Monday, February 3, 2014


This is WIWHW for my birthday dinner. What I Would Have Worn, if it hadn't snowed and sleeted and kept us from going into The Big City for dinner as planned. Oh, well. Soon. Very soon.

The only thing you haven't seen here is my new leather skirt. Okay, not leather. Faux, but pretty good faux. It's very soft and I like the drape and texture. And it has pockets! I'm currently obsessing about midi skirts and and I found a very good buy on this one. It just wasn't intended to be a midi.

I was afraid that this was going to be a style that would hard to wear with my short waist and frame. And on my problematic shape, not all skirts are created equal. I knew proportional length would be tricky, and most midis look best with a tucked shirt ... always challenging for me.

This skirt was intended to be an at-the-knee length for the average height woman, but I liked the way the pleats are flat and fall from a slightly wider waist band. So I just bought it a size larger and that allows it to ride a little lower, just beneath my natural waist. Lower on the waist means a longer look ... and voilà! It is now a below-the-knee midi look that works for me. But best of all, the lower waist means that when I tuck in a shirt, I get just an extra inch or so of torso! Problem solved.

Another validation that size is only a number. Buy the size that works, 'cause there are lots of ways to work a size!


Joining the Pink Statement Seeker at her linky party Tres Chic Style Bits ... stop by or, better yet, come out to play!

And at the Lovely Sacramento's
 Share in Style where I'm almost Gothic, but not quite!

(and late breaking)

 with the Season Defying Patti at

 Visible Monday


  1. Love the look you're such a clever girl ha ha such a good role model for us sexy sixties.

  2. Happy Birthday, Jan!!! I think you look absolutely perfect!

  3. Bon anniversaire, Jan! You look totally gorj in that outfit. I covet that skirt because pockets! Drool...

    M @

  4. Happy birthday Jan! I would like to say that this is the nicest faux leather I have seen. The shape is great, and YES to pockets! Im also crazy about midis. I always have been, even before they became popular.

    Great look from head to toe.

  5. Nice birthday outfit dear Jan! I think the faux leathers are so great and the quality has improved to much. Sometimes it's hard to tell if it is real or not. Many of the pieces I've shown this winter are faux.

    Good idea to size up to achieve a lower waistline. I've done this also, looks good and more comfortable. This skirt is lovely on you and chic with the stripe. Excellent jacket, the shoes add a nice detail with their shape and heel.

    blue hue wonderland

  6. Jean at Dross into GoldFebruary 3, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I hope you celebrated wonderfully despite all the crazy weather. Your outfit will be perfect whenever!! I'm losing it over those shoes, BTW. XXOO

  7. Happy Birthday! I like your new look - that font for your blog title is cool.

    That skirt looks great, and it looks like it fits your waist at the right place. More room for big fancy dinners, too!

  8. Well I see that you've discovered how to turn back the clock, 'cause you look younger than last week! And while you haven't yet got to the city for that special dinner, I trust that a cozy night in was just as sweet.

    Ah...the faux leather skirt makes it's first appearance. It's very classy, and I'm already anticipating you styling it in different ways. You've worked wonders with your silhouette, something I'm hoping to get better at this year myself. The length works great, and seriously, this would not be a sewing job for the faint of heart. I know we're all chatting about the purdy skirt, but the jacket is also pretty darn near perfect! I love how the trim goes so beautifully with the skirt.

  9. Where did you find this skirt? I have been looking for a similar one but all the ones I have tried on were way to short for my comfort. I love this look on you - from the skirt to the tuxedo jacket -so classy & elegant. I hope it stops snowing so you can enjoy your night out.

    BTW, I nominated you for the Golden Blog Award, I hope you stop by and check it out.

  10. Oh, I sure hope you can soon go out in that outfit. Wow, talk about stunning. Love that new skirt and I totally agree with sizing, I always grab two or three different sizes as I head into the dressing room and then I don't look at the size as a try them on, I just choose the one that looks the best and feels the best. Great words of advice. By the way, how's your cute hubby doing?
    My hubby called a few hours ago after he landed in Bentonville to let me know how cold the weather was. I decided the trip didn't sound fun if I couldn't meet up with my friend so I chose to stay put in my home and work on some fun valentine crafts.

  11. Such an honour to have you in this wonderful attire, my dearest Jan.
    I love your hair, and everything about you sooooooooooooo much.

  12. You look fab! I love that leather look midi skirt and the tuxedo jacket. I love your baroque style shoes so much I bought similar ones last week (you style influencer you!)
    I do the same with skirts now. As a fellow shortie I find the waistlines of skirts these day cut far too high and they're very uncomfortable worn there when you sit all day, not to mention skirts are often way too short in length - so I've been going up a size or sometimes two and get a skirt that works for me.

  13. You look stunning, my friend! I often buy things in a larger size so it hangs a bit lower...

  14. Hope you had a great birthday, Jan, even if you didn't get your night out in the Big City. I love this outfit, the skirt is perfect on you - great length, flattering, chic, AND it has pockets! You work wonders with proportion, you know; you look long and lean and gorgeous. I never worry about sizes; I try on and wear what fits and feels comfortable, the numbers are irrelevant! Hope the weather and your schedule allow you to wear this ensemble out on the town very soon - go turn some heads, Jan! xxxx

  15. What a gorgeous outfit. I hope the birthday celebrations were great even if the weather wasn't.
    You're dead right about size, how something looks is way more important than a silly number on a label nobody can see! x

  16. Dawn @ AlterEgoFashionistaFebruary 4, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Now that's a perfect your new pleather skirt...sizing up worked well for this look. Yeah...who cares about the given size? I have literally have everything from XS to XL in my wardrobe and I'm a size 6-8! I'm crazy about the little striped top under the black blazer...and also the black shoes - damn! Enjoy yourself doubly when you do get to the city!!!

  17. Now I could wear that skirt! I've wanted to pick up a faux leather skirt, but I only seem to find pencil skirts which .. don't look so hot on me - no matter what the size ( I tried going up a size ).


  18. What a gorgeous outfit Jan! You should wear it next time and next, and next and again and again. You look so lovely.
    The skirt has the perfect length and the striped tee rounds the look up so well.
    Sabine xxx

  19. You just can't catch a break lately! I'm so sorry your birthday dinner got ruined by old man Winter. I hope you get a chance to properly celebrate soon.
    I love the skirt! If you had merely described it without showing it I would've had a negative reaction - but it works, and works well! I may have to steal your last sentence for a future blog post because you are so right about sizes!


  20. Thank you so much ... Never been called a role model before! Pretty sure I'm not qualified, but can bask in the glow for a few minutes, anyway!

  21. Thank you, Connie. I really like this outfit, and am already planning variations on the theme for spring!

  22. You will absolutely see better before winter is over, I'll bet. Gotta be a lot more selection there ... but the pockets do make it cool. Sort of closed the deal for me. Yes, you do look fabulous in them ... I pay attention to every post, especially the midi ones. I will never have your legs, ever!

  23. It's "ma birfday soot!" or almost was. Who knows what the weather will be like when we finally get around to celebrating! It folds and moves with me, not like a motionless bell-skirt, and that makes it cooler than it looks here. I've worn it with a square-ish, shorter sweater and it works that way as well, better with booties.
    I wish I'd though of "sizing up and pulling down" earlier, but there we are. Haven't really been all that excited about skirts for some years, and we all haven't been so obsessed with our tuck-styles!
    I'm extra happy when you like something, so I'm satisfied.

  24. Nope, so celebration yet. We were iced in today, and this is costing the business a lot! Soon, I hope. Perhaps next Sunday. Glad you like my shoes ... again! I just couldn't help it ... they go with so many things and just work so hard for me! Love um'. Not many outings before spring, and will wear them as long as I can! Cost per wear has gone into negative numbers.

    Thank you, darling girl. Hope you're feeling rested from your recent family stuff, and that your parents are improving!

  25. So kind! Thank you. I really thought I would find this kind of skirt this year at all ... I am sometimes still surprised at what I run across here.
    Looking forward to seeing what you do and think about spring.

  26. Ha! Haven't had my big, fancy dinner yet, but Dan is on notice that it will happen soon and that he's not allowed to combine it with Valentine's Day. He's disappointed, and on notice.

    Thanks so much, Val. I'm working on the blog, and have just finished my "Amazing Blogs You Should Read" section. You're there, of course! Slow progress, but some.

  27. Sue ... you are so sweet, but you sure can tell some BIG old whoppers! Nice of you to say, and the photo is charmingly fuzzy. It was so cold when we took it in the north light that the whole original photo looks like black and white ... my hair looked cool sepia!
    Yup ... the Style gods were kind and saved me some hours of frustration. At JCP, no less. Tell you, it just made my day. And thank you for your nice remarks about my jacket ... also JCP earlier in the year, and I've worn it a lot.

    Is it possible look at pattern books on line these days? I sew well enough to make a circle skirt, or an a line in a cotton or blend, but I don't have much time to go sit and thumb through the books. Stopped by to look at fabric last week, but am hoping they get more spring fabrics in. It's ugly here. There are, however, rows and rows of camo and John Deere novelty prints ... argh.

  28. At JCP ... Worthington, if you can believe it. And cheap!
    Thank you, Alice, for your kind notes ... no dinner out so far (iced in today instead of snow) but Dan is on some serious notice. There will be NO combining with Valentine's day!

    Wow! Thank you for the award nomination! Looks like a less invasive kind of thing for the folks nominated .. I like that. That was extra nice of you. Will get it done as soon as i can!

    Re: your query about a sewing machine for hemming. Depends on how ambitious you want to be ... I use a very simple Brother, but you can spend as much as you want. HOWEVER ... I've always found it easier just to do it by hand. It generally looks better and you can do it so that it doesn't show at all with very little effort. The hardest part is measuring the right length. I have to hem everything but crops, and I'm so used to it that I can do it in half an hour from start to finish. Good luck!

  29. Cute hubby is on notice that my birthday dinner will NOT be combined with Valentine's Day. Perhaps this weekend. He's much better, but still sore ... poor old pooh.
    Thank you for liking my slightly funeral outfit ... it looks better in person and when I move. The textures help ... and it's not too casual or too dressy. Fun. That's a good idea about dressing room procedure. I like it!
    Darling ... avoid the cold if you can. It's miserable here, but it can change in a heartbeat. For better or worse! We shall have some fun this spring. I'm sure of it.

  30. I get my act together eventually! So fun ... I have to make time to go back and meet some new ladies! Thank you, Sacramento. You looked wonderful!

  31. Thank you, V. So glad you liked it ... those shoes are among my favorites. I'll stop using them in posts, but they just work with everything. Awwwh.
    I'm also liking the flat, shallow pleats that I'm seeing these days on skirts ... much easier to adapt than a gathered waist. I'm fighting the urge to look too much ahead to spring. There's quite a lot of winter ahead, here. Will make an exception for Peter Pilotto for Target coming this Sunday, though!

  32. Love the skirt and wouldn't know it was fake leather if you hadn't told us! Sorry about your birthday dinner -this weather is killing us. But to ruin your birthday dinner… well that's the worst! We're enduring an ice storm as I write, and I hope I'm prepared in case we lose power. Fingers crossed. Hoping spring arrives soon.
    XO ~kim

  33. local has waaaayyyy too much kiddie printed flannel. Yes! You can look at patterns online: www.voguepatternsdotmccalldotcom, simplicitydotcom and wwwdotburdastyledotcom has downloadable patterns as well. Beats standing for an hour under fluorescent lighting.

  34. Thank you, Sue. We just have about 2 hours to get our shopping done on Wednesdays, and a little more on Sunday, but not much is open then. Love the idea of looking on line, right here in my jammies and fuzzy socks and with a tape measure handy!

  35. I'm loving the midi myself, and you show how it shines. Your jacket pairs with the faux leather skirt to perfection. You will surely turn heads at your birthday dinner, in this ensemble, with those spectacular shoes.

  36. So true. I often do this with skirts. Pull the waist up or down depending what I need.

    Very chic look. I love all the textures with the subtle tone on tone.

    Too bad you weren't able to get out.

    That's okay, you're not BURIED in snow like I am. My neighbour had to come with his snowblower and cleaned my driveway. I think we are now up past 8 ft of snow on either side of the driveway. The worst since I've lived here and I hate winter when it is normal.


  37. I really love your outfit, so sad you didn't get to go to the big city, but hope you can wear this one other time. The skirt is so pretty and you made the right choice with the size, it looks so good on you! I have no such issues, for me everything is too short, but I understand the problem with finding midi skirts that look flattering. Yours definitely looks amazing on you!

  38. Not yet, but still working on it. It seems petty, but we don't get to celebrate much, and I am viciously protective of my "days." Dan's "days" and our combined celebrations are just as important ... I can be such a pain in the arse. (BTW, "stonking" is my new favorite word.)
    If all goes well ... this Sunday is Peter Pilotto for Target day. Breakfast after, early matinee to see

    Thank you for your very sweet notes. Glad you like this skirt. Sizes don't bother me much ... until I get into double digits, then I start figuring out why. And most of the time, it's the garments and not me. I regularly alter my own clothes, and that makes the size number completely irrelevant. It's then "Jan size" and what could be more perfect for me?

    I need to write a blog about that! As always, you inspire in ways you might not imagine. What would I do without you?

    I have a little wee project I'm slowly pulling together for your household. You may get to see it at your house in Spring, maybe early summer. Not that big a whoop, but fiddly. There are a grand total of five of you at your place, right? Three female, two male? (Don't count cats. They don't have opposable thumbs.) Don't even try to guess what it is.

  39. Welcome back to you ... our world was definitely less colorful without you in it!
    Thank you, Vix. No celebration yet, but soon. Damn it.
    As I noted to Curtise regarding size ... Almost everything I wear is altered, and I almost always do it myself. Some shirts work without, but only sleeveless tops! Size numbers are useful as a starting point, but after I mess with them for fit, they become "Jan size." Something Curtise noted was the catalyst for that thought. No surprise there, and I have to write about it further, I think.
    I'm saving a trip to your place for this afternoon as a treat... chaise lounge travel in jammies!

  40. Thank you, Dawn! I appreciate the very sweet remarks.
    No success in getting in to the city just yet, but Dan is on notice that he may not combine birthday and Valentine's day. That's the problem with a January birthday! Soon though, damn it!

  41. JCP ... run don't walk! Yes you could wear this. It's a very good buy, and I'm shocked that I found it here in MidNowhere. I wear pencils, but with care. Know what you mean.

  42. Thank you, Sabine! I will wear this into summer, I swear. Such kind remarks. Dan really loves Breton stripes, so it's they're always useful!

  43. What is it with this stupid weather? SNOW again today. Maybe Sunday (supposed to be good) ... if we have anything to spend, given the hours we've had to close for weather. It's Peter Pilotto at Target this Sunday, and I'm dying to see "Monuments Men" ... combines two of my major interests in history. And I'm going to get a decent dinner out if it kills me.
    Glad you like the skirt, and that I didn't just write about it!

  44. Thank you, Kim! So nice.
    Hope you weathered the weather. It's crap here again ... Dan went in to open the restaurant, but is packing it in after serving one sandwich. Snow today, again, and too cold to hope for a melt before tomorrow. My birthday has sucked this year ... but it hasn't been without irony. To wit:
    ~ Knowing that I wouldn't get to celebrate, I started feeling sorry for myself.
    ~ Got all inspired by an article advising making my own private party. (Who writes this stuff?) The first suggestion was to bake myself a cake.
    ~ So I did. I made a sugar-free chocolate cake, just the way I like it. But I also started feeling sorry for myself that I had to bake my own cake, and that there was no one else to do it. This developed into a major pity-party, complete with a little weep.
    ~ In that sad-sack mood, I ate the first piece. And the second. It was NOT low calorie, BTW.
    ~ The next day, while looking at the remains of the cake I was reminded of the real reason why I had to bake my own cake ... for years and years I've been turning down cake because I don't eat sugars if I can help it. No wonder no one thought of baking me one.
    ~ I tortured myself with the remains of the cake for two additional days. I ended up putting the last little pieces in a bag and scooping cat littler over the top of it before I consigned it to the trash. The cat litter was to absolutely prevent me from changing my mind about actually throwing it away.
    ~ The moral of the story is that baking your own cake can be way worse than not celebrating at all. I will remember this.

    I have hopes for Sunday. Weather should be fine, and I want to go see "Monuments Men" and it's Peter Pilotto for Target Sunday. I've squirred a bit away for that, so things are perhpas looking up!

  45. Thank you, Judith! You're such a kindly optimist! Snowed in, but maybe I can dress up and go out on Sunday!

  46. Wow! You are snowed in! It's just crappy enough here to force us to close. Here, when it snows, even an inch closes the schools, and everyone runs for home. It gets icy fast as it's such a moist snow. My biggest problem is that it makes us close our business because we live so far away. It's also pointless to open as no one ventures out in our rural area. That means no income! So, although we're not buried, I'm sick of being broke and its a worry. Fingers and toes are crossed for the weekend!

  47. Oh yes, I'll wear it to death, Anja. I'm hoping for a trip this weekend ... It's Peter Pilotto for Target Sunday, and I have a bit socked away for that, and there's a film I really want to see. So fingers and toes crossed.
    Thank you so much for your very sweet remarks, and especially for your good wishes!

  48. That is a very clever solution. The wider skirt also gives you room around your waist.
    I love that for diners as I always blow up a size as soon as diner is sliding down my throat.
    The only question I have is this: doesn't the skirt twist and turn around your waist? (If it does, my solutions is -as always-: pin it down with safete pins.)
    As for the outfit: very nice, very chic. I like that the colour of the lapels is picking up the shine of the skirt.

  49. Hello my dear :)
    New layout.... clean, very nice. One "resolution" done ;)
    WOW, the skirt was such a great choice, it fits you to perfection. And paired with that blazer really looks fantastic. Your shoes are to die for and the stripped top so French chic, oh well in one word.... gorgeous you are!!
    I hope you'll had the opportunity to go celebrate your Bday in the Big City and I'm sure you'll be turning heads of fascination.
    Glad you liked my e-card, I'm very fond of you, dear.
    Thank you so much for linking with Très Chic Style Bits and always give it a nice shout out.
    Big hug

  50. Nope ... no twisting and turning, It sits just below my waist, and this one eases in at a bit of a curve. The advantage of having a defined waist above a bit of hip!
    Glad you liked it Greetje! Thank you for your sweet remarks, and as always, glad to hear from you!

  51. Style Bits is growing! Keep at it... I like it that it's attracting a more grown up crowd. So many of the links are for younger women, We need some that are for complete grown ups as well. Age is not so much an issue as tastes!
    Yes ... loved the card! I'm fond of you, too. And I hope you are feeling better.
    So happy you liked my combinations. I still haven't had my dinner our, but I'm hoping for Sunday! Too much ice on the roads to open the restaurant, so I hope for a good weekend.
    Fingers and toes crossed, please! Thank you so much for all!

  52. I just nominated you for the Shine On Award. See for rules.

  53. perfect skirt. I agree, it can be very challenging to find a "right" skirt sometimes. Almost all my "good" skirts sre from Ann Taylor Loft :) You've got very lucky with this skirt. Looks wonderful on you.

  54. I made note at your place, but will thank you here as well. I'm honored that you thought of me. Things are a little busy this weekend, but as soon as I get rolling next week I'll come out to play!

  55. I know so many women who are doing fabulous things with Ann Taylor items. Wish there was one here, but the nearest is about 150 miles away. Skirts can be so touchy, but the good thing is that they are usually easy to alter! Thanks so much for your kind remarks ... and I think of you each time I wear my "bee" pin!

  56. That is the perfect outfit. Hopefully soon you can wear it to a fabulous event

  57. Such elegance!!! A truly WOW outfit!! Hope you get to wear in going out somewhere special soon! I love the faux leather skirt for two reasons: it drapes beautifully and you're not wearing an animal :-) Quality faux is so much better!

    Have a fashionable weekend, my dear!
    ♥ carmen

  58. Mrs_Jack_of_all_tradesFebruary 9, 2014 at 1:58 AM

    Beautiful and tasteful ensemble! I think the blazer balanced out the 'torso' problem (I mean, seriously, Jan?) and just look fantastic with the skirt! I hope the weather gets better and you can have your belated well deserve dinner in the city :) Over here on this side of the world, weather has been coldish. We are expecting 21 high and 10 low the whole week next.

  59. Tamera Ferguson WolfeFebruary 9, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    I am so behind.... I adore this outfit!!! The skirt is gorgeous! The blazer does help the proportions!
    I'm with ya on being short-waisted. Tucked in stuff looks like I'm a giant boob on yop!!

  60. Almost missed this, Carmen, so thank you so much belatedly! Nice comments indeed, and I appreciate it. As an ominivore, I'm not completely squeemish about leather, but if given a choice I'll take faux every time. I really don't like to wear what I won't eat ( I won't eat polyester, but I will wear it ... I mean in critter skins) so that leaves out almost all exotic skins. So thanks for the reinforcement!
    No getting out for b-day yet ... weather and finances are problematic. After V-Day, Dan will owe me big time!

  61. Since you don't think there's a torso problem, I must have gotten it right ... so thank you! Trust me ... my natural waist is at the bottom of my ribcage! Not good. Here it is almost Valentine's and still no birthday celebration. By the end of the weekend, Dan will owe me big-time. And I will collect, make no mistake. We're having the first really nice day in weeks, and will have some uncharacteristically warm days for our weekend. Excellent for my V-Day business,and that's precisely what I need. Well deserved, indeed, damn it!
    Hope you have a lovely weekend coming up!

  62. Darling girl, you get to be behind with everything, however long it takes. Hope you are feeling better. I'm also wearing a minimizer bra ... it really helps. Lift and squish! Thank you for the nice remarks. You're a sweetheart, as always.

  63. Your look is amazing ! I love this skirt . And your shoes are terrific ! That may be my outfit for the office: thanks for the inspiration and your kind message on my blog !

  64. Hi Jan,
    I am so behind and sometimes I'm sure I've commented then can't find them and ...oh boo at me.
    I really am loving this hairstyle on you! I adore this look, so refined and elegant ... and your shoes - of my, the shoes - love 'em.
    Happy week to you
    Simply Sassy


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