Friday, November 12, 2010

Celebrate In Style: HOW TO DRESS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

It's that time of year again...
When the holidays roll around and you have to find something to wear for those holiday parties and dinners with friends and/or family.
Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving, Eid, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or other holidays, you should Celebrate In Style.

THE TRENDS

The trends in holiday attire this year are sequins, ivory, blush tones,tights, glitter,lace,fur and miniskirts, minidresses, blazers, shrugs, jackets, bustier tops, one shoulder dresses.



What kind of attire is appropriate for the holidays?
Holiday attire can sometimes vary depending on your culture or traditions, but generally, if you wear something Formal or even Semi-formal, you're good to go.

*However, if you are explicitly given a dress code for an event, dress accordingly.
It's bad etiquette and super tacky to come dressed inappropriately to any event, especially if you were told how to dress prior to it by the hosts or on the invite.*

THE KEY
The key to dressing up is to add shine and switch up the fabrics.
This is the time to wear those rayon/satins, brocades, jacquards, sequins, and rhinestones on shoes, dresses, skirts, pants,shirts, purses, earrings etc in full effect without having to cover it up to keep from looking overdressed.



COLORS
Color-wise? Color is always in style. To take it up a notch for the holidays, go for all-white, all-black, a metallic like gold or silver, or rich jewel tones like royal blue, royal purple,crimson, emerald green etc paired with bold black to make a striking statement with color.



What are your clothing options?

A Skirt and Top Ensemble, with or without jacket
Try a statement top with a subtle skirt or a statement skirt with a subtle top. Don't too much with BOTH pieces, because the two will compete.
Example:
YES: A purple bustier with a black velvet pencil skirt.
YES: A silverish white sequined cardigan, black velvet mermaid skirt.



Jacket? Try a jacket to cover up your outfit if you are going from work to a holiday party so that you can switch ensembles/venues without having to stop home to change or just to add some extra flavor/shine to your holiday outfit.
Anything from blazers to boleros works here, just be sure to stay away from denim as not dress your outfit way down.



For hijabis, go with a long skirt in a cute shape and a hip length shirt or longer if you are wearing a mermaid or trumpet skirt. If you decide to tuck your top inside the skirt, be sure to wear a jacket over it that covers the goodies appropriately.



PANTSUIT
A pantsuit is one of the flyest things you can wear. Think Bianca Jagger- fly.
Choose a statement shirt such as one with ruffles or a rich color to wear with a monochromatic pantsuit to spice it up a little bit, with the jacket worn open or closed...and please tailor it to fit your body. There is nothing more terrible than an ill-fitting suit.



For hijabis, try a longer (just above the knee or at the knee) boyfriend blazer or a longer-length tailored blazer and be sure to choose wide leg or straight leg pants. A tucked headscarf also looks super chic.
*Check out The Limited, Avenue and New York and Company, Ann Taylor are good for these etc..



PARTY DRESS/MINIDRESS
This is a great option if you want something pretty and sassy without the length.
Choose a great dress that is one shoulder, has features like ruffles and poof or great colors.
These dresses tend to be short so do wear leggings with them or at least tights to keep the unmentionables from being exposed.

For hijabis, try a straight leg or wide leg pant with these dresses and proper arm coverage by way of long sleeves or jacket/cardigan and cute hijab style.
*Check out Dots,DEB, Akira,Kiyonna,IGIGI,Forever 21,Charlotte Reusse, bebe,JC Penney,H&M, Cache and Express...



COCKTAIL DRESS
A cheap option if you are on a tight budget this season.
Simply wear a cocktail dress/sheath dress that you already have for workwear and dress it up with tights and accessories such as long metallic necklaces, bold bib necklaces, chunky bangles, stacked skinny bangles, cocktail ring etc.
Thank you Michelle Obama for bringing "Classy" back in style.

Hijabis, if you want to wear a cocktail/sheath dress, you would have to wear a cardigan or some kind of jacket/blazer of the same length over it to cover the fittedness.
*Check out Target, Nordstrom Rack,The Limited, J Crew, Ann Taylor, New York and Company,Kiyonna, IGIGI



PANTS AND SHIRT
If you don't feel like wearing a complete suit, then just try some pants in a great cut like wide leg, in chiffon or just your regular work pants, and wear it with a great dressy tunic or other statement top, belted or not belted.



Hijabis, choose wide leg or straight leg pants and a top that is long enough to cover the goodies



THE GOWN
A long formal dress is probably one of the simplest options out there because the dress makes a large statement and then all you have to do is accessorize! Find dresses with great details and embellishments like sweetheart necklines, empire waists and bows or sashes. Bridesmaids dresses work very well here.

(minus the excess skin)


Hijabis, choose a cute hijab style and add long sleeves if the dress does not already have them with a long sleeve shirt, bolero top, cropped cardigan, blazer or shrug, etc.



Note: Please, no spaghetti straps on top of long sleeve shirts- its very tacky.
Tuck the straps in or cover them completely with a bolero or shrug.
*Check out Nordstrom, Deb,Lord and Taylor, Davids Bridal, JC Penney, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, dress boutiques...

SKIRTSUIT
Equally fly, try a skirt suit. A skirt suit with interesting details such as a peplum jacket or ruffled skirt looks amazing. Try a statement shirt or camisole under the jacket as well.
Again, with suits, its all about FIT. Go to a tailor and make it fit you perfectly to pull this off.



Hijabis, you might be hard-pressed to find a cute skirtsuit with a long skirt.But, you can always create ur own by getting a straight skirt or other cute cut and pairing it with a tailored jacket.
*Check out The Limited, New York and Company,Ann Taylor,Burlington Coat Factory, Nordstrom ETC..



CROSS CULTURES
Appreciate another culture this holiday season and try wearing an ensemble that is from a culture different from your own. That could mean wearing a beautiful flowing abaya from Dubai,an embellished, elaborate Palestinian thobe/dress,an elegant sari or lehenga from the Subcontinent, a royal three piece ensemble including headwrap from the Motherland etc and spice it up with accessories.
Try these great retailers, priced $100 and up.

Designs of Dubai www.designsofdubai.com


Diana's Fashions www.dianasfashions.com


Jalwa (Chicago, IL)



ACCESSORIES:
Accessories are another great way to dress up an outfit.
That's right, bring out the bling! Glitz it up with faux or real jewels and gems in necklaces, cocktail rings, earrings, hairclips,brooches and belts.
Hats- a big dramatic hat, or even a small hat can add that extra touch to an outfit.
Gloves- Channel Old Hollywood with a fabulous pair of gloves in a great color.
Fur- Don a fur stole tossed around your neck for an even more glamorous look.
Tights- For outfits with legs showing, try a great pair of colored or textured tights.
Purses- This is the time to pull out your dainty purses and leave the huge suitcases and workbags at home. Choose a glittery clutch, dressy chain-strap purse or even a shiny animal print rectangular wallet will do.
*Check accessories dept in pretty much any clothing store.



SHOES:
Step out in style with a gorgeous shoe like a classic black patent peeptoe, a candy colored stacked heel, or some fabulous metallic flats. Have fun with them and look for great details like bows, jewels, glitter and animal prints.
Be sure to choose a shoe that will be comfortable to wear so that you don't have to take your shoes off halfway into the party.
*White House Black Market,DSW,Target, Saks and shoe depts in various stores...



TOPPERS:
Keep your whole look classy and beautiful by wearing a great coat!
Pieces like tailored trench coats, floor length fur coats, cute leather jackets, short patterned coats, capes and velvet shawls will keep you warm but still dressy.
*Target, Burlington Coat Factory, Old Navy, Kohl's,Macy's...



*Plus Size ladies, Target, Macy's, Avenue, Lane Bryant, Forever 21, Monif C,Kiyonna, IGIGI,Burlington Coat Factory,DEB etc have great plus size options, check them out!



NOTE:
Nothing is more tragic than wearing a beautiful outfit and having trifling skin, nails,feet and hair.
Make sure your hair is done, your nails are neat, feet and skin are moisturized for a completely fabulous look.

Now, go Celebrate in Style! :)

That's all for now, Up Next, "THE PIONEERS OF PLUS-SIZE FASHION", Stay Tuned!

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