Written by Cintli Sanchez
If you’re anything like me, your social calendar is usually wide open. Strangely, the month of December has suddenly filled with holiday parties and you have been tasked with finding appropriate outfits to wow the crowds for several different occasions. Keep in mind these few easy guidelines and the perfect outfit for any occasion will be a cinch.
Do Your Research: Find out the dress code before the party. There is nothing worse than being too dressed up or too casual. Okay, there are worse things, but it’s still pretty awkward. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance from the host.
Hold The Sparkle: The holidays are a great time to add sparkle to enhance your look, but remember that it shouldn’t BE your look. I know it’s tempting to whip out the Bedazzler or the sequined dress that has taken refuge in the back of your closet. Resist the temptation to go over the top; a little sparkle goes a long way. Add one or two tasteful elements and leave it at that.
Dress in Layers: Make sure that the shirt you have on under the sweater, coat, or shawl is stylish by itself. Your destination may have the heat blazing to defrost guests and you’ll need to be able to adjust to a wide range of temperatures.
Leave Room to Grow: I know we don’t want to admit that we’ve gained a pound (or two) since Thanksgiving, but the truth hurts. Wear something comfortable with a little extra room. The holidays are all about feasting and celebrating – you won’t be able to do that if you are squeezed into a dress that is a size you wish you were.
Resist the Little Black Dress: I’m not saying you can’t wear a Little Black Dress, but please, please do something different with it. Try a one shoulder or something with lace detail. With that said, the holidays are a great excuse to venture out of your typical color palate comfort zone. Think jewel tones like ruby red, amethyst purple, emerald green, sapphire blue, and turquoise that will really dazzle on any skin tone.
Here are a few situations you might find yourself in the coming weeks…
Work Holiday Party: Mixing co-workers, drinking, and formal wear can make for a tricky situation. If you have any doubts about your dress being work appropriate, it probably isn’t. In these kinds of situations, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The dress should hit slightly above the knee and be paired with nylons or tights. Obviously avoid anything drastically low cut (in the front or back). When in doubt, ask a trusted and perhaps more conservative, friend.
Friend’s Holiday Party: This one is a little easier and varies depending on what kind of party, but remember to do something a little different from your usual look. It might be some extra sparkle or a red cashmere sweater, but add something that gets you into the holiday spirit.
Meeting the Boyfriend’s Parents: The holidays bring people together, including you and your boyfriend’s family. Even if it isn’t the first time you’re meeting, you want to look your best. Try a stylish girl-next-door look with a simple cashmere cable knit layered over a longer tank. The sweater should be the statement piece in the outfit, so try a bold jewel tone like red or purple. Pair with dark skinny jeans, riding boots, and a vest for colder days. You’ve got yourself a comfortable and classic look that is sure to win them over!
Hitting the Road: If you are hitting the road or taking to the skies this holiday season, you may be contemplating how to fit everything in the trunk or overhead bin. You may have limited packing space, but that doesn’t have to put a damper on your style. A few versatile pieces can be mixed and matched for a multitude of outfit combinations. Avoid things that will wrinkle easily or occupy too much valuable space. Dark jeans, thinner sweaters, basic tanks, and blazers layer well, always look great, and pack well. To make each outfit different while using many of the same pieces, accessorize each differently. Accessories don’t take up much room and can change the entire feeling of an outfit.
Now that you are sure to look great in the pictures, go enjoy yourself and spend time with those you care about!
Cintli Sanchez is a Southie resident with a passion for fashion. By day, she works as a Project Manager in post-approval research. By night, she enjoys organizing her friends’ closets, personal shopping, and spending time with her favorite accessory, Ruby the Cavapoo.
Image from jcrew.com