Some Light Reading….and Thoughts on Holiday Parties

Sorry it’s been oh-so-quiet on PB recently! The shortage of on-the-street posts has been a combo of me feeling slightly more hermit-esque in the winter months coupled with the fact that it’s really freaking cold out.

Perhaps now is a good time for a little light reading. Because if you’re at work today you’re not really doing anything now are you?! Catch up on some of the stuff I’ve done for Washingtonian here.

And check out a recent Politico article I was quoted in about dressing for the holidays. The audience was the Hill crowd, but a lot of the article’s advice applies to everyone attending a holiday function, work-related or not. There’s a lot of sparkle and satin in the stores and often it becomes to ubiquitous and cheesy-looking that it makes me want to scream. It’s smart to be choosy with that stuff.

That being said, not going overboard doesn’t mean you let your outfit go unfinished. This is probably the thing that irritates me the most. So many women think only about the dress that they forget or half-ass the other details, and this is what makes or breaks your look. Young women especially have this issue. They’ll wear a strapless dress with the same tiny earrings they wear to the office, and they grab their too-casual everyday canvas handbag as they dart out of the door. Buy a structured clutch ladies. You don’t have to spend a lot on them because they’re so classic that there are a ton of adorable (and well-made) ones around at thrift and vintage stores. I recently picked up a gold one for $10.

So, the dress. Women think, “oh, I can’t wear black because it’s boring.” Listen to me: It is NOT boring! It’s versatile and a fantastic canvas for a slew of holiday looks that you can change dramatically with accessories. If you spend the money to buy a “nonboring” dress, it’ll be so memorable that you probably won’t want to wear it to another party later in the week. And because you spent your budgeted amount on the dress, you half-ass the other details like shoes and earrings….bringing us around to the aforementioned issue.

While we’re on this subject, a laundry list of my thoughts for women:

Think about an incredible pair of shoes in jewel-toned satin. Don’t wear open-toed shoes with hosiery. And a big one: don’t wear a wrap. They look so OLD. This advice isn’t just for the young ladies – older ladies, don’t wear a wrap either, please. Everyone looks better in a dressy jacket or cropped coat instead (I was in Forever 21 the other day and they had a lot of surprisingly sophisticated and expensive-looking options). And for God’s sake girls, but on some lipstick!

And guys, I’m sorry, but those holiday themed ties and matchy cummerbund sets are awful. I don’t care if you do it every year or if it helps you strike up conversations. It’s appropriate at the Santa Soiree and nowhere else. You are a professional man, and professional men earn points with classic, tailored style. I think guys (especially guys on the Hill) would be smart to just ramp up their normal look – a fitted suit goes a long way in my book.

Anyone have a tip on holiday party dressing or great outfit to share?


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