It’s nearly Christmas (and it’s already Hanukah, three cheers for that), which means that you’re about to be hit with a billion emails or texts or calls or whatevers inviting you to various holiday parties, if you haven’t already. The office is getting together to do a Secret Santa gift exchange. Your sister and her boyfriend are having a party at their house in Rhode Island. Your best friend wants you to co-host a little shindig at his/her flat. The list goes on, but the point is that when it comes time to get dressed for each party, you’re standing in front of your closet, scratching your head and thinking, “What in the world am I going to wear?”
I alluded to this topic in last week’s post, but I figured it was worth going into depth about. I, being only fourteen, don’t really have to deal with this issue. Teenagers don’t really do thematic parties much anymore. However, I’ve seen enough movies and television and read enough books to know that people have holiday parties, and I recall very vividly the difficulty of choosing what to wear to the bar/bat mitzvahs I had to attend nearly every weekend throughout 7th and 8th grades (yes, go ahead and laugh at how young I am). You don’t want to re-wear something in case someone who was at the last party is going to be there; that would just be embarrassing. At the same time, you don’t want to go out and buy a new dress because frankly, it’s not in your budget. I’ve put together a list of tips for you to follow the next time you’re stumped on what to wear.
DO wear things more than once.
There are a few ways that this can work. Either you wear a certain dress or outfit to a party where none of the same people will be there, or you accessorize differently. You can create an entirely new ensemble just by changing your jacket, shoes, bag, jewelry, makeup and/or hairstyle.
DON’T buy something that you’re only going to wear once just because you don’t know what to wear to the next party.
I hate that terrible feeling of guilt that comes when I look at something in my closet or drawers that I’ve worn once or twice, but just can’t bring myself to wear again. Especially when it wasn’t particularly cheap. The holiday season is supposed to bring cheer and joy, not dismay. Unless you’re absolutely smitten with an item and can style at least three different looks with it, I’d say skip it.
DO pay attention to the dress code.
Don’t wear jeans and a nice top to if you’re going to a legitimate party. You don’t want to be underdressed. At the same time, don’t wear your sexy dress if you’re getting together with your colleagues from your job—unless that’s how things work with you all, but generally people like to keep their professional lives separate from their private lives.
DON’T be that person who outshines the host or hostess.
The embarrassment of being overdressed is equivalent to that of being underdressed. I thought of this because I recently watched the movie “Bridesmaids,” in which a character shows up to her friend’s engagement party wearing a ball gown. While watching this I thought to myself, “I kind of just want to kill her.” I really hate when people go ridiculously out of their way to be the center of attention when the attention’s not supposed to be on them.
DO be experimental.
Instead of wearing your trusty LBD, try wearing a sequined number or something with a dash of color or a bit of lace (remember how much I love lace?). I used to get so annoyed when every single girl showed up to a bat mitzvah wearing a short, tight, black dress, while I was wearing a homemade colorful mod-print-polka-dot dress. Talk about awkward. People will appreciate it if you try something new—just so long as you don’t wear something outrageous, like a bedazzled mohair jumpsuit.
DON’T flip out if you show up wearing the same dress as someone else.
Hopefully, you both styled it differently. But there’s always that person who asks, “Did you guys plan that?” It’s always awkward because then people are judging who wore it better, but just so long as you don’t let it get to you or let it turn into a rivalry between you and someone else, you should be okay. I know, it’s easier said than done, but you’ll end up having a better time and you’ll know for next time that you’ve got to be super original.