It’s the most wonderful time of the year. There is so much festivity that only the Grinchiest of us can not find something to enjoy. Sidewalks scented with cut evergreens, lobbies festooned in live floral and greenery, twinkling lights and flickering candles; it’s simply mood altering. It is no wonder that holiday parties abound. Whether your invitation has arrived on embossed linen stationery or as an email blast, the result is the same: what to wear?!
Special occasion dressing is at its core, creating the very best version of one’s self. Holiday dressing is no different, but comes with a few (easily avoided) pitfalls.
Sparkle, shine, shimmer are the order of the day. Fear not, a strategic approach will prevent you from looking like a female impersonator on a farewell tour. If you are heading out to purchase a new tog, tread slowly and lightly. There are party clothes being sold which are designed for a very small segment of the population. It is an unfortunate fact of life, that on most of us a gold lame smoking jacket only conjures Liberace. Head to toe glitz should be avoided at all cost. With glam, a little goes a long way. If you choose to bedazzle your torso, keep shoes, jewelry and bags in matte. A sparkly top with a black pant or jeans can be paired with a more glitzy shoe. Be careful with your jewelry however, or that sparkly top may start to resemble a tree topper. It’s all about balance. Just as you wouldn’t show excessive leg with decolletage, your sparkly mustn’t upstage your shine. Be equally judicious with nail lacquer and hair accessories. It is easy to get caught up in the occasion with results similar to a gingerbread house in the hands of a kid with a frosting bag. All admonition aside, have fun. This is a great time to take a small step outside one’s comfort zone. Is there a jewel tone silk blouse in the back of your closet, yearning to breathe free? Have you been ogling a pair of tuxedo pants? Is there a shoe so impractical it should be outlawed? Have at it! “Tis the season.
For business parties (keeping in mind that “business” always trumps “party”) a workplace outfit can be easily festooned. Slip on a sparkly or shiny pair of heels, perhaps a patent leather pump in a kicky color. Stash your necessities in a pretty impractical clutch. Choose one glitzy jewel (sparkly earrings OR necklace OR pin.) Holiday parties are a great time to justify those vintage brooches. You are ready for the office party where you will drink sparingly and be your most charming self, and do nothing to cause regret or employment uncertainty.
Because one should never assume, the following are ironclad Don’ts: Thou shall never adorn oneself with a theme sweater as it saddens Santa. Thou shall never don a chapeau similar to that of Santa’s for that is an abomination. Thou shall not reference reindeer in any manner; including the wearing of antlers. I can shoot straight, if I don’t have to shoot too far.* Happy Holidays!
* – Scarlett O’Hara