This holiday season, you might want to consider some fresh fashion alternatives to set yourself apart from the red satin and black sequin brigade at festive functions.
There is a healthy variety of textures and hues to explore in the current crop of holiday pieces. The wise place to start is with an honest assessment of your budget. You should account for your projected gift list, extra groceries and gas for travel and any other fees you can think of.
Once you do that, you will have a clear plan of how to maximize your holiday dressing with a healthy dose of chic.
Sparkle on a Shoestring Budget
If you can honestly say you can’t afford a new dress this season, consider re-working some old favorites.
You can breath new life into a plain black strapless dress by donning a lace bodysuit underneath it or investing in a new lace shrug. A simple side braid or low ponytail will help keep the look streamlined and you can add interest by creating a custom belt or headband for shine.
The simplest way to achieve this is by purchasing some black grosgrain or satin ribbon and sewing on clusters of rhinestone buttons or a pretty brooch in the center to create a unique accent.
If you have an old pantsuit, you can take it to the tailor to have the pants brought in and tapered to a pretty retro cigarette pant length. This will allow you to put the focus on a new pair of glitzy pumps in a fashion-forward shade such as chartreuse, blush or royal blue.
Host a Fashion Swap
If you have a few stylish friends or family members, you may want to pool your resources before the holidays to give everyone fresh looks without ever opening a wallet.
Your formal brocade pencil skirt might look stellar with your friend’s black gloves, velvet booties or plum tights.
Be sure to have each lady bring the same amount of pieces to the party so each person is more likely to end up with a complete look.
Skim the Sales Racks
You can find some great unconventional colors on the clearance racks if you look carefully.
Late summer pieces in cream can easily become winter white with some careful styling. A gold sequined cardigan or black textured tights will make you look decidedly more expensive.
Mint green has also quietly become a hot color in 2013. A mint green brocade dress from spring will look “Mad Men” sexy when paired with a vintage fur neck wrap and some deep bronze leather kitten heels. You can keep the look from looking too costume-y by pairing it with a messy milkmaid braid or loose waves.
Perhaps you have an old black tulle formal dress hanging in the black of your closet. You could easily have the skirt cut off and hemmed into a fresh high-low shape. A cropped mohair sweater will keep you on trend.
Or you can have the back of a plain black blazer cut out and replaced with appliqued lace for a new take on drama.
With a little imagination, the clothes in your closet can be re-mixed into something worthy of a private boutique.
Invest Wisely in New Pieces
If you discover you do have the funds to buy a new dress, try to look for one that will give you some more mileage into other seasons.
Fuschia, emerald green and goldenrod are great jewel tones that look just as perfect in the spring and fall as they do in front of a Christmas tree. Look for classic shapes that have a modern twist, such as an exposed zipper, peplum or a modest cutout.
With a little planning, you will be the best dressed at every party you attend.
About the author:
Helen Meechan is freelance fashion blogger and writes for a number of blogs in the UK and US.
There’s nothing more hectic than the holiday rush, particularly when it comes to that last minute hunt for the perfect party outfit on a tight budget. But there’s no reason to let the tough economy put a damper on your festive style and mood. Check out some of my chic on the cheap ideas with items you already have in your closet.
Reinvent your favorite black party dress with a big, bold brooch to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn.
Pair your favorite jeans with a velvet blazer or sequin top and throw on some red high heels – sexy!
Wear your favorite white button down with a red belt – perfect with a pencil skirt, maxi skirt or trousers
Take any basic knit and add a little plaid (preferably the classic black and white) a button down, a bag or dressy scarf. I love plaid for the holidays! Everyone aways thinks of lumber jack plaid, but if chosen correctly it can actually be very chic.
Metallic colors are the easiest way to scream, “PARTY!” without breaking the bank. In a head to toe black outfit, try metallic ballerina flats or a metallic clutch. Or, consider a metallic colored tank to layer under a turtleneck with a mini.