Hey, guys! Just because you've got a few parties to go to in the next few months, doesn't mean you have to stress out about what to wear. It's easy to put together a fun and festive holiday wardrobe with these fashionable favorites. You might even want to put a few of these on your wish list for Santa!
—Start with a not-so-basic shirt. What better time of year to go mad for plaid? But the plaid shirts this fall are anything but classic. Look for colorful tartans, lumberjack flannels and bold graphic designs. Or check out a slinky silk shirt to wear under everything. After all, the holidays are all about shine, right?
—Add a vest. It's the perfect "third" piece to complete a holiday outfit. When you don't really want to wear a jacket, you can easily dress up a shirt (with or without a tie) with a vest. Buttoned up, it takes your casual outfit to a whole different level.
—Then loosen up those pants. Whether you like distressed denim jeans or a pair of rugged cords or even a pair of classic wool trousers, go for a little slouchier, wider-leg approach. You don't have to do the whole flared leg Elvis thing, but you may want to take a breather from all those skinny uptight pants and loosen up a bit.
—Put some color in your world. You don't have to rely on black this season to get dressed up for even the most formal of affairs. Instead, experiment with rusty red coppers, rich burgundies, midnight blues, emerald greens and graphite greys. And if you really have a passion for fashion...try not-so-mellow yellow. The juicy lemon is tangy in a cashmere V-neck sweater.
—Tie one on. Use ties to your advantage. There's one to suit every festive mood this holiday season. From super slender Rat Pack versions in solid knits to colorful printed bow ties, there are hundreds of ways to accent those patterned shirts and vests with an extra dose of flair. To update your go-to charcoal suit, give it a pop of purple with a plum striped tie.
—Don't sweat the small stuff. Just pull on a great sweater. There are lots of occasions during the next few weeks when you may not want to wear a suit, but you want to add an extra chill chaser like a special sweater. The star sweater of the season? A shawl-collar cardigan. It's a great layering piece that amps up the style factor big time.
—Put your focus on the neck: a silk turtleneck, a mock neck or a rolled funnel neck. Or if you get itchy just thinking about those throat-huggers, slip into a classic V-neck or crewneck sweater in a delicious shade of pumpkin or baby blue. Camel, if you're more old school.
—It's all about the bomber jacket. The aviator-inspired jacket whether it's done in denim and embellished with appliqued patches, or dressed up in luxe leather with lots of metal hardware, is one of the best ways to do outerwear for the holidays. It's true, you might not want to hang out at the bar all night sweating it out in one of these, but let's face it, not all parties are created equal. For those nights out on the town...cocktails at a sidewalk cafe or bonfires in the country... a lightweight jacket is the perfect way to go. Ditto for a quilted vest.
—Indulge in velvet. It's all the rage in womenswear, and menswear too. And if you do have an invitation to a formal holiday affair, then the velvet tuxedo may be a sophisticated choice. The navy tuxedo is an elegant alternative to black, but so are the burgundies. Velvet also turns up on the party circuit in sport coats. Throw one of these on with jeans, and you've got the "creative casual" dress code covered.
—Wrap up with the extras. Accessories are the finishing touches for any season. This fall, the chukka boot or desert boot is a shoe-in for dressed down days and nights; for dressier events, slide into a pair of velvet loafers. Add a gingham wool scarf or a colorful bandana and top it all off with a dashing fedora. Hats off to happy holidays in style!
To find out more about Sharon Mosley, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.