Twas’ the season…to be jolly or stressed and frazzled? The holiday season was a whirlwind of errands – shopping, wrapping, cleaning, baking, decorating, and driving! And now…here comes the biggest excuse of the year to dress up and party! Yikes, were YOU not on your own shopping list? Are you now fretting about how to muster up enough energy to throw open your closet doors and pull together something fabulous for New Year’s Eve? Here’s the bottom line. If you have some of these key items in your closet, consider yourself good to go. If not, then perhaps in the midst of returning all those unwanted lovelies, you can pick up a few party savers for yourself.
The Little Black Dress – Let’s state the obvious first and get it over with. Most every woman has that great LBD, one that accentuates your body (where it deserves accentuating) and forgives and conceals those areas that need it. Have some fun with old faithful for the holidays, add a belt in exotic faux skin, paired with high black boots, or play off your gorgeous gams with a sexy (and oh so appropriate) red heel. Your jewelry can be a simple bold cuff or a statement necklace.
The Metallic Evening Shoe – When darting from the office to a post-work holiday gathering, simply switching up your sensible black pumps to a flirty pair of metallic shoes will turn your basic black pantsuit or demure black pencil skirt, into a glam statement of confidence. Your options are endless – strappy sandals, kitten heels, sequined adorned, ballet flats and more, it all reads more festive in silver or gold.
The Sequined Tank – Nothing says “Happy New Year” quite like sequins. (OK maybe champagne does…) The beauty of a sequined tank is that it flatters women of most any shape and age. Pair it with skinny jeans and heels, a pair of dark, tailored men’s trousers or a skirt. Cropped jackets, trenches, tuxedo-style blazers and denim jackets all work to downplay the arms (if needed) and keep you warm.
Statement Jewelry – Make it bold and make it yours. A string of pearls, although always a classic, does not a strong impression make. Take any outfit (jeans and a T?) and give it instant party cred by donning a big, boldly cut, chunky cocktail ring. Festive emerald in celebration of the season perhaps? The epic chandelier earring, with gemstones or faux jewels could also do the trick.
Leather – Leather has for years been a go-to holiday staple in my own closet. Pair up some butter soft black leather pants with a cashmere sweater and high heels for a party look that is almost as comfortable as pajama bottoms. A leather pencil skirt with a fabulous blouse, opaque tights and heels can also be a reliable staple. One of the best things about leather, you won’t have to waste time ironing!
White Blouse – For holidays it should be anything BUT the basic work button down. Try something with ruffles, tuxedo style, big cuffs, taffeta, sheer, halter… the options are endless! Choose a style that complements your figure then pair it with skinny or trouser jeans, menswear pants, black skirts, leather pants, even ball gown skirts!
Evening Clutch – Leave the oversized hobo bag at work. For holiday parties, keep your must carry essentials to a minimum (lipstick, debit card, breath mints) so they can fit in this undersized accessory. Let the statement come from its art and craftsmanship, choose one jewel encrusted or slim and trimmed in satin. For once, bigger is not necessarily better.
Fashionably fun leg coverings – I’m hesitant to use the term “hose” lest it conjure up images of nurses in their white panty hose and my own nightmare memories of baggy elephant legs after my sheer nylons lost their stretch. Today’s options are much more fashion forward, even while being flashbacks in their own right. Fishnets in either black, monochromatic or flesh tone will add instant sex appeal to any dress or skirt. Opaque tights in black or unexpected bold colors will keep the winter chill off of your legs while acting as a punctuation mark to your outfit.
Red – It is the holidays after all so celebrate with one of its hallmark colors. Bold red lips make an entrance (but be sure to balance it with a subtle eye). If you can’t pull off the red lips then opt for candy apple red nail polish. Break up your black ensemble with a red belt or scarf. However you decide to incorporate the shade of the season remember, a small dose goes a long way.
Modern Evening Wrap – And by modern I mean, “not a shawl.” Your wrap could have sleeves built in, be a shrug or sheer jacket. Ideally, it is something so unique that it stands on its own while complementing your look. One made of silk, in brighter colors with metallic threads adds a festive note. Take off the black work blazer, replace it with an unexpected topper and you will keep yourself warm while turning heads.
If you have any of the above pieces already in your closet, you are ready to rock the holiday parties effortlessly. If you are lacking these evening basics, just remember while dashing to the mall to make returns, you deserve a little something special and sparkly! Struggling? Let’s get together!
Doreen teaches women how to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image and fully engage in their future potential.