Fab Collab Celebrates Christmas at 40 Plus

It’s that time again when the ladies from JTouchofStyle join me in a Fab Collab. Over the coming week we’ll be celebrating Christmas together by sharing holiday memories and clothing we wore for the occasion.

My story kickstarts the celebration, but I hope you’ll come back to see Jodie’s, Nancy’s, and Charlotte’s stories too. As many of you know, each of us was born in a different decade: Charlotte is in her 70s, Nancy is in her 60s, Jodie is in her 50s, and I am in my 40s. As a result, our memories offer quite a range of fashion history! Our stories don’t end there, however. We also share our ideas for how we style Christmas outfits for today.

I hope you’ll check in each day to join the party! And be sure to share your own Christmas fashion memories—the good and the bad—in the comments below or on our Facebook pages. Pictures welcome! 🙂

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Casual Christmas

We are not a fancy people, my family. We come from coal miners, farmers, and rugged immigrants who got their hands dirty doing jobs and dealing with things I can’t imagine today.

The baby in this photo grew up to be my great grandmother. She was part of the first generation of this side of my family born in the US. Don’t you love the fashion of the 1890s pictured here?

Perhaps it was a tradition born out of that humble background that made our Christmases less formal. Or perhaps it was a simple matter of practicality — wear comfy clothes so as not to explode after eating Grandma’s Christmas dinner.

Whatever the reason, my memories of Christmas are less about what we wore and more about the happy music, a glittering tree, and you guessed it, the massive amounts of food.

Dressing comfortably allowed us to let our hair down and get a little silly.

My Special Guests

As a Christmas treat, I invited two very special guests to join me for this Christmas Fab Collab–my parents. They helped set the tone and traditions for our family Christmases, so it seemed only right to include them here. If you’ve read this far in the article, you’ve already met my parents as they were in the past. Now I’d like to introduce them as they are today. For these photos, I asked them to dress as they would be for a Christmas party.

And don’t forget their sweet pup!
He’s their little “silver bullet”–a Chiweenie that runs like the wind.

My mom and sister love their Christmas sweaters. They sparkle and shine and sometimes jingle! Mom says the sweater she’s wearing is about 12 years old.

Maybe I should get her a new one for Christmas? Nordstrom has quite the selection!

They even have some for the guys!

Speaking of the guys, my dad looks pretty sharp in his red button-down shirt. He, my mom, and my mother-in-law just performed a Christmas concert with their choral group and all the men wore these red shirts, minus the vest, with black bowties. They looked pretty spiffy!

I’m not sure where Dad got his shirt, but this time of year they’re readily available in department stores. Nordstrom Rack has a red slim-fit dress shirt by Isaac Mizrahi that is under $20. Macy’s also has a couple of options in regular fit, available here and here.

Christmas in my Head

Even though Christmas has always been informal in my family, I don’t think of v-neck sweaters, flannel, or denim when I think about Christmas style. The images that come to my mind are something out of a Bing Crosby movie.

Photo still from the movie
Photo still from the movie “A White Christmas.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a sequined bathing suit I would feel comfortable wearing out in public.

Okay. Truth: I don’t have a sequined bathing suit at all.

What I do have is a red plaid maxi skirt that evokes the idea of a wintery night in a horse-drawn sleigh.

I paired it with a crisp white shirt and a dramatic bow. I’m pretty sure that bow is made of the same stuff Bing Crosby movies were made of. It’s bold and flashy and makes me want to break out in song.

I’ll spare you the awkwardness of listening to me sing.
Let’s move on, shall we?

I bought the skirt years ago from Talbots. They seem to offer a similar style every year in Petite, Regular, Women’s, and Women’s Petite sizes. This year, it’s more of a midi length and is in buffalo plaid, which is red and black check. When I visited the website, this skirt was on sale. Click on the photo or click here to check it out.

My favorite Etsy shop, Vintage by Suzanne, is owned and operated by one of my favorite fashion bloggers as well — Suzanne Carillo. She also has some very Christmas-worthy plaid skirts in her shop at prices that are hard to beat. Click the photos below for more!

The blouse is by Frame. I bought it earlier in the year at Nordstrom. Fortunately, at the time of this writing, it’s still available online and it is on sale! Click here to get your own “Bing Blouse.” (That’s my nickname for it.)

Crisp white shirt with dramatic bow paired with red plaid wool maxi skirt for Christmas.
Ignore the wrinkles in the shirt! By the time I took this photo, it had been squished into jackets and vests and was ready for a good ironing and a nap. Or maybe it was me that needed the nap.

To continue the Christmas sleigh theme, I layered on a black faux fur vest. It adds warmth and a little bit of shine, thanks to the sheeny glory that is nylon faux fur.

Would you believe I bought it secondhand at Thredup.com?
Of course you would!
You read my blog enough to know how much I shop there!

Now that it’s too cold to wear my denim jacket everywhere, this little vest has become my default layering piece. I throw it over almost anything in my wardrobe to add a layer of warmth and it also makes it easy to complete the outfit as a “third piece.”

Since I thrifted this vest, the original is no longer available, but Thredup has quite a selection of black faux fur vests available for your perusal. Click here to see what they’ve got on tap.

If, however, you’re not into thrift shopping or you can’t find your size, here’s a similar one to the one I’m wearing. It’s available at Nordstrom. Click here to explore further.

Faux fur black vest from Nordstrom.

 

My family may never dress for Christmas in sequined bathing suits (thank goodness) or dance like Fred Astaire (too bad), but we will always have our Christmas sweaters, stretchy denim, and lots and lots of laughs.

May you have the happiest of holidays
and a new year filled with joy, kindness, and possibility.

 Christmas Playlist

What’s a Christmas Fab Collab without Christmas music? Here’s a tiny selection of old and (somewhat) new favorites.

Affiliate link disclaimer: Please note, some of the items linked may be affiliated with companies I am associated with, like Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. By clicking the affiliated links and purchasing from those stores, I might receive a small commission. By purchasing from these stores, you support the work I do here and I greatly appreciate your support!

  • You know what’s so fabulous, Sherry?!!
    How you trace the memories back to even before you were born!! It’s so fun to see these really old photos!!
    I’m going to have to start including more in my stories—it’s such a treat!
    Your outfit is really a testament to your wonderful style.! When I first saw the pictures, I didn’t realize that the vest was fur! But it is and it’s the most perfect vest. I mean I love all the fur vests, but yours fits so perfectly because of the ribbing at the waistline!
    And I love that you included your parents! It’s so nice to see your dad doing so well! My mom is now going to probably give me a hard time for having her throw out most of her sweaters like your mom is wearing!!
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Thank you, Jodie! I figure our Christmas traditions started somewhere and since I can’t trace some of them to the recent generations, I’d go back a few! Ha ha!

      It was fun including my parents here, especially since their 51st anniversary was the day after my post published. I’m thinking of sharing the post to my personal FB page since it’s an extra-special Fab Collab. 🙂 And, thank you for mentioning my dad. He is doing really well–is essentially back to normal, with a few minor exceptions. It’s good to see him so active again!

      And thank you for your comments on my outfit! I just love that vest — you’ll probably see it in person in February because I seem to wear it with everything!

      Have a Merry Merry Christmas, Jodie!!!

      Hugs,
      Sherry

  • LOVE this outfit and the fact that you managed to get your Mom and Dad to take part! So fun!

    I swear…you and I have VERY similar tastes. I have a whole slew of plaid skirts so similar to this one. I might even be able to convince myself to buy that blouse you’re wearing if it were in another colour other than white. White and I do not get along since I wore a white pharmacy jacket for years. Plus it just washes me out. I adore everything about this outfit though.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    • Thank you, Suzanne! This really is one of my favorite Christmas-time outfits because of the festiveness of it. I cannot be a Grinch in this!

      By the way, I’ll email this to you as well, just in case you don’t see this here, but I realized after posting this that I had left out all the wonderful plaid skirts you have in your Etsy shop and I have updated the post to reflect a few of my favorites.

      Merry Cheers and Happy Christmas!

      – Sherry

  • Wow Sherry!! You have a really storyline blog in terms of sharing a lot about your life, your loved ones, your values, your humor and best of all your warmth and sincerity. This is really the perfect time of year to enthusiastically welcome others and share some love and joy but I suspect that you’re a warm and genuine person year round!!

    I can’t believe that I have no plaid skirts!! You look just darling in this truly classic Christmas look. I thoroughly enjoyed my 2nd visit to your blog!! Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family Sherry!

    • Marilee, your comments touched my heart — thank you! I hope you have the Merriest of Christmases!

      Oh! And if you ever wish to add a plaid skirt to your wardrobe, I’d love to hear how you style it! For what it’s worth, our mutual friend, Suzanne, has a whole selection in her Etsy shop.

      Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to write such thoughtful, kind comments. Blessings to you and yours!

      – Sherry

  • I’m looking back to see what you replied to my comment, and I don’t see my comment! How strange—it must not have saved it!!
    So I guess I’ll try to do it again!
    I absolutely love your outfit for this series Sherry!! The first time I saw your picture, I didn’t even notice that your vest was a fur one! And I adore it so much. I love all fur vests, but some can be overwhelming and big! One of the things I love about yours is the ribbing at the waist—it’s fantastic!!
    And how wonderful that your parents played along with this post! I’m so glad your father is doing better and is on the mend (or totally back to normal?)
    My mom is going to see your mom’s sweater and kill me for getting rid of most of her Christmas sweaters!! Be prepared, that if we don’t make it out in February, it’s because my mom strangled me—ha ha!!
    I’m so glad we’ve connected—your stories are so enlightening!! I love how you include pictures from many generations of your family—I may have to copy that in the future??
    XOXO
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Thank you for the heads-up about your mom strangling you! Ha ha! My mom would pounce on me if I even made a move to throw out her Christmas sweaters. I can’t imagine what she’d do if I actually managed it! Ha ha ha!!!! Here’s hoping for leniency so I can see you in February!! 😀

      Hugs,
      Sherry

  • Awww, you guys look so absolutely adorable! So cute the way your color palettes work perfectly together, I love your look and it would have fit in with this month’s Fab 40’s theme perfectly. Now I am really inspired to try one of my bow blouses tied with my fur vest like this; it is just so fabulous.

    • Thank you, Jennie! I’ll be over to your blog soon but I read your post via email this morning and see we both have an affinity for plaid! I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a truly Happy New Year!

      – Sherry

  • How special that you have a photo of your great grandmother when she was a baby! And I love that you included your parents in this post!

    Your long plaid skirt is perfect for a Christmas celebration! Love the last photo of the three of you!

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Have a wonderful 2017!

  • Oh how absolutely wonderful!! To have so many photos of past memories 🙂 I wish I had some of my family way back then. And thank you so much for sharing so much about your life, your parents (who are positively adorable, incidentally), and what Christmas means to you, Sherry. At the end of the day, torn bits of paper denote gifts opened and loved but it is the intangible moments that are far more precious, and which last forever. I hope you had an equally beautiful start to the new year xoxo

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