Photos by Daniel N

The SC’s holiday season nail polish choice, Chanel’s Vamp, inspired an outfit composed of a vintage burgundy silk velvet top with rhinestone closures (a holiday gift from Nelson in the 80’s) and vintage burgundy silk velvet hat with rhinestone trim, a vintage black velvet maxi skirt, vintage black velvet gloves, and a black velvet cape with burgundy satin lining and a transparent floral pattern that reveals itself when exposed to light.  Could that be a metaphor for life?

I view the color of my nails as an accessory, so it was a playful diversion to create a look that represents the opposite of what I currently feel and give credence to the concept that inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime.  A visual paradox, a self contradiction, a few hours of velvet, rhinestones, and satin.

I am fortunate to have friends who appreciate all positive forms of self expression. A casual dinner party provides the opportunity to wear sumptuous velvet and satin, and feel accepted and embraced in the process.  To be free of judgement for my choices is a paradise worth celebrating with rhinestones.  It allows me to explore my inventory without fear, and to wear any look that I envision.  ‘Where would I wear this outfit?’ is never a question as I meditate on ensemble possibilities.  For this holiday season I am grateful for the gift of ‘outfit freedom’ and the support of my fun loving, creative, talented friends.

Check out the lovely Patti of Not Dead Yet Style and her Visible Monday series.  I found that I continue to have the ability to follow directions and learn something new!


  1. Wonderful ensemble, my dear Judith, ahhhhhhhhhhh so very Renaissance.
    I have fallen in love with that blouse, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Much love, my dear friend.

  2. How absolutely gorgeous. I’m sure your friends will be delighted to have you as a guest and brighten up their day with your inspiring outfits. So fitting also for the beautiful white landscape that you’re in.

  3. You look like an Edwardian gentlewoman, absolutely regal and elegant. I love everything about this outfit and your glorious smile. x

  4. Vamp is one of my favorites as well, but it is your comments on “outfit freedom” that I find most compelling today. I try to never think in terms of “where would I wear this?” and instead, I try to make every day an ocassion. I jokingly say that I “over-dress” for every day, but what I mean is that I make a point of thoughtfully pulling a look together whether it is for raking leaves, for work, or for an evening out. I grew up loving the glamour of the divas I enjoyed in the movies (especially old Hollywood greats like Bette Davis), and I decided to be a diva in my own life. I like to think that having “outfit freedom” is my signature style!

  5. Judith, isn’t that just one of the best gifts we can give others? Acceptance. Release from the obligation of meeting our expectations. It’s one of the most endearing things about over 40 bloggers…..I find the styles much more unique and individualized. It’s completely about self expression and truly enjoying how our garments make us FEEL. You look like the heroine from a Dickens classic and it suits you! Like you’re a gift from a genteel era! LOVE that nail polish also, and what’s more classic than Chanel OR being a bit of a vamp?!?! Hugs to you! ~Serene

  6. “Could that be a metaphor for life?” You are brilliant. The outfit is brilliant too, not vampy but pure luxury, or the way I envision luxury.

    The concept of “outfit freedom” is a good one. I dressed up myself last night–silk and satin and velvet were involved. I thought of you when I put on my red patent leather “Dorothy” shoes just because I wanted to. I think shoes are for me like what hats are to you, living characters. My shoes had an excellent time!

  7. Burgundy velvet? Oooh, I do love it!! I was kicking around the idea of wearing that this Christmas. Red is so expected, but burgundy is the essence of richness.

    I do heartily agree with your sentiment about not worrying about where you will wear an outfit when you are deciding whether or not to purchase it. If you love it, take it home! Its time will come.

    Much love from England,

  8. I think you have inspired me to wear my burgundy velvet jacket today!
    You have the most amazing vintage wardrobe that I have ever seen. Your beautiful outfit combined with the hats are just extraordinary.
    You are so eloquent and have so much grace. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  9. You never fail to inspire, my dear friend!!! A delicious ensemble: rich color, extravagant fabrics, meaningful memories, it’s all there. I’m glad you are enveloped this way, and that you feel free to appreciate the comfort that their beauty provides. Love you.

  10. Judith- you look spectacular! such style and creativity, you blow me away Judith!
    I am very lucky as far as wearing whatever my brain desires ! Mr. D loves my outfits, he loves my originality, he loves my creativity – We are so lucky Judith!


  11. We all should have “outfit freedom”! Its good for the soul. A chance to dress up, or wear something that some may think is unappropriate.
    Gorgeous outfit–love the velvet–and the hidden design!

  12. I love velvet, especially silk velvet and am in fact wearing a velvet jacket that I found at a thrift store yesterday for $9 to work today. You do look like a heroine of a Dickens’ era novel–sumptiously romantic! Both your blog and Advanced Style have a similar theme today about “dressing up”, with Debra Rapoport noting that you shouldn’t treat items of clothing as “too precious” to wear, that if you love them, wear them. I love velvet, leather and brocade, and have incorporated those fabrics into my daily wardrobe, even if it causes people to wonder “where’s the party?” Thanks for being such a continual inspiration!

  13. Beautiful! And who ISN’T cheered by a beautiful shade of nail lacquer, velvet and silk, and rhinestones? You look marvelous! And I love the thought of freely dressing up whatever the situation…would thAt we ALL did! Then we might have the delight
    of seeing someone pump gas in a tuxedo, or shop for groceries in co fail dresses and gloves…hmmm, maybe I’ll try that…
    You inspire me! Much love to you!

  14. The cape, the cape, my queendom for the cape!!! Thank you for the delicious close-up of the lining … you are simply glorious … your horse-drawn sledge awaits you my beauty:)). xoxo

  15. Oh my goodness you look absolutely stunning! These are beautiful pieces! Could there be anything more luxurious than swathing yourself in silk burgundy velvet?

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