casual glam holiday outfit | perpetually chic

The holidays are really sneaking up on me, Lauren, this year. I’ve yet to plan our annual bash, which is kind of our holiday gift to about 30 local friends, who we invite over for a night of mixing and mingling. Great food, flowing cocktails, festive touches, glowing lights, lots of laughter and general merriment carry on way late into the evening. It’s my favorite night of the year and one I so look forward to, but I never seem to plan ahead!

casual glam holiday outfit | perpetually chic

My holiday excitement really sparked though when I laid eyes on this glittery mermaid skirt at Anthropologie. I mean really, talk about party-perfect! I decided to pair it with a cozy cableknit turtleneck to balance out the glitz of the sequins and give the look a casually glam vibe. Added bonus: It’s stylish but also warm for a cold winter night.

casual glam holiday outfit | perpetually chic

casual glam holiday outfit | perpetually chic

A messy high bun, some jewel-toned accessories (and glassware), and you’re set to shine. Good to keep the rest of the party a bit more minimalistic, with ample whites and some simple greenery. You wouldn’t want to steal any of the sparkle and shine from that glitzy skirt! What festive things will you be wearing this holiday season?

casual glam holiday outfit | perpetually chic

casual glam holiday outfit | perpetually chic

Get the look: J. Crew sweater, Anthropologie skirt, J. Crew bracelet and earrings, Anthropologie flutes | Nate Berkus trays

Game Day Outfit | perpetuallychic.com

Not all entertaining occasions demand a party dress, sparkly heels and perfectly styled hair. With football season now in full force, and baseball season on its way out, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some ideas for sporting your favorite team in style. And given that my two teams are doing so well, I just had to sneak in not one but two looks for you. So whether you’re hosting a tailgate at your college alma mater or a NFL-watching party at home, I hope you’ll be inspired to step up your game-day attire!

Game Day Outfit | perpetuallychic.com Game Day Outfit | perpetuallychic.com

I’ve never been a big fan of the oversized sweatshirts and unflattering t-shirts that many sports teams sell en masse. My preferred way to show team spirit is with one simple, effortless touch—the baseball cap. I start there, then dress it up. If you’re lucky enough to live where the temps haven’t yet dropped, this first look is for you. Sneakers can be tricky, but pairing them with a miniskirt lengthens the legs for a tomboy chic vibe. And a plaid button-up infuses a hint of fall fashion—just be sure to choose a plaid shirt that ties in the same colors as your team cap.

Game Day Outfit | perpetuallychic.com

For the second look, I mixed textures by pairing coated black skinnies with a slightly sheer tunic and a buttery-soft leather jacket. I love the casual way the feminine silk blouse hangs loose below the crop of the jacket, and the way it also balances the slimness of the pants.

Game Day Outfit | perpetuallychic.com

By the way, coated pants are such a great substitute if you want to try the leather-pant look—they’re more breathable and a fraction of the cost. I finished this look off with the sneakers, again, and my second team cap. And since this particular outfit is made up of neutrals, any colored cap could easily work.

Game Day Outfit | perpetuallychic.com

Any big sports fans out there? What’s your favorite team to cheer on?

Look One: Plaid Shirt (similar) | Miniskirt (similar) | Sneakers

Look Two: Leather Jacket (similar) | Silk Blouse | Coated Pant | Sneakers

Farm to Table | Perpetually Chic

After five years of living in Madison, Wisconsin, home of the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country, the farm-to-table movement has become near and dear to my heart (like it has to Clara). We’re lucky enough that almost every restaurant in our city celebrates local ingredients, even prominently displaying a list of the farmers they work with–which is part of why Madison was recently touted as a top “foodie paradise.” And we’ve made a trip to the farmers’ market our Saturday routine for several years now, loading up on fresh produce, organic meat and eggs, locally-made jams and bread, and cheese (of course)!

Farm to Table | Perpetually Chic

This time of year is the very best–the market is ripe with an amazing array that still includes summer favorites like heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn and peaches, but also now boasts fall crops like squashes, cauliflower and apples. It’s the time of year when Read more »

Ice Cream Social | Perpetually Chic for Channeling Contessa

When August rolls around, we usually see summertime heat peak before things start to cool off and we welcome fall. So what better way to beat the hot temps and celebrate the last weeks of summer than an ice cream social? Lauren here today, and in dreaming up this month’s edition of Dressed to Entertain, I knew I wanted to channel an ice cream shop, ’50s vibe into a “today” outfit. The result? A slightly retro, almost pin-up girl look updated with sherbet colors, high-waisted shorts, and a tied-up button down.

Ice Cream Social | Perpetually Chic for Channeling Contessa

Sure, you can totally make your own ice cream or frozen yogurt. And more power to you if you do! But I’ll let you in on my little secret, time-saving trick: Pick up a couple pints of your favorite flavors of gelato and crush a few different toppings into very fine crumbles. Scoop each flavor of gelato into balls, and return to the freezer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let the gelato scoops refreeze, then roll each ball into the crushed topping, and refreeze them all once again.

Ice Cream Social | Perpetually Chic for Channeling Contessa

These little “gourmet” ice cream sundaes are super fun–and easy–for impromptu summer parties. And you can be creative with your pairings…I matched mango gelato with unsweetened coconut flakes, chocolate gelato with crushed peanuts, and sea salt caramel gelato with chopped chocolate.

Ice Cream Social | Perpetually Chic for Channeling ContessaIce Cream Social | Perpetually Chic for Channeling Contessa

Enjoy these last, sweet weeks of summer!

GET THE LOOK: Urban Outfitters shirt and shorts | Zara flats (similar) | Crate & Barrel bowls (similar)

Picnic in the Park | Perpetually Chic

Come July, we’re lucky to have a pretty cool excuse to get in at least a few picnics: Every Wednesday, an outdoor concert series is held on the lawn of the state capitol. The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra plays and locals flock to the park, filling the grass with a patchwork of blankets. Thousands of people come out each week, so it becomes one giant city picnic—a perfect mid-week break to enjoy with friends. While it may not seem like traditional entertaining since it’s not hosted at home, the very same rules apply for picnicking—gather a group of friends, make some delicious food, and wear something perfectly appropriate for the occasion. So today I’m sharing a “picnic in the park” look you can recreate with ease!

Picnic in the Park | Perpetually Chic

Picnic in the Park | Perpetually Chic

My simple formula for picnic dressing: One breezy sundress plus a colorful pair of sneakers. I love the easygoing, girly-meets-sporty pairing of dresses with sneakers. The trick is to keep your hemline high to balance out what’s on your feet. I opted for a white floral babydoll dress and green sneakers for a pop of color. They wound up coordinating with my quilt, but you don’t have to be so matchy-matchy!

Picnic in the Park | Perpetually Chic

Sneakers can be kicked off as you lounge and relax. And keep jewelry to a bare minimum—this is not the time for fussy bangles, cocktail rings and large dangling earrings.

Picnic in the Park | Perpetually Chic

Like the outfit, I keep our picnic menus minimal too, since I’m usually preparing them ahead of time so we can grab and go after work. My favorite picnic dishes include Chickpea & Tuna Salad, Kale Market Salad, or my mom’s special Avocado Chicken Salad. Fresh fruit, cheese, and French bread or artisan crackers always make an appearance too. And for dessert, I usually make it easy on myself by grabbing a selection of specialty chocolate bars or picking up fine chocolates from one of the many great chocolatiers in town.

Picnic in the Park | Perpetually Chic

Do you get much picnicking in during the summer? What’s your favorite picnic spot or dish?

Get the Look: Urban Outfitters dress and sneakers, Ray-Ban Wayfarers