Let the Holiday Parties Begin!

I LOVE this time of year.  There's a smell in the air.  A feeling, if you will.  People are a little kinder.  Children are a little sweeter.  And there's a Holiday party around every corner.  I LOVE Holiday parties.  Love, love love, everything about them.  The excitement of seeing your friends or family, getting dressed up, the food, the cocktails.  Bring it on!

Of course all these parties do have their drawbacks.  Like running the risk of over indulging, finding a babysitter night after night and probably the most challenging, which is looking fabulous for each event.  The first year I attended multiple Holiday parties, I thought one holiday look was sufficient.  Oh was I wrong.  I thought I was being smart and no one would notice.  Well, people not only noticed, they commented.  Jerks!

Luckily, you live and you learn.  I'm not suggesting you buy a different outfit for each and every party.  We're not Billionaires here and the Holidays are probably one of the most difficult times of the year to buy yourself anything.  Instead I'm going to suggest some budget-friendly ways to stretch your Holiday party wardrobe dollars.  From experience, here's what I've learned over the years:
  • I wore this (pictured above) same look last year, to a dinner party.  To draw attention away from the pieces that I'm re-wearing (i.e. statement necklace and sequin skirt), I swapped a faux leather top for a red blouse I already had in my closet.  Boom!  No one noticed.
  • Burlington Coat Factory carries cocktail dresses for next to nothing.  You'd never guess.  I've scored floor-length gowns to fashion forward holiday dresses for under $30.  They also carry a large selection of very affordable shoes.  
  • Change up a cocktail dress you've already worn with different accessories.  Over-the-knee boots are all the rage right now.  Instead of wearing tights and heels, consider a pair of boots that are even warmer and functional.  A statement necklace or earrings will draw attention away from the dress and make your look completely different.
  • Buy and sell consignment.  That dress with the feathers was all the rage a few years ago, but now would stand out like a sore thumb... Sell it.  And if you purchase from the store that you sold at, they'll most likely give you more money in trade than cash.  One woman's old dress is another's treasure.  
  • Lastly, consider trading/borrowing.  I have a ridiculous number of dresses and all my girlfriends know it.  I'm usually the first one they call when they can't find what they're looking for.  If you have a friend or family member that wears a similar size, ask if you can paw through their closet.  Just a piece of advice: Dry Clean whatever you borrow.  If you damage it, buy them a new one.  Mistreated or stolen clothing is an immediate unfriending, in my opinion.

Okay, so you have three Holiday parties this week.  No worries.  You got this.  No one will notice you're wearing your black work trousers, because you popped into H&M and scored a silky red blouse for under $20.  Next party, you look amazing in that second-hand dress you got at the consignment store that you didn't pay a thing for, because you traded an old one for it.  Luckily, the last party has a different crowd than the first two, so all you needed to do is swap out those heels for some boots and layer a bold statement necklace... That second-hand dress steals the show.

No need to stress.  Let the Holiday parties begin!  If all of this is still overwhelming, call me.  I can transform your look into an affordable and head turning night.

My Holiday looks consists of:

Chelsea K. RayComment