So, it may be a little early to start talking about the holidays. After all, if Starbucks starts serving their eggnog lattes right after Halloween, why can’t fashionistas get in the spirit too? With holiday parties as an excuse to show off the most festive, luxurious fashions and Santa’s wish list making it culturally acceptable to covet material objects you don’t really need, it’s almost surprising the season wasn’t created with the fashion-obsessed in mind.
For those who believe the holidays start after Thanksgiving, you’ve got it all wrong — Thanksgiving is just the first holiday party. Maybe it’s the fall colors mixed with the smell of pumpkin spice, or maybe it’s just the fact that I traditionally spend the holiday with my most conservative, East Coast family members, but something about Thanksgiving makes me think collegiate prep. When sitting around the dinner table waiting for that big old turkey, wear a look inspired by country club-infused trends.
A peek into J. Crew’s and Madewell’s catalogs are sure to make you swoon for the quirky-meets-preppy looks gracing their pages. Think of skinny trousers in offbeat prints and fabrics and luxurious cashmere and wool sweaters layered over buttoned-up collars or turtlenecks. If you go for a skirt instead, play with different lengths from the mini to the maxi and stick with opulent fabrics like leather, suede or even chiffon. Top the look off with a pair of loafers in a fun print (leopard is, of course, this season’s obsession) or simple leather oxfords for an adorably tomboy flair.
Following Thanksgiving is a month or so when you have to prance around campus, trying to ignore every inkling of holiday spirit so as to concentrate on the ever-threatening finals. However, considering exams go until Dec. 22 this year, throwing off your spirit during this stretch would be to throw it off all together. Get ready for the season with comfy, cozy knits that work as well in the library as they do by the fire. This is the time for layers — a chunky, fitted sweater with a simple print goes over a collared shirtdress, letting you look as studious as you feel. Keep warm with loose fitting hats that can be bought at your trusty Walgreens at two for three dollars and cotton scarves in simple prints tied around your neck.
Lastly, during the month of December, the coat is everything. Even your biggest lazy-girl outfits can be covered up by something chic while you run from class to class. This season’s most remarkable coats alternate between sophisticated and utilitarian. On the one side, there is the camel fur, wool and leopard prints; classic pea coat shapes made unique by collar and shoulder details or luxurious buttons. On the opposing side is the modern day parka with Sherpa lining for extra warmth and a drawstring waist for a slightly more flattering fit.
Once the semester is over and the holidays go off in full force, parties celebrating the season are the perfect opportunities to trade in your casual get-ups for something really astounding. Pair lush fabrics with even lusher fabrics for attention grabbing combinations, such as velvet and leather, silk and suede, chiffon and metallics. Play with silhouettes with dresses that are sheer on bottom and others that allow you to shape-shift with their offbeat structure. Keep jewelry simple and sophisticated with metallic arm cuffs or (depending on your top) a bib necklace made of gold or silver chains. Finish your opulent look off with stellar shoes. Nothing says elegance like a pair of stiletto ankle boots in luxe leather with gilded, baroque inspired detailing — though for those of you who want to walk in comfort, a block heel will do the trick just as well.
The holiday season ends with a countdown when New Year’s come rolling in, and make sure to bring in the year with an outfit that speaks to the festivities. This is a time to channel an edgier look that lets you break out of your shell with a party girl attitude. Leather (or pleather) jeans are a great way to command attention with a badass attitude when paired with block ankle booties and a tuxedo-inspired collared shirt. Luckily, leather jeans are an investment, as they can be brought down to earth with a chambray shirt and flats. However, New Year’s Eve is not a time to think practically, so go all out with fake eyelashes, glitter and even a sequin tank top.
Maggie Schafer is an English/creative writing and sociology major. Send her your opinions or questions on the latest trends at [email protected]