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MCLV How To: Traditional Cocktail Attire

I have to confess that I get a strange little jolt of anxiety when I read an invitation that says “traditional cocktail attire.”

Does that happen to anyone else?

And truthfully, I don’t know why… I have been, for the most part, successfully dressing myself for many years now. But it seems that at the very least my subconscious is still concerned that I’m going to show up looking utterly inappropriate for an event.

I get sartorial anxiety. Clearly I have issues.

So, in case anyone else is in this same boat, I thought I’d tackle the age-old conundrum – What should I wear?

In my book, there are four main categories of appropriate cocktail attire.

(1) TraditionalCocktail Dress

Whether you’re going for a classic little black dress, a retro-inspired wrap dress, or something with a little glitz and glamour, a cocktail dress is an easy go-to for these events.

Simple and safe – This is a good option for more traditional hosts or locations.

Cocktail Attire Dress Code San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

(2) Modern Lady Suit

If you’re not a dress lady, don’t force yourself into a look you’re uncomfortable with. A suit, or a matching pant and blazer combo with a chic top, is always okay at a party with a cocktail dress code.

The key is to keep the look clean, well-tailored, and classic.

(3) Preppy ClassicSkirt & Top

Bored with your LBDs? Pair a pencil, tea length, or A-line skirt with a shell, sweater, or simple top and blazer combo. It can be sweet and feminine, preppy, or edgy depending on your choice of silhouettes and textiles.

This style offers you more room for self-expression and a chance to have some fun with your look. But be sure to keep your glam on the same level as the ladies around you with killer heels, a bold red lip, or some eye-catching statement jewelry.

(4) Fashion ForwardJumpsuit

Jumpsuits are becoming more and more of a staple for events and red carpets these days. Gone are the days of women-must-wear-dresses.

They key to pulling off this look and meeting that dress code is going for solid colors over prints, keeping the accessories fairly classic, and making sure that you’re fit is impeccable.

This is a good look to try for a cocktail party hosted by a younger crowd or located at a trendy new hotspot.

What’s YOUR go-to cocktail attire style?

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MCLV Style: Herringbone

Herringbone is a twill fabric with a distinct v-shaped weave. It’s a classic cloth and pattern that’s been around since ancient Rome. It’s been popular for suiting and gone in and out of vogue over the years in the women’s wear arena.

Herringbone Amour Vert Eco Friendly Sustainable Brand San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Emma Long-Sleeve Dress in Herringbone c/o Amour Vert

Black & White Laurel Satchel – Kate Spade New York

Black Tights – DKNY

Flat Ankle Boots – Costume National

Herringbone Amour Vert Eco Friendly Sustainable Brand San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Photos by Lydia Hudgens Photography}

I’m a long-time fan of herringbone and have seen great iterations of it on the sidewalks as well as the runways in recent seasons. From Emily Ratajkowski’s killer harringbone oversized overcoat to Balenciaga’s all powerful power suits. One of the things that’s so great about this fabric is its never-ending versatility. From accessories to outerwear to male and female suiting essentials, it can make a chic addition to any wardrobe. It can also go easily from classic and retro-inspired to edgy and eye-catching at a designer’s whim.

I fell head-over-heels for this timeless little shift from Amour Vert, the question was how to make the modern-meets-mod frock sing. After playing a little bit of dress-up, I decided that I liked a classic but contemporary take with tights and booties.

What’s YOUR favorite fabric?

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MCLV Style: Modern Feminine

My personal style – Which I’ve long described as “Classic with a twist” – Has been evolving since I fell in love with fashion during my time living in Rome. I like feminine pieces and classic silhouettes, but with a modern twist. I’ve never been a slave to trends, but I like being aware of what’s popular and seeing how various things suit me.

Plus – It’s always fun to try on a new sartorial personality!

And while I would say that my style is fairly feminine, I tend to shy away from overtly feminine “girly” looks and flourishes. Giant bows, ruffles, the color pink…

Modern Feminine Black-on-Black Vintage YSL Handbag Yves Saint Laurent San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style BCBGMAXAZRIA Ruffle hemmed coat

Talia Double-Breasted Coat – BCBGMAXAZRIA

Black Dress – Burberry Brit

Metallic Ankle Strap Heels – BCBGeneration

Vintage Black Handbag – YSL {Similar here, here & here}

Layered Gold Necklace – Banana Republic

Modern Feminine Black-on-Black Vintage YSL Handbag Yves Saint Laurent San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style BCBGMAXAZRIA Ruffle hemmed coat

{Photos by Lydia Hudgens Photography}

Modern Feminine Black-on-Black Vintage YSL Handbag Yves Saint Laurent San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style BCBGMAXAZRIA Ruffle hemmed coat

But – Despite those proclivities – This coat called out to me during my last foray into the BCBG on Union Square. I’ve been in the market for a new basic black coat and saw this one in white in the window of the shop. Their sales are KILLER so I popped in, and it’s all history.

I love that it adds a fun, feminine twist, without being too eye-catching. I tried it on in white, which was beautiful, but I thought the ruffles were a bit overwhelming.

I’ve dubbed this style modern feminine – It’s still a classically feminine look, but rendered in a contemporary way that makes it timeless.

How do YOU feel about this modern take on the ruffle?

 

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MCLV Style: Amour Vert + Sustainable Fashion

What’s better than whimsical dandelion prints paired with some serious over-the-knee boots?

Finding chic, high-quality pieces from a socially responsible sustainable fashion brand!

Amour Vert Sustainable Eco-Friendly Fashion San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Dandelion Print Haley Long-Sleeved Shift Dress c/o Amour Vert

Flat Suede Over-the-Knee Boots – Vince Camuto

White Clutch – Rebecca Minkoff

Amour Vert Sustainable Eco-Friendly Fashion San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Photos by Lydia Hudgens Photography}

Amour Vert Sustainable Eco-Friendly Fashion San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

I was introduced to Amour Vert by Kathleen of KatwalkSF, who hosted an event at their Walnut Creek location. At the event I got a chance to hear more about the company and browse their timeless pieces.

The founder, Linda Balti, created the company after realizing that fashion was the second most polluting industry in the world. Amour Vert “green love” was created with an eco-friendly goal in mind, plus American manufacturing, non-toxic dyes, sustainable fabrics, and a zero-waste philosophy.

“A woman should never have to sacrifice style for sustainability. Our choices matter – smart fashion is our future.”

I was hooked!

The first thing that I tried on was this Dandelion print shift dress – I love the play of youthful freshness with the cut and print of this dress against the ‘I am woman, hear me roar’ drama of the thigh-high suede boots.

Even in a flat variation, these Vince Camuto over-the-knee boots make a powerful statement. They go with everything – Jeans, dresses, leggings – And are the sartorial equivalent of an exclamation point. They make a basic outfit look chic and take a fun look to a whole new level.

What could be better? {Okay, yes, I’m basically writing a love letter to my boots}

Do YOU have a favorite sustainable fashion brand?

{Disclaimer: While this dress was a gift from Amore Vert, all opinions – Of which I have many – Are my own}

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MCLV Style: Warriors Pride | Culk

I love getting a chance to support Bay Area companies AND I’m a big fan of the Warriors – So I jumped at the chance to work with San Francisco based company Culk.

Their products are designed and created here in San Francisco by graphic designer and screen printer Sam Culkins, and they’ve produced some great designs. From t-shirts and tank tops to sweatshirts and accessories – They’ve got something for everyone – Women, men & kids.

Golden State Warriors Culk Sam Culkins Athleisure Basketball Game Style San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Warrior’s Muscle Tee c/o Culk

Black Capri Length Pants – Banana Republic Factory

Black Blazer c/o Tobi

Striped Pumps – Seychelles {And here’s the open-toed version}

Golden State Warriors Culk Sam Culkins Athleisure Basketball Game Style San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Photography by Brad Wittke of Pacifica Gallery}

Golden State Warriors Culk Sam Culkins Athleisure Basketball Game Style San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

I originally thought this Warriors tank would be the perfect top for the gym, but when it arrived it was such a pretty shade of blue that I decided I wanted to dress it up a bit.

This is my version of fashionista-goes-to-a-basketball-game style! Cute but comfortable, and totally functional. I’ve worn a variation of this look to many a football and basketball game over the years. It’s basically my game day uniform.

Do YOU like to shop local?

{Disclaimer: While this t-shirt was a gift from Culk, all opinions – Of which I have many – Are my own}

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