"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Put a Sash On It

Black silk taffeta sash J.Crew
 I think a proper party sash is often sadly overlooked.  There is no reason for it: they are not just for little girls, a nice silk sash will last you years, and they can add a good bit of definition to the waist of not just  a dress, but an evening coat as well.

We had a large party to attend last evening and it was one of those events which involved a reception followed by a dinner in a large auditorium.
We had a very nice time, I met some interesting colleagues of my husband and we were able to honour a man who has given his entire working life to environmental issues, with great success.
Of course I was a bit nervous, being an introvert and anticipating meeting so many new people, it helped enormously that I was comfortable and confident in my outfit.  I don't care what anyone might say, it makes all the difference.
Boden evening coat with sash.
 I ordered a coat and dress from Boden before the holidays.  I had never ordered from the brand before, though I was able to gauge the fit, thank heavens, due to the gift of a Boden frock from a good friend.
These items pictured are long gone (they were deeply discounted when I bought them) otherwise I'd pull up the links for you.
The coat is festive and shimmery while still embracing Basic Black.  It was perfect to wear during the drinks reception last evening.  I removed it when we sat down to dinner.
The pockets were a life-saver:  perfect for carrying my lipstick, yes, but also nice to have a pocket when you are a Nervous Person at a drinks reception full of strangers.

I took some photos of both the evening coat with sash and without, and the plain black wool dress with the sash, and then again without.  You can see the difference that a small slip of fabric makes.
Boden evening coat without sash.

...sash added back on.

Black wool Boden frock without sash.

With the sash, much better.
Kate Spade Talia black patent pumps.

Silk charmeuse sash.
I like that it adds that bit of shimmer and soft texture.
I really liked wearing this outfit and I'm sure I'll be hauling it out again and again.

Do you have a sash lurking around in your wardrobe?
xoDani

63 comments:

  1. Dani - I've never seen such a simple, and understated accessory, make such a difference to an outfit. Made it just so special. It's so often the details, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy, I hope you're well. Is it still freezing in LA?
      I think the sash made a big difference here, I was sort of flopping around in the outfit before I thought to add the sash. I tried a belt but it was bulky and severe looking, the sash had the right softness and wasn't as noticeable texture-wise.
      It's always the details, agreed!

      Delete
    2. It was freezing here, and I got to enjoy my coats for a change. Today, back to 77. Yes I'm quite well, thanks. So looking forward to our trip in March. Tweed patrol.

      Delete
    3. Kathy I am looking forward to your trip as well, I'll be home in March and I'm hoping to live vicariously! Ah the tweed, I know you'll find it.

      Delete
  2. I have a sash from jcrew with a flower on it,but i have never used it.
    Have to think of some ways to use it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ina, you could sash a cardigan over your pencil skirt, I love that look.

      Delete
    2. Ina - I bet I have the same sash! But Dani - where do the flowers go - front, side, back?? Help!

      Delete
    3. WMM the flowers go on the front just to the side. Not the back, then you'd have a flower on top of your butt!

      Delete
    4. phew - that's how I was wearing mine.. damn...

      Delete
  3. Your outfit looks so lovely. The sash completely transforms both pieces and adds just the right bit of elegance.

    I have a silvery gray silk sash that I've worn sometimes over a gray wool dress.... Have a wonderful rest of your weekend,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. L that sounds like a gorgeous combination!

      Delete
  4. The sash works so beautifully on you. Amazing how accessories can help define an outfit. I don't have a tiny waist, so using a sash or belt with a dress is very tricky. Your Boden outfit is just lovely on you. Did you wear a sash for the coat as well as the dress for your evening out?

    I have enough dressy clothes right now but would absolutely consider Boden. I've been pleased with their selection of tall sizes in dresses and have gotten incredible deals on clearance dresses (all machine washable) and basics. Now I'm just crossing my fingers and patiently hoping that Brora will have final reduction mark downs as well!


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi AmW, I wore the sash over the coat and just put it in the pocket during the dinner. I had planned to wear it with the dress at the event but in the end I wore a Brora cropped cardigan over the dress, it was freezing here last night!
      Brora seems to keep reducing and I know from experience that their prices go rock-bottom in July as well, sometimes they bring back items from past seasons. I find Brora is great for taller ladies, for the most part they don't do those short dresses.

      Delete
  5. Lovely outfit and smart thinking with the sash! I completely know what you mean about being an introvert and having to do a meet 'n greet with people all at once. Good for you for rocking the confidence!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi LR, my confidence is up and down at the best of times, luckily I have my extrovert MrBP.
      I have to obsess over what I wear, it's my armour!

      Delete
  6. You really do have a dancer's posture, I'm struggling to remember to put my shoulders back, I lurch forward all the time like an old lady. The sash makes a remarkable difference, quite amazing really. I'm not good at tying bows, a past employer went in a huff with me one and called me dispractic ( if that's the noun) because my bows were so awful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tabs, what a mean boss. Yes, dyspractic is the adjective version of dyspraxia - and I only know that because as a teacher my mum worked with someone who had a specialty in it - versus ADHD etc.

      Delete
    2. Tabs that's funny I can't tie a bow either, though no one has ever insulted me about it! For goodness sakes sometimes crabby people should keep their crabbing to themselves.
      I have to work on my posture, it's the stretch program as you know. Our lives are designed to give us very poor posture, it's a modern affliction with all of the computer work etc.

      Delete
  7. Dani,As always you look lovely. The coat looks special compared to the basic wool winter coats that are worn everyday in this cold weather.I really like the little sparkle it gives off which I am sure is beautiful in person. Glad you had a nice evening,a great way to beat the cold winter blues.Have a great weekend and hear in the USA it is inauguration weekend which makes me think of mrso ,I could see her tying a sash or two around her outfits. I don't know if you recall her daughters jcrew coats at the last inauguration ,they had similar sashes.Cant wait to see what they come up with this time! Ps go pats!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon I remember well! I am very much looking forward to Monday, in fact my stepbrother is playing his sax in the parade in Washington. I doubt we'll be able to see him in the crowd though.
      I guess I'll be watching the football tomorrow with MrBP as well!
      Thanks and a great weekend to you as well.

      Delete
  8. This is one of the most beautiful outfits I've seen you in! The fit is perfect, the details are pot on and you look very elegant. The sash is lovely with both pieces.

    I am a belt maniac. I don't have a sash and may need to try one, especially for evening. Most days I am not without a belt. Being built a bit like a ruleer, I rely on belts to give me the illusion of a waist!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DF you would love to have a sash, in particular if you are already an avid belter. J Crew still makes some really nice ones in all silk taffeta.

      Delete
  9. Grrrrr, darn iPad! The details are "spot" on Dani, not "pot" on!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DF I loathe the ipad I could never type on it! Still, I know what you meant don't worry. Pot on, lol.

      Delete
    2. Oh I like it but typing any more than 5 words on it is indeed out of the question.

      Delete
    3. That's why I can't adopt it.

      Delete
  10. SVELTE BELT Dani, agreed with all that the sash really bumps that combination up a notch from nice to truly elegant and polished. I occasionally steal the black silk sash from my JC shimmy dress (lamenting the farewell of that quality and detail). Sure this will be a go-to outfit for you, especially once you find that other final touch, the evening bag. And glad last evening all went well. Having the right occasion outfit always makes me think Cinderella at the ball. If she had shown up in so-so off-the-rack would the prince have been as enchanted? (And where the heck is my party godmother? VPS just not cutting it.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GF I was sorely missing the elusive black top-handle evening bag last night, it would certainly have been nice to have. Search is on in earnest now, I have two events next weekend.
      Luff that shimmy dress, I wish I had kept mine!

      Delete
    2. It's fairly short even on me though! I only wear it with black tights in winter, spring. Bet that's why you let it go. Although I actually wear a JC nude silk slip under it, not the white poly one it came with.

      Delete
    3. GF it was super short on me but so lovely, the sash with it was really nice too.

      Delete
  11. I love this outfit. absolutely love it.
    In complete agreement about confidence, it's hard to "accessorize" with a charming smile when your mind is on a seam that may split.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Fred - this is also why I can never ever do cleavage, even at a fancy party. too much worry!

      Delete
    2. Fred well said as usual! The shoes are key as well, those KS talia pumps sure are comfy.

      Delete
  12. Dani - you gorgeous girl - you look a million bucks! I am a shy extrovert (that is, am shy until I am introduced and socially awkward and then I seem to go from there...) I love this sash! I like Boden but have never tried to order - was it prohibitive to Canada? I don't think Boden USA ships here but that may have changed?

    I am now awaiting your sash advice above - it hangs on my dresser, mocking me. I think that a sash is a great item on you and I could incorporate that into my life quite easily!

    Off to do more straightening before the company comes and am hoping Barry gets his bottom in the kitchen and starts cooking soon...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WMM Boden USA doe not ship here, I had to order from the UK site, the shipping was 'spensive and the duty and taxes were terrible. I love this outfit but I won't be doing that again. Too bad as the quality is very nice and the items are a bit different, I certainly wasn't afraid of seeing my outfit in the crowd!
      Yes Barry get thee to the kitchen! ;)

      Delete
    2. I really like Boden and it such a shame that it is so expensive to get it to us!

      Delete
  13. Hello Dani - your Boden outfit is lovely, well worth the bother. I actually like the coat both with and without the sash, it has that lovely set-in waistband already. However, the sash really does add that certain something to the dress.

    Good luck with finding an evening bag before your events next weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patricia thank you. I'm not sure I'll be able to find a bag though I may have to go into Toronto on an errand so there's hope for it yet!

      Delete
  14. Hi Dani, what a beautiful and elegant outfit. Yes, the silk sash makes all the difference. I have always thought J. Crew did a great job with these accessories. I have a flower sash from several years ago that I like to wear every summer with a sun dress - an orange flower on an orange ribbon. It always adds a cheery splash of colour to an outfit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Louise I agree they do a good job with things like a sash. These days those items seem to be confined to the bridal department but if you search around you can find them.
      Your orange summer sash sounds pretty and fun.

      Delete
  15. PERFECT, something I would never have thought of. Also would never have guessed that you are an introvert! Always something new... Hope your lovely weekend continues!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi audreys yes it's true but I fight against it. In the end I have a better time if I go out and meet new people, have the conversations etc but it's a real effort and a push to do so.
      Hope your weekend is going well also!

      Delete
  16. I don't own a sash myself Dani, but you look wonderful. The sash is a softer option than a belt for evening wear and you have really transformed what were pretty nice pieces into simply stunning pieces. I love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww thanks Sulky. I think a sash would suit you brilliantly, and no shy colours for you, maybe red?

      Delete
  17. Oh wow Dani, this is complete perfection! Adore every little thing about it, especially how you pulled it all together with that lovely sash. I am in complete agreement that sometimes feeling confident in your look translates to an overall confidence, especially in a nerve-wracking situation. I love a pretty evening coat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M we both love a pretty evening coat, I just think there's something so special in that. Years ago my sister had one in a black silk that was stunning, this comes close. The fabric blend is mainly wool which is better for our climate, I didn't freeze getting in and out of the car. It was cold last night or maybe it was my rattled nerves! ;)

      Delete
  18. I've visited the Boden website and have been tempted...you struck it rich with those two pieces!
    They look great on you...I am often nervous at those receptions especially when the only other person I know is my husband. You do look very elegant and confident in the pair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hostess, yes I didn't know another soul and that certainly happens pretty often. I wish I wasn't such a Nervous Nellie but I do adapt once I'm there. It sounds like you find yourself in similar situations.

      Delete
  19. Absolutely love this look! You are so right...the sash makes the whole look work really well! Now, did you use 2 sashes...one for coat and one for dress? Also, how did you tie them? The sash on the dress looks to be tied differently than on the coat, but that could be my imagination. Yes, yes, I'm a bit of a detail person,,,,plus I love scarves, so tying knots is of great interest to me....weird, I know. And, just to join in, I tend to be an introvet...after a lifetime standing in front of people, it's so relaxing just to be in front of a screen. The peace is very comoforting. Thanks for a great post -- I've never tried Boden, but you've given me inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon, same sash, quick unskilled knot, I have no talent for things like that. Yes I like Boden, and if you live in the US I say give them a try! The shipping and duty/taxes to Canada: I do not recommend.

      Delete
  20. You look wonderful, Dani. And you are so right that wearing a good outfit helps calm the nerves. This is why I need to work on my evening wear wardrobe! It's hard to put attention there when I need it rarely, but when the occasion arises it is so important to have the right thing.

    Your pockets comment made me laugh because I was at a party the other night, engaged in a conversation with a new person, and I could not stop fussing with my hands. I finally thought to check what she was doing with her free hand (drink in the other!) and yep, it was in her pocket! I was really regretting my pocket-less dress right at that moment.

    The sash is a great idea.

    How did you do your hair and make up and what jewellery did you wear?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It just occurred to me that you might like the dress that I was wearing. It might be too sporty for you, but I actually find it not that sporty even though it is Patagonia: http://www.patagonia.com/ca/product/womens-bay-laurel-wrap-dress?p=58880-0-325

      It's organic cotton, with a small amount of spandex. It is well-constructed and cut on the bias, so it holds its shape really nicely and is easy to move in. Ethically, Patagonia is a fantastic company. The top has good coverage (no need for a camisole) and the fit is flattering. I have a similar shape to you - modest chest, small waist, bigger hips.

      I think it is also a great dress to wear on top of work out wear.

      Just thought I'd let you know about it!

      Delete
    2. Abby that's a lovely dress and perfect for moving around. Organic cotton: nice.
      I have a new hairstyle, since before Christmas, it is cut about shoulder length, I grew out the layers with the exception of a few at the front. I have naturally wavy hair but now I curl it with this crazy ceramic curling iron that is so easy and effective. The style ends up being chin-length with corkscrew type curls, I really like it and it is a noticeable change from wearing my hair in a big bun every single day.
      I am not talented with makeup though I do wear eyeliner/mascara and always always lipstick.
      AND I wore the JCrew Martha necklace, the big crystal stones, which looks great with the coat.
      :)

      Delete
    3. Your haircut sounds great!

      Delete
  21. oh how beautiful. i bet you turned a few heads!

    dani, are you comfortable being bare legged when the temps are so chilly?

    i often feel naked when it's cold out and my legs are bare. sometimes i'll wear nude fishnet stockings just for a little cover-up.

    i was wondering what you do. xoxo janet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet I had to wear thick opaque black stocking in the end, there was nothing else to do it was FREEZING here on Friday night and we had to travel in snow to get to the event, bare legs were ridiculous. Ah well!
      If it's above zero I'll go bare-legged, as long as we are travelling by car that is.

      Delete
    2. well i'm kinda glad to hear that. i wear tights all winter long and this is southern california.:)

      Delete
  22. Hi Dani,
    Once again perfection and the sash is just perfect. If I was at a party and didn't know anyone I would be nervous too. But if you were in the room I'd beeline over and ask you about that outfit. Gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marsha then we'd take each other out of circulation! Thanks Dollface.

      Delete
  23. Hi Dani-How lovely! You look beautiful, but I can not imagine that people wouldn't be swarming about you, you are such a sweet soul. I know that feeling when you do not know anyone else in the room, my stomach churns. A good outfit always helps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David it does help sad but true. No swarming I can assure you but I did get to meet some really interesting colleagues of MrBP, even a couple of Legends. I hope you're well these days!

      Delete
  24. I love the sash. Your dress & coat are beautiful!)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Gorgeous, and good point about the pockets- it certainly helps to have somewhere to put your hands in social situations (instead of obsessively sipping wine!)

    I guess I got lucky- just made my first Boden UK order and I didn't get any duty charges (thankfully, since I've had a few nasty ones from US shipments lately!)

    ReplyDelete