Of Course I Don’t Have a Picture

But here’s what the friggin’ holiday outfit ended up being.

This top and this skirt, both from J. Jill:

This Ann Taylor cami:

Accessories: pearls, soft black pantyhose, low-heeled tuxedo pumps and a dumb little velvet handbag. (The brooch on the top in the picture wasn’t included, and I was too cheap to buy it.)

So, on the downside, I didn’t get a dress, and I did end up in all black. On the upside, I got velvet and lace, and I will probably get a hell of a lot more use out of the separates than I would have out of a dress. (I already suspect I’m going to wear the cami and wrap top with jeans enough that everyone who knows me will be incredibly sick of seeing them by the end of winter.) Also, I think I hit the bulls-eye of appropriateness for the occasion — or at least I was smack in between the women wearing full-length gowns and the ones wearing slacks and sweaters. I usually prefer being slightly overdressed to remotely underdressed — and thus I usually AM slightly overdressed — so it was kind of a strange feeling to be walking around looking at all the pretty dresses, thinking, “Aw, man, I should have… no, wait, actually, I’m dressed perfectly fine. I’m just not overdressed for once.”

Now I’ve got me a lot of returning to do.

23 thoughts on “Of Course I Don’t Have a Picture”

  1. That is cute – I love both the wrap and the skirt, and affordable to boot! I may have to check out J Jill one of these days! Glad to hear you found something both appropriate for the evening and usable later. Personally, I hate to spend much money on something I’ll only wear once or twice; I’m all for the reusable separates.

  2. Kate, nice job — I especially like the top!

    This is a bit OT, but I’ve found a great product I’d like to recommend for those of us who love wrap tops and wrap dresses, but struggle with Rack of Doom issues. They’re called “bosom buttons.” They’re really nice little buttons, made of pearl, crystal, etc., that you can use to fasten a top or dress. Not only do they keep you covered up, they look really nice! I personally prefer using one of the babies rather than a cami.

    They’re $12 each, or 3 for $25.

    You can find them here:

    And you can find 20% discount codes here:

    Sorry if I sound like a shill. I am in no way connected with or being paid by the folks who make these. But I really like them and thought some of the shapelings might be interested.

    They make great stocking stuffers, too!

  3. JJills XL is considered an 18/20, and they generally carry pants up to that size (although the 20s seem to sell out fast) in the stores.

    I love JJill – my favorite store by FAR!

  4. How’s the fit at J.Jill? Their size chart has me in an 18W and a 20 straight, but I’ve been burned by size charts before.

  5. I love the top (better without the brooch actually.) I bet you looked hot. I love J.Jill — I think they’re cut a little small, but I can just squeak by with an XL in some items. Which I love, because my proportions are not at all freaky and manufacturers usually assume that the few pounds gain that tip you over into the next size go toward increasing your shoulder span and abdomen height several inches.

  6. Heh, I’m usually way overdressed. I just love to dress up enough that I’ll take any opportunity, even if it isn’t really an appropriate one.

    Glad you found something pretty =) I totally cover that top!

  7. The fit at j jill is exceptionally weird, in my experience. Knits tend to be roomy, but not always.- I’m a 16 and wear anywear from a medium to an extra-large. The great thing is they do have petites up to a point, and some plus sizes.

    Vulture, those bosom buttons are fantastic! I’ve already passed on the link to my sweetie as a Christmas hint.

  8. Meowser, yeah, that was from a brick and mortar store (in Indy) — which happened to have a good selection of 16s/XLs and even 16Ps, though the one in downtown Chicago is not so good in my experience.

    I’ve ordered a bunch from them online, and I find their fit wonky. A dress and coat in PXL were way too big for me, but a couple of shirts in the same size have been fine. I tried on a pair of 18P pants that fit me well, except for the cut, and I’m usually a 16, so they might run a little small there. The skirt I got yesterday was a 16P, and the top is a regular XL — they didn’t seem to have any petites left. The L top worked, too, but the XL gave me more boob coverage, so I went with that. (Although the sleeves were both too long and too full, a problem I solved temporarily by pushing them up to 3/4 length. I’ll probably get them altered.)

    So really, all I can recommend is trial and error. Some stuff seems to run big, other stuff seems to run small.

  9. I didn’t know J. Jill had plus sizes. How is their quality? Now that I’ve started to get over the, “I’ll hold on to that because it might fit one day,” and “Even though it isn’t very ___(pretty, flattering, whatever), it’s all that fits right now and I don’t want to buy anything nice until I lose X pounds,” mindset I’ve been gleaning my wardrobe and I’m down to not a lot of stuff. I’d like to begin replacing some old, worn out items with some higher quality clothes. I don’t have big bucks so whatever I buy needs to be seasonless, very versatile and durable, but still kick ass style-wise. Would J. Jill stuff do that?

  10. Quality is fantastic, but you pay for it. Beware of the ultra-fine gauzy knits, because they won’t last, but everything else I’ve had for them stays nice forever, doesn’t shrink, and is generally made from natural fibers. The styles are not what you’d call youthful and the fit is unreliable, but that’s it for the downside.

  11. Yeah, I’d second pretty much everything Sniper said. Good quality, high prices (though the sales are good), inconsistent fit, more classic styles than kickass ones.

  12. Thanks. When my finances recover from the festivities of the season I’ll try a couple of pieces and see how they fit. I don’t think I have an unusual shape but clothing manufacturers do, and fit is always an issue.

  13. That skirt is sexay.

    I can’t believe I forgot to mention J. Jill in all my retail ranting.

    Guess it was subliminal and I wanted the skirt for myself even though I hadn’t seen it. And even though I rarely wear skirts.

    Oh well.

    We can haz event pix film at 11?

  14. We can haz event pix film at 11?

    You know, there might be pics somewhere, but Al and I are terrible about taking pictures, so we don’t have any. Neither one of us has the kind of personality that wants to document everything, which is fine in terms of getting along, but lousy in terms of having no damn documentation of anything we do.

    I’ll try to wear the outfit again soon and actually get a pic.

  15. I love the cami. And I’m a separates girl all the way. I’m a full size or two bigger on the bottom than I am on the top- more like the Thighs of Doom than the Rack of Doom. (Though I’m doing much better at liking my legs).

    Nonetheless, a lovely choice. I love all black, and I usually like to accent with a colorful scarf.

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