In true holiday fashion, simple is always better. Let me draw an analogy; no one recalls their favorite holiday meal without the side dishes we’ve all come to love, and hate (i.e. cranberry out of the can). After all, it’s not really about the turkey anyway, it’s about the stuffing, mash potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie. There is a correlation, I promise. Basically, it’s the little additions that make the whole occasion easy on the eyes, right? Well the same should be said about what you wear to all those lovely holiday gatherings, including the ever so unpredictable holiday ‘office’ party. Which we all know is never really a party, but instead a clever way to pawn the holiday cheer by buying “white elephant” gifts and trying to snag all the free food and booze because it’s on the boss, and you’ve always wanted to ride the corporate gravy train even if it was on such a generic level. If this sounds all too familiar, then at least dress your best so as to avoid being on top of the “worst dressed list” water cooler discussion the next day.
Most of us can admit we’ve fallen into the trap of what I call the “bopster” craze (boho and hipster combined), where fashion is a playground waiting to be explored by frequent trips to the thrift store and oh yes, Urban Outfitters. Now is your chance for redemption. Call on the fairy godmother of simplicity to deliver you from a potential holiday wardrobe disaster. Even an ugly brooch can cost you six months in social purgatory when dealing with your co-workers, so be forewarned!
It’s all about accessories this year, so now is the perfect time to test the waters. Even if you’re a more understated beauty, pairing a couple of trinkets will do the trick to upstage even the most eclectic fashion diva at the office. First and foremost you should pick your background color, or “turkey,” if you will.
There is a plethora of colors this year so choose one and stick with it. I approach it rather monochromatically. Black is always in, but over do it and you look like you’ve donned a revival of ‘Goth’ or you’re headed to the place where you’re outnumbered by the deceased. Gray is rather tricky because it can look like you’re one large sweatshirt, seamlessly dull. White – let’s not even try it. Pick something complimentary and festive, but remember to keep it as simple as possible. Leave the best for last.
So, while embarking on my research I discovered several colors that are fun, festive and always classic. Rich earth and berry notes including plum wine – a celebrated color for this time of year because it’s warm and enticing. It’s much like red but without the flash and “please look at me” feel. It’s soft, seductive and complimentary to most skin tones. Whether it’s a fitted jacket, pencil-lined skirt or mock turtle neck you’re most notably going to be noticed. Not to mention that this color is all the craze on the catwalk from head to toe, and eyes to lips. If that’s too daring there’s always the neutral tones and my favorite comeback of all time, cobalt blue. Still wobble-kneed about it? You can always mix it up with a little black.
Now, the side dishes, or “accessories,” if I may, are your claim to holiday fame. But remember, when searching for the perfect accessories, the obvious thought should remain, “keep it simple smarty,” and opt for one accessory to focus on. Earrings are definitely in, and the bigger the better. But, depending on what age bracket you rein within, you don’t want to look like a ragged Christmas tree topper. A nice dangle or “threader” may just do the trick, and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the perfect match. Opting for a more aesthetic approach might be to choose a subtle earring but complimented by a much flashier accessory, the ever so popular beaded strands. Instead of mother of pearl, accented by sharp shards of shell, choose a more classic strand of glass beads. A rich umber, berry or soft metallic exudes a nice holiday presence but beware of die hard gold and silver, you’re not a Christmas ornament (remember, water cooler). The more the merrier. Bundling up on these may have you looking like a top-sided Christmas shrub so I say pick two to three strands. Try to remember that odd always pulls together better than even sets. Still perplexed? Leave the jewelry to those with more ‘experience’ and throw on an embellished scarf, shrug or jacket but not all at once. This approach sings to those of the younger crowd and should be attempted only if personality meets your sophomore charm. As for glitter and sequence, I say leave that for your New Year’s bash-besides you might want to get a head start on your New Year’s resolution and drop all that disco glam. Bangle bracelets are always a nice touch however a nice jewel encrusted cuff is sure to start the next trend. Oh and I almost forgot – belts. Whether it’s braided, wide, thin, metallic, knitted or plastic, these little waist watchers are everywhere. It’s easy to be overwhelmed but don’t let them squeeze all the creativity from your holiday ensemble. If you decide on something flashy, chuck the necklace and throw on your favorite earrings and a watch, or choose a thin belt complimented by a few ornate bracelets. Update the hip-hugger belt wearing trend by wearing a simple scooter dress with your belt fitted tightly around your waist as opposed to coddling your hips. This gives the appearance of the voluptuous hour-glass figure. Don’t hide your best asset, instead accentuate it, tastefully.
Whatever you decide to try, just remember to utilize your own fashion flavor, and the omniscient “gut feeling” approach as opposed to following a trend. Be daring and mysterious; bring out your best features and keep it simple. Never go for one stylized look, instead pull together pieces from various areas to create a unique holiday outfit for the whole season, and you’re sure to be the most intriguing new dish at the table. Bon apettite!