The End of Christmas and My Favorite Looks from 2017. The Clothing Edition

The house is now quiet.

The blanket of snow makes the outdoor noises quieter too!  Shhhhhhhh!!!  Nature is sleeping!

Gone are the familiar hums of background noise—you know the kind.  Songs from a son’s cell phone upstairs playing songs on Spotify.  Moans of anguish from downstairs as another son watches his favored football team fumble along with the dismal commentary from the announcers on TV.  The sounds from the dialogue of a Netflix series binge as the daughter and her boyfriend announce their shock and surprise at the twists and turns of the plot that completed the active symphony of life are no more.

It’s all quiet.  The sun room isn’t very sunny today. I think the entire house is a bit sad!

Earlier today, we drove through the snowfall into Center City to drop Oona and her boyfriend Sam off at the Megabus. They will be joining friends in DC for New Year’s Eve festivities and then returning home to Cincinnati.

The last of the kids are gone…it is certainly an empty nest today,,,,

Even Chippy is sad–he was getting very much used to being spoiled and petted on demand!

And just like that, Christmas 2017 is over.  In a bit over 24 hours the 2017 year will be over.

I lit the tree early today–just because I wanted some last-minute Christmas Spirit before it comes down.

It has certainly been a year of ups and downs, peaks and valleys, laughter and tears. And my best moment this past year was the marriage to my Frenchman!

Me and the handsome Bonaparte!

My worst moment was the realization that I packed on 15 pounds since losing my job in September.  I’m so disappointed in my failure.  But all is not lost because it’s back to Weight Watchers and eating healthy come the new year.  The great thing about the journey is that I’ll be able to write about it again—and my progresses and failures.  It’s all good. And I’m looking forward to sharing my further weight loss!

And that brings me to reflecting on the fun I have had over this year with my wardrobe. I got into posting many of the daily outfits on Instagram as well as on blog posts.

Now—if you are a regular reader of this blog, you are well-aware that there’s a certain way I dress.  This dates back to my days as a student in Catholic School when I wore uniforms.  Those uniforms, believe it or not, set the foundation for the way I prefer to dress as an adult.

True dat.  This woman, Sr. Mary Isabel, Sr. of Mercy, and principal of St. Patrick’s Grammar School, along with my mother, set the foundation of my personal style!

I’m not a flamboyant dresser nor am I what one would call trendy.  I may follow a few trends but in the long run, I’m pretty loyal in my style.  Classics.  Plaids.  Simplicity.  Nothing outrageous or fussy. Blazers. Jeans.  Ankle-length pants.  Lightweight sweaters.  Tee shirts.  Loafers.  My obsessive penchant for pointy-toed shoes baring toe cleavage.  That’s pretty much it.

Image result for the preppy handbook

My style is so simple that even Mrs. H’s mode of dress is just a tad too “too” for me!  Tone it down a bit honey–you’re trying too hard!

On the cusp of 63 years, I know, at this point in my life, what works and what doesn’t. I like ensembles—not costumes.  I like too look current—not outdated.  And I wear what I want to. I do not let age nor do I allow others to tell me how, in my 60’s I should be dressing.

So, with that said, come on with me.  Let’s go through some of my favorite looks from 2017—the Clothing Edition.  The Wig Edition will be my next post!

January 2017: (CAVEAT–the photos suck because I hadn’t gotten my new iPhone yet with the better camera!

I LOVE this look–it’s one of my all-time faves.  The tan suede mini shirt with black tights, black boots, black turtleneck and a nubby plaid scarf.  It’s so simple and classic. Black & Tan!  What’s not to love?

Another simple look–and those pants are much tighter on me a year later!  Plaid pants that hit above the ankle, pointy-toed, cleavage-bearing kitten heels and a simple sweater. Fake pearls. Leather Longchamp bag.  Non-fussy and basic.  J. Crew head to toe!

Another favorite look.  Black knit pixie pants.  Trench. Red turtleneck. Plaid scarf. Ballet flats.  Simple but not boring or dull.  Oh look–it’s my bio hair!

February 2017:

Classic Jeans and blazer look.  Ankle jeans from AG Jeans, Bass Weejuns, plaid shirt and J. Crew Schoolboy blazer. Honestly, THIS is one of my uniform looks.  It is comfortable and casually polished.

Another favorite.  Skinny jeans tucked into over-the-knee boots, a denim shirt, a striped sweater and a schoolboy blazer.  

February was my month for jeans!  The one trend that I absolutely am in love with is the tattered jean look.  Hey–who knew?  But I can’t help it.  Check out the toe cleavage on those Via Spigas!!!

March, 2017:

Back to St. Pat’s uniform look!  Plaid kilt, very much like the one I wore to school.  Over-the-knee boots and black turtleneck.  Doesn’t get more basic than this! I lost enough weight that the skirt’s waist was too big so I had to paper clip it.  Um..that ain’t happening now.

A pair of J. Crew Campbell pants. I love these patterned pants and I may wear them tomorrow because they got too big on me but I’m sure now they fit again.  A cozy sweater and loafers complete the look!


This look–I wore it on a Saturday and I could not believe the amount of compliments I received with this look.  Jeans, a simple J. Crew Tippi Sweater and a plaid Schoolboy blazer. It remains one of my best-loved looks from this past year!

More Black & Tan!  A Merino Wool turtleneck, black Pixie Pants and a good amount of costume jewelry, which I don’t wear so much at one time.  

A very casual Sunday look. We were in DC for the weekend and the weather was surprisingly warm for March.  I wore this to the National Gallery.  I love the jeans/loafers/striped shirt/blazer combo!

April, 2017:

April weather is getting warmer. Boy–I hadn’t realized how much I wore tattered jeans this past year.  I love this going-out-to-dinner look. The lady jacket and fancy heels with the torn jeans.  It’s a lovely contrast!

This striped skirt.  It’s a gazillion years old and I got it at Old Navy for five bucks on clearance.  This is why I don’t have a capsule wardrobe.  Clothes can make appearances after a few years.  My stripes match the striped socks of Bonaparte’s!

This was a try-on at J. Crew Factory. I made the purchase and I LOVE this dress. It’s a great casual dress and the sneakers give it a youthful and fun vibe.

Denim jackets!  I paired this with a fun pom-pom shirt and navy knit pants.  The scarf is Lilly Pulitzer for Target.  I love this look–it’s a fun springtime look and casual but not sloppy!

May 2017:

A fun suiting look that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  Navy blazer. Navy pants. Red heels and a Heels on Fire tee from J. Crew.  

A very pragmatic office look. Navy pencil skirt, flats, striped shirt.  It’s a comfortable look.

Black and red. A very ladylike but very simple look.  No frou-frou. No fuss. I like this!

June, 2017:

Looks like I got my new iPhone because the photos look better.  A lightweight pleated skirt, white sleeveless tee and a lightweight scarf are perfect for early June.  I must have had my shoes downstairs!

This chambray shift. Another oldie but goodie. It’s so simple but I love the cut of it.  It is and remains one of my favorites!

Another loose shift. I love simple dresses like this for summer dressing. One stop dressing–that’s it!

I call this my Bardot look–even though I look nothing like her.  The light cotton skirt and striped shirt remind me of St. Tropez. 

July 2017

This was my most-worn outfit of the summer. I wore it a lot when we were in France–at ten bucks it was the steal of the century.  This lightweight jersey dress is THE perfect travel dress. 

Another inexpensive but great travel dress that served me well in France. $16 at Primark and the beauty of it is that I was able to go braless!!!

I need a moment here. This skirt is so out of my usual comfort zone because I’m not big on animal print clothing but this skirt.  This. Skirt. It’s my favorite. Surprisingly it is incredibly versatile.  It can be worn all year and bringing it to a casual elegant look with heels and a denim jacket.  I dig this so much!

August 2017:

Another shorts look.  I’m guessing we went to a movie theater and the A/C had me wearing a blazer. I dunno but I like the way it looks.


Another late-summer look.  Simple as pie. Ballet flats, pixie pants and a lightweight plaid swing top.  Nothing else except a stray bra strap! Other than the bra strap, this is another favorite look from the summer.

September, 2017:

White tee, Stewart plaid lady jacket, torn jeans and ballet flats. A classic autumn look.

For those September cooler days a lightweight scarf over a tee and comfy jeans with flats.  These flats. Let me tell you something.  They are the one item from J. Crew that was a complete fail. Gemma flats. The wear on these shoes was awful. After three wears they just looked awful and stretched out.  It’s a shame because they could have been great shoes! Regardless, I still love this look!

Another favorite and because I can go braless in this checked off-the-shoulder shirt, it’s even more of a favorite.  Ankle jeans and orange Repetto ballet flats give this incredibly simple look a fun turn!

A job interview look.  Very conservative but not bland.  It was for an Admin position at a recovery house. The funny thing is that the guy interviewing me was all pedantic in his speech and blabbing on an on how fair and wonderfully empathetic he was.  Yeah. He was so empathetic that he never even emailed me to let me know I did not get the job!

Back to basics–and a memory of uniform dressing.  Blazer, simple tee, pants and fun flats.  These Gemma flats are faring much better than the others from J. Crew!

Another casual October look.   I love a plaid shirt and a blazer. Don’t you?

November 2017:

More Black & Tan.  You know, I guess I really love this color combo. I wore these pants for Thanksgiving.  This must have been taken around that time because I started decorating for Christmas.  Boy. Time goes by quickly!

Some hi-lo fashion here.  J. Crew pants paired with an inexpensive lady jacket from Shein.  I love this jacket and this is a great look for work or meeting friends.

I can’t help myself.  I’m a complete basic. These two outfits personify my simple style. No embellishments.  The clothing is the focal point.  And these are favored looks of mine!  You don’t need a lot of fussy to dress well.

I’m plaiding it up big time but I love the burgundy shoes with these pants.

OK. So I’m on the edge of 63 but I love a plaid skirt, tights and sweater. Keeping a long line with tights that match the shoes is key.  

December 2017:

And here we are at the last month of this year.  I didn’t do a lot of fancy dressing this month because I was so focused on getting the house ready.  I’m very sad today but had a fun time going through all the outfits that I truly loved from this year.

A casual vibe while running errands.  I like wearing fake pearls because the white luster adds a bit of light to the face.

Boots, pixie pants, a sweater and scarf warm the December air.  Those boots.  They broke again. I swear do NOT ever spend your money on Tory Burch boots. They are so shoddy.  The money I’ve spent in repairing these things is ridiculous. I’m seriously thinking of returning them to Nordstrom. The frustrating thing is that they look so good though!

MY SECOND FAVORITE LOOK OF THE YEAR!  Honestly.  I am so in love with these FancyPants that I got for less than thirty dollars at Old Navy. I wore them for our special dinner that the kids gave for us.  The pants are just not me but then they are!  I love this look so much!

Berry Pink in December?  Sure. Why not?  I was feeling a bit wild so I wore a bright Tippi sweater!  I like the look!

Back to plaid!  The blazer, that is.  Jeans, a black sweater, black ballet flats and a white scarf make a casual classic pulled-together look polished for Christmas food shopping!

And to complete this circle of fashion, the same skirt and sweater that I started this post in–only different boots and a pineapple necklace. I wore this to the airport to pick up Oona.  #Saturdaysharelinkup

That’s it.  A year’s worth of my favorite looks. Many variations on a theme and proof that you can still dress basic without being dull and boring.

I’m giving myself the evening off from laundry and getting the house back in order. I’ll pull a Scarlett O’Hara and do it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day!

Here’s a little bit of snowy heaven. I filmed this after dropping Oona and Sam off at 30th Street to catch the Megabus to DC.  Enjoy!!

A snowy drive through Fairmount Park!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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27 Responses to The End of Christmas and My Favorite Looks from 2017. The Clothing Edition

  1. hipchick66 says:

    Love your style and love all the looks! Wishing you a fabulous and happy New Year! Xoxo

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Lori! Happy New Year to you and your mom! I hope all goes well for her and can you believe it–we’ve “been together” for three years. My first friend to the blog. Hope you enjoyed that hot chocolate!!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  2. angelin2014 says:

    Well Catherine, I realize as I look at these pictures that we seem to have the same favorite colors – black, blue (navy) and red! And you guys seem to have “our” snow, just rain over here which is really boring. It looks pretty and light, I hope you don’t have a storm? I wish you a very Happy New Year and a fantastic 2018!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Angelin!!! And a wonderful New Year to you too! If we have a storm, I hope it’s sooner than later to get it over with. Those colors–plus the plaid–my favorites!!! XOXOXOXO

  3. Doreen says:

    Just fabulous Catherine! I love everyone of these outfits and you’ve sent some inspiration across the waters to Australia today – you look fantastic in everyone of these! Happy New Year to you and your family. Cheers, Doreen

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Doreen! I think you may be into 2018 as I write this. Happy New Year to you and to your family and all the best for a wonderful new year to you! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  4. margaret daley says:

    I love the shoes that are with the pink sweater! I have 15 lbs to lose also but I am keeping it in perspective because I believe that I am very healthy. I did the 17 day diet a few years ago and was very successful but I think I am going to re-commit to very low carb whole foods. I am looking forward to your diet tips to keep me motivated!

    • Catherine says:

      Happy New Year’s Eve Margaret! You know, I have the Whole 30 book and Oona swears by it. It’s time for me to revisit it because the amount of carbs I’ve eaten is so gross and the result sits in my tummy!!! We can do this together!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  5. Margaret says:

    Your front door is such a nice color, it’s coming across as periwinkle on my screen, very sharp looking. Oh boy do I remember those nun habits from my childhood in the Bronx. They were intimidating but effective, and we always thought they could fly in secret like Sister Bertrille. Good memories. I love plaid too, it adds a touch of chic to any outfit ( my favorite is blackwatch ). That’s a great pic of you and your hubby, so sweet! Glad you and your family made it through the Christmas Day blackout ok. I can totally relate, we have a derelict utility company here too, the power goes out when it so much as drizzles. Btw, your kids have the best hair, it looks so thick and healthy! That’s really good hair, beautiful! Hope you and your family have a Happy and Healthy New Year Catherine, and thanks for this wonderful blog!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Margaret. The door actually is a periwinkle color. It’s back to almost normal today. I’ve managed to de-Christmas the lower level in the house and tomorrow Bonaparte wants me to rest for the New Year. Tuesday I’ll resume.
      Thanks for the compliment on my kids’ hair. Yeah. All three have some thick-ass hair and I hope they keep it I thank you for enjoying this blog. Have a great New Year!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  6. Arabella says:

    Happy New Year, I just adore you and your style💞

  7. TURNER says:

    Wondering if I can pull off plaid pants… Yours look so cute! Happy 2018 to you!

  8. eveange33 says:

    Ah thank you for sharing this with us, thank you for this year too Catherine.
    Opposite to you, as some would also, my school uniform did not that much influence my fashion style although I do still love clean lines but certainly not blue, especially navy blue. True enough, I have every difficulties to wear patterns or prints.
    Allow me to send you also my best wishes for this new 2018 year with your husband and your loved one. I hope to be able to read a lot more of your blog in weeks to come, for me, I am very happy I found your blog in 2017.
    So now Happy New Year to you and read you next year then. And enjoy the snow while you can, here it is very windy and much too hot for December, not normal weather but then, with the global warming, there haven’t been normal weather for so long unfortunately. I
    I hope this time my message won’t be stuck in moderation, I hate that.

    • Catherine says:

      Hey MB! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! And you have left the gates of moderation!!! I’m thrilled that you’ve found the blog this past year because it means you’ve become a friend. Today is another quiet one because the kids have all gone and Chippy remains incredibly sad!!! But–here’s to a fun 2018!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  9. Lise says:

    Love your simplistic style. An inspiration for sure! Lise

  10. Karen says:

    I think you always look so put together and that is the key! I admire your style and would love to emulate it! I hope you have a fantastic 2018 and that you will find a job that you enjoy and that will appreciate you! Happy New Year’s! XOXO

    • Catherine says:

      Thank you Karen!!! LOL–I’m hoping I can start to land writing jobs–I would be as happy as a fly on $hit if I could!!! Here’s to a wonderful year for you and your family!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  11. Have you tried a new minimizer bra so that you can fit into one of those shirts

  12. Happy New Year! Thanks for all the fun this year. Here’s to a healthy and happy New Year!

  13. Oops, the OOOOO above was my arm hitting the keyboard. Please ignore.

  14. Juliet says:

    Happy New Year, loving the outfits, and really feeling pretty inspired – you have that classic and polished vibe without being dull or boring, there is always a wee twist or a clever ploy that lifts what you wear. Well as it is now officially 2018 I am back on the WW – I lost loads of weight (9 pounds woot!) through a virus just before Christmas and have put at least half of that back on – we can all do that weight loss thing together (those of us inspired or that need to). But then it is not just the weight loss is it, it is the healthy/happy approach to life (and dressing well 🙂 )

  15. Susan D says:

    Thank you for all your hard work this year to entertain and educate us in lots of different spheres. The highlight of the year was undoubtedly your marriage to the wonderful Bonaparte. Congratulations again and best wishes to you both for a happy and healthy year.
    Susan D

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