Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The December Issue

Dear Readers,

This is a special edition holiday fashion posting per the request of Tess Allen, who demanded that I share a few tips on just how exactly to deck the halls in the most stylish manner possible. I’ve compiled a few lists that I hope you all will find helpful…enjoy!

Do Buy! (The ‘Nice’ List)

*  Plaid: Always a classic. Dress up a basic button down with chunky costume jewelry—layer a mass of chains, pearls and rhinestones over a checked shirt and lumberjack is the last thing anyone will be thinking when you walk into the room.

*  Satin/Taffeta: A cute, playful holiday staple. Pair a flouncy skirt with tights and heels—it’s as much of a holiday classic as White Christmas.

*  Sparkles: But in moderation, please. Don’t let InStyle fool you; contrary to popular belief, a resurrection of Michael Jackson’s bedazzled blazer will not bring anyone holiday cheer. Go for a tank or a day-to-night sequined tee instead. For those who are afraid of looking like a disco ball, ease into the trend. Jcrew has a great collection of bejewled sweatshirts—they’re like training bras for sparkle.

*  Fur: Just don’t waste your money on the real thing. It’s definitely an on-point trend for the season and can add insta-glamour when paired with red lipstick, but don’t kid yourself; it’s a trend that’s holiday-specific and won’t last any longer than January, so there’s no need to break the bank on an expensive piece. Try a wrap or a vest in a solid color to start with—they tend to look more expensive. Forever 21 is carrying a few versions right now that should do the trick.

Don’t Buy! (The ‘Naughty’ List)

x    Tartan: Tempted? Just say no, and repeat: plaid is good, tartan is bad. If you must purchase something in this tired holiday print, make it wrapping paper. Exceptions: the Scotch-Irish, bag-pipers

x    Velvet: No. Unless it’s a Versace crushed velvet red-carpet gown, it will look tacky and cheap, plus start to smell really bad when you’ve spent too long roasting chestnuts over an open fire at a Christmas party. Finally, it won’t transition well into spring. There are other pieces more worthy of your wardrobe this season.

x    Neon: Nothing kills the soft glow of Christmas lights like the untimely re-emergence of a (polyester) material girl. It’s a misplaced color palette—stick to darker hues, unless you’re skiing late at night. Then, and only then, will highlighter yellow be appropriate.

x    Heels + Socks: The magazines want you to believe that this look is stylish, avant -garde, and original. It’s none of the above. You know that guy at the gym who always wears sweat socks with his Adidas flip-flops? Wear scrunched socks with your high heels and you’ll look exactly like him.

x    Knee Socks: Britney retired hers in the 90s. We should, too. “Oops, don’t do it again.”

Stocking Stuffers—for those who have been extra good this year

* Big rings

* Oversized knits

* Colored tights

* Heeled ankle booties

* Starbucks red cups (the gingerbread latte is a current favorite)

* Nails painted in rust, umber, or deep plum

Wishlist—items worth a long-term commitment

* Tall leather boots

* Day-to-night coat (look for interesting shapes, sturdy texture, and versatility)

* Classic belted trench

* Party dress

* Leather gloves (look for something sleek, not bulky ski resort-esque mittens)


This is the formula I always follow when getting ready for an event. It’s foolproof!

Step 1: Establish an “idea” of what you want to look like. Think key trigger words here, i.e. classy, elegant, hipster, trendy, vintage, glamorous, etc…

Step 2: Find an inspiration picture. In general, I always start with celebrities whose style is consistently on-point (aka Carrie Underwood, Lauren Conrad). Remember, they work with professional stylists every morning before walking out the door, so using their ensembles for inspiration is like having a one-on-one consultation with said stylist. Well, almost…

Step 3: Adapt your inspiration picture to fit your event. Sequined Versace mini-dress with Christian Louboutin heels too much for your boss’s Christmas party? Look in your wardrobe for pieces with similar textures and colors, and throw on a pair of sheer tights to tone down a red-carpet look into something more holiday party appropriate.

Here’s an example of the method I used when styling a recent test shoot for Currents Magazine. Thanks to model Kylie Potuznik for rocking the completed look so fabulously!

1. Look: holiday glamour

2. Inspiration: Molly Sims

3. The finished look, my way:

Final Thoughts

Remember, always try to incorporate things you already own! There’s no need to spend extravagant amounts of money on a wardrobe full of season-specific pieces that will say so long as soon as the bells chime on New Years.

And, most importantly—enjoy fashion, even if it means breaking a few of the “don’t” rules when you feel like it. “But I could never pull that off” should never leave your lips this season. Besides, you’ve been such a good girl all year long. You deserve to have a little fun.

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and a successful Black Friday to you all!



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