With Christmas right around the corner, I would be remiss if I didn’t write something about Christmas fashion. For me, this time of year is my busiest in terms of planning outfits and experimenting with my look. And being married has at least doubled the number of holiday occasions that I need to prepare for.
But don’t get me wrong. I have so much fun!
I hope the advice I have for you today will take the stress out of dressing for whatever events you find yourself attending this season. Because I have one word for you.
Dressed up or down, in cardigan or dress form, any way you slice it, sweaters can be your foundation for all Christmas fashion. They come in literally every color and style you could think of, and, bonus, they are IN right now. So whether you’re going for cozy or sexy, you’ll be one chic lady this holiday season.
But we all know that not every Christmas party is created equal. The quaint family get-together isn’t the same as the wild house party with your friends. The office party isn’t the same as the giant annual family reunion. I want to give off different vibes at different events.
Here’s what I recommend:
For the Small Family Gathering
This is the occasion that I would deem the most casual. It’s usually just my immediate family, and we exchange small gifts between us. For this, keep it simple.
A large-knit sweater is both elegant and extremely comfortable. Perfect for curling up on the couch and opening presents with the ones you love most.
For the Big Party with Your In-Laws
I like to look especially polished at the in-laws’ big Christmas get-togethers. I was very lucky that my husband’s family welcomed and accepted me right out of the gate. But even if they hadn’t, my mentality for their parties would have been the same.
In this scenario, I like my outfit to say, “Your son married well.”
Basically, whether you’re married or not, whether you’re single or seeing someone, if you get invited to a party where you’re the new-comer or the “other” in the group, wear something that makes you feel confident. Something that says, “I deserve to be here.”
If you want to take it a step further, adopt a trend that helps you fit in. For example, my husband’s family is sort of loud (not in a bad way), always laughing and being silly. If I had to pick a color to describe them, it would be bright orange. Enter me, an individual with a personality that’s more of a nice navy blue…
I’m always going to be the quiet one at my husband’s family functions. But sometimes wearing a loud color makes me feel a little more like one of the clan.
For the Friend Party
A lot of these parties have themes–like the classic Ugly Sweater Party. Let me go ahead and say, I will personally never wear an ugly sweater. I just can’t. I’ve been to a couple of these events, and I have never followed the outfit guidelines. Maybe I’m uptight. Maybe I just have a hang-up about the word “ugly.” I don’t know. But I have zero advice to give about ugly sweaters, and for that I apologize.
But I would never suggest that you shouldn’t embrace the spirit of the season. Get festive! A house party with your friends is the best time to showcase the Christmas mood. A patterned holiday sweater is the way to go. Cozy–and dripping with Christmas cheer–you can stand around the kitchen nibbling finger foods, or sit back and sip on a cocktail, all while catching up with old schoolmates and new acquaintances. You’ll be a fashion success, no matter the theme.
For the All-Out Event
Every so often, you’re going to want to kick the festivity up a few notches. It could be you and your girlfriends going out for cocktails. Maybe a formal office party. Or maybe you just feel like looking regal and sexy at any evening Christmas function. In that case, we’re going to move away from sweaters and head towards the next step up.
I would recommend a dress or a jumpsuit, but the most important thing is that it is covered in sequins, glitter, and/or anything that shines. For this party, you need to be like a star in the night sky. You can’t overdo it. Wear a boa made of tinsel if you want to. Be the most dazzling thing in the room.
For the Occasion that Stresses You Out
I didn’t understand the concept of holiday stress until I grew up. But yes, as it turns out, it’s real, and it can happen to anyone. Nearly everyone has a relative or friend of a friend (or a whole group) that they find grating/difficult to be around. Or maybe you’re playing hostess to an event and you’re really feeling the pressure. Whatever the situation, these sorts of parties can make you want to disappear in a corner somewhere.
You absolutely cannot do that.
This is the party when your inner queen most needs to come out. Wear the outfit that makes you feel the most stunning. It doesn’t matter if you end up being overdressed. I once showed up to a Christmas pajama party in a black sweater dress and bright red lipstick. Looking and feeling polished can be like putting on armor.
Is that friend of a friend being obnoxious again? Did your holiday ham burn in the oven? Well, you can handle it. Because a queen can handle anything, and look amazing doing it. The way we think about ourselves almost always manifests into reality. If you believe that you have the grace and poise of royalty, then you will. And going all out with your wardrobe can help tremendously.
Have a beautiful week.