The Holiday Dress Dilemma

Whether you love it or dread it, he holiday party season is officially here. Your work party, his work party, family get togethers, friend’s house parties and the big one – New Years Eve!  Have you started to think about what you will wear?  Maybe you shopped early and you’re good to go – or – maybe you are one of those who will frantically be heading out to ‘find a dress’ at the last minute.  You might try a different approach this year and stay clear of all dresses.

First let’s be clear that I love dresses and actually have quite a few that I wear repeatedly. My best luck finding these dresses, however, is when I am not looking for a dress. (So if you see a dress you love while not looking for a dress, definitely get it! Haha.)   So what should you look for?

Statement separates!  Look for a fun top, a distinctive skirt or unique pants to wear with something basic that you already have in your closet.  What’s especially great is that after the holidays you will be able to style your new separates for more casual occasions – unlike a black cocktail dress that is more or less only one look.

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Metallics are very big this season and you will see them at all price points. Gold, silver, and bronze in leather, faux leather, and coated fabrics of all types. Top off these cool trousers with a black cashmere sweater or your favorite white blouse and your highest heels! After the holidays they will look nice with a plain white tee shirt, a blazer, and flat riding boots – or, yes, even white sneakers.

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Tulle skirts are so feminine and perfect for parties. As an alternative to a plaid shirt, this one would look pretty with an ivory sweater, creating an elongating monochromatic look.  Just add drop earrings, a red suede pump, and you are ready for cocktail hour!

Even though you probably have black skirts in your closet, buying a new black skirt is never a bad choice, especially if it has a unique detail such as lace or leather trim. Wear it to parties dressed up with a blouse and strappy heels, or more casually with a fitted velvet turtleneck and high black suede boots.  Red accessories are festive, but also consider colors that are less predictable – hot pink is a fun alternative.

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You already have black pants and/or a black pencil skirt, right? You are halfway there!  All you need is a statement white blouse – whether you want to splurge at Anne Fontaine or find a treasure at Zara, it’s a classic look that can’t be beat.

My plan is to wear statement separates throughout this holiday season – lots of black and white which is a dramatic look and easily blends into my regular wardrobe.  Glad to answer any questions or offer accessory advice as you are planning your outfits.   Happy shopping and happy holidays!

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  • Velvet or metallic pants with a pretty top sound great to me. FYI, if you are in NYC this holiday season, I think you would enjoy the Louis Vuitton exhibition at the Old American Exchange (86 Trinity Place). It traces the beginnings of this fabulous company with wonderful displays.

    • Thank you for the exhibition info, I will be sure to check it out! There is nothing like NYC during the holiday season; some avoid the ‘masses and craziness’, I absolutely LOVE the energy!!!


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