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|Written by Taryn Cheal|
|Thursday, 15 December 2011 01:37|
I firmly believe that there is no reason that people should not look put together on a daily basis (at the very least). This series is designed to outline basic steps anyone can take to improve their everyday wardrobe easily. I love clothes and am often asked for help in the style department by my friends and family. Over the years, I have developed some fairly basic principles regarding fashion that can help anyone improve their style. These are tips to help you develop your own style; they should give you the tools to assess clothing and make choices that will work best for you, whatever your income, body type, or personality.
'Tis the season for Christmas parties which means 'tis also the season for getting dressed for these holiday gatherings. I have come to realize that many people have no idea how to appropriately dress for a holiday party and have compiled a list of some rules to help you out this season. A party at someone's house and an office party mean different dress codes, but these rules are basic guidelines for both, keeping in mind that an office party is more formal than a house party. As a special holiday bonus, I have decided to include a few rules specifically for men because there are some male-specific issues that absolutely must be addressed.
Make an Effort
The first basic thing to think about when getting dressed for a party is that the host has spent a lot of time getting ready for this event and probably has spent a decent amount of money so that you and the other party guests can have a nice time. The very least you can do is make an effort and look nice. It is a sign of respect to show up well-dressed; it says to the host that you have put the effort into what you are bringing to the party (yourself) that they have into the party. Also, always assume there will be pictures taken -- you do not want to look at the pictures down the line and realize you were the worst dressed person. Aim to wear something so that will be complimented at a party; you want people to notice that you put effort into your outfit. You never regret being overdressed; you regret being underdressed.
Next, it is unacceptable to wear a stereotypical holiday sweater. There are two exceptions: when it is an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party and if you are a Texas elementary school teacher (you gals keep on keepin' on). Save for these two instances, there is absolutely no excuse to be wearing a tacky, printed sweater with a picture of Santa eating cookies on it. You may think it is "festive," but it's actually "atrocious," so keep that in mind. Sweaters around the holidays, however, are completely encouraged. A sweater with a subtle winter pattern such as snowflakes or even reindeer can be cute and appropriate, without being painfully obvious or overdone. Once you get into anthropomorphic figures like snowmen or Santa you are heading towards tacky. An elegant way to wear a holiday themed sweater would be to pick a Christmas colour that suits you, any variation of red, green or white/cream, and accent with a small accessory like a winter-themed pair of earrings or a snowman brooch. Be careful when picking out these accessories; spend a little more money on them -- they should look elegant and enhance your overall look, rather than distract from it. Also, the item shouldn't be plastic or have flashing lights. Look for something that is not obvious or literal but suggests wintery festivity.
Why would you wear jeans to a party?
One of the most common mistakes people make when dressing for a party at someone's house is wearing jeans. Jeans are casual; parties are not. A pair of well-fitting trousers should be the baseline of what to wear. Anything more casual is out of the question. The problem with jeans is they are an everyday pant, and this is not an everyday occasion. Jeans are easy; they go with everything and that is why they are a standard for daily wardrobe. They show that little effort has gone into creating a nice outfit for a party. If you are wearing something that makes it into your wardrobe on any sort of regular basis, rethink it as a part of your holiday outfit because it likely lacks the elegance that is your goal.
Leave the Santa hats for the big man
Another rule to always abide by is no Santa hats. They are not an appropriate accessory for an outfit because they are part of a costume, which does not qualify, in any sense of the word, as clothing. They make you look like a child and are basically unattractive. Santa hats show a similar amount of laziness as jeans in that they are a clear indication that you put no effort into what you were going to wear for the occasion and simply threw on the most obvious thing that says "holidays" rather than taking the time to create an outfit that is both attractive and festive.
Work appropriate, even though there will be booze
The holiday office party requires slightly more formal attire than a party at someone's house, but it should be kept in mind that your clothing should be work appropriate with a festive flair. It is not the time for a cocktail dress because that is far too much skin for the office and is not something you could ever wear to work. Ideally, you should find something that you could wear to an important meeting and add an accessory to make it fit for the holidays.
Holiday Clothing Tips for Men
"That suit better be made out of some sort of cloth" -- Judge Chamberlain, My Cousin Vinny
There are a few concerns with men's clothing at Christmas parties. The first rule I have is that the bulk of the outfit must be made out of cloth. Fred Gwynne's immortal words above serve us well here. Cloth. Not denim, not corduroy, not cargo anything. If you can work out, go fishing, ride a motorcycle or really do anything outdoorsy in any of the articles in your outfit, you may not wear them to a holiday party. If the pants zip off and become shorts, this isn't the right occasion for them. Nice trousers, button up shirts, and sweaters are the goal for men in these circumstances (and let's be honest, men look great in nice sweaters, and there are very few opportunities for them to wear them these days). If it is an office party a suit jacket would also be appropriate. If you are completely stuck, ask your fashionable lady friends or family members. They will guide you towards looking appropriate at a party.
Tags: advice, christmas, classic style, clothes minded, culture, faith, holidays, make an effort people, santa hats are a bit sad, social contract, style guide, texas elementary school teachers keep on keepin on, there will be photos, trousers, ugly sweater parties, why would you wear jeans to a party?
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