New Year’s Eve is easily one of my favorite holidays, and although I am not attending an extravagant party this year, I wanted to feature a few inspirational looks for those who are! I decided to have a small get-together this evening so I could celebrate the new year in the comfort of my own home. It's my first holiday season in my new apartment, so it's an exciting time for me. I love New Year's because it's a time to reflect on your accomplishments and to set new goals for the coming year. I believe in constant progression and it's the perfect time for the community to come together and celebrate all that was and will be.
I purchased this satin, ombre dress at White House Black Market, nearly ten years ago! I was working there at the time, and we had an additional employee appreciation discount. I purchased this best-seller at 70% off! This style is classic cocktail attire, perfect for an upscale party or a wedding. It has built it boning, isn't too tight, and hits right at the knee.
Although fur is super trendy I hadn't found the right piece until recently. I scored this vest by Tart Collections at Nordstrom Rack for $60! I fell in love with the cut and fuzzy fabric immedietely. I was trying to be "good" and was a little hesitant, so I decided to go online to do some research to see if it was worth the splurge. I found that the original price of this vest was $179 AND that it is reversible. In addition, it had been returned from one of their sister companies, which is why it was marked down so much. Talk about a score! It's incredibly warm and the perfect layering piece to spruce up my old dress.
I completed my first fancy look with a Michael Kors watch and a French Connection clutch. I had been wanting a gold watch for a long time, and treated myeslf to this baby last year (also from Nordstrom Rack). I am not the biggest fan of the color navy, but loved the unique design of this bag. It is faux snake skin, super thin, with an envelope flap and side zipper. For me, black and navy together aren't ideal, but felt the clutch complemented the silver hues in my dress perfectly.
I bought this "little black dress" last year for my first trip to Vegas. It's one of the sexiest pieces I own. I typically do not feel comfortable wearing such a deep neckline without a bra, but the built in wiring is very flattering. This look is ideal for a club environment with friends or a hot date. I completed the look with the same watch, and added a Kris Nations, Lariat necklace, that I also got on sale. I get so many complements on it, and love it so much that I ended up getting two! Kris Nations is a local, Bay Area brand, based in Half Moon Bay. The jewlery line is made by two sisters who I recently met at my blogger event. The ladies dip their pieces in gold, so it lasts longer than costume jewlery, which I love.
Having a new, festive outfit is always fun, but isn't always necessary. If you are on a budget, like me, don't be afraid to recycle pieces you've stored away in your closet. If you are scrounging for a last minute outfit, I hope you are inspired to bring new life to an older piece, or to get a new dress that mimics these styles. In my experience, holiday parties don't end in December, and usually keep going through the end of January. I have linked some similar styles to shop below for any upcoming holiday parties and weddings you may have in the near future. I hope you all have a safe and fun filled New Year's Eve celebration with your loved ones!
I have mixed feelings about the holiday season. I feel having a public dialogue creates a responsibility to reveal who I really am in an artistic and expressive way. I am not an incredibly festive person for various reasons. Overall, I look foward to gathering with my loved ones more than anything else during these times. In recent years, I have grown to love the start of a new year. Celebrating is always fun, but reflecting on my growth and setting goals for the future is what I enjoy most. I've realized that the most important thing to me is progression. Whether it's mental, emotional, career related, etc. Although constant progression is ideally a year-round quality, during New Year's we gather to reflect, set future goals, and celebrate in the masses which makes it special.
Looking back from December 2015 to now, I truly can't believe it's "only" been a year. Within this time, so many aspects of my life have changed. I feel stronger than ever and am so grateful for where I stand. This coming year I am going back to school after taking a year off, finally with a declared major. I am so excited to throw myself into my education once again and complete what I started.
For Christmas my boyfriend got me a bunch of tools to help build my blog and brand. I was taken by surprise and felt so spoiled. I was working hard at my blog long before I met him, but having such a supportive person by my side that believes in me and motivates me the way he does makes me feel that much stronger.
I don't neccessarily have a New Year's Resolution, but what I am looking forward to most is school and working on my blog. I had to take a year off for a few different reasons and have been impatiently waiting since. I made the decision last year to declare a major in Humanities because I really fell in love with the related courses. A Humanities major combines the study of, languages, literatures, art, music, philosophy, and religion.
As far as vanessaevelyn.com, I have so many new ideas and tools to implement in the coming months. It's been about a year and a half since I became truly committed to the hobby and I aim to take my creativity to the next level, and the next, and the next.
I got this nude dress by Lush after my recent photo shoot with Unseen Addiction. I love the turtleneck, cushy fabric, and color. Certain nude shades are hard for me to wear, but this dress has an oatmeal-like undertone which works for me. I love it's simplicity and versatility. This time I paired the midi dress with over the knee boots by Aldo, but could also wear this piece with a bootie or sandal which makes it easy to wear year round. This dress is still available at unseenaddiction.com in sizes Medium and Large. Need a Small? Similar styles in various colors are linked to shop below.
Can't wait to share my up and coming projects with you all! Be sure to share your plans for the new year in the comment section below. I hope you all have had a heart warming holiday season!
Our Derby of San Francisco experience was pretty magical. Our journey began when we stumbled upon a hidden gem at the used clothing store, Wasteland. Mario had been casually coat shopping for a few weeks and fell in love with the style of a coat on the rack.We found the most beautiful jacket with golden paisley liner and a Golden Gate Bridge emblem on the neck tag. It was boxy on the shoulders and slim at the waist, just like his body type, and a rather unique cut for today’s styles. We featured the coat in a photo shoot the following week and were recognized on social media by the company. A few weeks later, on Black Friday, we decided to stop by the shop and see who the man behind the golden ticket was.
Derby of San Francisco’s Black Friday sale included a giveaway of 40 kids jackets, among other discounts, and the store was crowded when we initially arrived. We decided to wait until the crowd subsided before visiting and were able to connect with the man behind the dope jacket. Mario and the owner, Victor Suarez, chatted for a bit and I stood by listening. To my surprise, Victor turned to me and handed me a two-tone gray and black jacket for me to have, along with a beanie. I was surprised, flattered, and excited as I had not expected it at all!
Mario found a new classic black coat during the sale and I left with two unexpected treasures! I was excited to have a matching set and new product to feature on the blog! As it is, this was already an incredible experience for my boyfriend and I, but it gets even better. I later learned that this was the first time in 40 years that Derby kid’s jackets had been released. I’m not even a kid, and I was able to be a part of it which is really special. For our shoot, I wanted to keep it simple in order to focus on the San Francisco based coat company. I wore a plain turtleneck, M.Rena Leggings, and Jeffrey Campbell rain boots. Mario kept it simple as well with an H&M t-shirt, Uniqlo jeans, and leather Aesics.
I went online to learn more about the brand and found Victor's story inspiring. According to SF Gate, Victor is an Iraq war veteran who invested in bringing back the popular coat from his childhood. As a Bay Area native Victor recalled that the coat was a "right of passage for young men" and became the "working man's" jacket. He took a risky plunge and spent $40,000 on an advertisement at the 49ers stadium when announcing the release of his online store. Fans of the old school brand went bananas. The website did so well that it initially crashed within a few minutes, however he made $100,000 in sales within a few hours. Derby was rereleased as an online store, but now has a botique location at 1472 Haight street as well. Ironically, I used to work next door and remember the first day they opened. The line wrapped around the block and I had even wondered what the hype was about behind this little store.
After wearing the coat for a few weeks I can see why it's the perfect for the city. The jacket is incredibly warm and I find myself consatnly gravitating towards it for that reason. I wish each coat I owned came with the same cozy liner built in. Derby of San Francisco has transformed from the "working man's" jacket into a coat that women and children can incorporate into their wardrobe as well. I took a kid's size XL home and it fits well. It has a distinct and classic style suitable for every day wear and I often get asked where it's from. I never expected for the story behind this hidden gem to be so special, and I'm grateful I was able to be a part of it!