Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: Christmas

My Grown-up Christmas Dress

The other night, I went to a formal Christmas party – which, really, is the best kind of Christmas party – and it was fancy.  I mean, yes, it was formal, so it was fancy in that sense. But, it was also fancy because with my master’s degree, I was one of the least educated people in the room. I would have been intimidated, had I not been wearing this amazing dress (also, everyone was super nice, so it was fine).

I will tell you a secret about this dress, though…it was free. I was given this dress, brand new, because the zipper was broken. But, you know, zippers are easy to fix, so with a little help from my neighborhood seamstress, I had the perfect dress for a formal Christmas party that cost me nothing* (*okay, she didn’t fix it for free.  So, technically, my gown cost $20).

I chose to keep the look simple with classic gold and silver jewelry, and soft gold shoes. The black panel in the middle is actually of my own invention because I need to do a few more crunches before I could wear this dress sans panel…

Btw, slits are pretty hard to get a picture of without pulling an Angelina Jolie, but when I was a kid, I was a little obsessed with slits (they seemed so adult and sultry in a socially-acceptable way), so that picture in the bottom corner is for 8-year old me’s benefit.
1 - formal Christmas partyWas there an element of fashion that captured your attention when you were a kid?  Slits, shoulder pads, stirrups, elbow pads on men’s jackets (with those leather buttons that I always thought looked like crushed junior mints)?  Do you have any of those things in your adult life, or did they fall casualty to adulthood practicalities and changing style?

Twofer Tuesday: Christmas Edition

As I think I’ve probably made abundantly clear, I really love Nashville.  There’s so much to do here, and people are super nice.  Like meet you in the morning and invite you to their Christmas party in the afternoon nice.

So, I’ve had a lot more opportunity to wear my ugly Christmas vest (not sweater, because you know I always have to be a little different) this year than I had the past couple of years.  Best $3 investment I’ve ever made.

In version one, I was going to an ugly sweater benefit concert featuring a bunch of people, but most significantly for me, Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots were playing.  If you live under a rock (or just don’t listen to country music in select iHeart radio markets), Bobby Bones is a syndicated morning show host and the only talk radio I ever willingly listen to. I’ve been a fan for years, so this was a big deal.

Of course, this picture doesn’t quite capture the outfit as well as I would have liked. The tights aren’t the same blue as my blouse, but they matched better than it appears here, especially considering they would only be viewed in the dim light of a music venue.

1 - ugly Christmas vest 1Version 2 was for the afore-mentioned new friend’s Dirty Santa party. Other than the girl who invited me, I didn’t know anyone at the party, so I wanted to make a good first-impression without looking like I was trying to hard: nice blouse/cute jeans, but flat boots to tone it down.  Really, the vest is perfect for me because I can still be tacky and festive while wearing cute clothes.

1 - Ugly Christmas vest 2So, who wore it best?!  Seriously, though, isn’t my vest perfect for ugly Christmas parties?  Do you have one that you regularly wear, or do you buy/make a different sweater each year?  I’d love to see pictures!

Is it Christmas without Snow?

The last time I had to figure out what to wear in a mid-70s degree December, I lived in Florida.  And I was 12, so it was really a matter of wearing the blue jumper or the yellow one (with matching platform tennis shoes, of course).

Since then, I would like to say my sartorial tastes have evolved (I think using the word “sartorial” proves that, right?), but I’ve also moved further north, and picking out Christmas-y clothes when it’s 75 degrees out is no small feat.

For this look, I took a few liberties with the typical red and green color palette, softening it with a mint-colored tee. Polka dots added a bit of warm weather flair, and the light-weight cotton in the scarf helped me look a little more seasonally appropriate, without actually adding weight or heat. A sparkly headband also created a more festive look while hiding my unwashed hair.  Men, don’t judge – you’d actually be quite surprised how infrequently we wash our hair.

1 - polka dots and mintHave you been wearing Christmas-y clothes yet?  I may love a theme a little more than the next person, but hopefully you’ve caught a little of the Christmas spirit.  How much is everyone loving the warm winter weather (sorry, Colorado). Welcome back to the work week – hope this Monday treats you well!


We interrupt this regularly schedule program to discuss one of the most exciting events of my life…

Last night, I got to attend the CMT Artist of the Year show!!!!  Here’s how it happened:

So, all these televised events in Nashville have to have full audiences so they look awesome on camera.  One of my friends told me about this when I first moved here and the “casting agencies” that are in charge of filling the audiences, so I followed these agencies on Facebook. When I saw this event come up, I applied (late) – i.e., sent in a picture of myself – and was accepted within an hour.  I felt pretty good about myself until I learned that there were 800 people accepted, and three tiers of wrist bands, and I was in the lowest tier…

No matter, though, because even sitting way up in the balcony, nowhere near a celebrity or a camera, I had an amazing time.

Picking out what to wear, though, was a different story.  As a seat filler, you’re essentially supposed to be invisible, which is, of course, not my style.  We had all these parameters about what to wear: nothing too revealing/short, no flashy jewelry, low heels, dark colors.  When I sorted through all of my clothes that fit into these categories, I found I had two options.

Option 1:

1 - CMT AOTY option 1I’ve always really liked this dress, but it’s never really flattered me that well.  Or, I should say, it looks great when I first put it on, and then as soon as I move, it turns into a sack of potatoes. And as you can see, doesn’t photograph very well.  If I somehow ended up sitting next to Sam Hunt, I needed to look good.  So, I threw out option 1.

Option 2:

This was literally the only other choice I had in my entire wardrobe, but for the most part, I was very pleased.  When I have a job again, I’ll stock up on some award show options.

1 - CMT AOTYMy little lace crop top (which, btw, I got at Rue 21 for $3), is one of my favorite dressier pieces, but I didn’t have a great black skirt to go with it…until I remembered my black slip dress!  I’ve worn this under tops on several occasions, and while it’s very form fitting, it’s not too short, so I figured it would work.  As for my gold heels, I don’t know if they’re technically considered “low”, but they are about the lowest I own, and I’m short, so I figured I could get away with it. I added a green clutch for a little Christmas flair, and some rose gold jewelry, and I was all set, if not red carpet ready.

My hair did look a little flat in these pictures, though, so I ended up putting it back.  Imagine this head on the above photos.

1202151608a-1So, I hope this helps next time you’re invited to an awards show! Or, you know, you could always move to Nashville and just go with me!!  I <3 this town.

A Christmas Greeting

Dear Friends,

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I meant to send this virtual Christmas card to you on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but as is usually the case with me, my sentiment is late. Please do not take this to mean that I am any less sincere; just sometimes irresponsible.

I wish all of you a very happy rest of the Christmas season and an even happier New Year! And I hope you’re okay with me taking a few more days to get holiday outfits out of my system; they’ll all be posted about the time that we begin to take down our Christmas decorations.

Christmas CardMerry Christmas and much love,

Sarah Beth

How to succeed at Christmas without even trying

We interrupt this (ir)regularly scheduled program to bring you a public service announcement:

I’m here to help you win Christmas!

Over my years of working in retail/blogging about fashion/knowing men, I have heard so often a sad, resounding theme, “It doesn’t matter what I buy; she’s just going to take it back anyway.”  And every time I hear it uttered, it is with such discouragement and total defeat that my heart breaks a little for the poor guy who has tried so hard!

So, I want to help.  There are only 20 shopping days left til Christmas – fewer if you shop online – but that’s more than enough time to get a gift she’ll really love.

Before I explain how we can do this together, let me explain who I think might benefit most:

  • Anyone who is tired of hearing “it’s the thought that counts” as they hand over the receipt
  • Anyone who feels completely out of his element shopping for a picky wife/girlfriend/mom/sister/other female relative
  • Anyone who hates malls – especially at Christmas time
  • Anyone who is just really busy right now (or really lazy – no judgment)
  • Anyone with a holiday party or other special event (interview, big date, wedding, etc.) coming up that doesn’t know what to wear

Notice, I said “anyone” – feeling lost at gift giving and shopping is a challenge that affects both sexes (although men seem to complain about it more).

So, how do we overcome this challenge?  It’s really easy – let me shop for you!  You give me a few details about who you are shopping for (I’ve got a survey all drawn up); what you are looking for (a full outfit, a nice sweater, jewelry), and your budget, and I’ll give you three choices on what to buy, so that you can still say you picked it out! (Don’t worry – they will all be approved by me, so you can rest assured there is no “wrong one” to pick).

I’ll then send you the ordering information, the guaranteed delivery by Christmas date, and return information…just in case.  All you have to do is place the order and then wrap. Preferably not like this, my dad’s wrapping one year:

FB_IMG_1415764797406The best part is, I’ll do it for free!  All I ask is that after she opens her new favorite gift on Christmas you write a review for me, ideally with pictures, so that one day I can charge money for this service.

So what do you think – have we got a deal?

To get started, or if you have any questions, please email me at tastefullytrendyATgmail.  Of course, if you know me in real life, you can always send me a text or fb message.  Looking forward to working with you!

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