowds everywhere – on the streets, in the shops, everywhere! – heighten my blood pressure. But even with the crowds, I refuse to be deterred from partaking in one of my holiday traditions – walking around famous high-end fashion mecca Rodeo Drive and its neighboring streets in Beverly Hills to breathe in the holiday cheer and check out the beautiful winter window displays. I also wanted to see the 16 Baccarat chandeliers (totaling an estimated value of approximately $1 million), a new addition to Rodeo Drive this year in celebration of the centennial anniversary of the City of Beverly Hills as well as Baccarat’s 250th anniversary.
So that’s where I found myself this past weekend. As I had predicted, the streets were crawling with shoppers (and tourists. So many tourists.). But for the first time since returning from my trip, I was reminded of Europe – I’ve noticed that people tend to dress up a little for Rodeo Drive, and it was kind of nice seeing that sort of polished effort again. Ever since visiting Milan/Monaco/Paris/London, I’ve realized how casual (and sometimes downright sloppy) Americans tend to dress in comparison, and the dress code is one of the top things I miss the most from my trip.
Now, in case you were wondering, no, I didn’t particularly make extra effort in my wardrobe like some of the tourists. But I did spend an extra minute or two deciding on my outerwear just because I wanted a change from my usual choices of leather jackets. Ultimately, I reached for this amazing sweater vest that I haven’t been able to stop wearing these past couple of weeks. I took it with me to Europe and layered it under my big coats for warmth (as seen here in London), but even by itself, it’s a beautiful outerwear piece. I actually wore it to work the other day and my boss stopped me and asked where my vest was from. When I told her it was Forever 21, she couldn’t believe it! “I would’ve guessed it was Chanel!” she, owner of many Chanel clothing, exclaimed in genuine disbelief. Well, mission accomplished. I’m a firm believer that style isn’t how expensive a piece of clothing is; style is what you can do with what you have. Today’s look is a great example in action – as soft and as pretty the sweater vest is by itself, it hangs straight on my frame and I wanted to emphasize my waistline to add some depth to the silhouette. To do that, I simply added a thin belt over the sweater to cinch in the waist. Additionally, because the oversized shawl collar adds bulk to the upper half of the torso, I opted for a relaxed blouse with a subtle v-neckline for balance. The tartan skirt peeking out from underneath the vest also added a nice contrast to the monochrome look.
Hope this little trick will inspire you to come up with new ways to wear your outerwear! As always, I’d love to hear your input! Thanks so much for reading!
Photos by Herman