17 In Getting Dressed/ Series

Anatomy of my Oscar influenced casual chic outfit

Playing up the glam in this work outfit on BrendaKinsel.com

Mixing dressy and casual at work


There’s lots to talk about the Academy Awards show last night, but let’s not. Don’t get me wrong! I love talking about glitz and glamour, but the Oscars are so yesterday!

But with gold statuettes lingering in my mind I knew when I woke up Monday morning that I wanted to create a flashy, fun casual chic work outfit.

Because I was going glam on top, I knew I needed to use ankle jeans as my base. All the sequins and glistening jewels I had in mind would have been over the top if paired with nice black pants. Maybe I’d wear it that way for a nighttime affair but I was going to be working in a client’s closet all day. The jeans would be the casual part of my casual chic outfit.

Bring on the layers!

Next came all the layers. Everyone here in the Bay Area says to everyone else around them, “It’s so c-o-l-d!” And yes it is, so today’s outfit required layers.


party jean outfit

Layering on BrendaKinsel.com

Creating the right amount of layering

Layer #1

This is my Max Mara tank that I often use under knits because it’s slinky and not clingy. It is a lovely weight and always feels good.

Layer #2

Is it the J.Crew Tippi sweater yet again? Yes, folks, it is! This is my black Tippi thin wool sweater which I’ve used dozens of times this winter as a layering piece.

Layer #3

Okay, here come the sequins! This is a Jones New York sequined tank that is practically archival. I’ve had it for decades, rarely wear it, but today it needed to come out and play.

Layer #4

This is my Eileen Fisher 3/4 length silk jacket. I actually found it at SAX Consignment, my daughters’ store. I remember when I tried it on, I fell in love with the fabric and the texture and it felt so good. Caitlin was working there that day. I said, “Do you like it?” And she said, “It looks like you, Mom.” Sold.

I love the texture created by the pattern on it. It reminds me of polka dots, even though it’s not. I adored combining it with the sequined tank. The two pieces really kind of blend in together and make their own textural magic.

You’ll note that none of the layers are too heavy so even though I’m wearing four layers in this outfit, nothing is bulky. There was another wool coat in the car that I could have put on if I needed it. (Yes, it’s that cold!)


Assembling a glitzy Beauty Bundle

A Beauty Bundle with glitz as the them on BrendaKinsel.com

Creating a glitzy Beauty Bundle

Mixing sparkles in this glamorous Beauty Bundle on BrendaKinsel.com

Using my new glam inspired Beauty Bundle


Because I wanted this outfit to be an ode to Hollywood, I had to go glitz or go home when it came to the jewelry.

I started with this super sparkly, unruly necklace. It’s a gift from a friend but I hadn’t found a way to wear it … yet. I decided not to wear it long (and now I don’t know why; that might have been great) but to double it instead. I liked how it filled in the neckline area and brought attention to my face.

I added this great Alexis Bitter lucite medallion designed cuff to my wrist (a gift from that same friend on a different occasion). I love every opportunity to wear this cuff.

Next came my diamond and gold owl ring (by Victor Sanchez), again, something I love and adore. (I’m seeing a real love fest theme going on here!) I added my druzy black earrings that twinkle. They’re wrapped in gold so it stayed within my gold theme.

But when I stood back and looked at my creation thus far, I decided it really needed something to anchor all those jewels lest they get too chaotic looking. So I called on a pin that was in my Mother’s collection. It’s gold, sparkly, vintage, and is a snake wrapped around a heart. Somehow that made this outfit sing for me once I got Russ to pin it on the lapel. That tip is a little tricky. Don’t you think it must have been a hat pin?


velvet tasseled flats came next

Black suede triple tasseled slipper flats


Figuring out what to do with the feet

I thought I was going to wear my AGL patent flats with the velvet big bows but when I tried them they were way over the top. So I grabbed an old faithful Stuart Weitzman suede slipper flat that has triple black tassels on the front that swish and move when I walk. (They’re very entertaining to look at in motion!) I liked adding the menswear touch to this feminine outfit.


Dressed up jean outfit on BrendaKinsel.com

Off to work we go in this casual chic jean outfit


So there you have it! A glitzy fun outfit to wear to work that’s made up of all things I love. What have you been wearing lately that you adore? Do share!

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  • Reply
    February 28, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    So much bling in a working outfit! You are your own best advertisement for achievable style, Brenda. I love this look. I have a couple of necklaces I double when necessary – it’s like having two more necklaces to choose from without the extra expense, and they have a completely different effect.

    Excellent layering tips – you’re coming in to Spring, and we’re just starting Autumn, so it’s one of the two times of the year we’re in sync.

    • Reply
      February 28, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      Yes, I too love those necklaces that are twofers: two for the price of one! I like those words: achievable style. You betcha!!

  • Reply
    Ann G
    February 28, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Beautiful, interesting layers, Brenda. I love your “anatomy” lessons. These layers would probably work well for travel, too. P.S.: The cat in photo 4 is a nice touch.

    • Reply
      February 28, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Oh, so you noticed Bella? Yes, she has to find her way into as many shots as possible! You’re right, this would be a great travel outfit. Add a nicer skirt or pant and you’d be able to go out in evenings to nice restaurants in this. Great idea!

  • Reply
    Katherine Cramer
    February 28, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Yummy! I give the comfort level a top grade which is tricky since sequins were involved. That point alone has my mind taking inventory of dressy shells that could work with an under layer. I think you’d get a photo tribute if you were at the Milan street fashion scene. Black and Gold are my favorite dress-up combo. This goes way back to my Feb. wedding 25 years ago. I have extended that basic combo. by replacing silver when possible to coordinate with graying hair yet I still love the rich gold tones. Your beauty bundle is terrific! That cuff! My favorite part is your tassel flats. Those are keepers and are–as you state–fun to watch. Thanks for your continued inspiration. You win my virtual Oscar nod.

    • Reply
      February 28, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks for the virtual Oscar nod, Katherine! Yes, gold and black are so rich together. I’d kind of forgotten that until I put this outfit together. How sweet that it’s “your colors” from a very happy moment. A great theme to take with you with each anniversary!

  • Reply
    Jill Stanwick
    February 28, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    So snazzy! I used to “hold on” to tops like the sequin one for nighttime but have tried to just wear what I love instead and make my own grand statements with my choices. I am finally so free!

    • Reply
      February 28, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      Oh Jill, your comment makes my fashion heart soar!

  • Reply
    February 28, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Fantastic!!! You never disappoint.

    • Reply
      February 28, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      You’re a sweetheart! Thank you!

  • Reply
    janet majors
    February 28, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Love the outfit, but my favorite piece are the shoes!

    • Reply
      March 1, 2017 at 6:54 am

      Those shoes love you back! They are so adorable and like I said, fun to watch while walking because of the way the tassels move (not that I’m recommending staring down at your feet while walking!). Thanks, Janet!

  • Reply
    Nicole K
    March 1, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    New follower and loving everything, especially as I’m a fellow Northern California girl and you’ve nailed the way to dress in Marin/Sonoma. Thanks. Glad I found you.

    • Reply
      March 3, 2017 at 8:49 am

      I’m so glad you found me too, Nicole! Thanks for sharing. It’s great knowing I have local readers! Welcome!

  • Reply
    March 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    You look great! Maybe you can solve a fashion puzzle for me. I see that you’ve got on lots of layers, which suggests that you’re dressing for chilly weather, maybe 40-50 degrees? But then, bare ankles!! Don’t your ankles get cold? That’s what always stops me from rocking the bare ankle look until the weather hits the 60s or higher. What am I missing?

    • Reply
      March 16, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      Well, Laura, you’re not missing anything. It was an awfully nice day that day and it was in the 60s. When we were at the wine tasting we were in a shaded area but I didn’t get cold. I find that if the rest of me is covered that the bare ankles don’t bother me. Of course, I also have half-socks on that are toasty on my toes. You can’t see that but that’s also a way for me to cheat and go bare. One January day, two years ago, I was in the hospital with Mother in Fargo, North Dakota. My niece showed up to visit Mom and she was in canvas Vans with no socks. I couldn’t believe it! IN FARGO, ND!! She claimed she was fine! I was in tall wool socks and tall boots. Maybe it’s what we get used to!

    • Reply
      March 16, 2017 at 7:37 pm

      Oh wait! I just realized I was talking about my yellow coat outfit, no the Oscar influenced outfit. But the same is true in that outfit. Being warm on my torso keeps me warmer. If I had a skimpy top on, I’d be freezing all over!

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