What to Wear: Family Holidays
First time poster, long time reader. Congrats on the birth of your son! Here’s my question: Christmas is coming and I’ve got a few family gatherings to attend. Our family parties are very casual – shirt and pants – but I’d like something a little special this year that’s different from my typical khakis and turtleneck sweater combo. Any favorite pieces for this season that are trendy and fun? Oh, we’ll be in Western NY, so it should be quite, quite cold in December. Thanks!!!
What? You don’t have an assortment of festive Christmas sweaters on hand? No snowmen or stockings or little kittens with real jingle bells on their collars? FOR SHAME.
Oh, I’m kidding, but this is SUCH a good year for sweaters. I mean, every year the stores have sweaters, but sometimes I am not a fan of those sweaters. The colors, the styles, the short little things that hit me right above the spare-tire-muffin-top-baby-pouch-whatever-you-want-to-call-it. But this year! Everything is soft and chunky and cozy and I could totally curl up on the sweater display at the store and take a nap. There’s also a decent selection of cotton and regular wool sweaters instead of nothing but crazy-expensive cashmere. My Recession Wallet and I appreciate that.
So if you want to keep it casual but upgrade a little from the khakis and turtleneck, swap jeans for the khakis and add a chunky cableknit sweater over the turtleneck (or a tank, depending on whether your family parties in a sauna or an igloo). Maybe a sweater jacket style, or a long cardigan or shrug. (And I’m only linking for the sake of examples — you can find these styles EVERYWHERE, and for cough cough cheaper Target Ross TJMaxx Filene’s etc. cough.)
I am also particularly a fan of the sweater dress, paired with warm tights — plain, textured, funky-colored, whatever. Dress it down with flat boots or slip-ons, dress it up with heels (am especially fond of mary janes or below-the-ankle boots). It’s easy, doesn’t wrinkle and ta-da! IS WARM. LIKE WINTER CLOTHES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE.
(Sorry. Every year I bang my head against the wall because every year, every vaguely dressy or special item of clothing is still sleeveless, even in the dead of winter, requiring a whole separate collection of cardigans and wraps, none of which ever seem to match more than one dress.)
I’ve bought two sweater dresses this past month alone. They’re both total no-name styles that I found at Filene’s Basement (hey, I’m certainly not going to spend a fortune on postpartum clothing that I hope will be much to big for me at some point in the future, and also the economy ate any spare fortunes I happened to have lying around), but they’re both incredibly cute and versatile. Tights, leggings, and even skinny jeans work with them. Heels, ballet flats, boots, some colorful jewelry — I swear, they’re the most idiot-proof wardrobe item I’ve bought in years.
Although it technically was a “Fall” fashion guide, I think pretty much everything on Heather’s guest entry from October would fit the bill for you in Winter. (Hey! Look at that! Sweater dresses! First thing listed! We’re all a bunch of lemmings! Really cutely dressed lemmings!)