4 Tips for Wearing Your Holiday Style to Work


I’ve talked a lot about how I change my workweek style around this time of year to reflect the Christmas spirit and festive season. And I thought it was time I share with you my outfit planning secrets! The four main things I keep in mind when selecting an outfit during the holiday season are Pattern Play, Pile on the Layers, Elevated Accessories, and Sparkle and Shine. See below for some Instagram inspiration and more details on how to wear your holiday style to work!


1. Pattern Play – I am obsessed with this candy cane heart print from Reese Witherspoon’s new line, Draper James (top left). Balance fun prints to make them office appropriate with lady like accessories such as a sophisticated pea coat and structured bag. Plaid is another go-to print for me this time of year!

2. Pile on the Layers – Mix textures and patterns like Damsel in Dior (top right) did with these great pieces from Old Navy. Layers create a look that feels cozy and warm – and what’s more Christmas-y than that? Also try layering monochromatic pieces – like a blouse, fur vest and cashmere scarf  – for an updated layering look!

3. Elevated Accessories – Just adding a few additional accessories to an outfit can take it from everyday drab to holiday fab! When in doubt, a bright red scarf or silver accessories like the strappy heels and statement earrings from Banana Republic as worn with a chunky blue sweater and mini skirt (bottom right) are perfect outfit trimmings for the Christmas season.

4. Sparkle and Shine – Sequins aren’t just for New Years Eve. Though I do suggest saving your sequin mini dress for NYE, a little bit of sparkle in your work wardrobe is a definite Do! This striped button up with a sequin collar from J. Crew (bottom left) is the perfect amount of sparkle for the office.I also have a few sequin skirts I like to wear to work and usually pair with simple black turtlenecks or chunky knit sweaters to balance out the glitz.



Winter Whites

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Long gone are the days of saying goodbye to wearing white after Labor Day. These days, the winter white trend has taken off and I wanted to give it a try! I paired a white leather skirt with an ivory sweater to create my winter white look. I also threw on a couple strands of pearls – sticking with the white trend even in my accessories. I really liked this outfit and got a few compliments from some people walking by as we were shooting these photos. I think it’s refreshing to see people wearing white during the winter. It’s unexpected, but super chic when done right. To ensure you get this trend right, here are a few tips to consider as you prepare for a “white Christmas”.

1. Winter white does not mean wearing your summer clothes in the winter months. Consider your favorite pair of white denim. A white jean with a bright pink blouse would look silly in December, but with a grey knit and duster-length open cardigan your jeans take on a whole new life! Think cozy and warm when searching for the perfect compliment to your white jeans for the next few months and you won’t go wrong.

2. Pair your whites with neutrals like gray, tan, and black. Or when in doubt about what colors you can wear with white during the winter, just wear more white! Different shades and textures of white and ivory mixed together create a dynamic and compelling outfit.

3. Fabric choice is very important when it comes to the winter white trend. White linen and eyelet can be stored at the back of your closet for the season, but white denim, silk and knits are all fair game!

I also turned to a few of my favorite bloggers to see how they were wearing the winter white trend for a bit more inspiration. Take a look below!


I love how Hallie from Corals and Cognacs boldly proclaims that one of her winter wardrobe key items is white jeans – and she clearly knows how to rock them! Worn above with a fur poncho and neutral wool coat, the outfit is a great sophisticated option for the office. The burgundy bag is the perfect pop of color to compliment the look.

Julia of Gal Meets Glam opted to test the trend with an outfit very similar to mine above. A pleated white skirt and cozy white sweater are simple, but chic. A sparkly statement necklace and super sleek hair are the finishing touches to this winter white outfit.

Last, but not least, is Jess, the stylish writer behind Bows and Sequins. Jess proves that the winter white trend doesn’t have to be done head to toe. Her all black ensemble makes the white sweater coat stand out even more and is the perfect way for those of you hesitant to try this trend to get your toes wet before jumping all in!

I was packing over the weekend for my upcoming trip home and was feeling so inspired by this post, I put together an outfit of white jeans, a long grey cable knit sweater and tall brown boots that I plan to wear on the plane! I’ll be sure to share a photo on @carolsandcocoa over the weekend so be sure to follow me on Instagram!

Christmas Morning

Can you believe that two weeks from today is Christmas!?  I can’t wait to be at my parent’s home in Michigan, surrounded by family as we celebrate the birth of Jesus and enjoy our time together. One of my favorite parts about the holiday is waking up Christmas morning and having no place to go! We’re never in a rush and can truly enjoy our time as we sit down to brunch and gather in the living room to exchange gifts. My family has served the same coffee cake on Christmas morning for as long as I can remember. It’s a great treat to nibble on while opening presents and tastes great served with coffee – and even better with mimosas! It’s easy to make and I know if you try it once, it’ll soon become a Christmas tradition for your family too!

Christmas Morning Coffee Cake

1 pkg yellow Duncan Hines cake mix

1 pkg instant vanilla pudding

1 cup sour cream

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil


1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 T cinnamon

1 tsp flour

Put first five ingredients in mixing bowl and beat at high speed of 10 minutes. Combine last four ingredients in bowl to make topping. Sprinkle bottom and sides of greased tube pan with some topping. Pour in half the batter. Sprinkle with part of topping and marble through dough with knife. Add remainder of batter and sprinkle the rest of topping. Marble through dough again. Bake at 350 for 55 to 60 minutes. Enjoy!

photo 1

Now that we’ve got the food covered, let’s talk about what to wear! Part of having no where to go on Christmas morning, means there’s no reason to get out of your PJs! Below are a few of my favorite sleep shirts and pajama sets that I’ve found this year. I especially love the grey and white polar bear flannel pajama pants from Old Navy and the “Elf”-inspired set from Nordstrom! Let’s take a vote? Which set should I wear on Christmas morning? Leave a comment below!


Clockwise from top left: Asos, Target, Nordstrom, J. Crew, Old Navy, Victoria’s Secret.

Sophisticated Ways to Wear Graphic Tees this Holiday


I’m always looking for ways to bring a little holiday flair to my outfits this time of year, but never want to risk looking childish or under dressed in a t-shirt. So when I found this cute graphic tee at Old Navy a few weeks ago, I knew I could find a sophisticated way to wear it! I paired the tee with a black midi skirt, peep toe booties and of course a bold red lip! I stacked some gold bangles on both wrists to elevate the look and also looped a strand of pearls around a couple times with a gold and rhinestone necklace to create extra texture and interest.


See below for a few more holiday-inspired graphic tee options. I can totally picture the “Express your Elf” tee with a pair of slouchy or ripped boyfriend jeans and a black blazer. Perfect for holiday errands or travel! Or try the “Joy” sweater tucked into a pleated mini skirt for a festive outfit that’s also work appropriate.


Clockwise from top left: Old Navy, Bow and Drape, Gap, ASOS.


Top 5 Christmas Party Themes

Happy Monday readers! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday cheer-filled weekend. I got to spend the weekend moving into a new apartment and, as soon as I was done unpacking, decorating for Christmas! However, the grand finale on a great weekend was spending last night with my community group for a Christmas movie PJ Party!

Are you hosting any holiday parties this year? Do you have a theme yet? Here are some ideas that will help get you in the party planning spirit. If you’re not already planning to host this season, maybe this post will inspire you to put together a last minute get together!

  1. Martinis and Mistletoe – Cocktail attire and signature drinks are a must for this theme.

    photo from evelyn henson

    photo from evelyn henson

  2. Ugly Christmas Sweater Party – Be sure to give out a prize for tackiest sweater.

  3. Gingerbread House Decorating Party – Have friends bring 2-3 of their favorite decorating items to share.

  4. PJ Party – Cozy up with blankets, hot cocoa and popcorn and enjoy a festive film in your Christmas jammies.

  5. Cookie Exchange – Get takeout containers at any party or grocery store for a cute take home carrier.

While we’re on this subject, see my post titled A Holiday Soirée for my best party planning tips!

Christmas Playlist

Each year I like to put together a new Christmas playlist and below you’ll find the 2015 edition! Per usual, it’s a mix of holiday classics like Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! by Frank Sinatra and new renditions I’ve come across throughout the year like Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Sam Smith. Many of the featured artists have full length Christmas albums that are worth a listen too. Check out Dave Barnes, Matthew West and Matt Wertz on iTunes or Spotify – I know you’ll love their Christmas albums as much as I do!

What’s your favorite Christmas song? Any suggestions for the 2016 playlist? Comment below!


Pop of Red

I’ve mentioned before how I like to add a bit of festive flair to my everyday outfits around this time of year and one of the easiest ways to do this is by wearing pops of red. No need to don a full red suit (I only know of one person who can pull off that look…) but try pairing one item or accessory in this bright hue with neutrals for the perfect amount of pop!


I saw this red skirt for sale at Banana Republic a couple weeks ago and I knew I couldn’t pass it up. The length is office appropriate and the color is the perfect shade of red for the Christmas season! I’ve paired it with a simple long sleeve t-shirt and faux fur scarf for a more casual look, but can also see this skirt with black tights, a black turtleneck and statement jewelry for a more dressed up look!

Other ways I incorporate pops of red into my holiday season wardrobe include wearing a bright red scarf with winter coats and of course, a bold red lip! For tips on mastering the perfect red lip, see my post Holiday Beauty Routine.