+ Three Ways

Two Ways: Holiday Red Pants


Pants: J.CREW Cafe Capri ($49)

From Left, Rings: Square Bezel Stack Band ($27) and Champagne Ring ($78) Clutch: Bronze Metallic Clutch ($29) Shoes: Franco Sarto Cicero Pump ($80) Coat: Bow Coat ($365 +30% off) Earrings: Kate Spade Freeze Framed Studs ($48) Blouse: Dolce & Gabbana Sheer Lace Blouse ($698)

From Right, Earrings: Bernini Disk Earrings ($69) Ring: Bernini Disk Ring ($59) Clutch: Kotur Snakeskin Clutch ($295) Top: ALC Arissa Blouse ($239) Shoes: Boutique 9 Orson Pump ($50)

For a Family Dinner.  In addition to rollicking holiday parties, there are often family events to attend.  Maybe Dad wants you to be his date to an office dinner, or Mom needs a plus-one to a charity event.  This outfit mixes modern with romantic to create an outfit that is stylish but family friendly.

A lace blouse moderates the impact of the bright red pants.  This blouse has an ivory bodice and chiffon sleeves.  I thought I’d never find something similar, until I found this almost-identical Ann Taylor blouse for under-$100. Awesome.

I added this coat a) because it rocks and b) because the camel coat ties the tortoise pumps and the blouse together with the pants.  They still work without the coat, but I like the added zing.  The tortoise pumps are pretty fantastic, and they’re under-$100.

The jewelry is a mix of gold with champagne and cognac-colored stones.  The stack rings go on one hand, the cocktail ring on the other.  They also pair well with the inexpensive bronze and gold clutch.

For the hair, I would wear it up in a curly updo.  Something romantic, like this hairdo on Jessica Alba. For the makeup, I would choose a pale pink nail, a gold shimmer shadow, brown gel liner and a rose lipstick.

For a House Party.  All red is a brave move, but ever since I saw it on Penelope Cruz in 2009, I’ve been dying to try it.  A holiday party at the house of a friend, where the wine will flow freely and the rules will be less stringent than at an office party or large get together, seems like the perfect opportunity.  

I would tuck the blouse into the trouser for a clean look.  I would also unbutton an extra button, which I can do without being immodest because God wasn’t as generous with me as he was with others.  So decide whether that’s something that suits you based on your own measurements.  If you like the red silk shirt, but aren’t crazy about button ups, try this inexpensive tie neck blouse.

I added red shoes, but you could choose a metallic or a nude-to-you pump. I chose a mixed metal ring and earrings because I thought the gold might be a bit much on its own.  I chose the snakeskin clutch because red would be too much, black would be heavy and another color would ruin the look.  If this clutch is too rich for your blood, this clutch is $198 and this one is $26.

For the hair, I would go super sleek.  Break out the flat iron.   You could then wear it down, or pulled into a ponytail.  For the makeup, I would suggest a greige nail, a red lip tint and black liquid liner.



  1. m says:

    I love the red and camel combo. With the extra discount JCrew is offering right now, I may need to give the wool cafe capris one last try.

    Belle, do you actually own these? The problem I have with the cafe capris is that they are unlined and therefore show every bump and lump underneath. What do you recommend wearing under them? A pants slip (eek)?

    December 7, 2012/Reply
  2. Merabella says:

    I just bought similar pants at the GAP today. I'm definitely pinning this post as inspiration.

    What are some other colors to go with the orange/red pants?

    December 7, 2012/Reply
  3. AbsolutelyDC says:

    I bought this coat. (I wrote about it as well!) I like it, but I do think it looks a little different in person. I think the bow is the best part. However, my family and a friend thought the coat would be perfect without the bow. I ignored all comments and just focused on their positive feedback;) The coat does run a little small and isn't sold in the store (no trying it on ­čÖü
    But I would say one size up from your regular is more likely the right answer.

    December 7, 2012/Reply
  4. K says:

    Belle – – Really hoping you have a suggestion to deal with the issue m. raised. I bought these pants (in red) a few weeks ago and was all set to wear them to holiday parties this weekend – – the lack of lining does make them a bit tricky to wear and I think the proper undergarment could make a big difference.

    December 7, 2012/Reply
  5. Belle says:

    m and K: I own a pink pair. I cut a pair of hose off at the knees. Spanx makes a similar item for sale.

    December 7, 2012/Reply
  6. Maharani says:

    A tailor can add a lining to the pants. It is not cheap but if you plan to wear them a lot, might be worth it. I've had mine replace the cheap polyester linings (they shredded after 3 wears) in 2 pairs of rather pricey Ralph Lauren linen pants-the difference was incredible-they have lasted several years and feel great. I understand this might be a cost issue-however, the point is, any tailor can do it.

    December 8, 2012/Reply
  7. emily says:

    one quick question: how should these wool pants fit? should they be a bit baggy or a bit fitted?

    December 18, 2012/Reply