SANTA BABY……I WANT IT ALL!!!!!!!!! By Elaine Stowers
Brace yourself…Never mind that your pumpkin has yet to be carved and your Thanksgiving meal seems eons away….The Holidays are upon us. “There’ll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting and caroling out in the snow”. YIKES!!!!! Yep. So pull out your Bing Crosby cd’s, pour yourself some eggnog, and before things REALLY get crazy; take stock of your holiday wardrobe. Make THIS the year you avoid that dreaded annual ritual…You know the one: You’re standing in your closet in your undies and alternately trying on and discarding items- too small, too dated, too old, too young, too sexy, not sexy enough…..and, of course, you’re already 30 minutes late for the evenings soiree!
Don’t wait for that first invitation to arrive in your box and the ensuing “What do I wear?” frenzy. Be thinking ahead and begin searching for those pieces that you’ll need before you can say “Season’s Greetings!”
In your planning, consider these things: 1) What is appropriate? 2) What do I already own? 3) Is it still fashionable? Does it still fit? Is it clean, pressed and party ready? 4) What do I still need?
So, what should your holiday closet include?
LITTLE BLACK DRESS- (LBD for short). Oh, the places you’ll go!!!!” Simple, practical, and versatile, this one item is an absolute must. If your wardrobe is missing this staple, or if the one you own is beginning to look shop worn, vow to add that to your shopping list for the holidays. Many of the uber chic designers have resurrected the much loved peplum silhouette. This is a great shape for disguising ample hips and emphasizing the waist. A GREAT LOOK!
JEWEL TONES– Black and Winter White are always the season standards. But rich emerald, jade and rose add a great pop of color. And you’ll be a subtle stand out in the sea of black found at most gatherings. Even a dash of color, a scarf perhaps, or a necklace or bracelet featuring jewel tone stones, adds SO much interest to basic black from head to toe.
SEQUINS-Sequins have been a perennial favorite for the holidays for years. The good news is this year sequins are not only for parties, but fashionable year around. Look for a sequined tank dress or a sequined sweater set to pair back with black leather pants. It will still be “on trend” and perk up those gloomy days in Jan-u-weary, and Feb-u-ugly.
WHITE SHIRTS– Remember the sensation caused by Sharon Stone when she arrived on the red carpet wearing her husband’s white collared shirt, and a Vera Wang floor length skirt? And she accessorized with diamonds no less! While a white shirt is always a classic, go for a festive look with ruffles, portrait collars, lace, and interesting sleeve details. With the right accessories, this one item can elevate your jeans to a chic party look.
FUR– Though fur has long been synonymous with luxury, there was a time when wearing one carried a hefty price tag, and added heft to the wearer as well. (For women of small stature, the look was often “polar bear bulky”, rather than “sophisticated sleek”) But today, the faux looks are remarkably believable and fabulous! They have the beauty and sheen of real fur, without the heavy weight. And best of all, they can be worn dressy or casual. I love a ¾ length fur glammed down with jeans….SOOOO Aspen!!!!
ACCESSORIES-Big, bold, chunky “BLING” The once sage advice that “small women should wear small jewelry” is so yesterday. Cocktail rings, multiple chains and big cuff bracelets are HOT, HOT, HOT!!! They can also change an office look to an after hours gathering! Also, consider adding gloves for a finished look-short leather for the day, or long opera length in satin for an evening look…Ooh La La!
A few final thoughts for the holidays….
Put your party look together a full week ahead. Think out which shoes, what jewelry, what dress…etc. If it’s from last season, take it out of the moth balls so it can “air” and so you can check it out for stains that set over the year, holes in case the moth balls didn’t work, and the few extra pounds you might inadvertently have forgotten.
If in doubt, go slightly less formal. You’ll never feel sillier than when you arrive at a party WAY overdone. For instance, “Black Tie Optional” is one of those invites that could go either way. (Long or short dress?) Opt for the short dress or cocktail slacks if you find yourself deliberating. Whether your clothing selection was simple or you spent hours, it should appear as though your ensemble came naturally and your look – totally effortless.
And if you haven’t already, ditch the theme look. (Elementary school teachers exempt-kids love it!) No Santa sweaters, jingle bell earrings, tree light necklaces. I know. We all wore them once….Chalk it up on the “What was I thinking?” list….
All clothing featured is from Doncaster’s Holiday Collection. Doncaster-Extraordinary apparel for extraordinary women.
About the Author: Elaine Stowers has been a fashion consultant with Doncaster Clothing for 7 years. She works from an Atlanta Studio and is available by appointment to help put together your best look for the upcoming season and beyond. Contact Elaine at Elaine_stowers@bellsouth.net. Or 404/401-0277.