My 5 Years on YLF has Outlasted my Marriage! Plus WIMW for Cruise

I'm so excited to have, sometime since January 1, hit the 5 year mark on YLF!  I have heaps of gratitude for Angie & Greg, Inge, and the entire YouLookFab community.  This place has brought me so much happiness, all based on sharing a love of fashion.  I want to make a special shout-out to Kari, Annagybe, Aida, Joy, Shevia, Vix & Debbie who inspired me when I joined.  To Janet, Suz, MsMary, Alaskagirl, Ornella, Deborah & Adelfa I want to say I've felt a sisterhood with you these past 5 years, as we all started around the same time (give or take) and you have remained constant on the forum.  Thank you for humbly and enthusiastically traveling this path with me.  I know I have forgotten some names here, please feel free to point out my error!

Meanwhile -- there are clothes to think about!  My Mother is taking me and my boyfriend Dan on a cruise.  This time the three of us are going to Mexico, to celebrate his birthday.  

The itinerary calls for the following:
- 2 Formal Nights 
- 8 Smart Casual Nights
- 5 days at sea
- 4 ports of call/shore days (75-82 F)
- 1 travel day

I am not a light packer.  I fully intend to use this as an opportunity to wear my clothes, something I cannot always do given I live on a ranch (if you're Angie you call it a farm.  Love you Angie).

Herewith, my planned outfits:
Picture 1 -- My one and only formal dress.  This is from Ralph Lauren.
Picture 2 -- Potential second formal outfit.  I really don't have a proper second formal dress, but decided these Rick Owens pieces would work.  Either with tunic dress and long shrimp skirt or ..
Pictures 3/4 -- Other potential formal night's outfit.  Looking kind of busy so preferring #2, what do you think?
Picture 5 -- Smart Casual night/dinner outfit.  A Vince printed silk dress.  Nice quality but just kind of ok on me... cut and color not exactly a 10 on me.
Picture 6 -- Smart casual night.  Another Vince shift dress, like this one much more.
Picture 7 -- More smart casual.  An Eileen Fisher tunic and Rick Owens skirt.  This needs a pendant.  I like the color of the tunic.
Picture 8 -- Smart casual.  A repeat from 2015.  Zara sequin jacket, Vince leather pants.
Picture 9 -- Casual, probably at sea.
Picture 10 -- Casual appropriate for a shore day I think.  Repeat from 2015.
Picture 11 -- My latest addition to the Rick Owens capsule in "Dark Dust", love this dress for cooler nights.
Picture 12 -- Really into this mint bag and mint sandals, combined with navy, for a smart casual day outfit.
Picture 13 -- Sporty luxe smart casual day outfit.
Picture 14 -- Is this a cliche tropical Gringo outfit?  I think the pants are kind of unflattering, but they are lightweight.  Wild pants are an impulse purchase from the sale rack at TJ Maxx.

Any advice or tips on these outfits welcome! Plus thoughts on traveling the "Mexican Riviera" are wanted.  Hoping my Lonely Planet guidebook arrives by Friday.

Please do weigh in on #2 vs. 3/4 as the second formal night outfit.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Sal replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations on your five years!!  I know your style is an inspiration to me - you always look stylish, fashionable in the best way, and I love the fact your location does not hinder your love of clothes.

    I love your looks for the holiday - how exciting!

    I definitely prefer 2 over 3/4 - it is much more elegant to my eye!  And I also like 14 very much - I think it is plenty flattering and I do like printed pants.  I think long cool lightweight pieces are the best for travelling.  

    I have a particular love for 1 2 6 8 12 but really there is not a bad one among them!!

  • Brooklyn replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations on your 5 year anniversary. I find your style inspirational and a little intimidating :) I really appreciate all your posts.
    I am with Sally. I much prefer no 2 to 3/4. Love the long, tonal look. Does a dress have to be long to classify as formal in the U.S.? I saw you in a gorgeous black dress/necklace combo in another post (I think it was 2015 favourites) that I would classify as formal. But both 1 and 2 are fabulous choices.
    Love the other outfits. The printed pants are fun and summery. And I particularly like 6 and 7. Also 13 because I think I have the same top!
    Hope you have a fabulous time. How nice is your mum!

  • Style Fan replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations!  I enjoy reading your posts and admire your style.  You have an amazing wardrobe.
    I also prefer 2 over 3.  I am blown away by 1.  What a great dress!  I like the printed pants in 14.  I think they look very flattering. 
    I am not a light packer either.  Why pack light if you don't need to?  Have fun with your clothes.
    Have a great trip.

  • replied 7 years ago

    Wow.  You look amazing!!!!  I love number 1.  I agree that number 2 is better than numbers 3/4 because the ruching tends to confuse my eye when viewing the outfit as a while.  My absolute favorites are numbers 5, 8, and 13.  You have all the bases covered.  Happy Travels.  

  • Astrid replied 7 years ago

    Congrats! I think I joined about the same time as you did. :-) Love all your outfits, but I prefer #2 over #3/4. It is less busy, as you said. I think it looks more elegant. Hope you have fun!

  • jenanded replied 7 years ago

    Love all those outfits - so many different looks for different occasions. I am sure you will have a fantastic time. Great way to celebrate your 5 years.

  • Karie replied 7 years ago

    Congrats on your 5 yr. anniversary! And how wonderful to be going on a cruise to Mexico. My fav for the 2nd formal outfit is #2, I like the long line created by the top/bottom combo. Everything else looks fantastic, and I like that even when you're going casual you've dressed that up and you're not sticking to jeans and tees. My only concern is that the leather pants might be too hot for Mexico's climate. The crazy pants in #14 look super fun and I love your mint bag and shoes. 

    Enjoy the cruise!

  • replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations on 5 years on YLF Denise! And I'm so glad I got to meet and hug you in person too :)

    I think the outfits you have planned for your cruise are all wonderful!Some amazing dresses and skirt/tunic looks! you mentioned that you thought 3/4 were a little busy looking...maybe...but I still think they look good. I guess I do kind of prefer #2 instead, as you do too.

  • Maneera replied 7 years ago

    You GORGEOUS woman!!! I love ALL of these very much....but #1, 5, 8, 10, 13 & 14 take my breath away!!!

    Your travel capsule is so chic, Denise. I like 2 a touch more than 3 but can't exactly say *why*. I think it looks a touch more glamorous, maybe? But they're both great looks...and different take both!

    You're gonna look fan-freaking-tastic on your vacation. Everything is stellar! Woohoo!!! Enjoy your travels, pretty lady!

  • chouette22 replied 7 years ago

    You are just SO, SO stylish. I love your planned outfits and just wanted to say that I am so very glad I bought those same mint sandals (inspired by your post last year) as they are just perfect.

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    WOW, you look breath-taking in everything. I prefer 2 to 3/4 as simpler and more elegant. Has it really been 5 years!? Congratulations.

  • donnat replied 7 years ago

    You are very stylish and all your photos look amazing. You were (are) one of my inspirations when I joined.
    Enjoy your cruise, you will look killer in all of your outfits.

  • Sara L. replied 7 years ago

    Ooh, I love cruises and packing posts.  I've been on several cruises and never pack light either.  You need so many outfits for dinner, days in port, hanging at the pool, etc.  I love the dress in #1 and the outfit in #2.  I think #3/4 might look less busy with a different cami - one that's not so visible from the back (the front view looks fine to me).  I also really like the dress in #5 with your coloring.  I like both outfits with the mint shoes and bag - I think it's a fun color.

  • Helena replied 7 years ago

    Wow, what a great travel capsule - you will be a stunner on that cruise! #1 is such a knock-out dress - wow, wow, wow. I prefer #2 as well; I find the monochrome to give off more of a formal vibe. #3/4 I like, but they feel more casual to me.

    I love the silk dress in $5 and would dispute that it is not as flattering; it draws attention to your nice legs! :)

    Have a wonderful time - never done the Mayan, but haven't heard a bad thing about it.

  • replied 7 years ago

    Wow, 5 years! It's amazing how many women stick to YLF. It must be the positivity and warmth here. 

    Well of course you look amazing in 1. A real knock out.
    But what I wanted to say is that 5 is such a great look on you. Maybe it's the light that skewing things, but to me, the colour and design are just fabulous on you.The shoes are perfect with it.

    6 and 8 are also among my favourite looks.

    Lucky you to go on a cruise in Mexico!

    ETA: I see that TG and I have said very much the same thing :-)

  • Angie replied 7 years ago


    To say that you are a valuable member of this community Denise, is an understatement. You know I adore you. Your absolutely killer style is one thing, but your intelligence, wit, love for dogs, love for your Mum, strength, intuition, unconditional YLF support, overall kindness and thoughtfulness tops that. Plus your sparkly blue eyes are mesmerizingly mischievous and soulful. You are beautiful inside and out, and an inspiration to us all. 

    Well Madame Farm Fashionista, this is the BEST cruise capsule of ALL time. It's brilliant to see you in so many fancy dresses! A true treat! Impossible to pick a fave. I'm going with Killer to the power of Killer for it all. 

    Go Team Not So Light Packing. Have an amazing trip! 

  • replied 7 years ago

    Nice packing work here!  Congratulations on hitting the 5 year mark, Denise. You are one whose posts I go to the minute I see them, and  whose style I relate to (I wish I could wear jeans like you do ).  Keep on carrying on!

  • MsMary replied 7 years ago

    Denise, you know you are one of my favorite YLF friends and I am so happy to have met you on the forums and in real life! (When are you coming to LA again?!)

    That is one fabulous cruise capsule! My jaw dropped at the first photo and kept dropping with each click! Wow!! I think you should pack both 2 and 3/4 and wear whichever one strikes your fancy in the moment because they are both just fab!!

    Here's my Mexican Riviera capsule from four years ago:

    And my Caribbean capsule, too, just for fun (pretend Mr. K isn't there, speaking of YLF outlasting marriages! LOL)

  • Elizabeth P replied 7 years ago

    Oh, I LOVE seeing a post from you with a whole pile of outfits - well, I love one outfit posts too, but this is a real treat. :)  You have an amazing wardrobe.  I vote #2 as well, I love the 3/4 one but it reads a bit more casual than #2 does. 

  • Vix replied 7 years ago

    CocoLion, 5 years already?! Seems both longer and shorter. So great to have you and your take on style around.

    You're going to look amazing on the trip -- please report back, as I've always wanted to visit that stretch!

    [And yes, given our 20s/30s weather I'm extra envious, ha.]

    I actually think you may need to pack MORE.

    I worry about you being too warm in some of them (though I guess cruise ships are A/C'd up the wazoo?), and thus needing to default to the lovely dresses + white blouse and black pants. If they have laundry facilities nevermind, but....

    Have fun and bring back photos to share with us landlocked folks!

    ps What a subject line! Glad the two events weren't related. ;)

  • Elle replied 7 years ago

    Love all the outfits.  I prefer #2 over #3 - just seems a touch more elegant to me.

  • Diana replied 7 years ago

    Happy ylf anniversary! I always love seeing your outfits, Denise, and your cruise capsule is no exception. I think I prefer #2 as it looks dressier. If bring the other outfit too though, just in case, and it could work for smart casual too.

  • Inge replied 7 years ago

    Happy 5th YLF anniversary, Denise!! (I initially wrote "50th anniversary, and I'll definitely raise my cup of tea to that too:-) You have been an inspiration for me from the very beginning, Denise: your amazing eye for beautiful design details, great proportions, sense of adventure and "fashion fun", how you make every single item you buy your very own. That's what I call individual style, and you can bet I'll continue to take notes! Thank you for being such a stylish inspiration and a fabulous woman inside and out!

    Now that I've had the pleasure of meeting you irl (something I hope we can make happen again very soon), I can confirm that that famous mischievous twinkle in your stunning blue eyes is there both in photos and irl, and I don't know if this sounds silly, but I consider it an integral part of your sky-high style quotient.

    The Mexico cruise sounds super fun, wow! And your cruise capsule is beyond WOW!! Of course I already knew that you have a closet full of gorgeous pieces, Denise, but seeing some of them rounded up here and incorporated into all these amazing outfits emphasizes it even more. I truly love every single outfit here (how stunning are you in that blue gown, oh la la!), and second MsMary re outfit 2/3. You'll be looking fab from morning till late at night, my word!

  • kkards replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations! Wow, 5 Years! I'll take this time to say how much I enjoy and am inspired by your WIW's.

    Now, on to the cruise, what fun! and what lovely outfits.  l love the wild pants because they say, hey, I'm on vacation! But #13 is my fav, laidback but put together casual,.

  • annagybe replied 7 years ago

    Five years! Yowza. It's was fantastic to see you more than once. Plus seeing your Rick Owens pieces in person .
    I like everything except #7, yes the tunic is a good color for you. But with the taupe skirt it's kinda blergh, earth mother using only natural dyes.
    ETA I like #3-4, it's different & interesting, but yes #2 is more cohesive thereby reading more formal. I think #3-4 would work great for a modern opera.

  • Cerinda replied 7 years ago

    Congrats, Denise!

    And you totally nailed the wardrobe!  I think you may find #11 has too cosy a vibe to match your mood onboard, and I'm not crazy about the colors in 7 either.

    Gringo, schmingo!   We are what we are.  (Didn't we talk about this in Seattle?  I'm a tourist.  I can't escape being a tourist.  Heck, I study tourists...)

    On sea days, do you plan to lounge indoor or outdoors?  I ask because I like to be outside so much.  I wear a hat, long white sleeves, etc. but  I always get caught without enough cover-ups/sun protection for the inevitable spilled coffee, squished sunscreen, garment blown off my chair, etc.

    PM me if you have decide you want independent tour operators after all.  I like the beach at Stone Island off Mazatlan, sailing in Cabo, kayaking or a boat tour of the marine preserve in Loreto (but it's also a good place to wander), and just eating and drinking in PV.

    I hope you have just way too much fun!

  • MsMaven replied 7 years ago

    I love the first two outfits--you will knock 'em dead. Actually, I like all of your choices.

    Are you leaving from SF? So exciting to go out under the Golden Gate. We took a similar cruise last year right after the big storm, and Cabo wasn't really ready for visitors yet. We still had a good time. (So much has happened in the last year that the cruise now seems like ancient history.) 

    Have a great time and happy YLF anniversary!

  • replied 7 years ago

    Oooh Mexico! Are you going to Cozumel? It's one of my personal favs, besides Isla Roatan in Honduras. 

  • catgirl replied 7 years ago

    I love all of these - you are such an inspiration!  And I'm so glad to be your vintage here on YLF. I appreciate your feedback, outfits, and fashion knowledge and panache in combination with your real life needs more than I can tell you.

  • texstyle replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations!  Sounds like a wonderful trip with your mom.

    I love many of your outfits - #2, #6 are quick favorites as are #12 and #14. #1 is stunning!  You're going to be turning heads - have a great time.

  • unfrumped replied 7 years ago

    I love this post and the entire capsule is fabuloso.
    I don't have time to do it justice. You are movie-star fab in the long dark gown. The mint combos are wonderful. The navy! Love the printed pants on you, must wear. The handbag and sandals take care of any concerns, you look brilliantly Resort.  I really like the Vince dress, not sure why you think it's so so--I think it looks very breezy and perfect for cruise wear.
    For the #2 formal separates, do you have sparkly bracelets or great cuff?
    With the sleeveless top and lovely arms it's just calling for bracelets. I have trouble with fit with arm candy. I guess the style of the outfit may call for an architectural or modern cuff rather than just sparkle or bangles but that's a detail, not a requirement.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    p.s. Farm Fashionista sounds better than Ranch Fashionista, don't you think? 

  • replied 7 years ago

    The Mexican Riviera has a lovely town called Sayulita, near PV.  We spent a week there and really enjoyed it.  It's a hippie surfer kind of town, and quite lively but laid-back.  The next town over, San Pancho (that's the local name for it), is also very nice, but much more chill.  Gorgeous beaches all around, and lovely people.  Have fun on your cruise!

  • CocoLion replied 7 years ago

    Thanks everyone for the responses!  I am a busy beaver today, no not packing (although mentally I've packed and made a list).  I've spent all day doing year-end business things for the family business.  Lots of tax payments, form filings and those W2s.  I am exhausted from it and just want to stream Netflix, that is if we can get a signal tonight.

    Vix rest assured I am bringing more things, like ordinary shorts and tees for the most casual occasions.  I have another long dress also for casual shore attire, almost a beach cover up.

    I really appreciate all of your advice and support, from accessories to outfit suggestions to Mexican coast recommendations.  

    Cerinda -- you've convinced me to pack my big white shirt.  And Anna, you crack me up with the natural dye comment, yeah EF can go that way.  I could still return the top, tags are on it, but part of me likes it just for the happy blue-green color.  OTOH, it's got that big oversized thing going that I'm trying to step away from.

  • Jaime replied 7 years ago

    Wow I have never been part of an old guard before! Denise I adore your style and also your insightful comments. I love having someone so stylish and aware of trends (plus around my height!) on board, so to speak! Your outfits here are truly fab. I love #2 and prefer it to the other option, and agree with Anna that #7 is my least favorite, but otherwise these are all perfect. 

  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago

    High FIVE :) Congratulations Denise. You were one of the most helpful & welcoming fabbers when I was a newbie. Have a wonderful time & here's to the next five years.

  • Kaelyn replied 7 years ago

    Congratulations on 5 years! Your outfits are all stunningly gorgeous. I love, love, love the dress and necklace in #1. So elegant. You just sparkle. I hope you enjoy your cruise!

  • anne replied 7 years ago

    Denise, it has been so lovely having you on the forum these past 5 years. I really love your outdoor photos, your cheeky smile, and gorgeous eyes and hair. And I appreciate the time you take on my (and many others) threads.

    Cruise ships are outside my experience so I won't venture into advice there, but I do so love number one, and I also really love the Rick Owen dress. People talk about RO quite a bit here, and I haven't really investigated to know what they are talking about, but I like that one!

  • rachylou replied 7 years ago

    Fantastic! You know how to do it right!

  • annagybe replied 7 years ago

    Let me clarify, the EF top is a great color. I just don't like. It with that skirt. Both items are dragged down.

  • Cococat replied 7 years ago

    I really love your style CocoLion and I liked both 2 & 3 for evening, no favourite, both fab.

    Have a fantastic time on the cruise. I've never done a cruise, but I have been to Mexico and I loved it, even though the travelling time to get there was outrageous.

    Ps. Love your new RO addition.

  • Janet replied 7 years ago

    Denise, I'm late chiming in, and I'm on my phone (vacationing in Cabo, shhh, don't tell anyone! ;-)), but these outfits look great. Your style is one of my absolute favorites on the forum, and I've always considered you a bit of a style sister as well. I'm really honored by the shout out. :-) I hope you have a marvelous time on your vacation. I know you will look amazing. One of these days I hope to meet you in person -- I have a feeling we would find lots to talk about! Ranches, dogs, music, fashion.... :-)

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Denise, congratulations!! And thank you for the shout-out -- I feel the same way about you! :) 

    You're a style inspiration to many of us here in more ways than one. Lady, you have CLASS, and this incredible capsule proves it! I absolutely love these. You are smoking gorgeous in #1, and absolutely stylish, hip, and effortlessly put together in all the others. I prefer outfit #2 to #3 for the formal event (same reason as you gave). As for the other outfits, they are superb! The mint sandals and bag are genius. (I have the same sandals in taupe, thanks to you, and find them very comfortable.) 

    Have a wonderful time, and enjoy your beautiful clothes! 

  • Bijou replied 7 years ago

    If this is what you get to be like after 5 years of YLF - then I had better stick with it!  Every outfit is stunning and whilst there is variety, shows a cohesive and personal style.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

  • Colette replied 7 years ago

    First, congratulations! Second, jaw drop at #1, you are gorgeous! And it looks like you have your packing all figured out. I really enjoy following your posts and admire your style. Have a wonderful trip!

  • SarahTheWhite replied 7 years ago

    You look so beautiful in all of these - stylish and comfortable, which is perfect for a cruise! I hope you have wonderful time. Thank you for sharing your journey and your style with us all! :-)

You need to be logged in to comment