December 21st, 2010
by Dan Gold
Holiday Dressing: Those two little words can strike fear in many women’s hearts. What to wear to the holiday parties, the office parties, the Nutcracker performance, a special dinner, a New Year’s Eve party, and the list goes on. Thinking about upcoming events—though they are designed to be fun, lighthearted affairs—can cause a lot of stress.
Fear not! There are ways to get through this festive season without harming your sanity or your finances. What I recommend to my Santa Barbara Wardrobe Wisdom clients is to first write down the holiday events you will be attending. Then go back to that list and try to get a handle on the dress codes. If you have an invitation that does not give you a clue as to what would be appropriate attire, call the host or hostess and ask him or her.
Once you know where you are going and what you should wear, the fun begins without costing you a penny. Start by going to your closet, looking for things you like and feel good in for parties. Take those pieces out and see if you can mix them up to create various outfits. I have a number of pretty velvet skirts and realized just last night that my black one looks darling with a short sleeve gray sweater I’ve had for years. Once you have outfits started, assess what you are missing. Do you need a pair of stylish pumps to go with a great black dress? Would your chic black tuxedo pants look good with a velvet or silk top like this one?
What about accessories? Look for ones among your collection that are unusual. Magazines and stores are full of ideas on how to transform your look with whimsical pieces for the holidays. You can wear beautiful headbands and barrettes with sequins, crystals, feathers, and ribbons upon them. A metallic or jewel-encrusted clutch may be just the thing to spice up a dress you’ve worn before. Though tempting, be mindful about not going nuts wearing too many accessories at one time. One standout piece should be balanced by other understated pieces.
Before you hit the stores, consider your friends (and their wardrobes). What can you borrow from them? Maybe you can bring a few of your accessories to their house and you can do a holiday jewelry swap. Perhaps your friend is tired of her sequined skirt, but it is one you would love to wear to a New Year’s Eve party. Think about the gaps in your social occasion ensembles, and let your friend make suggestions on how to fill them.
Finally, it may be time to head to the mall. If it’s in your budget, knock yourself out and buy some of this season’s trends. However, I always suggest that you only consider items that speak to you. Buy things you truly love and that will go with more than one thing in your wardrobe. A lovely wrap made of satin or velvet is something you can wear again and again. A simple yet elegant dress in a jewel tone will never go out of style. There are sparkly necklaces, earrings, and bracelets at fine department stores, Forever 21, and even Claire’s. Remember that nowadays you can get away with wearing a sequined headband or crystal encrusted bracelet when you are not going to a party. So reach for these things after the holidays, too.
Try to remember that, in the end, you want to feel comfortable and confident during this whirlwind social season. So dress up, and relish how you look in your glittery and colorful finery.
About Lori Cooper:
Lori Cooper works with women and men who are eager to update their personal style and looks for their professional and personal lives. Wardrobe Wisdom is “The confidence you feel from always looking your best!”
Lori’s success is built on her ability to breathe new life into existing wardrobes. Her unique and highly customized approach to organizing closets and helping clients discover their own best looks, has her clients loving – instead of dreading – dressing for special occasions and for every day.
Ever since she obtained a work permit at age 16, Lori has enjoyed working in retail (largely to support her clothes-buying habit!). Watching people leaving the dressing room in frustration motivated Lori to learn how the right style, cut, and color can turn that exasperation to elation.
Lori generously shares the secrets of her professional background in retail merchandising, buying and service to help you learn the savvy shopping and styling skills which make getting dressed a pleasure. Her graduate and teaching experience are the foundation for a patient, insightful approach. And her love of ‘all things style’ makes your Wardrobe Wisdom experience exciting and fun.