Holiday Party: Hit Your Style Sweet Spot

This week Pam Lutrell and I are continuing our series on Hitting Your Style Sweet Spot, with dressing for a Holiday Party. I’m also sharing the story of my skirt. It may sound goofy, but when I’ve worn a garment for years, it accumulates a story. A history that wraps me in memories. This skirt is priceless because it whisks me back to some wonderful years, I spent with a woman I loved dearly.

There’s a style rule that says short women can’t wear full-length skirts. Bunk. I do it all the time! Another one of those rules, not worth following!

I just make sure my top is on the shorter side, so the proportions are right. You want to aim for the 1/3 – 2/3 rule. My top makes up 1/3 of my outfit and the skirt makes up the other 2/3’s. It’s more balanced and visibly pleasing than cutting ourselves in half 🙂

Holiday Party: Hit Your Style Sweet Spot


I call this my market skirt.  This was the skirt that I always wore when my boss and I went to the clothing marts, on buying trips for the boutique. No matter the season or temperature, New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco, this was my uniform. I always wore it with a plain black tank top and flat shoes. This wasn’t my favorite skirt, it was the most useful for me to act as our fit model.

When she and I spotted things we liked in the booths and showrooms, my boss always had me model them for her. We both wanted to see garments hanging on a body, not a hanger. So I’d haul a top, jacket or sweater over my tank top and voilà. There it was, styled with a skirt! For pants or other skirts, I’d just pull them on underneath, then whip off my skirt. It never got wrinkled because it was meant to be.


As a result of several strokes, my boss suffered with bouts of vertigo. We never knew when it would strike. She and I were wandering the showrooms in Los Angeles one year, and made a wrong turn. The door at the top of the escalator we took, emptied out on the roof-top parking lot. There was nothing else up there, except the escalator down. I could see the terror wash over her face. She was petrified to get on the down escalator. We waited and talked until it became clear she could not navigate that escalator.

I don’t know how long we stayed there, but it was getting late in the day. I finally convinced her to close her eyes, reach her arms around my waist from behind, and hold on tight. I promised she could trust me. She was scared. Hell, I was scared too! We stood at the edge of the top step and when she was plastered to my back, I said, “now, step forward”. She reached her leg forward and I grabbed the edge of her pants, as I launched us onto the escalator. She held on for dear life until we reached the bottom. It was emotional for both of us.


Holiday Party: Hit Your Style Sweet Spot

I’m wearing my skirt with a tank top similar to what I wore to market, all those years ago. I dug this rhinestone pin out of a pile of broken baubles at the flea market ages ago. The long Pearl necklace was a recent hostess gift from my friend, Contessa 🙂

Holiday Party: Hit Your Style Sweet Spot


This outfit could take me to a Holiday Party, a fancy dinner out or many occasions. I can’t wear this skirt without remembering my boss and dear friend Sandy, who lost her battle with ovarian cancer, much too young.

I’m always in my Style Sweet Spot when I wear this skirt, because of its rich memories.


Do you have clothes that hold precious memories?


Now let’s pop over to see what Pam is wearing to her holiday party!




  1. December 13, 2015 / 3:44 am

    I love this skirt so much and love hearing the story behind it. It is perfect for the occasion and is one of those pieces which should NEVER leave your wardrobe. Just lovely.

    • Jennifer
      December 16, 2015 / 8:17 am

      Thanks Pam! I remember her every time I wear it!

  2. December 13, 2015 / 6:10 am

    I do! Oddly it’s often certain shoes. A favorite pair of Merrill hiking boots that have wandered and climbed and traversed with me through forest and mountain paths for years. And more recently, some stylish ankle boots (Aquatella) that climbed the steps of Notre Dame, walked along the Seine, pounded the streets in NYC and meandered a village or two in Germany. All in comfort and a stealth heartiness in their construction. Shoes feels like old friends that have been places with me – helped me see the world.

    What a sweet story you wear with that lovely skirt.

    • Jennifer
      December 16, 2015 / 8:19 am

      I love this Barbara! Reminds me of some favorite shoes that have stories for me too! They are like old friends. Such a lovely thought! Xx

  3. December 13, 2015 / 6:12 am

    Beautiful outfit! I love the pin & necklace – they add just the right amount of sparkle & interest!

    And what a story behind that skirt! I love clothes with memories… Lovely way to remember your friend.

    • Jennifer
      December 16, 2015 / 8:22 am

      Thank you Andrea!

  4. December 13, 2015 / 6:52 am

    A wonderful story Jennifer and this skirt is gorgeous!!
    I have a similar jacket and had not thought of wearing it with a long skirt and now I will! You give me so many ideas and encouragement throughout the year! Thank you!

    The Arts by Karena

    • Jennifer
      December 16, 2015 / 8:25 am

      I’m glad Karen! It’s all about the length of the jacket and proportion! I can’t wait to get my India Hicks order!!!

  5. Donna
    December 13, 2015 / 7:21 am

    The skirt is fabulous and the story behind it equally so. Your accessories are perfect.

  6. December 13, 2015 / 8:47 am

    What a great outfit, Jennifer! Being only 5″1″ tall, I always abide by the 1/3-2/3 rule. It never fails. At the opera, yesterday, I wore a short (2-3″) above my knee (that’s another “femme d’un certain age” rule I regularly break) and wore a long-sleeved, fitted black jersey top over it, which came just to the top of the hip. The long, fringed necklace reached to the waist. Since this was a matinee, the outfit was more casual, but the statement necklace was crucial. For an evening performance, I would wear just the sheath dress, necklace and beaded jacket. The sheath dress is essential for me to hit my “style sweet spot.”

    Great post. I’ll pop over to see Pam.

    Talk soon, my friend.

    Cheers, M-T

    • Jennifer
      December 16, 2015 / 8:28 am

      Pictures MT!!! I’d love to see how chic you looked! I know it was fabulous! That 1/3-2/3 rule is a winner every time. Let’s chat next week!

  7. December 13, 2015 / 11:41 am

    A wonderful, very stylish and attractive look. The skirt is cute and the jacket is beautiful.

  8. December 13, 2015 / 4:20 pm

    That is a fab outfit and looks great on you.,

  9. December 13, 2015 / 5:13 pm

    The escalator move was very brave of you. You both could have broken your necks. Trust. Good friends… They go hand-in-hand.

  10. Connie*
    December 13, 2015 / 6:53 pm

    It is so nice to own things that are full of memories. As much as I would love a closet full of brand new clothes it just wouldn’t be as interesting as my old batch of stuff. Hey, you know what? We short girls can wear whatever we please. We take up less room on this earth so we are allowed special privileges. Such a sweet story about you and your boss. It actually makes your skirt seem even prettier.

  11. December 14, 2015 / 6:38 am

    What a special post, Jen. I love how you’ve woven a special memory into styling your outfit. Your friend and boss sounds like a wonderful person. Vertigo is such a difficult ailment. My husband experiences it from time to time. You never know when it will strike. I’m not surprised that you figured out a solution for her at the top of that escalator. You ARE just that kind of friend.
    The details of the skirt look beautiful. This is definitely a dress it up, dress it down kind of piece. I love how you paired it with the long necklace (always a good balancing element).
    Happy Monday my friend!
    xx, Heather

  12. December 14, 2015 / 7:00 am

    My dear friend from years ago has a house down the street from the BABETTE OWNER.I had dinner at their house once and realized I had a few items that were designed by HER.
    Love your long skirt for day time wear.Years ago I had the idea of wearing long skirts with sweatshirts for MY LOOK.At that time long skirts weren’t available as they are today……..

  13. December 14, 2015 / 8:26 am

    I love the skirt and you look great. The story of the skirt is fabulous. Yes I have a few items that just cannot be sent to the Charities shops because of their sentimental meaning.

  14. December 14, 2015 / 8:53 am

    I adore that you shared that with us. For me I don’t know I have a style sweet spot, but I do know my close contain so many so many precious memories.


  15. December 14, 2015 / 9:53 am

    You look beautiful, as always. I love finding things in my closet that still represent who I am and you certainly know how to work that vibe.

  16. December 14, 2015 / 8:24 pm

    Hi Jennifer,
    this is such a sweet sweet story. I love stories of women friends, and the moments they have shared together. I must say, those red shoes peeking out are the bomb. As are you as always. xx Nancy

  17. December 15, 2015 / 4:40 pm

    Lovely post and lovely outfit. You look great. Love the skirt, love the necklace, love the earrings. You got it together! Sweet story about your boss.

  18. Barbara
    December 15, 2015 / 6:24 pm

    Jennifer, thanks for sharing that precious story. Barbara

  19. January 7, 2016 / 4:29 pm

    You look so pretty in this outfit and I love the idea of having a style sweet spot. Thank you for such a great story of your skirt memories.

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