Help me pick my outfit: Reading and dinner

Well, you can't say I didn't try. I spent all morning and half the evening shopping my closet and then asked my long-suffering daughter to take photos of what I thought were the best possibilities.

Warning: Pic heavy.

Possible laughs ahead.

First thing you should know is that the venue is one of those weird hip places that apparently looks like a complete dive, but serves good food. I'm not actually eating here; I'm going to give my reading, sit a while with the other readers, and then nip out early to go on to dinner with my friends at another restaurant. Nothing fancy.

Here are the contenders with some of my thoughts, but not judgements.

1. AJ suggested this combination and I thought I would try it out. Pros: cozy, fun, tonal outfit. Cons: a bit more body con than I might wish. A bit too much like my everyday style to feel special. But all in all, a great outfit for an at-home holiday event. (Thanks, AJ!!)

2. Another suggestion from AJ was that I take a leaf from one of Jonesy's outfits, so here is my attempt: denim shirt, pencil, Marcies, blingy stuff and clutch. Pros: comfortable and easy to wear. Cons: I am not sure.

3/4. Next up, same skirt with a navy silk shirt and sequinned tank layered over. Both done up at the collar and more open.

5. With my Theory moto pants. I don't like the proportion here. I could tuck the tank up a bit more, I guess, the way I did with the skirt (but not so much).

6. A wild card. Manidipa and Pil put in fuchsia requests so I threw on the silk jacket from the fuchsia suit and belted it.

7- 12: Angie and Krish copies. BB shirt, lace overblouse. With the pants or the skirt. I am not at ALL pleased with the side view with those Marcies. All in all, I feel as if I REALLY have a need for a dressier, heeled black or dark grey bootie. Big wardrobe hole. Could potentially fill it tomorrow afternoon in Toronto.

In 11/12 I try with different footwear. Husband and daughter laughed at the idea of the leopard pumps. I do have some very dark burgundy patent ones I could wear but I feel a bit uncomfortable wearing them in a "dive."

15. Joy's suggestion - the copper skirt. My daughter says I look like a leaf bag in this...or a pile of compost. Hubs says it is a dumb outfit because the top and skirt do not go together. I say I am not wearing it to this event because I would be too cold; the skirt is thin and unlined and my coat options with this outfit are nil. So it's out of the running.

That, my friends, is it! Please let me know which of these is best or if I should go back to the drawing board again. I have an hour ot two in the morning before we leave.

Thank you so much for your helpful ideas!!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Diana replied 10 years ago

    I like 3/4 and 14. I think they strike the right balance between dressy/festive and arty/funky. Skirts with boots FTW!

  • Jaime replied 10 years ago

    This is very tough Suz. I love #1 and 2, but you need to judge the suitability for the occasion and your own comfort level. I also love the sparkly shirt over black but want the skirt to be a bit longer. I would like the shirt to be a bit shorter with the black jeans though. I must be in some arbitrary mood. Similarly I want to see the white blouse with lace with a different bottom. Not crazy about the fuschia jacket, but that might be because it looks very shiny here. Hope others are more helpful! The denim shirt is a winner, btw.

  • Diana replied 10 years ago

    PS - I like #1 too but for a more casual or daytime occasion.

  • missvee replied 10 years ago

    I like the lace top with the black trousers best. It looks interesting, a bit different, but comfortable too. Try not to worry - whatever you choose I'm sure the evening will be a success!

  • Sveta replied 10 years ago

    OK, I may be biased but I like the sequin tank over a shirt A LOT - both with the skirt and with the trousers with a slight preference for a skirt. I also like the lace shell over a white shirt but I am not sure I like the back view. Have you tried your JS booties?

  • sarah replied 10 years ago


  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    Thanks, all - seems opinions are mixed, which is no surprise, because my opinions were mixed, too!

    That sequin tank is really a sort of short tunic length, not a good one for me. I can fiddle with it to make it look shorter (as I've done with the skirt) or leave it...I am a bit worried about wearing something that I might need to fiddle with, if you know what I mean.

    I did try the Siebel booties, Sveta, and may wear them..but they don't look that great either, to tell the truth. And it is supposed to rain, and the Siebels leak like mad now. I can weather proof them again but I think it is a lost cause...the rain gets into them easily. Whereas the Marcies are proof against rain with the high wedge.

    Ugh. Canadian winter.

  • Glory replied 10 years ago

    For the venue and activity I really like 1and 2.

  • Sveta replied 10 years ago

    Suz, I think the longer tunic length is perfect with the pants. If you are afraid it makes your legs shorter be assured - it does not!:-) This is the outfit I would wear myself...

  • Isis replied 10 years ago

    I like #6! The fuschia is beautiful on you and I like the simple lines!

    A runner up is #5.

  • anne replied 10 years ago

    I like #5

  • Emily replied 10 years ago

    Skipped past the other replies so my opinion wouldn't be swayed... My fave is two. I think it looks great on you and has a classy/arty vibe. Bonus if it is comfortable :)

  • Transcona Shannon replied 10 years ago

    Wow Suz - you must have been exhausted after all of that. I really appreciate that you tried these all on, complete with footwear and accessories. I hope you had a glass of wine after all that!

    My favourite hands down is 3/4 - it's got just the right amount of sparkle and edge. I think the proportions looks great and you look classy, sassy and sexy!

    My second would be #6 because you look stunning in that colour and the sheen of the jacket definitely gives the outfit a dressier vibe.

  • Parsley replied 10 years ago

    I vote for #6. The fuchsia looks great on you, the outfit is attention-getting without being flashy, and is sophisticated and elegant.
    #1-4 are all good but don't wow me for this occasion. I hope you'll wear them at other times, though.
    I agree that the proportions aren't quite right in #5- maybe you should tuck the tank a little, as you say.
    I love that lace top in 7-12, but over the white shirt it reminds me of a frilly apron. (sorry!)
    Fuchsia for the win again, IMO.

  • Jules replied 10 years ago

    I like #5, seems a little edgy which is appropriate for the Kensington market (I was curious and googled the venue!). Of course, "anything goes" there but I wouldn't do the fuchsia jacket.

  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    A frilly it!!

    The top actually comes with a grey silky cami and I have worn it that way, but it will be way too cold tomorrow, plus that looks much dressier. Could cover up with a jacket, but then it's all so dark. So...

    Thank you for all this great feedback. So interesting how mixed opinions are. And I remain undecided, too!

  • Suz replied 10 years ago are a great sleuth!

    You're right about the skirt and the venue...also, I might be cold in the skirt, another consideration since I am going to be taking the streetcar later....but then again, the restaurant I'm going to will be fancier than the reading venue and I need to look okay for both settings. OY VEY.......maybe I should do a quick change in the no doubt grotty bathroom?

  • Jules replied 10 years ago

    You read fast :) I edited my post because I decided the skirt isn't conservative worn with those boots and tights. Where are you going after?

  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    Yeah....then again, I might not wear those boots. Boy, who would have thought a ten minute reading could lead to such angst. My husband is laughing his head off at me.

    Actually, I'm laughing my head off, too. I know that it will be fine, whatever I wear.

    Truth is, I don't get many evenings out in the big city so I want to wear something I feel great in. And I don't feel 100% great in any of these, sad to say.

  • JR replied 10 years ago

    #2, #6, and #1. More or less in that order. I'm not a fan of the button-downs under a lace or sequined top. It feels like a jarring contrast to me more than an artful juxtaposition.

    What a horrible thing for your daughter to say about that lovely skirt. Kids! But I admit I don't like that blouse with it.

    I like 2 the best, first because it looks good on you (but then, so did a lot of the others) and because you look artsy, a little RATE, and festive all at the same time, which really seems to suit your description of the venue and event.

    And that is all I have to say about that. Do you want a choc o late?

  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    Chocolate would be grand, JR!!

    And please know my daughter joking about the leaf bag...or compost. Or half joking, anyway. I really don't mind her honest critiques...or anybody else's for that matter. It's all fun and often I'm just trying things's okay if they don't work.

  • RunnerChick replied 10 years ago

    Suz, I like 3/4 the best. You look smashing in all of them, but I think the sequined top and skirt just feel perfectly festive but not OTT. I also like #5. Did you decide?

  • unfrumped replied 10 years ago

    I would want to look like you look in 4 or some version. I'm not as good at knowing what you should look like for a style direction. I just think it's very flattering. you look enlivened, comfortable but put together,sort of elegant- hip.

  • Lisa replied 10 years ago

    I vote for 1, 2 and 6. These are all good lucks so it's really just personal preference at this point.

  • Deborah replied 10 years ago

    Suz so as not to be swayed, I haven't read other comments yet. I say hands down #2. This looks well put together and I feel it is very reflective of your style. My second choice would be #3/4/5.

  • AJ replied 10 years ago

    Oh thanks so much for trying on all these outfits and posting pics! I'm sorry that you are not excited by any of these options. You truely look beautiful in all of them.

    It sounds like you would rather wear pants. How about adding the black belt to #5 to hike the length of the sequin tunic up a bit?

    Luv that lace topper, but with the skirt, it reads a bit Oktoberfest. : P
    What would the lace topper and matching cami look like under the fuschia blazer instead of the navy silk shirt?

    I LUV that "compost" skirt! See my remix paperdoll version below. (Scarf is optional, but pin is not.) : )

  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    AJ, you are a genius. Believe it or not, I actually tried this, too. Just didn't take a pic! I quite liked it, too. Trouble is, it's seasonally confused IRL because the skirt is SOOOO lightweight. But I think it would be fun for an in-the-house event maybe. If I could find a really warm slip!

    Nice idea to try the lace under the fuchsia blazer. I don't think it would show however, with the way it is cut, so that would sort of defeat the purpose of it.

    I'm going to try that with the belt and see what I think (over the tunic). And I might go with a skirt anyway - tomorrow is supposed to be relatively warm (45 degrees...but of course that is the high so it will be colder at night.)

    Thank you SO much for weighing in. Your ideas were superb! I can't believe how well you remember things.

  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    You know what the problem is? The problem is, I am so *off* layering this, that, and the other. It just feels contrived and not right. I know part of that is because the pieces were never meant to go together. Some people can put stuff together that was never meant to go together and it looks fab!! SUPER fab. But I just feel like a hot mess. I feel better when I keep it as simple as possible.

    This is good information for me, no? Maybe I can't do much with it at the moment, but it is helpful.

    I think that is why I felt better in 2 and 6. But I don't think 6 is at all right for the venue.

    ETA I also felt fine in #1 (except a bit too body con) but more for a party at home vs. being out.

  • Isis replied 10 years ago

    Would wearing the demin shirt under the fuschia jacket casualize it?

  • Freckles replied 10 years ago

    I love 1 and 6 with no particular preference as both look amazing on you. Personally I don't think very similar to normal is out for an early evening reading but I am not the author giving the reading...

  • Beth Ann replied 10 years ago

    Suz: 3/4 is my favorite for the event, but I love #2 as well. Either way you'll shine.

  • Kristin SF replied 10 years ago

    Love, love #2, looks classy yet edgy. Good luck and have fun!!

  • krishnidoux replied 10 years ago

    Suz, I'm so sorry for your Siebels... mine don't do that! And I wore them last year continuously for 2 months in rainy BC.

    I like 3-4 the best for the event you describe. The sequin adds fun sparkle, just in line with an evening event. Arm candy there brings it just at another level.

    5 is good too but the sequin debardeur looks too long there. It falls lower, elongating the torso. Maybe with a belt?

    1 is too casual.

    2 is too scholar.

    6 is awesome, but too formal.

    7-12 is also stunning, but too much day presentation. My faves in there are 10-11.

    13 is also very cool and worth considering. Hhhmm... it appeals to me because it is so fashion forward yet naughty, in a Coeur-de-pirate kind of way. All you need now is an arm tattoo! (Joking). You look ravishing: every element here work together to create the look, from the pearls to the rolled sleeves and collar turned up to the booties.

    But considering it's winter and that Christmas is approaching, I would go for the sequin outfit. Just because pic 13 seems so perfect, putting a winter coat over it would kill the look. This requires a cropped jacket. And since you'll be in and out, you should really plan your outerwear as well.

  • Ingunn replied 10 years ago

    A lot of interesting options, Suz! I think the sequined top/navy shirt works very well - not too formal, and not too casual either. Pants or skirt with this is equally good to my eye. I also like the lace/white shirt combination - and I don't think leopard pumps with it is funny at all! The bottom line is: People are there to hear you read, and to be with you in good company. Of course you want to look good for the occasion(s), and rest assured - you really do. You already have a lot of appropriate outfits here, and I'm sure everybody will find you at least as stylish and well put together as we do. No need to go shopping, just "stay calm and dress on".

  • Kat replied 10 years ago

    I like #2, #4, and #10 for your event. You will look lovely regardless, you ALWAYS do? I do think the layering insight will be helpful going forward, of course.

    Is there any outfit you can wear that you can envision yourself "forgetting" once you are at the venue, reading, and off to dinner? Somehow, I suspect your psychic comfort level will be of paramount importance and once you are dressed in something in which can forget what you are wearing you will shine!

  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    Thanks again, everyone. I have taken all your thoughts to heart and rest assured I value them.

    This has really been interesting for me. The fact that there is no clear winner confirms my own sense of confusion at what I was looking at in the mirror. Lots of "okays" but nothing that says "YAY!!!!"

    And maybe that's to be expected; this is in its own way a really difficult situation to dress for. Weather, two different evening events in one, plus it has to go in a small carry on size suitcase with all my other stuff....yeah.

    Well, I have an hour more to consider this and then I must pack and leave. Still undecided. In the end I may choose something completely different. Maybe I will just tuck my jeans into some tall boots. Which would be great for the rain, but not so great for the dinner out.

    If I had a leather moto, I'd be in business....too bad the one from Zara didn't work.

  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    Kat, we posted at the same time. You are absolutely right. Psyhic comfort is of the utmost importance at these events, no matter how short or small the is much more important than for any other kind of event (for me). If I am wearing something that I *feel* is great, then I'm confident and easy and it goes smoothly. If I'm wearing clothes that are fussy, don't feel like me, seem totally wrong for the venue, etc. then I am uncomfortable.

    One thing that does NOT bother me is dressing differently than the other participants (when it is a group). I don't care a bit about that. It's to do with my own feeling of having hit the right style note for myself.

  • texstyle replied 10 years ago

    I didn't read any other answers first so...
    Nearly all of these look great but to be picky, I don't love the lacy overlaw with and white blouse and black skirt (seems a little "uniform" like to me).

    From what you described I like #1, #5 or the last outfit best. I feel like the black pencil skirt is a bit more "professional" so I lean away from those outfits for this event.

  • bella replied 10 years ago

    I love 2, 3/4 and 10. If I saw you in any of these outfits at your reading, I would think laid back, quirky, fun in a very stylish way. Hope this helps.

  • Angie replied 10 years ago

    I like #3 and #4 best - but with the animal print pumps.

    I like #2 next. Both those looks are 11 out of 10!

    But ALL the outfits are amazing, Suz. Well done!

    Have not read the comments. Which outfit are you going with?

  • ManidipaM replied 10 years ago

    Suz, that's seriously a lot of arresting options. It's so much that I'm literally nitpicking to pick (like eliminating the lace blouse because I want the back view to be better still on you...though there's absolutely nothing wrong with it!).

    I liked #2 best --- stunning, the moment I opened it --- but I can understand the reservations over wearing a skirt in the cold. That's why I am passing #3-4 as well, and preferring #5 --- but then I can't see the proportion issue others see there; it looks great to me and your legs look lovely and long.

    I do have a soft spot for #6, as you might imagine --- that colour on you! --- but after thinking about the venue(s), I am more inclined to back #5.

    I know this hasn't been easy, with no clear winners. But that's down to the fact that we're all nitpicking to do our best by you from a plethora of great options. Please go in all confidence that none of these looks let you down. At all. Not a smidge.

  • Carole replied 10 years ago

    Wow, look at all these great outfits! I like 3-4 best (and you have given me a fresh idea about wearing a blouse or shirt under my sequin tank, love that). I love 6, also, but seems more dressy and formal.

  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    Thank you, everyone. I really appreciate your thoughts. I am having an unfab day and feel lousy about my shape and all these options feel wrong. I hate my legs in booties, still. But temps are cold today and I would freeze in the pumps. I brought my DV smog booties and my Josef Siebels and will have to pick between those. I wish I liked the sparkly tank better. I am worried that ill need to fuss with it to keep the length proportionate.

    Ah well. Not a big problem in the scheme of things I guess. I brought the n
    makings of 2 and 3/4 with me, plus the pants. So I have options still. Thanks again.

  • Jules replied 10 years ago

    I know you're not trying to blend in, rather, hit your own style not, but I strongly feel boots (taller better but booties are fine) are way more Kensington than pumps!
    Honestly, I'm envious that you had so many good-to-great options. I also don't see the proportion issue with #5. You're a seriously hot tamale and I would put you at way younger than your age (which I think was mentioned somewhere on the forum a while back - I limited my googling!), yet always dressed beautifully & appropriately for ANY age, really.

  • krishnidoux replied 10 years ago

    Suz, I think you need a versatile, funky but classic short sleeves jacket in your wardrobe for such funky out-there events, which are part of your life. The idea is to wear long sleeves under it in winter, and have a choice, belt or no belt.

    I imagine a little number like pic 5 here with a long sleeves print cotton tee (stripes, or one digitally retouched flower print, or black and grey...) your black skinny jeans and lace-up black booties, or heels. Or swap the long sleeves tee for a black turtle-neck.

    Another great source of inspiration: check out Tina'a Arena many to-die-for outfits during "jam sessions" in this video:

    A few examples:

  • rae replied 10 years ago

    I'm so late to the party and not even reading the comments like a good girl, but I vote for 2 and 9!

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