Q. I have a multitude of parties, luncheons and happy “holiday” hours to attend over the next eight weeks and just thinking about them all makes me bloated. Any suggestions for ensembles that will take me from an office party disaster to a shindig with Mr. Davenport at the Ritz?
Pam, “Pooped-out Partier,” Lake Terrace
Your question conjures images of holiday cards of ostensibly blissful family members in matching shirts and scenes from the holiday-office-party episode of the hit TV show The Office. Both of which leave me feeling uncomfortable and queasy. My ankles are swelling at just the thought of sodium-infused appetizers and cheap, sugary cocktails.
Dressing for the holidays lets you add a bit of razzle-dazzle to your everyday style. To avoid looking Ho-Ho Horrible, stick to classics with a twist and a few dressy basics to mix and match into your wardrobe.
The LBD—The Little Black Dress is the equivalent of a man’s navy-blue sports coat. The most flattering length of the LBD is right below the knee. Add this year’s trendy jewelry and you’ll be ready for cocktails in no time. For a glitzy office lunch, pair your LBD with a velvet blazer.
Bedazzling Blouses—Tops that have some sequins, beading or incorporated shine can be worn under a jacket for a more conservative occasion or alone for cocktails. An embellished cardigan is a fresh style, and paired with tailored trousers or a pencil skirt it looks very Mad Men.
Naughty-Not-Nice Shoes—Pointy-toe sling backs, mules or pumps can vamp up any outfit. Worn with this season’s trendy textured hose, an otherwise plain LBD turns glamorous.
Mistletoe Makeup—If you only have a few minutes to transform yourself into a holiday hottie, attempt a lush red lip or a smoky-eye and accent every eyelash with jet-black mascara. A quick dusting of shimmery powder on cheeks and shoulders is evening appropriate as well.
A Cornucopia of Accessories—Adding a sophisticated clutch, a tiara-style headband (think Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen), a lush crimson scarf or statement jewelry will effortlessly make any ensemble party-perfect.
Have a fantastic time, drink (and dress) responsibly. Remember whatever happens, it will end up on Facebook!
Q. I am not the size 0 to 10 that most boutiques carry around town. I have—however, you choose to brand it—curves, lovely lady lumps, thighs, a rear and breasts. Despite what marketing and TV might have you think, I take care good of myself, eat right and exercise. As Popeye would say, “I am what I am”: a fabulous size 12. I will never be one of the skinny girls, so should I just give up on the skinny jeans?
Kimberly, “I’m Everywoman,” West End
Bathing suits and jeans are the most difficult and painstaking clothing items to purchase and even more maddening for a women who feels that she has been rejected by the world of fashion. The skinny jean trend is a complicated one for most women, even those who would appear to benefit from a few Hulk smoothies from Smoothie King. As far as rules, fashion and otherwise, sometimes they can be broken. When you are ready for your dressing room session, be primed to spend some time in that claustrophobic, poorly lit box. (On average, it takes trying on a minimum of eight pairs before you can find the perfect pant.) Certainly you may attempt the skinny denim, just be sure to do it up right. Dark-wash denim is a must and should be devoid of fading, whiskering or embellishments. The fit must be flawless, and should not pinch in the waistband or crease in the inseam. Pair your jeans with billowy tops, tailored blazers or a blouse that is worn with a gorgeous belt. As always, a towering pointy-toe stiletto assists in making you look longer and leaner.
In case you are willing to hold out, the universally becoming boot-cut will be resurrected this spring. Bless you, dear fashion gods, bless you.