“Is this too boring? Too casual? Too dressed up?” The I-have-nothing-to-wear syndrome is typical this time of year. Dress codes for parties and events have blurred into a vague one-look-suits-all outfit of jeans and a fancier-than-usual top. That’s not bad at all, but holiday events are a chance to really dress up … something many of us don’t do that often. Here are 10 ways to get “merry and bright” right:
1. A neighborhood house party
When the e-vite says swing by for eggnog or come join a karaoke night, leave your sweats and sneakers home and try jeans with a silky blouse such as the Gap Satin Boyfriend Shirt in Green Pine ($70, gap.com) for a seasonal look (yes, that tried-and-true recipe works fine here, so use it!) or the Marc New York Draped Tunic in Eggplant ($64, bloomingdales.com) because not everyone loves to wear red or green. Just add the sparkly C. Wonder Women’s Holiday Smoking Flats in Black ($30, walmart.com), and you’re out the door in minutes.
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2. A big deal sit-down dinner
Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or a restaurant meal, go classy but comfy in a soft stretchy sweater dress such as the H&M Rib-Knit Dress in Yellow Ocher ($65, www2.hm.com/en_us/) to allow for extra helpings and post-meal style. Emphasize your look waist up (that’s mostly how you’ll be seen) with a flawless manicure — in red Essie Handmade With Love 8-Free Vegan Nail Polish ($12, target.com) or on-trend metallic Sally Hansen Color Foil Nail Polish in Steel a Kiss ($9, ulta.com) — and makeup that includes defined eyes or lips. A smear-proof, long-wear lipstick such as Maybelline SuperStay Ink Crayon in Make Moves ($11, ulta.com) will see you through gravy and dessert.