Today’s dilemma – you are invited to an after-work party and you are a commuter!

You really don’t want to show up at work with three Whole Food bags just so you can change your clothes for a free cocktail!

There are easier ways around the styling challenge.

Let’s start by simply dropping a dress!

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, we can get back to normal shopping, meaning taking advantage of the store sales on the items that we actually want and the items that will personally serve us well. Case in point, I purchased 2 new vacuum cleaners on Cyber Monday, one for my home and one for my parent’s home. Not exactly festive-wear!

Let’s begin by perusing the dress department. This week I was with a client in Lord & Taylor Burlington showing her how to break down the dress department to make it manageable and maneuverable for her personally.

Let’s break it down for you.

When you think office-wear vs. evening-wear, hopefully two different images come to mind. However, everyone’s situations are unique, so let’s just talk about you and what’s right for you.

As you approach the sea of dresses, decide ahead of time whether you are looking for a patterned dress or a solid dress. For this crossover event, I recommend buying a patterned dress that has black within the color palette because there are many options for you to ‘makeover’ that dress again and again.

Next, decide on color. Do you want a favorite festive color or do you want a sassy LBD? Note to self, if you have six sassy LBD’s in the closet, try and think outside the box and shop for color.

What is your favorite festive pop of color –  the deep winter tones of dark jade, burgundy or perhaps purple?  Or the statement making ruby red, crushing cobalt or shimmering emerald?

Now you are on a roll and perhaps taking a pass through the dress department or shopping online only looking for a patterned dress in a certain color. You have brought down the options from maybe 1000 to 200!

Next, decide your sleeve length. You might want to opt for sleeveless for this particular shopping challenge so that you can be dressing down the look with a jacket at the office, and can then pop on some shimmer lotion and a bit of arm candy to change the look decisively and check your jacket at the door.

If you opt for sleeves, decide on the length and shape. Perhaps a bell sleeve may be an appropriate on-trend splurge for a holiday dress.

Decide on the neckline. Many round neck dresses come with sewn-on embellishments thereby negating the need for a statement necklace. Do you prefer your necklace sitting on the skin of your décolletage, then opt for a V-neck. Do you prefer your necklace to lay on the fabric of the dress, then choose a round neck or a high neck.

So far you are still not carrying anything extra to the after-hours soirée!

Here’s what you should carry, a bit of bling in the form of chandelier earrings, a statement necklace or even a cocktail ring. Then throw a sheer scarf or wrap in the bag in case the winter chill enters the room.

Lastly, pack a party shoe and a demure evening clutch. BTW – preparing to carry just a clutch in the evening, may take some morning preparation as you may have to ditch the extra (mostly unnecessary) 45 things you usually stash in your daily satchel. That way if you lock your bag at the office overnight all you will need to have with you in your evening clutch are your wallet essentials, your phone, your lipstick and your car keys.

On a side note – once you have that overstuffed satchel cleaned out, take note whether or not you really need to carry all that crap every day and also take note whether or not you may actually need a new bag that serves you well AND looks fabulous!

Now is the season to shop for a new bag. I’ve broken down all the necessary bag-shopping-essential-tips in my book, Confidence Is Always In Style, to help you shop with purpose right down to the grommets on the bottom, the size of the handle, the shape of the bag, the price point and even the color. It’s all in there!

Pop on over to this link to grab a few copies of my second edition now priced at $10. The perfect gift for you, or as a stocking stuffer for your girlfriend or even a Yankee swap item that’s bound to get the conversations going! Now go drop that dress and enter the party with confidence!

What To Wear This Holiday Season? was last modified: by

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