Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Festive season - What to wear and a new outfit for Milo!

December seems to have arrived from nowhere this year, but a sudden drop in temperature and Christmas decorations everywhere mean that it's time to give thought to the wardrobe for the holiday season.

Instead of buying a head-to-toe new outfit every year, I accessorize my regular wardrobe to bring it into the festive season, or add the occasional new piece which then doubles as evening wear for the rest of the year. Hope you enjoy the three parts: daytime outfits, evening looks and Milo's cosy winter outfit!


For a daytime gathering with friends or a pre Christmas restaurant lunch with family, cosy sweaters and simple pants are easy to wear and have a relaxed chic. Sparkling accessories give the outfit an extra festive touch. 

here's the sweater as part of a regular daytime look:

If there is a little bit more of an occasion, I change the basic pants for a dressier pair. Teaming them with a sweater or shirt keeps the look perfect for daytime! Accessories: Hermes Kelly Pochette and clic H bracelet in black. 

Changing the plain sweater for a sparkling silver one (an H& M find from a few years back) and combining it casually with black jeans and a cropped jacket. Accessories: Hermes clic-H bracelet in black.

Autumn's last golden leaves..

I hardly ever wear suits these days, but when I did, there was often no time to change before going out after work. A dressy pair of shoes and a couple of accessories add instant sparkle to an office look. 


I buy perhaps one top or dress for the holiday season, but usually don't spend much on it.. after all, the use is limited and one doesn't want to wear the same thing over and over again on special occasions. I often find pretty items in places like Zara, Gerard Darel or Cos etc. In combination with classic and beautiful basic wardrobe pieces and great shoes and accessories, they work really well. This time of year the shops are full of party and evening wear, so it's the perfect time to find a new piece which can then double as evening wear for the rest of the year.

This top with lovely ruffled sleeve detail was a lucky find at the Gerard Darel end of season sale last year. The tunic style can easily be dressed down or up, which makes it a perfect year round top. (on summer evenings I wore it with white jeans and black sandals). Here with a sparkling crystal necklace. 

I've had this skirt for almost twenty years and it is one of the very few items in my wardrobe that I hardly ever wear outside the holiday season. It's fun to style and accessorize, and over the years I've worn it with sleeveless tops, fitted cashmere sweaters, cropped cardigans, fur collars, pearls, stoles. Here with a black shirt and belt, a studded clutch (a Zara find) and sparkling earrings.

Black wardrobe pieces are always a safe and easy canvas for evening looks. To add sparkle and elegance here an Hermes black Kelly Pochette and Kelly Dog bracelet, and a sparkling statement necklace.

The same skirt as before, only this time with a sleeveless top from above and a pearl statement necklace.

The main square in Nancy makes you think you've stepped into a fairy tale!


But what would dressing up for the festive season be without thinking of little Milo! His fur is so sleek and short that it needs protection, and what lucky timing it is that Lord Lou, the maker of his fabulous dog bed (click here to view the post), now offers the most beautiful, soft and gorgeous cashmere sweater to keep little four-legged friends warm in style.

Brunello cashmere sweater (click here)

It was meant as a Christmas gift, but when I put it on him to try the size (size 10 is perfect!) he gave me this look... "Mum.. I want to wear it now"

Of course he was right...

"...Nothing under the tree then?"

Don't you worry,  my little one.

I won't be back until after Christmas, wishing everyone a sparkling, joyous and wonderful holiday season and a very merry Christmas!



  1. Well, no one does festive better. EVery look is a sparkly winner. But, my favorite? It's got to be that elegant, long grey skirt. Yes, I've seen you wear it for many holiday seasons, but 20 years? Really?

    Darn, if I could even find soemthing from 20 years ago, it certainly wouldn't still fit! It looks especially great this year with the tailored black shirt - very Carolina Herrera.

    All the new sparklies are wonderful and what lovely Christmas gifts they'll make , , , that is if one can stand to part with them (tis the season to be piggy!).

    But, once again, Milo the Magnificient has stolen your thunder. He is beyond words. I don't think I've ever seen a pup with more personality. You'd better order him another cashmere sweater, though, as I have a feeling that he's going to wear this one out pretty darn quickly. (Did you have to order him an extra long, sausage-dog size?)

    Wonderful holidays to you and all your boys, including Milo.

    Christmas love,

    1. That dog steals the show in every post! Who can blame us, as he's so handsome, especially in his darling new sweater! And, thank goodness our fearless leader swan is so generous--he'll still have a treat under the tree on Christmas.

      I do have to say thank you to Mai Tai, once again, for reminding me that basic wardrobe pieces can be dressed up. That you can take what you already have and add some bling, and you're ready for a party! I have several coming up in the next few weeks and I'm not petrified about what to wear as I can mix and match a few looks and feel confident! And add a few Mai Tail Collection pieces to the look, as well!

      Merry Christmas to all the swans in the pond--especially those of us in the Southern US who are just beginning to realize it's winter!


    2. Thank you, dear Greta, Merry Christmas to you too, Manuela xx

    3. Thank you, Greta, and wishing a very Merry Xmas to you and yours!
      We had Winter for one day! We are back to 75 degrees and humidity...crazy for December! Comfort and Joy, T xx

  2. Love all looks, yours and Milo's! Absolutely adore your necklace collection. It is a great way to instantly go from an everyday look to looking (and feeling glamorous). Well styled!! Wishing you a great holiday!

  3. Beautiful outfits but you realise you are being eclipsed by that little dog. He just looks so cuddly in his cashmere, not sure it would work for our Labrador , he loves to roll in the fields !!! Hope you and your family have a Happy Christmas.

  4. I look forward to your posts and style tips..... always so elegant. Little Milo is one lucky dog. Adorable! Merry Chistmas to you and your family!

  5. Happy Christmas MaiTai! Love all the MaiTai Collection jewellery and the looks you create and so elegant and beautiful. Milo is the most handsome chap and looks splendid in his new jumper. And so glad to know he is a perfect size 10!

  6. YOU ARE TROUBLE FOR ME!I think I need the long earrings now!OH OH OH.........and the colorful crystal necklaces............I have a grey TOP that matches your long skirt!!!!!!
    MILO.............what a GORGEOUS HOT DOG!
    I will be back.......must dash now but with my afternoon tea will CRUISE YOUR SITE WITH GLEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!XX

  7. Lovely looks on you and your pup is adorable!!! Merry Christmas to you and yours...Here's to a good 2017!

  8. What beautiful festive looks with the new collection pieces as well as your older selections!
    All styled so very well, dear MT!
    Milo...what an adorable and cherished pup! He even has the poses down! He is the best addition of all<3
    Wishing you and yours and all of those gathered here a holiday season full of comfort and joy! Mwahs, T xx

    1. A Merry Christmas to you and your family, dearest Trudye and a very Happy New Year! <3 Love, Manuela

    2. As you know, I wish the very same for you and yours, dearest Manuela!<3 Comfort and Joy, T xx

  9. You always look fabulous! Every outfit you put together is perfect! And no one does selfie the way you do! You're so slim, classy, and carries those clothes and accessories so well that I wanna have every piece of what you're wearing (coveting them all haha!). Simply stunning! Btw, I am enjoying the scarf rings I ordered from you. Time to get one of your necklaces! :) Have a wonderful Christmas!

  10. How lovely you look, dear MT! That classic skirt is always chic and I love it with the blouse. (Ah, if I only had a waistline...) Willieman needs one of those cashmere sweaters. Thanks so much for providing the discount code! I'm not sure Willie can rock that look the way Milo does, but he'll put his own pug stamp on it. Wishing you and yours the merriest and happiest Christmas season.

    Happiest of holidays to all the gorgeous swans, and may 2017 be our best year yet!

    Much aloha,

    P.S. We had snow falling overnight here in the Seattle area. It was so beautiful. Now it's slush. Oh well.

    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours, dear Fifi and a very Happy New Year. Christmas hug, Manuela

    2. Thank you, dear Fifi, and sending along a sleigh full of good cheer! Merry Xmas to you and yours, T xx

    3. Merry Christmas to you lovely ladies, Manuela and Trudye. May your holidays be magical!
      With much affection across the miles -- Fifi

  11. Dearest Mai Tai,
    You look fabulous as usual both with the new and with the older pieces of jewelry. Love your grey skirt my dear. So chic with the black shirt. Congratulations on the new stole, necklace and earrings. Beautiful all of them. Milo is adorable and hard to resist. I will miss you a lot but wish you and your Family a very Merry Christmas and a very happy new year. Christmas hugs, Manuela xx

  12. If I had to make one wish for my Christmas list among all your lovely treasures, the one, the only one would be MILO and his cashmere sweater ! Well, I have been a nice girl all the year round (at least I’m convinced of this) so I’ll try not to kidnap your lovely wiener!

    Dearest MaiTai and all the swans, I sincerely wish you a warm Christmas and rendez vous in 2017.


    1. Joyeux Nöel à toi et ta Famille, chère Catherine, et une bonne nouvelle année. Bisous, Manuela

    2. Thank you, dear Catherine, and a most wonderful Christmas season to you as well! Warm cocoa alohas, Fifi

    3. Joyeaux Noel to you and yours, Catherine! Good cheer, T xx

  13. Checking in a little late this time- but I still would like to say bravo and thank you to you, dearest MaiTai! Your holiday looks are fantastic, as Jerrine said- no one does festive better than you! Love how you "recycle" old time favourites and spice them up with your very dressy and elegant sparkling items. But I also have to admit- the most heartwarming picture is the one of Milo in his new cashmere outfit. He knows how to steal the show...
    A very turbulent and not always happy year comes to an end - I'd like to wish you and all the swans out there a Merry X-mas and a happy and most of all peaceful New Year 2017!

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely words, my dear Katja, and sorry for my late reaction. I wish you and all the Swans a very Happy New Year!
      Love, Manuela xx

  14. Dear MaiTai,
    I have to repeat what Katja wrote:"A very turbulent and not always happy year comes to an end..."
    So I hope (as I always do) next year will become better in some aspects...
    One of the things which held me up was your always inspiring blog and the wonderful snapshots on instagram. Thank you so much for your activity and engagement!
    A wonderful christmas and a happy new year to you, your three boys (!) and all the swans!
    Best wishes from stormy (and quite warm) germany

    1. Dear Claudia,
      I fully agree with you regarding this wonderful place which is Mai Tai Picture Book.
      For me it has always been, still is and I hope will continue to be a lovely place to visit, to smile, to feel well.

      Happy New Year to you too! Warm hug, Manuela xx

    2. Dear Manuela,
      thank you so much for your kind words!
      It is so nice to know, that you are there (sometimes it feels to be just around the corner)!
      Now I hope, that our leader is doing well! I really miss her and while holding out for her I'm reading all the older posts again and again...
      Warm thoughts and hugs to you,

    3. Dear Claudia,
      Thank you for your sweet words. I do miss our dearest Mai Tai too and have a look at the blog almost everyday to see if there are some news...
      A warm hug to you,

    4. So wonderful to know I'm not the only one who's checking in every day, hoping for the happy return of our dearest MaiTai...
      Hoping that all the swans had a happy and healthy start into 2017 and looking forward to seeing everyone back on the pond,

  15. Thanks again for an inspiring and chic blog and here's to a Happy New Year (BONNE ANNEE 2017!)

  16. Dearest MaiTai and Swan ladies,

    I hope you started 2017 enthusiastically, in good health and more stylish than ever!

    Starting to be a little worried .... MT where are you?

    Frozen bises,