Thursday, December 3, 2015

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Well, it’s that time of year again, when we need to turn all our attention and energy towards something really important – holiday party wardrobe choices. I think we can all agree that when it comes to inspiration, the true high bar was set in the classic holiday movie White Christmas.

No – not your gold standard? Well, I’m not going to argue with you because why risk all of us showing up in the same outfit?

One thing I’m sure we can agree on is that from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day there are a lot of fun times going on all around town. The variety of occasions really flexes those styling muscles. What to wear while looking at the Christmas lights! The store windows! House parties! Galas! Dinner parties! Cocktail parties! Christmas shows! Holiday teas! Reindeer games! Hell – what to wear while you’re shopping for what you’re going to wear at all these functions! The very best thing about this time of year is there’s no limit to piling on the glitz; this is the season to pull out all the sequins, velvets, brocades, feathers, baubles, bangles and beads you’ve got!

Thanksgiving is the kickoff, calling for more of a cozy feel in terms of wardrobe, but then the fun really starts…at least it should. First hurdle to jump: your company's annual holiday party.  

Growing up I watched movies where office parties seemed so…grown up. Sophisticated. Wild.

Sadly, by the time I was going to office parties there were no drunken trysts going on in the supply closets. They were sedate – extremely sedate – affairs, with men and women wearing what appeared to be the same suits, distinguished only by the holiday-themed ties on the men and the rhinestone wreaths or trees the women felt obliged to use as lapel garnish. Everyone lined up at carving stations, discussing the same things they were probably discussing in conference rooms before they were hustled up to the party area. Grim, just grim. Garlands of tinsel making a sad faux canopy, forced inter-departmental mingling, furtive peeks at watches to see if we’d put in enough time and could leave without facing repercussions, and a few people on the dance floor flailing away while the rest of us wondered who they were.

Lately there’s a trend to mock the whole idea of a glamorous holiday party:

which was funny for a year, but…enough already. Let’s swing back to fabulous, please. 

Not to mention

Work parties are just that – work – so just do what ya gotta do. Wear something appropriate, make small talk, try not to spill anything, and get out of there before you embarrass yourself.

As for everything else, I recommend just having a really good time. Make that your gift to yourself. Spend more time at the parties with the people that you love, rather than with the people that you are trying to make love you. Don’t pass up the really delicious once-a-year treats because you’re worried you’re going to pay a Fat Tax – have some, enjoy that, and move on. 

Yummm! Makes you want to dig right in, right?

And as for that wardrobe…I wish someone had told me long ago not to spend so much trying to impress people who probably forgot what I was wearing by the time they hit the after-parties. Be creative; not in debt. In the long (and short) run, it’ll work in your favor.

Whooo – even sung cheerfully, that is one creepy carol. Yeah, I’ll watch out. In fact, our family got a big dog just because of that kind of guy.

Anyhow, the song is supposed to be about presents, and whether or not you deserve them. Let’s skip the obvious.

I’m at a point right now that if I have to dust it, I don’t want it. Mr. Smarty Pants and I would rather have something we can enjoy now and then again all the years from now when we reminisce about it, like theater tickets or a meal at a really special place, than have to find shelf space for another soon-to-blend-into-the-woodwork collectible (although there’s always room for something that gets weighed in carats!). If you’re not there yet, now’s the time to start dropping hints about what you’d like to find under your tree or near that menorah or wherever you place your presents. (Just put it in my hand, please – don’t make me work for it.)

Here’s John Waters’ classic cautionary scene of what happens when hints for holiday gifts are not picked up on. What's the longed-for gift? Why, the perfect accessory, of course! (If salty language is a problem for you…it’s John Waters, Divine and….well…consider yourself warned.) 

Okay – the invitations are in the mail, the stores are marking stuff down (except for the stuff you actually want)…let the games begin! Ladies and gentlemen and those in between…hit those closets! HARD!


  1. What a great blog... I think it's one of my favorites. We were just talking about this last night... when I was younger we used to always get a new outfit the day after Thanksgiving that was usually pretty swell and we would wear it to the company party my step father gave to his employees. Tasteful and not ostentatious. It could pull double duty going to a friends holiday party as none of the same people were present at both... it would then travel to Honolulu for the actual festivities of Hanukkah and x-mas eve... and just left mixing and matching or shopping for something to stun everyone speechless for New Year's eve... I'm glad I learned to sew it's so much easier now. From our house on Santa Island we wish you a very Mele Kalikimaka!

  2. Love it... "Let's swing back to fabulous please!!!"