This holiday season you may have an assortment of different holiday parties to attend including office parties, get-togethers with friends, charity events and the list goes on. In the past, many of us would go out and buy a whole new outfit from shoes to jewelry. However, in today’s economy even those of us who can afford it are cutting back. I believe the best looks are those that look fabulous yet effortless. Here’s some tips for you to start putting together those holiday outfits without spending a lot or looking like you just spent your entire bonus in an effort to impress.
Keep It Classic
This is a universal rule, no matter what the occasion. You can never go wrong with classic pieces. They are appealing to most people and you never risk being a fashion victim. No matter if you are headed to a conservative office party or a funky art gallery charity event, you’ll fit in and be approachable. Men should wear dark ties in rich colors with a suit jacket for more formal events. A sport jacket in a solid color, subtle pattern or texture. Women should wear a tailored skirt and jacket and/or pretty blouse. Use jewelry, such as diamonds and pearls, to add sparkle.
Rework What You Have
Save your green for gifts and after-holiday sales. It never makes sense to spend money on clothes that you are only going to wear a few times a year. Instead, shop in your closet. Men can do this pretty easily. Just use the same sport jacket and change-up the shirt and tie. Contrary to our social belief, it’s ok to wear the same dress twice. Take the dress you wore to the office party last week and wear it to the benefit party this week with different accessories to make it feel new. I love black stone jewelry; it’s different from your typical diamonds and yet conveys a sleek elegance. It can also look edgy if done in the right way. Put the necklace with a simple black sheath dress (which you probably have in your closet) and you’re instantly styled!
Keep It Simple
Skip the Swarovski-drenched dress and accessories. Use warm rich colors but keep it simple with the bling. I’m always a fan of a fun cocktail ring. It makes a good conversation piece and stands out without being obvious. Go for one standout piece. It could be a cool detail in your dress, bold earrings or a statement necklace. Limit yourself to one, otherwise you look like your trying too hard and your pieces start to compete for attention.
All men look more “manly” with a nice metal band watch. Skip the leather bands. A simple chain necklace works for men who like to accessorize. If you do not normally wear a necklace this is not the time to try it. You’ll look uncomfortable.
Prioritize: Clothes, Shoes, Accessories
If you feel like you have nothing in your closet that will work, then head to the stores. Based on your budget, spend the bulk of your money on the clothing, then the shoes, then the accessories. The clothing is going to be the largest, most noticeable piece. You not only want to have a quality piece that you can wear again and again, but you don’t want to waste money on something that you don’t love. Hopefully, you can find shoes at home but if not, get a pair of shoes that will work for several special-occasion outfits. Do not be matchy-matchy and get unique shoes that will only work with that particular outfit. You’ll be wasting money.
Lastly, if you still have money left over in your budget, buy some accessories. If not, these are easy to borrow from a friend. You can pair inexpensive jewelry with a nice outfit. Some of the best jewelry I have cost only $10 from the B.P. department in Nordstrom. Target is a great source for some modern and fun pieces too!
Most importantly, have fun and know that it isn’t a fashion contest. It’s about feeling good about the way you look and enjoying yourself at the party!
Milena Distinctive Image Consulting