Dressing for the Season doesn’t mean dressing like a Christmas Tree

 With the Holiday season upon us, my sister Megan had an idea for a timely blog:

“With the holidays you could talk about paying fashion tribute to the holidays without looking like a walking Christmas tree.  You know, a cute red top, or touch of whimsy with a Christmas pin. For your “Don’t” pictures, you could post any picture of me from Christmas from 1980- 2002. 🙂 ”

I cannot find a Christmas photo of her from 1980 – 2002, but am still trying. 🙂

Holiday Dressing is Not meant to be Holiday Stressing!  I get a lot of questions about what to wear during the holiday season…work parties, family parties, friend’s parties…party, party, party.    We all want to look our best, and not spend a ton doing so.  And it truly doesn’t have to involve the Holiday Sweater. 🙂

If you love your holiday sweaters, wear them, but I caution against wearing them to a holiday extravaganza.  You can feel just as festive wearing your lavish holiday sweater while shovelling the snow, or watching Frosty the Snowman on TV with your kids.

The Holidays are a  time to shine and bring sparkle into your wardrobe!

Glitz and Glamour

Think “old Hollywood” when dressing for the holidays. Bring back old-time glamour and elegance. Choose dresses  or cocktail attire (depending on the formality of your event) that accentuate your figure.  Sequined bolero jackets or satin skirts would be the perfect wardrobe essential for holiday dressing.  I think a pair of beautiful black pants, with a crisp white blouse, and rhinestone jewelry, with high heels, is a cannot miss look!  Your little black dress (LBD) is always a perfect choice .  I have one that I bought at Nordstrom.  It’s long sleeve, and off the shoulders.  I can belt it with a large gold coin belt, or a rhinestone belt, and it totally changes the look.  I also wear it without a belt, and pair it with a shawl (yup, my black cashmere one), or a colored velvet number.   I love it so much, I also bought the same one with shorter sleeves!  I always say, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed…but you don’t want to go too overboard.  A long gown, where others are wearing nice jeans, high heels, and a black turtleneck, will be awkward.

The Bling

Dressing for the holidays calls for big and bold accent pieces. Look for elegant and modern cocktail rings, dangling earrings with unique design, necklaces that are bold and colorful and bracelets that call attention to your wrist. Don’t be afraid of color. And don’t be afraid to wear big. Just remember if you wear an oversized ring, go minimal somewhere else.  Check out Ann Taylor for great costume jewelry…and during the holidays many of these items are 40% off.

The Holiday Pin!

Adding a holiday pin to a sweater or coat, can add just the perfect amount of festivity to your outfit, without looking like a walking Christmas Tree (thank you Megan).  I have friend’s who have 50+ holiday pins, and rotate them daily.  I love wearing one on my winter coat.  Mine is a rhinestone snowflake I received from some girlfriends, and I feel sparkly and festive, all at the same time. 🙂

The Holiday Slipper

Let them sparkle. If you can’t afford those extremely expensive Manolo’s or Jimmy Choo’s (especially during gift giving holidays), be creative. Take a basic black sling back heel and add an appliqué to them. Get really creative by taking an old vintage pair of clip on earrings  and clip then on the front of your shoes. It instantly adds drama and intrigue to your basic black shoes.   Not to mention, you save a bundle on this hip trick.  Or, you could splurge and get this oh so fabulous pair of cheetah shoes!

These Stuart Weitzman’s are a Huge Extravagance, but I could Not resist posting them.  They’re so Fabulous!

The Pocketbook

This should be festive as well. You also don’t need to spend big bucks on this. Scour the outlets or discount retailers for beaded bags  in all different shapes and sizes.  Or see if your Mom or Grandmother has (had) any of these.  Or…borrow from a friend.   The more petite your handbag is (for holiday dressing), the better.  You can bet your bottom dollar that I will be getting lots of great use out of my Tiffany Bracelet bag (no need to post yet a 3rd picture). 🙂

The Frosting on your Face

Go for bolder than your usual natural look. Try a smoky eye or a red lip. The thing to remember is if you go for more makeup on the eye, go for a more natural shade for your lips and vice versa. Don’t forget the flushed cheeks. Try a peach shade of blush on the apples of your cheeks.  And don’t forget the old tried and true…you can pinch your cheeks to give it the just right blush…or, do as I do, and have a lovely little glass of chardonnay, and Voila…my cheeks are red. 🙂

Spending Habits

You don’t need to spend a fortune to look great at holiday parties. Mix vintage or flea market finds with designer labels. Many stores are always selling party dresses or party attire, so keep your eyes open year round for great deals on glamour wear.

When dressing for the holidays, remember it’s the time of year to shine. Be glamorous when attending your soirees. Take lots of photographs, so you may look back in retrospect and remember how great you really looked.  Plus, no doubt your photo will be plastered all over facebook, so  it will be remembered for eternity. 🙂  And, most of all – enjoy those joyful holiday seasons. A great outfit can help.




Top 5 Least Wanted Gifts for the Holidays

1.  Bubble Bath

2.  Bath Salts

3.  Socks

5.  Candles

5.  Belgium Chocolates

This was just noted on the news…and I admit, I am guilty of giving every one of these.  Sorry!


  1. Thanks Megan, great topic. Husband’s holiday party next Friday night and I’ve not got lots of good ideas about what to wear, etc. AND not to give. Terry, speaking of borrowing from friends, do you have a special calendar for loaning out that Tiffany bag???

  2. All good ideas T, but I am afraid I may be guilty of wearing one or more of those sweaters. Yikes! I will have to work on the “little LBD” for my next event. 🙁

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