A Christmas Conundrum

It’s that time again!  The end of the year, when one holiday comes right after the other, and your daily planner begins to fill up more rapidly than ever with special occasions, get-togethers, and holiday parties.  I know the first thing that comes to mind for me, is usually, “What am I going to wear?!”  Well, don’t worry.  No matter what the festivity is from the company Christmas party to your beloved family gathering on Christmas Eve, there is a perfect outfit for you (and it might be in your closet already)!

The Situation: Annual Family Gathering

The Solution:

It’s Christmas Eve and your family gathers every year, from all over the country, to celebrate being a family and enjoying the holidays together.  If your family is anything like mine, after a delicious meal of all your favorite foods, the night will end with a rowdy game of catch phrase, phase 10, or dare I even mention it…a dangerous game of spoons!  As it is a tradition to come all together once a year, you might want to dress in a festive fashion but also remain comfortable.  This season, I suggest pulling out your Nordic sweater that may or may not have been hidden in your drawer from years past already. Admittedly, you might have only worn them before at the annual “ugly Christmas sweater” party, but designers have done what designers do best and the made the not so popular, popular again.  Whether you are a recent recruit or already a Nordic sweater aficionado, these new designs are great looking on anyone at any age.

Originally from Norway, Nordic sweaters are called by its name because it is made using the Nordic knitting technique.  In the beginning, they were only offered in plain black or white because these were the sheep’s natural colors.  Soon to follow, knitters began combining these two colors to create patterns in a “V” shape.  These patterns then evolved into more colors and elaborate designs woven on the upper part of the sweater.  The reason for the location of these new patterns was for the fact that Nordic people tucked their sweaters far down into baggy pants.  Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since the 1800’s and don’t need to tuck thick sweaters into our pants.  So, I suggest pairing a version of these beautiful sweaters with great fitting denim or a fitted trouser to this year’s Christmas extravaganza and save the gingerbread man sweater for the “ugly Christmas sweater” party.

 

Dolce & Gabbana

 

The Situation: Office Christmas Party

The Solution:

When the words, “office Christmas party” are brought to my attention, I always revert back to my favorite show, The Office, where the boss, Michael Scott, will inevitably do something idiotic or wear a costume as ridiculous as a James Bond Santa outfit.  While I hope your parties are just as fun, you can still dress to impress while not wearing your normal 9-5 work attire. If your party is during or right after work, choose an eye-catching piece such as a red velvet blazer.  The rich color mixed with the plush fabric offers a sophisticated yet fun look while still wearing your dress pants.  If the fun filled get together is later in the evening, try a classic navy, silk or velvet dress, with a cardigan or blazer over it, wrapped in a belt.  Clean cut pieces like these allow you to show a more relaxed side while still keeping that professional feel.  Just remember not to pull a “Meredith” and drink too much of the office punch. No clothes can save you from your actions!

 

Actress/Singer Demi Lovato showing how to wear a red velvet blazer.

Fergie on the cover of Glamour.

 

To all of my readers, Merry Christmas! May your travels be safe, time enjoyable, and gatherings well dressed!


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When In Doubt…Belt It!

There is no better ally for a girl than a great belt! It adds style, creativity, and dimension to your look.  Notice any designer’s collection from Fendi to Dolce & Gabbana to, a personal favorite of mine, Nina Ricci and you will see a key piece on every runway …the belt! 

Paul Smith

They aren’t just for holding up your pants anymore!  Belts have become more than just an accessory in the fashion world; they have tightened a notch and become a staple with any wardrobe.  When the movie, Sex and the City, came out in 2008, I couldn’t take my eyes off of Sarah Jessica Parker’s black studded belt that appears on more than numerous outfits throughout the film.  A belt, such as SJP’s, has the ability to give your ensemble an edge and even the illusion of a smaller you!  Think Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn in the 1950’s.  These glamour girls helped set style trends for their lifetime and beyond and with one thing in common…the tiny waistline they portrayed with the help of a belt. 

Don’t worry about having the wrong body shape to pull off a belted look.  That doesn’t exist.  For example, if you are a pear shape, a belt will help bring your attention up from your hips.  If you have more of a straight figure, by placing a belt at the smallest part of your waistline it can give you the illusion of an hourglass silhouette.  My favorite belts are ones that draw your attention to the center of your wardrobe with a buckle.    Go ahead!  Throw a belt on over a long cardigan with a pair of boyfriend jeans.  Not only does it highlight the waist, but in this age of the voluminous top and bulky jacket, it’s the best way to tackle all that extra fabric, which can overwhelm a lot of figures.  It can help retain that feminine shape you still want to exude.  For a bit more spunk, try a double wrap belt or one that skips a buckle entirely and goes for a simple knot.  You could even spring back a few decades and throw on a woven belt for a bit of a 70’s feel.

*Matter of Style: Don’t forget to have fun with your addition!  Add a bit of sparkle or animal print in your belt. Just remember not to go overboard. If you opt for an animal print belt, skip the matching skirt.

One of my favorite things about belts is the fact that they are so versatile from casual to dressy.  Something as simple as a black, patent leather belt over a sweater with pair of heels can take your outfit from office to happy hour.  Whether your look is preppy, retro, demure or all three, there is a belt (or 20) out there for you!