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By Lauren Deloach, Editor of Category5Style.com
How many times have you unwittingly walked into a store hoping to find the perfect look for an event, only to come out of the store with either a bag full of clothes you feel completely unconfident about, or leave with nothing at all? It happens to more women than I can count. There is a natural assumption that occurs in our brains that we will seek, and we shall find. The problem with this assumption is the foundation of it. If you assume that you can walk in and out of a store 100% of the time and find exactly what you need for a fabulous look, well then you’ve made a “donkey” out of yourself. In addition, if you assume that the salespeople helping you will always steer you in the right direction, then you’ve really left planet Earth and ventured into a dream state. Ladies, the foundation of these assumptions is all wrong because number one- you should never expect to get your entire look from one store. While it can happen, on average it takes some mixing and matching of different designers and cuts to find the perfect look for your shape and personality. Number two- trusting that the salesperson is somehow an expert that will guide you down the path to your perfect style means you’re refusing to acknowledge that you don’t have to be an expert to be hired as a salesperson. In addition, are you forgetting about commission? Salespeople have to eat too, and you buying those boring black pants with the matching cardigan add “change” to their check.
I recently received an email from a reader who needed an outfit to wear to a holiday function, and after going into a store that shall remain nameless (to protect the guilty I suppose), she walked out spending hundreds of dollars on a look that was beyond boring that she didn’t truly love. What a waste of time and money! Let’s delve into how you truly go about pulling off a fabulous holiday look, and how you do it without wasting your precious resources.
To begin, you have to let go of the notion that you NEED a holiday wardrobe. The true key to a successful wardrobe is purchasing pieces you can dress both up and down. A wardrobe mixed with Tibi’s Faille Peplum Shell on one end, and Current/Elliott’s Loved Destroy jeans on the other is the definition of a full spectrum wardrobe. Silk detailed tops and holey jeans. Who would have thought right? But it’s the truth. It is all in the way you create combinations in your wardrobe. If you’re attending a holiday function, focus on owning a show-stopping top, then pair said top with basic slacks, heels, and gorgeous accessories.
Picture with me if you will: Tibi’s Faille Peplum Shell in the bright shade of kelp, paired with J.Crew’s Minnie Pants in Navy, and Emerson Fry’s Oxblood Burgundy pumps. Close out the look with an amazing statement necklace (think Elva Fields), and you will stop traffic the minute you enter the party. If you find having all eyes on you uncomfortable (but you still want to look fabulous), then choose this same style top in a navy version, think Asos’ Tutu Peplum Top in navy, paired with TopShop’s burgundy polka dot pants, and close the look out with the same oxblood pumps previously described. Each look is absolutely fabulous, no matter your age, and more importantly isn’t limiting to one event. Everything I just had you picture can be broken up and dressed up or down. You can pair the Tibi peplum top with holey jeans and striped ballet flats and look completely fabulous (and you’ll be comfortable to boot). The same principle applies with Asos’ tutu peplum, which can be dressed up or down.
Having said all that, does that mean you should ONLY focus on dressy tops when trying to have a versatile wardrobe? Absolutely not….although buyer beware. While you can also purchase dressy pants and pair them with basic cotton tees to dress your look down, the issue you could run into is that you may not find your dressy pants to be as comfortable as your dressy top, thus pulling it out of your wardrobe to wear for “everyday” life is less likely.
With your clothes nailed down, remember to always pay attention to how you style your hair and makeup. As it’s a holiday function, you don’t want “everyday” makeup. Think about focusing on dramatic eyes with a nude/natural lip to give off a very sexy yet classy feel. As for hair, if you’re stumped on where to start, a great trick I’ve been using to “dress” my hair up is to cut gift wrapping ribbon and tie a bow around my head that is off to the side. You can find this inexpensive ribbon anywhere as it’s holiday season, and for a very low price. As you don’t want to look like a teenager, the key is to focus on darker shades for the ribbon such as navy, brown, or burgundy. In addition, don’t tie the bow too big, otherwise you’ll look like someone tried to gift wrap you against your will!
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Final words of advice as you’re preparing for holiday functions…do your research. You should anticipate doing online research first to get an idea of what you’re looking for before you venture out to the stores. This way a salesperson can’t talk you into anything ridiculous because you already have a clear vision of who you want to be on said night. In addition, keep in mind a holiday function does NOT equate to wearing red and green (or a scary Christmas vest with bells down the front). Challenge yourselves and think outside the box. Hold yourself accountable for the decisions you make in your wardrobe, and remember that you should expect to feel nothing less than fabulous about what you intend to wear to your event. Anything less…you might as well have flushed that hard earned money down the toilet and stayed at home. Maybe a little harsh…but it’s the truth ladies, and you’re intelligent and strong enough to hear it. So PUSH!
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.