What to wear on an afternoon date

I recently came to the conclusion that I really miss making an effort to get dressed. My outfits have devolved into this sadly repetitive basic place, which is partly because it's winter but probably more because the days blur together and I feel like I'm in a much more mundane version of Groundhog Day. I miss getting creative with my outfits, and I miss wearing things that bring me joy rather than just comfort. So last Sunday, I decided not only to make an effort, but to wear a carefully planned outfit that made me feel good because I looked good. Yes, it was Valentine's Day, and we went to a fancy restaurant, and yes, I wanted to look good for Sean. But more importantly, I wanted to look good for me, because as big of a cliché as this is, truly you can't pour from an empty cup. So here's how I filled mine.

I knew I wanted to wear this dress because it's the most recent one I've bought, but it also brings me so much joy. Here's the backstory: I tried on this Stina Goya at a store in Stockholm in 2019; it was a bit small in the bust, so I continued to look for it in the next size up for the rest of the trip. I looked in every department store and boutique in Copenhagen, including the Stine Goya flagship, and sadly it was sold out everywhere. So I set up alerts on eBay, The Real Real, Vestaire Collective, and ThredUp, and a year and a half after my trip, I finally got lucky. ThredUP got a bunch of overstock from Rent the Runway, and lo and behold, there I found my dress in pristine condition, in my size. The thing fits me like a glove, I love the print, and yes, it was completely worth the wait. I debated even featuring it here, since you can't exactly buy one off the rack, but I love it too much not to, plus it serves as an important reminder to wear what makes you feel (and look) good—not just on Valentine's Day, but every day.

Restaurants here are open only for outdoor dining, so knowing that we'd be eating outside, I broke out a heavy-duty coat and layered a nubby wool blazer underneath. Fun story about this coat: I bought it my first winter in San Francisco when I realized that it actually does get kind of cold here (and all of my winter coats were back in storage in New York). That makes this coat seven years old (!), but it's held up quite nicely even though I feel like Zara's quality isn't quite what it used to be. You last saw it a couple years ago in NYC, and while it's next to impossible to find a winter coat at this point...in winter...I've linked a fairly similar style below.

While in normal times I'd just wear a dress under a wool coat, pandemic times call for an extra layer or two. I added a soft wool blazer over the dress, and while it's a piece I don't wear as often as I used to, it definitely comes in handy on a chilly day. It's also several years old (sorry!), but I did manage to find the exact piece below, on Vestaire Collective, which is an excellent source for past-season Isabel Marant pieces like this one. Then again, you could probably achieve a similar look with any black cardigan.

I've been trying to slowly reintroduce heels back into my wardrobe, and what better pair to do so with than these Calla booties? They do have a teeny kitten heel, but they're so comfy, even with the pointed toe. As I mentioned the last time I wore these boots, they're made especially for people with bunions (like me!), and so even though I spend most of my day in slippers, I was just as comfortable in these. Maybe I can still wear heels after all! 

OUTFIT DETAILS: Zara coat (similar here) | Etoile Isabel Marant jacket | Stine Goya dress (similar here) | A.P.C. sac demi-lune | Calla Camilla boots (c/o) 


ALLIE NYC said...

That dress is great and fits you so well. Love the pattern and it is perfect for date night. Same here outdoor dinning of the doors are open. I will so happy when we can get back to normal.

Allie of

Gail Is This Mutton? said...

I love hearing about stealthy hunting down of wanted items and great that you got your dream dress this way! It's a brilliant shape and pattern. I hear ya on Groundhog Day. Still in lockdown here, no restaurants open, so we can only go out for walks. I'm looking forward to spring but have no idea what new things I want because there's no reason to wear anything nice.

Nancy 's Fashion Style said...

That print is fabulous and I love the white boots with it! We can't go out for dinner, can't go to the hairdressers, shops are not open! And it will take a few more weeks! Pff.

Laura B said...

That dress was absolutely worth the wait! It's absolutely beautiful on you!

Maple Leopard said...

What a gorgeous dress, I love it and it look so classy with that gray coat...style perfect girl!


Shelbee on the Edge said...

What a great Valentine's outfit for dining out, Cheryl. I love the bird print on this dress! So fun and it reminds me that spring will be coming again! I have been very uninspired with my wardrobe lately because it is just so cold out and I go nowhere. I want to get dressed in my pretty things again!


the 4 M's said...

Glad you were able to find the dress! Hubby and I went on a double date with some friends last night and I wore the same outfit I wore last date night last month because I loved it so much! It is fun to get dressed up even if to a not so fancy restaurant.

Claire Justine said...

Love your dress, Cheryl. Love the bird print :)

Mica said...

What a beautiful dress - definitely worth the wait it took to track it down! :) I like how you layered it to stay warm for eating outside too! :)

I tend to feel like I'm in a rut as seasons draw to a close - especially in winter when I don't have a lot of winter clothes anyway as it's such a short few weeks here, haha! I've been trying to mix things up a bit and wear a dress at least once a week even if I feel overdressed!

Thanks so much for joining the #WeekdayWearLinkup! Hope that you are having a good weekend :)

Away From Blue

Life's a shoe said...

nice outfit idea! I really like your dress, the prints are gorgeous!

Life is a Shoe