+ Happy Hour

Happy Hour: Warm and Toasty


image c/o Nutmeg Nanny

How delicious does this cocktail look?  Not as delicious as the name Warm Vanilla Cider sounds.  It’s like a cozy wool sweater and a fireplace in a cup.

The creator of this amazing concoction is Nutmeg Nanny who mixes apple cider, bourbon, vanilla and brown sugar to create a cocktail that is sure to be on the menu at my next holiday party.  She heats hers in a saucepan on the stove, but I bet you could make this in a crockpot for serving at a large gathering.  But no one will judge you if you rush out to the store to pick up the ingredients to make one at home this weekend…oh, don’t pretend that I’m the only one.

Jessica Simpson Ribbed Trim Sweater Dress (Nordstrom, $128)

 This sweater is fantastic.  I love the chunky knit and the Fair Isle look.  It’s the perfect choice for Thanksgiving dinner or casual Fridays during the fall.  

I also like this space-dyed sweater dress from Loft for $90 and this zigzag sweater dress from Express for $50.  This colorblock dress from Calvin Klein comes in one of my favorite palettes–yellow and grey.  And this dress from Vineyard Vines is just a stunner with black and white stripes and a high cowl neck.

If you would prefer a solid-colored sweater dress, I like this Asos dress for its oversized styling.  Topshop has a boucle sweater dress, which sounds like an interesting choice.  Ann Taylor has a classic sweater dress in a gorgeous midnight blue.  And no matter what kind of sweater dress you’re looking for, I’d start at Land’s End.  They have many lovely choices at reasonable prices.



  1. KC says:

    Apple cider with butterscotch schnapps is a lazy but delicious substitute!

    October 12, 2012/Reply
  2. Anonymous says:

    I am curious about the oversized ASOS dress that Belle listed. How would you wear/style this dress so it wouldn't make me look like I was a package to be shipped by UPS? Any suggestions would be great. Thanks.

    October 12, 2012/Reply
  3. Valerie says:

    I would caution against the Express dress; the metallic fabric I've seen in their stores is often cheap-looking and itchy. Ann Taylor Loft and JCrew Factory have much better fabric in their sweaterdresses for under $60. Even better prices than Express when they run promotions for 25% or 30% off.

    October 12, 2012/Reply
  4. APW says:

    I have the Vineyard Vines dress and I love it. It's actually navy and white. I have been styling the neck more how it is on the VV website, but this is a great option. I also removed the belt and added a large brown belt with it. Great for fall. Thanks for the tips, Belle!


    October 12, 2012/Reply
  5. Laura says:

    I've been looking for a black sweater dress for ages. I purchased and returned both the ASOS and Anne Taylor ones.

    The ASOS one is itchy. And, you cannot see this in the photo, but the whole back of the dress is a weird rayon-like fabric that is sort of see-through.

    The Anne Taylor one is shapeless in person and loose in the waist. I am 5'7″ and the medium came to the knees and looked frumpy on me.

    The search continues…

    October 12, 2012/Reply
  6. Lyell says:

    Last winter I bought this Athleta fairisle/faux-bohus one in black. It may be too casual for some Casual Fridays due to the “inside-out” aspect of the design at some points. Still, this dress is so comfortable and soft. (It looks more shapeless on the models than it does on me, which is an odd contrast to most photos. I can belt it, but that sometimes looks dated to me.)

    I am a tall lady of obvious Swedish heritage, and it's also one of the few pieces I can style to wear with closed-heel clogs and have it look like a deliberate (though controversial) style choice, rather than total fashion surrender. (I wear closed-heel clogs many days due to very specific requirements at work, and not because I'm style-deluded.) I prefer it with boots, though.

    October 13, 2012/Reply