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How to Ready Your Wardrobe for the Holidays by Ginger Burr

Ginger Burr

It’s that time again! The tinsel and holly are showing up in every store from the drugstore to the mall and the radio stations are blasting carols all day long. Thanksgiving is right around the corner followed closely by Hannukah and Christmas. There is no escaping it—the holiday season is in full swing!

Sadly, what also comes along with the holiday glee is the stress of preparing to be around family you haven’t seen since last year, gathering gifts, preparing food as well as being photogenic for everyone and their aunt’s iPhone camera destined for Facebook or Instagram.

That being said, in addition to prepping the meals and the extra bedrooms, your closet may need a quick review, too. You want your holiday wardrobe to be effortless and not an additional source of anxiety. Here are three important steps to make that easier for you.

1. Plan NOW!
It is so easy to get ‘wrapped up’ in all the holiday to-do’s that you forget to think about what you are going to wear for your Thanksgiving dinner or a family holiday party or even a casual get-together until a half hour before guests arrive. Nothing can get you out of the holiday spirit faster than desperately flinging clothes out of your closet as you try to find something acceptable (never mind festive!) to wear.

Recently, I was shopping with a client who said she needed a couple of pretty tops to wear for the holidays. She wanted things she could cook in and later wear to relax and enjoy her guests. Is that true for you, too?

If you will be spending time in the kitchen be sure to choose something lightweight so you can endure the heat and bustle of food preparation, but not so light weight that you are freezing during the rest of your visit.

Try something festive like this (it also comes in red, blue and black!). I would eliminate the bow belt and just wear it simply with pretty earrings.


Or, if you don’t have to cook (these sleeves would be a disaster in the kitchen), a pretty, ethereal top like this would be fun:


If, however, you tend to run cold no matter what you are doing. Or, if you are heading to someone else’s home where you can’t control the thermostat, a pretty top like this works beautifully.


Each of these tops can be worn with your favorite black (or other neutral) pants or skirt or even to dress up a great pair of dark wash jeans.

Note: If you have to cook and worry you’ll splatter something all over your pretty outfit, wear an apron. Not the stained, old standby apron you’ve worn daily for the past 10 years! Try something pretty and festive like this:


Check out the link here to see other fun holiday ideas.

2. Let the Accessories be the Star
Perhaps you want to keep your outfit understated and opt for a simple black dress, but you feel blah when you look in the mirror. First of all, a little black dress (LBD) does not have to be black! It can be any color. It is more the idea that it is simple and elegant and is perfect for many occasions. Navy is very popular right now and has all the same elegance as black—just a softer expression.

In both cases, accessories are what give a simple outfit that special something.

While you might not be keen on wearing a pair of lighted mistletoe earrings, you want something that feels special and in the holiday spirit. Picture your favorite little black dress with one of these:

Imagine this showstopper necklace on a LBD. You can get this from the fabulous Karen Halaby by emailing her at kmhalaby@aol.comfor all the details. The cost is: $158 plus tax and shipping.


Or perhaps a simple pair of elegant earrings is more your style. If that’s the case, try a pair of Heather Downes’ earrings:


Or a vintage brooch – this Victorian brooch is just one of many stunning options:


Or combine a couple of these. Perhaps the pretty red ball earrings with these fabulous shoe clips. Turn any pair of simple pumps or ballet flats into sparkling holiday shoes:


And, remember your handbag. You definitely do not want to be dragging around your every day bag. If you feel you will need everything you have in your day-to-day bag, take it with youand leave it in the car for emergencies. Pull a pretty clutch out and you are set to go. Yes, even if you are wearing jeans – what a great way to dress them up and add pizzazz.

Here are two ideas:

This very classic, elegant design:


Or this conversation starter:


Life is too short to let these special items sit in your closet. While holiday lights are glowing, add your own sparkle whether you are going out to a casual dinner, attending a holiday gathering or hosting a New Year’s Eve party.

When Dressing For Style Layer From Subtle to Statement
Sometimes the holidays take us out of doors and you have to be ready to brave the elements. Of course, you still want to look and feel great, but when the temperatures dip you want to be ready. Whether you are heading out for an evening of caroling or an outdoor New Year’s Eve event like the annual ‘First Night’ in Boston, you want to stay warm, but with a nod to the spirit of the season.

Dressing in layers is critical for warmth. Allow your first items to be functional like these fleece-lined, moisture-wicking options fromwww.cuddlduds.com. The closer you get to the top the more you can express your personality.


Accent your coat with a stunning scarf, neckwarmer or snood:


In the end, have fun dressing up. You don’t have to break the bank to add joy and fun to your holiday wardrobe and you don’t have to settle for dowdy bulky clothing that keeps your warm by doesn’t make you feel good. Little touches here or there make all the difference in the world in how you look and especially how you feel about how you look.

Be sure to check out the link for even more ideas than you see pictured here.

Note: All garments pictured here are vegan-friendly (made from fabrics that did not harm any animals).

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