Fashion in winter can be challenging, because while you want to look smart you also have to make sure it is functional. Adding another layer to that, the winter holidays can make it seem impossible to make the right choices. On one hand, everyone likes to feel festive and dressing the part can help. Chances are if you survey the attendees of a Star Wars Convention, those who went dressed in costumes likely had more fun than those in civvies. Yet, you don’t want to show up to the winter holiday party at work looking like a Santa cosplayer. Luckily, there is a middle ground between ignoring the season entirely and bedecking yourself out in your favorite “ugly” sweater.
Below you will find three easy tips that you can apply to your own personal sense of style, no matter what you like to wear. Instead of looking like a well-dressed Scrooge, you can incorporate elements into your already-established look. Of course, holiday fashion is no different from other fashion in one respect. You must feel good in what you wear in order to truly pull it off. If you are styling yourself in ways that you think will please others, it never works
1. Forget Patterns, the Secret is Color
Whether it’s ironic or unironic, no one denies that the (in)famous Christmas sweater wears its enthusiasms on its sleeves, torso, and everywhere else. Take the finest cashmere or other luxury fabrics, but if you stich a giant Christmas tree or reindeer head onto it, it’s now an “ugly” sweater. But fear not! You don’t need to adorn a Christmas tree or holly or menorah on your clothing to make an outfit feel seasonal. Instead, incorporate color combinations that you might not normally choose. This doesn’t mean bright neon pink slacks or paired with reflective silver or anything like that. Rather, it means use the traditional colors for the holidays as part of your palette to design an outfit.
The winter holiday season, dating back to when these used to be pagan festivals, has long been associated with the colors of red and green. The reason dates back to the medieval church which used green and red boundaries to separate the priests from the congregants. Similarly, the colors most associated with Hanukah are blue and white, religiously symbolic colors for people who practice the Jewish faith. Using these colors in a creative way can add a seasonal flair to an otherwise normal outfit. Whether you wear one or two items of this color or really go all out depends on your own personal style.
2. Bundling Up Keeps You Warm and Your Outfit Hot
A lot of time, you must make sacrifices to comfort in order to truly embrace serious fashion. Yet, when it comes to winter fashions, less is not more. There is a practical reason, because unless you are around the equator, winter is going to be a colder season for you. Luckily, you can use this to your advantage when creating holiday fashion. When it comes to items like your scarf, hat, or coat, avoid patterns and Christmas-y designs. Instead, use holiday colors to create a layered look that evokes the spirit of the season. You can get as creative as you want, but if you aren’t that fashionably adventurous be cautious. A little goes a long way, especially when it comes to holiday colors. Still, dressing for the weather can be both practical and a way to further make your look seasonal. Think of it like the wrapping on a present. Everything, from your socks to your scarf is part of that packaging.
3. Accessorize Your Way to a Finished Look
Accessories are your friends, always, but especially so when it comes to holiday fashion. A sweater or polo shirt with a giant Christmas tree on it would be tacky. However, a lapel pin or tie tack in the shape of one is a delightful holiday detail. Still, by finding subtle and tasteful accents to go along with your outfit, you can really drive home the seasonal nature of it. It can be subtle, such as a sprig of holly in your lapel. Or you can really go for it, adding jewelry or other accessories that really drive home the holiday nature of your outfit. In this case, you don’t want to overdo it, or you risk having more baubles dangling from you than from the tree.
If you are really in a festive spirit, consider using a single accessory that is blatantly of the season. Perhaps it’s something as simple as a candy cane striped tie or a vest decked out with tiny embroidered dreidels. Of course, if it’s a holiday party, you can never go wrong with an old-fashioned Santa hat. We mean this literally. If you are going to go with the Santa hat accessory, avoid the cheap, synthetic ones and instead get an older, Father Christmas style hat. A deeper red and with a long tail adorned with a snow-white ball, it’s unusual enough to be a conversation piece. If you’re really successful, you run the risk of losing the hat because everyone else will be trying it on and taking selfies.