I am a huge fan of “the holidays” — by which I mean Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
I don’t even celebrate Christmas, and my New Year’s Eve tends to be fairly tame. But I’ve bought into the myth: the family time, the coziness, the Christmas caroling, eggnog, fairly lights, mistletoe — I just love it all. Of course I love the Chanukah lights, too.
And I especially love the idea of getting dressed up! Of course, there are many occasions for doing just that: work parties, neighborhood get-togethers, school plays, cocktail parties, family meals … the list goes on.
Many women would love to dress up but when it comes time to put on something festive, they’re stymied. Chances are they’ve left themselves very little time to figure out what to wear, and they wind up wearing either something too casual or too businessy for their festive holiday occasions.
Here are five ways to skew your regular attire toward the holidays — and no, we’re not talking about Santa sweaters.
1 — Switch your bag and shoes. Many women have no time or patience for changing their bag every day. But this time of year, keep a smaller bag at the ready and use that for going to your various functions. Without your big, serious work tote, you’ll instantly look and feel more festive. As for your shoes, Many a cute outfit has been built around boots, and that’s fine. (One of my favorite looks is sleek boots + velvet dress.) But many otherwise cute outfits suffer from being paired with work shoes — sturdy, comfortable shoes to be worn with slacks. Find something more festive, if possible.
2 — Add something red. Not because it’s a Christmas color but because it’s an instant shot of glamor. Paint your nails red or another fun color and/or go a little stronger with your lip color. (Truly, this doesn’t involve a lot of effort — it’s an extra 60 seconds on your next trip to the drugstore, you don’t have time to get to your favorite department store makeup counter.)
3 — Raid your closet and add luster or sparkle (or both!). This is the time to dig out that velvet shawl you’ve held onto but never worn, or grandma’s crystal necklace, or both. Look through the back reaches of your closet. I’ve never yet worked with a client who didn’t have a few treasures stashed away — treasures she’d nearly always forgotten about.
4 — Get one new thing. This is a great time to add one fabulous key piece to your wardrobe. Here is some inspiration. The idea is that if you have a limited budget for holiday-related purchases, buy something you can wear often and in many ways: a velvet crewneck T-shirt, a sequined cardigan, a skirt with beading, a crystal necklace.
5 — Get a second opinion. Ask a friend what she has in the back reaches of her closet and see if you can pool your resources. And if you’d like a fresh perspective on what’s in your closet, I’d love to help. Would you love to see if you have three to five great holiday outfits already in your closet? Here’s how you can do that.