As the holiday season comes galloping towards us, I have been getting ready to enjoy one of my favorite aspects of it- dressing up for parties. However, while I swoon at the thought of towering high heels, sparkling baubles, and festive ensembles, I know that for many more, there is dread at having to figure out what to wear. Back in the good ol' days of working in retail, I helped more women than I can count find a dress for something they were headed to in the next couple of hours. What a shame! How can you enjoy the evening if you're rushing around figuring out what to wear, not to mention the money pouring out of your pockets on something you haven't thought through? Here's how to handle it once and for all. Save money, look gorgeous (and unique!), and, most of all, be able to have FUN the night of your party.
Step 1- Choose your outfit a few days before the event. As a matter of fact, choose a few and then take pictures of them! If another party pops up unexpectedly, you'll have something figured out already.
Spend an evening trying on your options. Explore your closet. Think outside the dress and see what holiday options are hiding in your skirt, top, or trouser departments. Match shoes AND jewelry to each look that makes the grade. Take a picture of it all laid out on the bed so you don't forget. Put in your calendar to pick up a new pair of tights or bra or shoe pad if you need it so you can pop in somewhere before the day of the party.
Step 2- You don't have a thing. Truly. Your favorite dress really has been seen by everyone- three times. Allow yourself to buy something not under the pressure the impending party. If you want to know the truth, the BEST way to do this is to buy the perfect dress when you come across it even if that means it is in September and you haven't been invited to a thing. Then you'll have it. But if that hasn't happened for you, decide where you want to go and make sure there are other places nearby in case you need to go to a few. Remember, if you go to a large chain and choose something on their window mannequin, you just may see it on several ladies at the event. BETTER TO GO SIMPLE AND MAKE IT YOUR OWN!
Step 3- Make it your own. How? With accessories! This is the best way to mix up your looks and save money because you can wear this stuff again and again, with jeans and tees, or suits, or whatever. Don't fall victim to not thinking about your jewelry and then only have some small sparkly hoops to put on. You'll feel more fantastic if your jewelry stands out.
Step 4- You were so organized that you can actually enjoy the process of getting ready. If it's a big event, go get your hair and makeup done. (Have pictures from magazines if you haven't used the person before!) If not, give yourself an hour and have some wine while you're doing it. Got kids? No problem! Let your daughter come in and watch. She'll be thrilled to participate and to get the brush blush swiped across her cheeks. Your son can watch, too, but if he won't tolerate it, hand him a book or video game or turn on the cartoons. You deserve the hour off, I'm sure.
One final bit of advice. Make sure you are comfortable. There is nothing chic about a woman who can't stand in her heels or who keeps pulling on her dress. That is more important than anything else.
Now you know my secret to always enjoying a party! Outfit ideas to follow...