You’re already spending enough money on hostess gifts and bottles of wine for the rest of the holiday parties on your calendar. Who can afford an entire new wardrobe for yuletide festivities?
Here are a few simple pieces (that may already exist in your wardrobe) to get you through holiday party season looking gorgeous and fresh. I wouldn’t recommend combining ALL of the elements below into a single look, but living in New York, I see chic ensembles every day that make me want to stand up and applaud. And if you can pull it off, do it!
1. SPARKLE. You know you have a funky sparkle skirt living somewhere in the depths of your closet. Pull it out! Anyone can work a sequin or sparkle skirt when they tone down the rest of the outfit. Try a Tory Burch metallic woven pencil skirt with a black Uniqlo sweater and J. Crew Suede pumps for a sophisticated holiday look. Or a fun gold mini from Madewell with a black James Perse turtleneck top and Madison Harding booties from Piperlime.
Both outfits can be paired with the same accessories: a Clare Vivier clutch (the oversized in black has a gold zipper so it matches perfectly,) Melissa Joy Manning hoop earring (you have to invest in a good pair of hoops) and black Spanx tights (let’s not kid ourselves, you’re going to eat another cookie— Spanx suck it in.) Don’t forget Guerlain Meteorites Perles for a soft gold glow over your makeup.
2. A POP OF COLOR. Everyone is going to be rocking red and green (ooh let’s hope not, because that’s just wrong) so try a pop of unexpected color, like an electric-blue Clare Vivier foldover clutch or a wild multi-color Hermes cuff—and don’t forget your iPhone! It’s practically an appendage at this point—with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook updates mandatory during holiday parties, you don’t want to pull out some drab case. Stella & Dot has a festive multi-color case for the latest iPhones… what are we up to now? iPhone 6, 7B/C? Whatever!
3. LEG PATTERN. Attention-grabbing tights are a low-cost way to update an old black dress. Don’t do competing patterns, please, unless you want party guests to get vertigo. Try monochrome dressing with Pretty Polly meets Patternity Tower Block tights…they’re only $25 and the pattern is definitely not your typical lace or stripe. It’s very cool.
4. FESTIVE FEET. If you’re stuck on dressing up denim with a flowy top and blazer, be sure to get exciting with your footwear. A wild metallic or completely over-the-top bedazzle will do: You can get a fun pair for under $100 from Zappos; filter your selection by “Evening & Cocktail” then by “Gold” or “Multi” for solid options.
5. RED. OK, forget what I said earlier about typical holiday colors being wrong. Red is ALWAYS right! Just go for it! A red lips and nails (Nars makes a stunning Jungle Red lipstick and nail polish,) a red dress (like the one here from Top Shop), a red scarf, red pants (from Kate Spade.) Red warms your look and makes you look and feel festive. You can even rock a red coat from Mulbery, because sometimes you’re so overbooked with holiday events you can keep your coat on to say hello, down one drink and dash out again.