We have a really mellow holiday season planned. We’re just going to host Thanksgiving… and Christmas Eve… Oh, and a birthday party and the staff party, then my sister’s coming up from California with her family, and my brother just called from Japan to confirm that we can host a dance party on New Year’s Eve.
Our plans for visiting are just about as laid back as our home life. Fortunately, most of our events, like yours, are relatively casual. That said, I want to give a nod to the holiday season and dress up festively, if not elfishly.
Here’s my holiday wardrobe:*
This is my favorite dress. With a sparkly necklace it becomes fancy. Add simple accessories and it’s casual. There is no wintertime party to which I can’t wear this dress. Plus it’s soft and stretchy, so I can eat all the cheese and Carrs water crackers I want and not feel uncomfortable.
This top is just plain fun. I can pair it with black leggings for a grown-up, dress-up occasion, and jeans for everything else.
I love these fluid joggers for hosting events in my home. This olive, silk top is open at the neck, balancing the weight of the pants, while still keeping up with the casual/elegant vibe. Plus the whole ensemble goes with my best apron.
I like this for hostess as well. You can layer it over a little black dress, or leggings and a tank.
The non-ironic holiday sweater
If you want to go full-on reindeer, don’t let me stop you. I prefer something that gives a nod to the season without any flashing lights. These sweaters have a winter motif, but are in unexpected holiday colors.
Do you remember this Gap holiday sweater from the mid-1990s? I found it 2nd hand fifteen years ago and I’m still wearing it.
Most of my holiday season will be spent with family and close friends. I love a cozy plaid shirt for hanging out and doing nothing, or doing everything, as is often the case at this time of year.
A little sparkle picks my mood up. I wear this t-shirt under a simple gray cardigan for a look that says, “Yes, I understand there are rules, and I totally plan on following them… for now.”
Secret Weapon – The Holiday Coat
There is no better way to stay warm, cozy and appropriately festive than the holiday coat. You can wear absolutely anything under the coat and no one will ever know.
Headed out to a tree-lighting ceremony? Grab the coat. Volunteering to run your kids around as they gather cans for the school food drive? Put yer coat on. Running between three different Thanksgivings? Coat time!
I have faced more holiday seasons without appropriate clothes than I care to remember. But now that I have the coat, no worries. I could wear my pajamas under it if I were so inclined.
All over the world, there are celebrations of light at the darkest time of year. While I prefer very simple jewelry for everyday, this is the time to sparkle. Pull out your auntie’s broaches, your big pendant necklaces and that one piece of real jewelry you never wear because it’s not a special enough occasion. You, your friends, and your family? I can’t think of a better reason to break out the tiara.
Ultimately, this season is about coming together in love and friendship. You shouldn’t be worrying about a pilling sweater or a skirt that really doesn’t go with your top. Pick a few go-to hostess and party looks, and wear them every for every occasion from November through the middle of January. Then set yourself free to focus on peace of earth, and goodwill towards everybody.
*This post covers casual to moderately dressy events. For more formal events, see the next post, 38 Minute Fancy.
**The drink I’m holding is called The Slow Burn. I made it up. It’s a habanero / lime cocktail. Message me if you want the recipe.
**Drinking alcohol is for people of age, whose frontal lobes are fully formed and are not driving and/or are avoiding alcohol for any one of a number of good reasons. For you folks I have a sparkly version of the same beverage. It burns just a little bit hotter.