La femme en rouge

Let me preface this by saying this is not-standard Kristina daily wear. I’m trying to grow into my feminine side and I think I’m getting there slowly. This weekend I attended a friend’s wedding, hence the pomp and fuss over on Instagram. Despite all my preparation, I can’t help but feel a little nervous when I step out in something precious like this:


Dress: old Donna Morgan linen pleated dress, Macy’s. (similar from Nordstrom)
Clutch: borrowed from my grandmother (similar)
Shoes: Sofft Gredda in pewter metallic (no longer available)

I have a penchant for muted metallic accessories. I feel like gold/silver looks good on my skin–nude pumps would also be good, but I’ve yet to find a comfortable and tone-correct pair. These heels have been with me for the last 4 years and will continue to do so–I only wear them for special occasions and I’m thankfully not at the point yet where I’d start a heel collection. I would be more of a sneakerhead first. I love brands like Sofft, Ecco, Born because they put comfort first while giving a nod to style. Not too bad for a “grandma” brand, right?



Eyes: Urban Decay Naked palette–Naked on the lids, Buck on the crease; L’Oreal Telescopic Waterproof Eyeliner, Wet N’ Wild eyebrow pencil in dark brown
Lips: Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in curviest caramel
Face: Rimmel Matte BB cream in medium, L’Oreal True Match powder in N3

This is basically my “Five Minute Face” upgraded with eyeliner and eyeshadow. And derp-proof lip color in the form of a giant crayon. Why I don’t do this more often, I don’t know, because it really doesn’t take that much longer to schlep on, and I feel very Hepburn-esque (Audrey) with the gamine eyeliner. I think it’s because my eyes get irritated pretty quickly–I avoid mascara because it feels heavy and tends to itch.

Despite my worrying, I actually did OK and was comfortable in my get-up. At some point I did switch out to flats while driving and helping to haul stuff in for the reception, but otherwise, I was fine. Didn’t even drop sauce on me while eating all the yum Chinese banquet foods! Win. Eventually I hope this process gets easier and more natural–I want to be better, not just sartorially, but in all other aspects of my life. One dress at a time, I suppose.

How do you prepare for a formal occasion? Which aspect of your look do you concentrate on the most–dress, shoes, beauty routine? I’m still figuring out a fool-proof scheme so my closet (and supplies) are ready to go at any time.


18 thoughts on “La femme en rouge

  1. Look at you, fancy! I love the color.

    I focus more on my dress than makeup (since it’s all the same, formal or informal – clear face, bold lips, can’t lose) and just coordinate accordingly.

      1. I make it a habit to wear wine colored (and very dark) lipstick as often as possible! I own several, but Rebel by MAC is a really lovely dark magenta (on me anyway), I think it’d look great on you!

      2. Yes! I have a wine colored lip crayon I got from Sephora that I haven’t worn much yet, but that makes me very ’90s. I will do so soon…I want to go thrift shopping and find me some Winona-Ryderesque floral dresses for it.

        Because my weekend alter-ego wants a disguise ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. That’s a lovely color especially for a what I assume is a Chinese wedding. You can never go wrong with a fit and flare dress.

    I have literally two “formal” dresses – one for winter and one for summer that I’ve worn over the last two or three years to every single wedding/dance/dinner etc. No one remembers and no one cares – I think (and hope). I tend to splurge mostly on shoes, which for some strange reason, people seem to notice more than anything else.

    I don’t wear make up ever so I guess no beauty routine for me – just some regular lipstick, brow pencil and I’m good to go.

    1. I’ve worn this dress to two Chinese weddings now–incidentally, the bridal party color was a coral pink, and she had her friends run the gamut of the tone from pale coral to vibrant like mine…I ended up blending into the bridal party well!

      I hope they don’t remember the dresses too much either because I don’t know how I can afford more options. I had a black dress I wore to a wedding in May that is now too large on me–I lost more weight between May and now, and it needs shortening and taking in. Either that or I donate it and start over again, which I’d rather not do :/

  3. Love the second picture of you smiling in your pic – you should do that more often – it really lights up the picture. And you’re easing in to your feminine side beautifully. At your age, I embraced it a lot more and it’s only now that I’ve relaxed and think “whatever” but at the end of the day, I still like to keep something feminine about my whole look no matter how “boyish. I’ve even started to put on a little bit of lip gloss and a little bit of eyeliner each day – I can really see the difference it makes.

    And I can do the dressing up thing if I really put my mind to it – I used to do it all the time – but laziness coupled with being out of practice and I don’t know how to dress appropriately any more. Thank goodness, I have nowhere to go!

    1. Thank you Sue, and I’ll try. Often when I’m shooting alone for the blog I feel pretty silly grinning–it always looks more devious than refined.

      It’s this age bracket, me thinks–the late 20’s, where there are a PILE of weddings and parties to go to–thankfully I don’t have a huge social circle, but there’s still at least one or two shindigs to show up to. This dress is actually loose on me now–my weight loss is really apparent by how much slack there is in the straps (not seen here, but while I was dancing and moving I kept shifting the straps around.) This and I have a black dress from a wedding in May that I went to–they need optimization again, as I am STILL changing sizes (maybe I can eat a little more now?)

  4. You looked lovely in the dress Kristina! I don’t go to many formal occasions actually, I just have a plainish black dress ready for any that pop up and I guess my makeup stays the same, I’m just more careful with putting it on.

    1. Thank you very much Jane, and all of you. I really appreciate the encouragement! โค The eyeliner–omg. My cousins have a good joke–if they mess theirs up, they just keep on keepin'. "1-inch eyeliner no problem!"

      One of these days I want to make my eyes look K-pop star worthy ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. this colour is super flattering on you! love this – nice to get fancy every now and again. i’m pretty much the same as you, five minute face and a heavier eyeliner on some occasions. you have double eyelids (you lucky thing!) so eyeliner looks so much cuter on!

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