This is not that stuff you put in turkey kind of dressing. This is Fashion Friday how the heck do you make it through the land mine of weird holiday dressing kind of dressing! We’re going to tackle this a few ways. One is the weirdness of invitations (why do people tease us with ambiguities?) which we’ll discuss next week. Today we play dress up with two of my friends for actual holiday events.
I love this! It’s a S.W.A.P. (Shopping With a Purpose – if you remember those!) on steroids because you’re shopping with a short fuse and a limited budget.
The two holiday dressing scenarios we’re tackling today are diverse: one, a holiday party that is business casual (mercy), and the two, a black tie optional holiday wedding.
I’ve got a gorgeous momma/wife who has to attend her husband’s “casual” holiday office party. But these suggestions could go as well for your own “casual” holiday office party.
I’m wearing the following to my group’s office holiday lunch tomorrow: charcoal pants, bright green merino wool sweater (just got from Banana Republic), black velvet blazer (just got on sale at Macy’s!), gray booties, and a Christmas plaid scarf.
What are you most comfortable in? If a skirt, then pair a pencil skirt with riding boots, a red or emerald sweater (I mentioned for our last Fashion post emerald is everywhere and my girlfriend would look gorgeous in this color), and some chandelier earrings. If you prefer pants, then pair fitted black or gray pants, with a silver, ruby or emerald sweater, or even take the blazer route like I did with a festive top.
Here’s a few ideas. For a skirt look (and ignore the length of this skirt, go a bit longer for business), pair a subtle print with plaid scarf and tights for a festive (but not “too”) style for a business party:
Or, pair the traditional Christmas color on bottom, and add sparkle in a Christmas shell:
For a pants looks, either pair the emerald in a pencil pant with fun flats. Think of this outfit as a jumping off place, but add a festive scarf or necklace and amped up top to really tie the look together for the holidays:
Or do a fitted pant with a chunky green sweater layered on top of Christmas plaid with a pop of metallic in the shoe (ignore the handbag – you can do much better!):
Here’s some links to jump start you if you’re shopping for this weekend: A velvet blazer at Macy’s, a hunter party dress from Banana, a metallic loafer from DSW, a statement sparkler necklace from Nordstrom or a Christmas plaid scarf from Kohl’s. This is a just a starter. There are tons of options on the racks right now that would work. Take an hour, pull a bunch of items, and wear what makes you feel pretty and comfortable.
NEXT UP! Black tie optional wedding outfit. My girlfriend is tall and slim (and rarely gets to dress up!), so I begged to dress her for this. She asked for the entire outfit so we’ve got shoes and earrings to go with it. This exercise is simpler. You don’t want to outshine the bride but you still want to look sophisticated and festive. I buy all special occasions dresses at Nordstrom so I didn’t even look anywhere else. Typically, the rule is no white or red for weddings, so I stuck to that rule.
You can’t miss with floor length black so both of these options are sophisticated options (JS collections on sale for under $200 and I’m in love with everything Aidan Mattox does though he can be pricey when not on sale).
Any deep colors like midnights and hunters and cranberries would all be gorgeous for a winter formal wedding. This navy back cut out number from Vera Wang is on sale. And asymmetrical hems like the one on this Nicole Miller, which are all over the place this season, might be the perfect solution for my girlfriend who runs into the problem of dresses hitting her in all the wrong places because of her height. My recommendation is order at least four dresses because you get free shipping and will never know what works until trying it on.
For shoes, as long as you stick to a dark neutral dress, feel free to kick it up a notch with your heels. I’d go with a metallic sandal with a classic embellishment like this bow ($60 at DSW). Pair your dress with a stylistically similar (classic with classic, modern with modern, etc.) drop or chandelier earring (as long as there’s no sparkle on the bodice of your dress) like these for less than $50 at Nordstrom’s.
And join us next week as we tackle some of the more confusing invitation suggested “attire” we’ve seen (and send me your crazy invitation “attire” codes)!