The Latest Scoop on Holiday Fashions
By Kimberly Boney
California, in the grand scheme of fashion, is often thought of as New York’s casual cousin, the one proudly wearing white after Labor Day, the one wearing a lace-up when a loafer may have been a more widely adopted notion. And we Californians have fully embraced this more relaxed take on fashion – in fact, we’ve made it a brand all our own. Not that we can’t kick it up a notch when we have a good mind to, though, especially when the holidays are beckoning nigh. Read along for tips on how to infuse a bit of fancy into your holiday attire — while maintaining your seemingly effortless California swagger, of course.
INFUSE A BIT OF COLOR
Ladies: It goes without saying that wearing a burst of bright is the surest way to turn heads. But it’s never been more true than right now, when even in the dead of winter, vibrant versions of traditional jewel-toned colors, and even neon (yes, we said neon) take center stage. The forerunner this holiday season (aside from the ever-popular, ever-enchanting red) is magical, awe-inspiring royal blue. You’ve seen it all over this year, from fashion to home décor, and there is a reason is so popular. It’s bold, beautiful and screams of richness. Who couldn’t win with that combination? So this year, bypass that little black dress and go for a little (royal) blue dress instead.
Gents: Some guys cringe at the mere thought of wearing anything coral, cinnamon or pink. If you
are that guy, bear with us a moment. In the past, these tones have been reserved for men in the
fashion spreads of world-renowned magazines. But in 2014, they are far more accessible and easy on the eyes than one would imagine. Have you seen just how dashing they can look when paired with just about any neutral? (Navy and any one of these colors might just take the cake.) We’re not saying to go for a suit that matches the color of the autumn leaves. But do try a T-shirt (under a blazer, of course), a cable knit cardigan or a vest in one of these unexpected yet stunning shades. Not a huge investment, but a worthy one.
STEP BACK INTO TIME
Ladies: Take your cue from the fashion magazines of the 1960s. Try a short and sassy mod inspired dress this holiday season. It doesn’t have to be worn with go-go boots or a
beehive hairdo. (In fact, please don’t.) Go for a cut that is slightly A-line and can be worn with an elegant pair of heels. When is there a better time to doll up like this? Seize the moment.
Gents: Ever wonder why the ladies swoon over the handsome Hollywood icons of yesteryear? Their unmarked style and grace shines through the cut and fabric of a well-tailored suit. The 1960s “Mad Men” inspired suit is a classic, but try it in a color aside from black. Navy, chocolate and charcoal are options that show you are stylish but don’t take yourself too seriously. And that, dear friends, is a really good thing.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS
Ladies: Accessories are a sure-fire way to make or break an outfit, so be sure that yours are selected with care. Don’t make the mistake of wearing a black leather work shoe with a cocktail dress. (Insert record scratch here.) Satin is better. ‘Tis the season for something a bit more shiny than normal, so go with a rhinestone encrusted or feathered pair, if you feel so inspired. It’ll be fun and your tootsies can hang in high heels for a few hours without too much pain. (Bring your bedazzled ballet flats in the car, just in case, though.)
Gents: Sure, you may avoid wearing a tie or bow tie at all costs during the rest of the year, but, hey, it’s the holidays! So, rock one in a fun color or pattern. If you don’t want it to look as if you are “trying too hard,” opt for a cotton material instead of satin. Your friends and family will be impressed that you made the effort. Bonus: You may just be mistaken for a hipster.
POLISH YOUR LOOK WITH PATTERN
Ladies: Want to infuse a bit of pattern without looking like a fashion victim? Try sheer tights with lace, argyle or pinstriped texture with your dress or skirt. They look amazing with heels, boots or ballet flats and offer a subtle way to make a statement. Feeling bold? Give a whirl to a pair with a more noticeable pattern or color contrast. Just keep the rest of your ensemble basic so your admirers can focus on your tasteful infusion of pattern and don’t find themselves dizzy as you walk by.
Gents: OK. So maybe you aren’t ready to give the bow tie a go, but you can express your personality with a little something extra that isn’t quite so claustrophobia inducing. Enter the pocket square and the playful pair of patterned socks. That well-tailored blazer or suit jacket you’re wearing (and you should be wearing it because it looks amazing on you) has just been elevated by adding a splash of color by way of that little square of fabric. When you are having a talk with friends over hot toddies, and they look down to notice your socks, they’ll know beyond
the shadow of a doubt that you are not the average Joe.
TOP IT OFF
Ladies: We realize that not everyone is a hat person. If you are, rock one proudly, sister! If not, you can still wow them with something pretty on your head. A jeweled headband or fascinator instantly glamorizes any ensemble. Not into something quite so bold? Opt for a rhinestone and feathered hair clip.
Gents: There is something wildly attractive about a man confident enough to wear a hat. And no, we don’t mean a baseball cap or sun visor. We’re talking newsboy caps, cable knit skull caps and fedoras. It’s not for everyone, but boy, when it’s done right, it’s out of this world!