This weekend I attended a birthday party for a friend. The dress code: “Festive attire.” Well, almost everyone figured it out, it turns out. But several people had a hard time with it. And a few came in jeans and a nice T-shirt.
Turns out, “festive” only means jeans and a T-shirt if the jeans are fabulous and the T-shirt is an interesting knit top—and the ensemble also includes some jewelry, a cute small bag, and heels or sparkly flats. You might think you don’t have anything that fits the bill at the last minute for a festive get-up, but nearly everyone I’ve ever worked with has the basics already in her closet. Here are some ideas to help you get through the next three weeks in style.
1. Wear a truly red lipstick (keep the rest of your makeup neutral).
3. Dig out sequins, beading, embellishments. This is the time to wear all that stuff you’re “saving” or that’s tucked away at the back of your drawer. (And if you don’t have any, this is a great time to buy some at an inexpensive price point.)
4. Wear a bold, festive pump or bootie (red! purple!) with a black cigarette pant or a dark-wash jean for a more casual event.
5. Satin or patent-leather ballet flats or smoking slippers are festive but comfortable for long holiday events. Bows, sequins, or jeweled embellishments will give your shoes more wattage.6. Get a blowout. This will instantly transform your look into something polished and special.
8. Nothing adds drama like elbow-length gloves. Show them off by pairing them a sleeveless dress or a cape or jacket with ¾-length sleeves.
10. Make your skirt the center of attention. A pencil skirt in lace, leather, jacquard, or leopard print is awesome and stands out enough that it can likely be paired with a simple cashmere sweater.
11. Make a grand entrance in a dramatic coat (the one you never wear). That coat with lace, leather, or fur trim is perfect right now.
12. Take a little risk with sexy stockings or tights, like one with a seam in back, fishnet, or lace. (This dresses up even the most basic black.)
13. Call me, and we can create outfits for your festive day or night events. You’ll look and feel great for the holidays!
(Ketura Persellin is a wardrobe and style consultant in Washington, DC, and surrounding suburbs. Please contact her for a complimentary get-acquainted session. Sign up for her biweekly newsletter to get regular tips, resources, and inspiration.)