Back at Work/ Dressing for the Holidays

I woke up this morning with fear for our present and our future.  I read a very well-written/well-researched article on ISIS.  The article explained that ISIS wants to return to the purest state of Islam, back to the days of the Prophet.  So guess what, we are doomed.

I was invited by Naomi, to visit Olivia May, an independent boutique in Oxford.  I laid in bed, scared.  Do I really want to take the tube to Victoria, and then catch the bus Oxford-bound?  My husband who dotes, dotes on me said,  Never mind, just rest today, stay in the Village.


But it was right at that point of addressing my fear, that I decided, to manage fear, I must do what now frightens me.


So off we went- to Oxford.


My husband (who dotes, dotes on me) said- That’s my girl!


He also said- Lee Ritenour and his band play at the Blue Note, Tokyo next Monday night… I can’t read the Japanese!  Can you take a look at the website and sort out tickets?

So I am pulled back, to the land of the living.


At Olivia May, I was greeted warmly by Veneta and Denise.


Because I am unfamiliar with the brands sold, I began by pulling out random pieces that caught my eye.    Alone in the fitting room, looking at all the garments, ideas began to take shape.

Here are my thoughts as to how to dress for the holidays…


I don’t wear red.  I’m too short, so red overwhelms.  But this piece has a sense of deconstructive edginess to it.  I can do edgy.  With the right footwear to ground the red, I can do, deconstruction.


Throw on a long coat, tights, high boots, scarf, the dress is perfect for Christmas service, carolling, snogging under the mistletoe.  Celebrating Christmas in the tropics?  Wear the dress with flat gold/silver/nude sandals, and a pedicure (hint- OPI I’m Not Really A Waitress).

Need something a little more conservative because the in-laws are present?  Try this- skinny, sparkly, sleeved top, with a gentle bell-shaped skirt in tulle.  For an element of decorative surprise?  Pin a brooch, to the waistband, or add a belt, and then attach a brooch.


Christmas shopping, picking the kids up from school, or finally scoring that date on and not wanting to look like you are trying too hard?


This dress came home with me.  It can be dressed up, dressed down, worn as a light coat over jeans.  What’s not to love about a garment that multi-tasks, and gives the illusion of height?


And finally- when roasting the annual turkey, I often need that boost of confidence, a simple black and white print, somehow offers.


Ta da!


  • Olivia May, 31 Little Clarendon Street, Oxford OX1 2HU
  • All photographs at Olivia May were taken by Veneta, styling of outfits by yours truly, with additional input from Denise and Veneta.  (Thank you, for patiently pinning me into the clothes.)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s