We are officially in the throes of the holiday season. And if you’re stateside like me, happy Thanksgiving week! Thanksgiving happens to be a personal favorite holiday of mine, carried over from my husband and his family’s love of the special day. They foodie-up like nobody’s business, brining their free-range turkey in juniper berries and their cranberries in curry. I love Thanksgiving because it combines my favorite things: food and family, in the best ways possible.
This year I plan on contributing a few veggie side dishes: Trader Joe’s Green Bean Casserole, Bon Appétit’s Chicory Salad and, of course, roasted Brussel sprouts (tossed with olive oil and sea salt!). And I’m thinking about what I’m going to wear while I’m eating all this goodness and getting cozy with family members.
I love to dress up for holiday gatherings, but it’s always Oregon-style, aka casual-dressy. We live in a pretty laid-back region. Raw denim is far more common among men than suits, flats are the norm for most women, and work boots are regularly interchanged with business casual. I tend to dress pretty casually myself, but I like to subtly turn it up a notch for gatherings. After brainstorming through what was in my closet, I came up with a few formulas to share with you guys. These might even be able to work with what you already own, with the help of a few key accessories.
STATEMENT NECKLACE + BLOUSE + VINTAGE DENIM:
A statement necklace over a simple top is always a great combination, but pair it with vintage denim, and the look is chic and effortless. I really like this outfit because black is my favorite way to dress up, and these are my favorite jeans. When I figure out how to take an everyday favorite and make it more dressy, I am very happy. It’s a great way to increase the usage of something I already own. And the use of a favorite item in a ‘dressy’ outfit is a surefire way to make me feel at home, when dressing up feels outside my comfort zone.
LAYERED DRESS + STATEMENT TIGHTS + OXFORDS:
Tights are one of my favorite accessories to collect. Don’t ask me why. I don’t wear a ton of dresses, so it doesn’t really make sense, but I have a hard time stopping myself. I think it’s because tights can change the whole course of an outfit. They can say act dressy, but still say “I’ve got personality.” Also, they can be highly functional. Last week I had the realization that a pair of my wool tights kept me warmer than a pair of (thin) jeans. Impressive, right?
For this casual holiday look, I paired tights and with a jumper and a button up blouse. From there, I could have added heels or dressy boots to scale it up. But instead, I added oxfords for a more chill look.
Side note: It seems like a lot of tights are made in the USA and in Italy, so it’s not difficult to find responsibly made pairs. I’ve often find mine on Amazon (the brand HUE manufactures in the USA) and at Anthropologie.
CHUNKY SWEATER + SKINNY JEANS + NECK TIE:
Last, but not least, the classic formula of chunky sweater and skinny jeans and ankle boots, which I’ve added a neck tie to for a splash of color. I also like the chelsea boots over the typical ankle boots. It feels a little more edgy. This is the easiest of the three, and you can dress it up or down depending on if you use a silk or a cotton scarf, flat boots or heeled boots. No matter what you choose, it’s a surefire way to feel confident in your outfit.
A few other ideas popped into my head when I was working on this post…
1 – You could add impact to a look by adding a deep red lip. (Have you tried the new Lip Pigment by Nars? It’s unlike any other lip product I’ve used. It’s basically a very precise lip stain. Deep and pigmented, weightless yet precise.)
2 – Throwing some curl in the old mane is another great way to elevate your look. (If you have any good tutorials, do share!)