Monday Musings : What I Wore to A Gala & Other Festive Clothes

Happy Monday, ladies. This week’s musings are sort of random, but they do have a bit of a theme. Over the weekend, we attended a Black Tie Gala fundraiser for the G02 For Lung Cancer Foundation. We have a long history of supporting the fight against lung cancer, but it became very personal here. Monday Musings- A Surprising Diagnosis

If you’re a subscriber to this blog, you read yesterday about my wardrobe angst over what to wear. Anywho…I bought this Banana Republic Velvet Blazer in deep teal and wore it with my Jennifer pearls (save 15% sitewide with AWSL at checkout) and a simple black tank, pants, and kitten heels that are as old as the hills. I over thunk what I would wear and, in the end, looked just fine.

Below are a few pieces from the latest Chico’s holiday collection that I tried on in the store and a few they sent me to style for an Instagram campaign. I opted not to wear this red jacket to the gala because I didn’t want to look like I was wearing holiday clothes.


This lightweight jacket is the prettiest rose/red shade. I put it with charcoal gray pants and a top, rather than black, to keep the look soft. I wore this outfit to an event last week and quickly realized we were overdressed. I’d rather be that than underdressed…but by removing the jacket, I was wearing head-to-toe gray, which was the right amount of casual.

I’ve bought a few of these turtlenecks because they come in tons of great colors and are a great weight for layering.


This Zenergy Cotton-Cashmere pullover and pants looked so cozy I couldn’t resist. They’re a 52% cotton, 26% rayon, 17% nylon, 3% spandex, and 2% cashmere blend that feels amazing on. The silver metallic thread makes them feel festive. I topped them with this white faux fur vest, which is a ringer for this brown one I wear so often.


I added these simple silver hoops with a sequin “disco-ball” type detail in the center.


At my local Chico’s, I tried on a few other pieces with a holiday theme. This sequin tee is a great piece to wear all season long with anything to add a festive feel. The sleeves are the perfect length to wear while cooking if you feel so inclined.


This Chianti color is front and center on my radar this season, and Chico’s has a fair amount of it. It’s pretty flattering on many complexions and a nice change from red. The embellished jeans are the girlfriend cut with nice slim legs. The ruana is fun but a bit over the top with these jeans, don’t you think? I’d dial everything back with it and toss it over a great white shirt and plain pants or jeans. The reversible velvet vest is quilted and thin, so it doesn’t add bulk and could be dressed up or down.


This faux suede moto jacket is super soft and lovely. This photo makes the color appear brighter than it really is. The fabric is a polyester blend with 13% spandex that’s machine washable. The Brigitte rivet ankle pants are a pull-on style in petite, which illustrates why I seldom buy petite pants.


These Juliet pants are a size too large for me, but I wanted to try them because I love the side stripe and mini houndstooth print. They come in regular, petite, and tall. The Juliet style is similar to the Brigitte style with a more substantial-feeling ponte knit fabric. This sequined cardigan is a melange of black with gray shades in an animal print motif. The sleeves have a slight bell, so I would not recommend these for cooking:).

Have you added anything festive to your wardrobe this season?

Remember, I am giving away two $50 Nordstrom gift cards each week from now until Christmas, but you need to be a subscriber 🙂

Thanks for reading, and be sure to wear what makes you feel confident.

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  1. Wonderful to learn that your husband is still cancer free and is doing so well plus may I add, also looking very dapper . Also when you mentioned in your past Sunday AWSL Recap that you had been on the hunt for a gala event outfit, I had faith in you that you would be successful and wouldn’t disappoint as you did look amazing. (I loved too, that you chose to wear your Jennifer necklace that IMHO works so well with what you wore. i.e.: A combination of luxury with a modern twist!) -Brenda-

    1. Thank you so much Brenda

  2. What a gorgeous couple — you and your husband look so elegant at the gala. How wonderful that he is now cancer free.
    I particularly love the off-white outfit. May I ask what lipstick you are wearing? It looks like just the shade I’ve been looking for.

    1. I’m wearing Rosewater by Kosas

  3. Wow! Jennifer! You really “hit it” today, IMO…the first 3 outfits you show look incredible and just seem right for you. I love what you wore to the gala! It’s so nice that pants are appropriate for women to wear to events these days! Love your whole outfit.
    I may have mentioned before, I’m struggling to put together something to wear to a New Year’s Eve wedding and was most interested in what you posted here from Chico’s, but none them will do.. Hard to find things for an overweight short person! Hahaha!
    I don’t want to wear pants and great dresses with all my specifications are hard to come by. Probably being too picky, but I’m on a quest! Like you, I know I’ll find something.
    Thanks for the inspiration…everyday!

    1. Are you wanting a long dress for the wedding and how formal is it?

  4. Great post today! I really enjoyed seeing the pieces you featured!

  5. Karen Burkett says:

    Love the icees you showed today. I especially liked the black sequined 3 quarter sleeve top(your funny comment, too) and the quilted shoulder jacket. You and hubby looked fabulous for the Lung Cancer event. How do you resist all the finds, cute lady??

    1. It’s really, really hard to resist all the cute stuff, but I only have so much room in my tiny closet!

  6. Love your outfit just what I would have worn. Cancer sucks. Thank you for supporting the cure.

  7. Christi S. says:

    What a wonderful photo of a healthy, happy couple. Congratulations to your husband, and you, on his being cancer free. May be stay healthy.

    Your gala outfit looks perfect. The red floral jacket is too casual for such an event, but it’s a great looking jacket. Don’t fret about “overthinking” things – you are in good company. Many of us do “overthink”; it’s in our DNA. 😉

    1. I love that…it’s in our DNA :)!!

  8. Yay for your husband being cancer-free – those are beautiful words to hear! You look beautiful and classic for the gala and y’all both looked so happy. I really like the sequin tee – It looks nice with slacks, but I think it would look cute with jeans for a more casual holiday event.

    1. Thanks so much. I agree, it’d be super cute with jeans.

  9. You both look very stylish for your gala event. Cancer free are the most prized words anyone could hear. Not shopping for holiday parties right now. I am recovering from 2 major surgeries on my spine in October, just 4 weeks ago. Loose and comfy clothes are in my wardrobe right now. 6 month recovery period for the surgery. I will keep you and your family in my prayers that he continues to recover from the surgery. God Bless 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

    1. Sending hugs and healing thoughts your way, Dianne. You’ve had a very rough time. Rest and pamper yourself

  10. You and your husband looked so eloquent at the Lung Cancer fund raiser.
    I truly love the Chico’s red jacket with the charcoal gray top and pants.
    Absolutely beautiful.
    You are putting me into the Holiday Mood.

    1. Do you get my email? You won the $50 Nordstrom card last week!

      1. Yes! Thank you but there is no Nordstrom’s close to me.
        Can I use it on line? If not please offer it to someone who has a store in there area.
        I am excited, because I thought it was a scam and I usually don’t win anything.
        Thank you.

      2. You can absolutely use it online and they have free shipping. I sent it to you today. Be on the lookout for it!

  11. I love your dressy outfits today. I put in my order for the sequin jacket and some other pieces. I like the Juliet ankle pants, but the size finder directs that they have a slim chance of fitting me in any size. Not sure if I will try them anyway.

  12. I’m glad your husband is now cancer free. I’ve been dealing with health issues for several weeks now and am envious of your opportunity to get dressed up for a good cause! Of course you always look great. Like others, I love the sequin top – but have nowhere to wear it. Keep on keeping on, Jennifer!

    1. I hope you feel better soon, Barbara. Sending best wishes your way

  13. The teal looks lovely. And the Chico’s clothes enhance the idea of celebrating the season.

    1. They do! I feel more festive when I wear festive clothes:)

  14. That black sequin tee looks amazing! Sleeves are my friend since I am usually cold in the winter.

  15. The black sequined shirt from Chicos it is perfect for formal nights, I love it.

  16. Beautiful outfit for the gala !
    Great Choice.
    🍾 🥂…here’s to continued health for your husband and you., the greatest gift of all.

    I hope gray is a mainstay in your closet, because you wear it SO WELL.

    1. Thank you. I do have some gray but my cashmere took a beating last summer so I’ll be replacing and looking for charcoal.

  17. Thanks for supporting Lung Cancer. My father died of lung cancer 7 years ago on November 6, so it’s something that I too support with donations. Today’s post had some great pieces from Chicos. I might have to stop by the store to check things out! I thought you looked great for the gala. Don’t men have it so much easier when it comes to dressing to go anywhere?!

    1. I’m so sorry about your Dad. We never get over their loss.

  18. Love the wine color shirt! Such a pretty color! Unfortunately, have to stop the online shopping for awhile. One of the downsides to being retired. Did just buy the vest from Lands End you recently featured. Love the high collar and the fact that it’s lined! Haven’t gotten it yet, but am eagerly awaiting it’s arrival! Prayers to your husband for a speedy recovery. Yourself as well. My husband also suffers from Dupatryn’s. Not to the point of surgery, but still gives him a fair amount of discomfort. Robin

    1. I’m sorry your husband struggles with dupuytren’s contracture too. Mine is starting to act up again.

  19. Such a wonderful and worthwhile cause! You and your husband look great! I love that you too combine older pieces ( closet shopping) along with new pieces. Love that blazer !
    Abd you look terrific in the red jacket in the second frame. Beautiful !

  20. I would love to mimic every detail of the gorgeous outfit you choose to wear to the gala fundraiser. I clearly remember your personal scare with lung cancer and am so happy to hear that your husband remains healthy. We sometimes forget just how fragile life can be and these moments make me pause and be grateful. Thank you for sharing!

    1. You’re so right, Jan. Thank you for reminding me!!

    2. The teal jacket you wore to the fundraiser was a beautiful choice! I totally get the “overthinking” part 🙂 Thanks for sharing all these lovely things!

  21. Melinda Beckett says:

    I love the holiday offerings in your post today, especially the red/gray blazer and sequin shirt. Thanks also for sharing the photo of you & your husband. You both look so elegant, classic and comfortable. It gives us assurance that trusting our instincts on what to wear is important. I appreciate your support for the gala. I lost my mom from lung cancer.

    1. I’m so sorry about your Mom. Lung cancer is insidious and so prevalent.

  22. The two of you look fabulous. Such a cute couple and how fun to get dressed up and for a good cause. And love that teal blazer. You really know how to put it all together!

    1. This outfit felt like I was birthing an elephant which it needn’t have. I really over thought the whole thing.

  23. Cathy Alves says:

    Thank you for all the great ideas for the Holidays. I am sorry for what your family is going thru. Praying for a speedy recovery
    for your husband
    Cathy A

    1. He’s blessedly cancer free now and we count our blessings daily.

  24. Francesca B says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    I just love the Banana Republic teal velvet blazer and how you styled it, wow ! You both look wonderful 🙂 Such a worthwhile cause and how marvelous all is well for you both personally. l am going to keep an eye on that piece and see if it goes down in price at sale time because it is stunning. Love pieces like that. Happy week 😊

  25. I love the black sequined shirt from Chicos it is perfect for traveling with for formal nights. I have the long black skirt and velvet pants already. Thank you.

  26. I do love your gala outfit. So elegant and just lovely. The Chicos red jacket is gorgeous. Festive but not fussy.

    1. That’s a great way to describe it!

  27. Chicos has some really great festive options. I love their faux leather and plan on wearing it with some sparkle for the holidays.

  28. You look great in your Gala outfit. Because of you I rediscovered Chico’s and have since found many quality things. Thanks for all you do.

  29. You looked lovely for your gala, Jennifer. I hope your husband continues to do well.
    Black tie events used to throw me in a tail spin. About 5 years ago, I finally took the plunge and purchased two timeless complete outfits for these occasions. Of course, COVID put a dent in their use, but now events are popping up again, I can go and enjoy (as long as I figure it the shoes!) Just a reminder to me that investment dressing in a few good pieces usually works out.

    1. That’s the smartest way to be prepared!

  30. Cheryl Spratt says:

    Love the red jacket from chicos as well as the gray one with bell sleeves. I haven’t found anything yet for the holidays but will consider one of these. The teal jacket was a beautiful choice for the gals.

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