a black dress to ring in the new decade

we’re featuring our new year’s black dress today on the blog.  it’s been a holiday themed week here, and our first true collection of winter outfits.  if there’s one piece of formal wear you’re going to want to have during the holiday season, well, it comes at no surprise:  a black dress. 

a black dress is not only perfect for a New Year’s night out, but it works for any of the many parties you’ll be attending this season.  in addition, we’re continuing with our tablescapes today.  we’ve put together a New Year’s one you’re not going to want to miss.  and also, we’re rolling out a new fashion flash today.  make sure to click the video above to see today’s outfit in a full 360 degree view.  and head over to the YouTube channel and subscribe if you haven’t already! 

a classic black dress 

i’ve got my new year’s long sleeved dress by Ralph Lauren in stock at Macy’s.  (Macy’s is having a great pre-Thanksgiving sale today. And by the way, has anyone seen the new documentary Very Ralph on HBO?  Is it good?  Let me know in the comments.)

i featured this tailored coat yesterday on the blog.  so if you’re looking for alternative reference points, make sure to head over there and see how i matched it with a sweater.  

long sleeved dress | satin mules | clutch | tailored coat

champagne, streamers, and bed by 10 

it’s all about fun shoes this week.  yesterday, i showcased a pair of glitter pumps.  today, i’ve got a pair of satin mules.  the jewel buckle really sets them off and gives them the sort of glitz and glam New Year’s requires.  in case you missed it, i also put together a holiday shoe guide which I’m republishing below.  make sure to have a look, and I’m sure you’ll find a pair for you. 

long sleeved dress | satin mules | clutch | tailored coat

a decade to remember 

can you believe the decade is almost over.  so much has happened:  the good, bad, and everything in between.  although we have another six-ish weeks left on the calendar, it’s never to early to start reflecting on where we’ve been and where we’re going.  so much to be thankful for, and so much more to aspire to next year.  what’s your greatest memory of the past 10 years?  what are you most thankful for?  how do you want to spend the next decade?  let me know in the comments below.   

long sleeved dress | satin mules | clutch | tailored coat

new year’s dining tablescape 

we’ve got one final tablescape to show you this week.  in case you missed it, on Monday we gave you Thanksgiving tablescape ideas.  and yesterday, Christmas ones. given how razzle-dazzle New Year’s can be, i take this one to be fairly subdued. 

anyone who’s been following my tablescapes this year knows i like a hint of minimalism:  a lot of blacks, whites, and other neutrals.  it’s the gold that really sets off this whole look—everything from the plate linings to the utensils.  just make sure not to forget the party favors!  my kiddos would always stay up late and wait for us to come home with a bag full of streamers and noisemakers.  fun for sure.  but hard on the ears.  especially at 12:30AM. 

tech gift guide

and finally, here’s one more gift guide.  for the tech enthusiast and traveler, i’ve put together my favorite picks for this holiday season.  grab one for yourself or a few as stocking stuffers.  


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  1. Lyn wrote:

    This black dress is lovely. Definitely a classic and an investment piece. In my downsizing plan to make a move in the next year, I have donated clothing, etc. I decided to keep two older black dresses – one a fit & flare black velvet (11 years old), and the other a knit like material black sheath with a little standup collar (10 years old). They are both always fresh from the cleaners and stored in garment bags so they are ready to go. I have worn them to weddings, the sheath to funerals, or out to dinner. They are classics and will keep them forever. They are also very forgiving if you gain or lose a couple of pounds. Since retiring, our lifestyle is more casual, but it’s nice to be able to pull out one of these classics to wear with black patent heels, suede slingback pumps, or a dressy sandal depending on the occasion. Beth, I admire your dedication to this site, as well as your strength as a woman. Don’t forget to take care of yourself – it is the year of self care!!

    Posted 11.20.19
    • thanks so much for your kind words lyn, i so appreciate them. but isn’t it nice to have one or two dresses that stand the test of time. there’s always an occasion or two where we need to wear a spiffy dress.

      Posted 11.20.19
  2. Black dress(es) check. Various shoes,high, medium, suede, glittery, etc (check). Assume none of these cover any space between mid-calf-ankle and foot.
    What do you suggest for stockings, tights, leg makeup or something I’ve not thought of yet. Thanks for your help. It’s chilly here, btw.

    Posted 11.20.19
    • i would wear tights or hose with a pattern. it would look stunning with this dress.

      Posted 11.20.19
  3. Elaine K Sheehy wrote:

    Classy as always

    Posted 11.20.19
  4. Julie Greene wrote:

    Hi Beth,
    Absolutely love the upholstery fabric on your dining room chairs…absolutely stunning. Have always loved Ralph Lauren dresses and the one you featured today is no exception. It looks lovely on you!

    Posted 11.20.19
    • doesn’t ralph do a great job with dresses?! i can always count on him for
      a nice selection.

      Posted 11.20.19
  5. Julie Mycock wrote:

    Hi Beth, a beautiful outfit and table decorations too. Xoxo

    Posted 11.20.19
  6. jackie wrote:

    Lovely dress in both navy and black but imagine how truly beautiful it would have been in silk rather than polyester

    Posted 11.20.19
    • i imagine good old ralph has a silk version of this dress in his repertoire. and i’m certain the price point is much different. i’ve always loved the fact that he has luxury items for luxury prices but yet offeres an affordable version.

      Posted 11.20.19
  7. Suzanne M Smith wrote:

    You look fabulous in this! I love the dress–it’s unique but classic. And boy–another 10 years under our belts. I am cherishing each moment of no pain at the moment! First time in 7 years, so I’m a very happy camper. I always think of that grandmother in the movie “Parenthood” –she says “life is like a rollercoaster–up, down, up, down. Some like the merry-go-round, but it just goes around. I like the rollercoaster. You get more out of it.” I’m with her- Life is definitely like a rollercoaster. Let’s hope we see lots of “up” in the future!

    Posted 11.20.19
  8. Wow, Beth. A new decade–now you are scaring us! I, for one, had not thought of it that way. So glad we all have you–and each other–to share inspiration, encouragement, and wisdom.

    Posted 11.21.19
  9. Marilyn wrote:

    In this last decade I completely broke my femur bone in half while going over a jump.
    Because of my family’s concerns, I gave up the hunter/ jumper discipline.
    I took up dressage which is totally different. It’s challenging but very rewarding.
    I’m thankful for my health, family and friends.
    (Beth, May I gently suggest wearing hose when modeling skirts and dresses?)

    Posted 11.21.19
    • Diane wrote:

      How can you tell she isn’t wearing hose by looking at a computer screen? Very sheer, fine gauge hosiery is newly undetectable in person! Besides, I think requiring hose to be worn with dresses/skirts is one of those “ rules” we women of a certain age don’t have to follow if we don’t want to.

      Posted 11.22.19
  10. Rose wrote:

    The description of the dress says “slim fit”. Did you have to size up or take your usual size in a dress that’s not Ralph Lauren? I wear petites and that dress is also available in petite sizing. Just wondering sizing since I’ve never ordered Ralph Lauren and not familiar what would be normal fit in his clothing. Thanks Beth.

    Posted 11.21.19
  11. jone wrote:

    love reading this, black is my favorite color. thank you elaine!

    Posted 11.21.19
  12. Kate wrote:

    How about some stylish, festive shoe ideas for those of us who can (or just don”t) wear high heels anymore?

    Posted 11.24.19

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