There are 2 things in life that make my soul writhe in agony: holiday style and holiday music.
It’s shiny, kitschy, gobbledygook to which I will never acclimate. Only in December is it acceptable to multitask while listening to a band of children serenade you in falsetto with the imminent coming of Jesus. And only in December is it acceptable to take style cues from a large and jolly white man.
When it comes to the holidays, our options seem limited to crushed velvet, lace and of course, the perennial black boot. But, let me assure you we can do better this holiday season. Set aside the foreboding children and cast away your velvety lace standards. This season we will work to revamp a holiday ensemble that is both festive and wearable across more than just the holiday season.
Red, Black and Gold
Red is a festive color staple for the holidays, but I tire of the boat and cowl neck sweaters that accompany this marvelous hue. These cuts and silhouettes are standards that your mom and grandmother have worn for generations,and I implore you to peacefully dissent. Instead, turn up the heat and reach for something fun, flitty, and asymmetrical.
My weapon of choice this season is an asymmetrical red top from BCBG (by way of the thrift store). The asymmetry creates visual interest, while the bold red awakens the senses. The top itself with its cascading silhouette draws the eyes vertically and elongates the frame. To ensure that the senses don’t go wild from color and cut, I like to finish this outfit with a simple classic pencil skirt and a pair of gold statement earrings. When on the hunt for something festive this season, you can stick with traditional colors whilst playing with asymmetry to see if that may enliven the senses.
The One-Armed Woman
The key to shaking up traditional holiday wear is to tap into the unexpected. Rather than reach for the standard sweater dress, I challenge you to go one-shoulder and create a stage for your collar bone to be on display. This fairy-hemmed dress from Asos is a cross-seasonal wonder. While its rich forest green hues stir up vibrations of pine and merriment, it can easily be repurposed for a fancy springtime stroll with the miraculous change of a shoe.
And I know, I know, it’s 30 degrees out - why on earth would I wear a one sleeved dress? That’s what peacoats and wool scarfs are for! This single sleeve dress wakes up the sleepy cozy winter standards and signals to the world that a diva/divo is among us. The show of skin breaks up the drab of a long winter dress, and the asymmetrical hem creates visual interest as you effortlessly go for that fourth cup of grandma’s eggnog. If you tire of your festive standards, I implore you to go single sleeve this season.
Tulle + Jean
One thing that always conjures wintertime wonders are ballerinas and nutcrackers. While I won’t be parading around in a voluminous tutu and white lycra tights any time in the foreseeable future, I do have a wonderful wearable alternative. For my take on a ballerina this season, I have traded out a cumbersome tutu and replaced it with a high-waisted pleated skirt that hits right at mid-calf.
To awaken my inner ballerina further, I’ve replaced the traditional white tights with a simple white tucked in tee. The contrast of pink and white oozes romantic winter. And to ensure that I don’t die this season, I finish it all with a cropped jean jacket and a pair of black pumps. This combination of pink and white are not traditional holiday colors, but when paired together somehow everyone will know that you are conjuring a modern-day ballerina. What is even better is that this ensemble is winter appropriate yet can be carried over into spring and fall seamlessly.
Move Over Mrs. Claus
With newfound freedom from the shackles of crushed velvet and the perennial black boot, this can be the first holiday season you are not a style doppelganger with old Saint Nick. This holiday season save the festive style standards for granny and her friends. Instead, I encourage you to break the mold and try something new - you may just awaken something!