J.Crew Lady Day Coat (old), 0P in "Cobblestone" (2011 version is called "Warm Gray")
Here's another example of an affordable business casual outfit. If you're starting out fresh, make sure to first add some quality pumps to your lineup that can be worn repeatedly with bargain finds from H&M, thrift stores, and the like. My trusty pumps here were scored for $65 (you can get 50% off right now using WINTER50), blouse was $10, and skirt was thrifted for $4 plus $25 for dry cleaning and alterations.
This month, my dear friend Carolyn introduced me to one of her favorite traditions - afternoon tea. After a few of my friends studied abroad in London, they came back obsessed with having afternoon or "high" tea every weekend. The prices charged by local hotels here are a bit extravagant for the amount of nourishment you receive, so we're reserving the experience for the holidays : )
We went to the Taj Boston and had the "Taj Royal" - a selection of savory mini sandwiches plus a tray of sweets. Below: Prosciutto olive & cheese, egg salad, cucumber & cream cheese, smoked salmon & caviar, and lobster puffs. The sammys seem pretty easy to whip up for a house party as well.
Carolyn "toasting" in her pretty blouse (Kardashian sisters for Sears...surprisingly nice, no?):
I wore the same H&M blouse to tea but with jeans and booties. Here are more shots of the work ensemble:
I'm behind on reviews and will probably post again this week, but for readers who are "signing off" and going home: I wish you a safe and happy holidays, and I look forward to exchanging more tips and good finds with each of you in the coming year!