Lights, garland, Christmas trees â€“ now, how are you going to decorate your wonderful self? The holidays are called “cocktail party season” for a reason. Barely into December, the invitations are already streaming in. A considerable amount of energy is dedicated to coordinating outfits that are perfect for each event, how to accessorize, where to invest in new pieces, and how to update old ones. Exhausting. So here’s some fashion advice to make it all a little easier to navigate.
Guys, get holiday sleek
Let’s start with men’s fashion. Designer Timo Weiland summed up a common problem men have in an interview with AskMen.com.
“Men dress either too sloppily, or they dress too contrived, stiff and over-polished. There should be an ease to the way a man dresses, a cool factor.”
Fashion blogger James Andrew put it another way. “The biggest mistake men make is being boring. Men are afraid to wear certain colours and patterns, assigning them to one gender or sexuality. […] Wouldn’t it be more masculine to have the confidence to wear whatever one wants?”
From holiday parties to simple get-togethers, here’s some advice for the guys.
Wear clothes that are appropriate to what you’re doing. If the day is going to be spent picking out a Christmas tree or meeting up with friends at a microbrewery, “Russian Winter” and classic American workwear are two similar styles that are easy and current. These trends are basic, they mean lose the brands, and don’t mistake clothes that are sized too big with casual comfort. Some good colours to look for are khaki, grey, olive, and camel. Military inspired jackets and sand colours boots are also a good option.
For more formal events, there are a wide range of options. For minimalists, throw on a nice t-shirt, high-end trainers, and either a tailored jacket, knitted sweater, or V-neck cardigan. This outfit would work well with a nice pair of jeans, but washed-out red or blue pants that were a hit this summer would carry over well too.
And for fancy parties, Mad Men-style is still a staple this season. A square-ended tie, silver tie clip, classic brogue or loafer, slim-fit trouser, crisp shirt and understated sweater would work perfectly. Seventies inspired party outfits are also coming back into the fashion cycle. Think dark velvet jacket, red shirt, and slightly flared trouser. But remember, the key is always confidence. The clothes do nothing for the person who doesn’t own it.
Ladies, find the outfit that makes you happy
And now for the ladies. Classics can be accented with Ï‹ber of-the-moment pieces, or go all out and splurge on a new dress. If you’re going to take the plunge on a pricey item that isn’t for a specific event, personal stylist Jennifer Garces has some advice.
“If a person buys something and doesn’t wear it within the first week of purchase the chances of them ever wearing it are slim-to-none. I recommend returning those items if possible.”
Garces added that if you want to tear those price tags off and wear it out of the store, “those are the instant favorites and the keepers.”
When buying new clothes, Garces also suggests that women don’t get hung-up on the size that’s advertised. “Sizing is far from standard and it is way more important for something to fit than for the number on the tag to be low.” She adds that no one will know what’s printed on the tag, but everyone will notice if your body is trying to bust out of a tight purchase.
Sheer classics and trendy pairings
New styles this season are short leather dresses, or suede fitted and flared dresses. Also fashionable are slightly see-though fabrics, such as lace and sheer (sheer skirts are incredibly fashion-forward and if done right, beyond sexy and feminine. But it’s a difficult style to pull off.)
For styles with legs â€“ wearable for seasons to come â€“ bold colours and metallics are in. A gathered, one-shoulder cocktail dress in a bold colour is perfect for any party. And bronze, gold, or copper cocktail dresses are big too. But for girls who just can’t feel right in a dress, here are some pant options that are also on-trend.
The holiday spin on the ever-popular skinny jean means a waxed, coated version in a metallic colour. Combine it with a draped top and fun, dance floor ready heels. Or for the vehemently anti-girly, androgyny is making a comeback. Cigarette pant, crisp shirt, silk bow tie, and brogues. Okay, maybe a high heeled loafer if you must.
Add some sparkle to your plain outfit
But if the bank account won’t allow for a whole new outfit, then update a staple. Get out your trusty LBD (little black dress) and accessorize. Buy a pair of holiday heels. Gold, silver, and glitter heels are everywhere. A bow or buckle accent is right on trend too. Beyond shoes, bags can update an outfit. Bright, sparkly clutches in fun shapes (rhinestone puppies, and cupcake-shaped sparkly clutches) are making the rounds.
Finish the outfit with some old world glamour via a swipe of red lipstick. And for a late-night party, pull out all the stops and go heavy on the shimmer eyeshadow, and load up on liner and mascara.
Above all, fashion has to be fun. Trying to look a certain way when it just doesn’t feel right makes someone awkward at best, and a fashion victim at worst. But anyone who just knows that they look amazing can pull off any creation. So go shop, dress-up, drink, dance, make some mistletoe memories, and watch out for the punchbowl â€“ that stuff is stronger than it tastes. Happy holidays!