Now that the school semester is over, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about the holidays – not just about the food and family and presents (okay, the presents) but what you’re going to wear to December’s many over-the-top holiday parties. Luckily, designers showed festive looks for Fall 2012 in a variety of different incarnations, from velvet suits and accessories to comfy lounging slippers. To get the most out of your holiday-inspired looks, make sure to invest in a key item or two – that way you can transition them into spring without looking like a leftover tree ornament.
Velvet: Velvet is always a huge hit for the holidays, but the plushy fabric was everywhere this fall: floor-length velvet gowns (in leopard print, no less) at Gucci, draped velvet skirts at Burberry Prorsum, velvet suits at Giorgio Armani. If you’re going to a more formal event, do a velvet dress in a darker shade (burgundy, black or emerald). Velvet’s known to be unforgiving, so make sure the fit is super tailored. A velvet clutch or shoe can add some excitement to an otherwise more casual get-together.
Lace: Nothing says ladylike as much as lace. Ryerson grad Lucian Matis even showed an entire fall collection of intricate lacework, from full-on evening gowns to shirt and pant separates. A lace cocktail dress is always a safe choice for the party circuit, but try out some lace trousers to give your outfit an unexpected touch.
Suit-up: From Prada to Marc Jacobs, dandy dressing was everywhere this fall. If you’re getting a case of dress fatigue, try giving the suit a go. To make it appropriate for the holidays as opposed to the boardroom, do a classic black and white tuxedo look, or go one step further and add in a printed pant or sequined blazer (especially if it’s new year’s eve, the more sequins the better).
Velvet: Though velvet was a huge hit for the ladies, it was also everywhere on the menswear runways. But the trend is a bit more limiting for the lads: if you’re going to do velvet, make sure to do it in a tuxedo or double-breasted jacket. Fit is also important here, and make sure you pair it with more classic pieces (a white button-up, black dress pants).
Bow tie: Bow ties have been around forever, but the holidays are one of the few moments where wacky dressing is endorsed – ditch the tie and have some fun. Try adding some visual interest to your outfit with a patterned bow tie, either in a festive red plaid or green velvet. Just remember that bigger is not better in this case: oversized bow ties can leave you looking like a sad Bozo the Clown.
Slippers: Nothing says dapper like a classic lounging slipper. Finish off your suit or casual look with a slipper in a suede or velvet finish (Jimmy Choo even has a sparkly slipper – yes, for men!). Avoid mixing a velvet slipper with a velvet jacket, though – that has Hugh Hefner written all over it.