Tag Archives: sequins

Choosing the right bra for different holiday party outfits

I have written before about thinking through the practicalities of bras (like here in my post about wearing sports bras as tank tops, and here in my post here reviewing a fancy floral maxidress and detailing what bra to wear with it). Even though I’m on the smaller cup size, I am firmly in the camp of always wearing a bra. It’s just uncomfortable not to, at least in my experience. And I don’t understand women’s clothing that is seemingly designed without that consideration in mind, i.e. what kind of bra to wear with it.

I am a very practical person, and this extends to underwear! When we go shopping, and I see something I like, three main questions pop into my head:  (1) How much does it cost?, (2) Can I think of at least three outfits with this item?, and (3) What kind of bra can I wear with it?

ThirdLove logo

Therefore, when ThirdLove — a company founded by women who make bras for women, focusing on affordability, fit, shape, and comfort for real women — inspired me to talk about finding the perfect bra, I was intrigued. They have a very diverse range of shapes in their bra Fit Finder, and they have a “Try Before You Buy” program. Also, when I read their mission statement, I literally cheered:

Our mission is to empower all women to feel comfortable and confident every day, which is why we’ve donated over $1 million worth of bras to women in need across the country since we began in 2013.

For us, it’s not just about the bra — it’s about how you feel in it.

Please note that although this post idea was in collaboration with ThirdLove, I personally received no products or compensation in exchange for my opinions. Instead, the gift is for y’all, dear readers, with an exclusive promo code for 15% off all ThirdLove orders:

TL15BRABLEMSDEC

I had the idea of going back through my own holiday party outfits and what kind of bra was best for those different holiday looks. So I put together collages for three of my various holiday party outfits, going in chronological order by oldest to most recent. Enjoy!

Fancy dress for a cocktail party + convertible strapless bra

For a fancy cocktail party for New Year’s Eve in 2012, I wore a purple eShakti dress with a 1950s-style sweetheart neckline, with the straps set far apart. I layered the dress under a sparkly cardigan.

The neckline is a bit tricky on this dress, and there is a lot of fabric with the criss-crossing design. So you need either a padded bra with thin, wide-set straps, or a padded strapless bra that will stay put. The padding is important, at least for us smaller-chested ladies, to help fill out all that extra fabric on that kind of bodice. I ended up wearing a padded strapless bra with this dress. The ThirdLove convertible strapless bra sounds perfect for this kind of outfit, as the bra has removable and adjustable convertible straps that are clear. Plus, it has padded underwire cups with a silicone stay-put grip lining if you need to take off the straps.

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage for what bra to wear with a fancy cocktail party dress

Sequined tank for an informal holiday party + t-shirt bra

For an informal holiday party back in 2014, I wore a silver sequined tank top and red ankle pants. This was a super comfortable yet sparkly holiday combo!

Because the sequined top is pretty thin (and delicate), I wore a t-shirt kind of bra, to stay smooth and sturdy under it. For this kind of top, the ThirdLove 24/7 underwire t-shirt bra would be a great choice for a smooth finish.

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage for what bra to wear with a sequined tank top for an informal holiday party

Ugly Christmas sweater party + breathable fabric bra

For a recent “Ugly Christmas sweater” holiday party, I wore an ugly Christmas sweater vest, layered over an all-black foundation of turtleneck, skinny jeans, and tall, flat-heeled boots. Again, a comfy but festive combo!

A regular coverage bra — but one with breathable, moisture-wicking fabric — is the right kind of bra for this kind of holiday outfit with heavy layers. The ThirdLove strappy bra would be a good choice, as it is made of lightweight fabric, a nylon and spandex mix that is soft and breathable.

Librarian for Life + Style | What bra to wear for a layered holiday outfit

Fun Quiz to Find Your Perfect Holiday Bra

ThirdLove has also produced a fun infographic about how to “Find Your Perfect Holiday Bra,” as seen below. (If the font is hard to read, then click on the graphic, which should open in a new tab/window, and then you can zoom in. That’s what I had to do!)

ThirdLove holiday bra quiz infographic

I took the quiz, and it turns out that the 24/7 Strappy T-Shirt Bra is the one for me! “Deep down you secretly love everything about the holidays — you just don’t want people to know it.” Yep, that’s pretty accurate. 😉

Which bra did you end up with when you took the quiz? Do you also think about what kind of bra is the right one for the occasion or the right fit for each outfit you wear? Please leave a comment and share!

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The sparkly girl

Today’s blog post title comes from my husband. I wore this ensemble to a house concert of live music and poetry, and there were breaks for mingling and socializing. My husband pointed me out to others as “the sparkly girl,” since I was wearing a sequined tank top. 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl

Details:

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl

I went for a “casual yet dressy” vibe because there was no dress code circulated prior to the house concert event. I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a carpeted or a hardwood floor, or if it was going to be held outside or inside. Therefore, I didn’t want to wear high heels, so I knew I would be wearing flats instead. I wore my sequined tank top because it was comfortable but also dressy because of the sequins. I finished it off with basic black ankle pants.

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl

Librarian for Life + Style | Vintage book cover purse + bracelets

I added a bit more quirk with my vintage book cover clutch and a bit more sparkle with my Greg Michaels crystal earrings, which I chose to echo the circular shape of the sequins. The chrome layer of my chevron self-manicure also echoed the metallic shine of the sequins.

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl selfie

Librarian for Life + Style | Chevrons + sequins

I had fun with my makeup! I rarely wear a lot of makeup, but I decided to make more of an effort that night. I went with purple tones on my eyes, blending lighter and darker shadows on my lids, and lining with a dark purple liquid eyeliner. I also layered two lip stains, starting with a dark purple shade and then topping with a pinky burgundy stain.

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl makeup

Finally, I added a little sparkle to my hair, as well, clipping one side of my bob back with a sparkly bobby pin. I then slightly curled my longer bangs with a large-barreled curling iron, in order to get a bit of a swoop to the side.

Librarian for Life + Style | Bob with sparkly bobby pin

Librarian for Life + Style | The sparkly girl

The evening was fantastic — good music, good poetry, good conversation — and I’m glad I felt comfortable so I could just focus on the evening’s entertainment. I really liked how this “sparkly girl” outfit turned out — what about you?

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What I wore to an afternoon wedding

Sam and I recently attended a wedding of two friends, and we were psyched when the groom asked Sam to wear his kilt. (The groom’s dad was wearing a kilt and didn’t want to be the only one.) We don’t get to attend many weddings anymore, because most of our friends are either already married (or don’t plan on getting married).

However, it was a little difficult to plan on what I was going to wear. Sam was wearing his kilt, which was a given, so whatever I wore needed to “go” with the Fraser red tartan. It was also an outdoor wedding in the afternoon, so the weather really had to be taken into account. And wouldn’t you know, the fickle late summer Portland weather decided to have one of its chilly, off-and-on rainy days. The bride had joked that if it rained, then we would get wet. And we did. It was glorious. 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | What we wore to an afternoon wedding

Librarian for Life + Style | Fraser tartan, his and hers

Sam dressed down his kilt a bit with a grey sweater, cream kilt hose, and brown brogues, along with his casual brown sporran. (He has a fancier faux fur sporran, which you can see here in this post.) Because of the chill in the air, I knew I needed to wear layers, so I finally decided on my light blue bicycle dress and my bejeweled black cardigan to add some sparkle for the occasion. A bright red skinny belt and a Fraser scarf looped onto my bag helped tie me into Sam’s look. And let me tell you, it felt STRANGE to be putting on tights again after a few months of going bare-legged! But it was worth it, as I was warm enough without having to wear a coat.

Librarian for Life + Style | What we wore to an afternoon wedding

Details:  Bejeweled cardigan, Forever 21, old {similar}  //  Bicycle print dress, c/o eShakti {similar} {bicycle print blouse} {bicycle print scarf} //  Red patent leather skinny belt, Target, old {exact}  //  Fraser tartan scarf {similar}  //  Black tote, Nine West {very similar from same brand}

The outdoor wedding was lovely, with fresh flowers adding color amidst the South Waterfront Park setting. We also had lovely views of Portland bridges around us. And the overcast skies made for PERFECT picture-taking conditions. Always a silver lining, eh? 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Wedding flowers

All the guests also got bubble wands, so OF COURSE Sam had to take pics of me blowing bubbles. (Too bad none of the bubbles showed up in the pics.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Blowing bubbles

Librarian for Life + Style | Blowing bubbles

All in all, a lovely occasion! And it was fun to get a bit dressed up, and of course Sam was a big hit in his striking tartan!

If you can’t get enough tartan, click here and here. Enjoy!

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What I wore for New Year’s Eve 2014

It’s already 2015, I know, but here’s a look back at what I wore for a New Year’s Eve holiday party last week. In this post last week, I talked about how we attended a pajama-themed NYE party in 2013, but this year, our NYE invite was for a party described as “feel free to dress up.” That was an instant YES for me. 😉

And it started with this hi-lo striped skirt I’ve been wanting to wear ever since I took out an odd back seam that was there when I picked up the skirt at a clothing swap. It has a satin-y finish, so it looks a bit dressier. I paired it with my new cowl-necked sleeveless top and my bedazzled cardigan that I first wore for another NYE party in 2012. I wore my snakeskin wedges, which not only added more pattern-mixing but were also practical. I didn’t want to wear heels because they can be wobbly on house carpet or loud of hardwood floors, but I felt that this hi-lo skirt needed height.

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore for New Year’s Eve 2014

Details:

  • Striped hi-lo skirt {most similar piece I could find was this very expensive Altuzarra striped pencil skirt} {less expensive beige-and-black striped satin pencil skirt}:  Thrifted last spring
  • Bedazzled cardigan {similar}:  Forever 21, winter 2012
  • Black cowl-necked top {exact}:  JCPenney, newly gift-carded
  • Snakeskin wedges {exact}:  Clarks via Imelda’s, this fall
  • Silver sequin clutch {similar}:  Aldo, old
  • Black tights {exact}:  DKNY via Macy’s, gift-carded this fall
  • Silver link bracelet {very similar}:  Resale boutique, gift-carded last spring
  • Silver crystal hoop earrings {exact} {similar in gold}:  c/o Greg Michaels, this winter
  • Lip stain, foundation layer {exact}:  Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm Stain in “Shameless”
  • Lip stain, top layer {exact}:  Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in “Crush”

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore for New Year’s Eve 2014

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore for New Year’s Eve 2014

I kept the jewelry pretty simple, considering all the bling on my cardigan. I wore a silver link bracelet along with my new Greg Michaels crystal hoop earrings, which I also recently paired with a more informal holiday look.

I also layered two lip stain colors:  the foundation is the Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm Stain in “Shameless” with a top layer of Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in “Crush.”

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore for New Year’s Eve 2014

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore for New Year’s Eve 2014

I also wore the vintage wool swing coat with the faux fur collar that my mom made when she was young. I know she gets such a kick out of seeing that I still wear this coat! I don’t think she could have predicted this coat’s longevity. 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore for New Year’s Eve 2014

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore for New Year’s Eve 2014

Linkups listed here on my newly updated Linkups page.

What I wore to an informal holiday party

One last day to enter the holiday giveaway for your own piece of Greg Michaels jewelry! The giveaway is open to U.S. and international readers through tonight, Dec. 23, by 10pm PST. All the details here in this post! (I will announce the lucky winner tomorrow on Christmas Eve.)

Continuing my mini-series of festive outfits, this is what I recently wore to an informal holiday party, a low-key gathering of friends.

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to an informal holiday party

Details:

  • Sequined tank top {similar}:  LOFT, fashion-swapped two falls ago
  • Grey cardigan {exact}:  August Silk via Macy’s, gift-carded this fall
  • Red ankle pants {similar}:  Macy’s, two winters ago
  • Grey flats {similar}:  DKNY via Macy’s, old
  • Crystal silver hoop earrings:  c/o Greg Michaels, new
  • Red lipstick {exact}:  Wet ‘n’ Wild Megalast in Cherry on Top

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to an informal holiday party

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to an informal holiday party

I definitely went for comfort first, in ankle pants, flats, and a cardigan. I don’t like to wear heels when going to a friend’s house, because heels can be wobbly on thicker carpet, or really loud on hardwoods. I added a bit of sparkle with my sequined tank and new Greg Michaels crystal hoop earrings.

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to an informal holiday party

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to an informal holiday party

I went sleek and simple with my short hair, slicking it back, allowing my hoop earrings (and red lips) to take center stage.

Librarian for Life + Style | Hoop earrings + red lips

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to an informal holiday party

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