What to wear to that holiday party that is festive yet attractive.
Tis the season for gay apparel; but it doesn’t mean we can’t look bad ass while wearing it. We all know we can look good in a slick fitted suit. Pinstripes, plaid, solid, shadow stripes, etc. but is there other clothing that we can wear without looking like Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? Yes. Yes there is.
We all know about the “ugly Christmas sweater” luck has it you may have one. It may be fun or a joke and can be pulled off in casual party settings but is there a better sweater/jumper to be worn that will keep us looking good? When in doubt the regular V-neck sweater in a solid color works. Make sure you color coordinate. A dark charcoal, navy, light grey, even a black can look good; but a good default color that will always work with the holidays is red. The key is to make sure it fits right, try it on with the dress shirt and tie underneath. You have to find the middle ground between being loose and tight. Too loose, of course looks it; you may get the “lost weight this year” joke or “making room for more” tease, so you want to avoid a loose fitting sweater. Too tight, on the other hand, can just look awkward. You are not showing off your “gangs” you look like you are wearing child’s clothing and are uncomfortable. So you don’t want one clingy, and showing off outlines of your shirt and tie. It looks foolish. So once you find the right color you want and get the fit, you have an alternative to a suit to wear to the holiday party.
Daniel Craig sporting a classy casual look at the premiere of “Skyfall,” being a little bit adventurous with cuffs with a sweater, which doesn’t always work with some but sure does with Mr. Craig.
Much like a sweater but button up. Some of the preferred ones would be chunky in navy, grey, charcoal, or red in casual settings. My personal favorite is a shawl cardigan in navy. You can also get a thin light weight one without a shawl which works for layering or a warmer holiday season.
Mr. Craig again, wearing a shawl cardigan in the James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace.”
- Regular blazers
Blazers, as covered in another article, are good for causal settings. Suit jackets without it being a suit. Simple classic blazers are great alternatives where a suit may be too much. Classic navy blue with gold or silver buttons are a good solid choice or you can have some more fun with brown, red, or green for festive colors with gold, silver, or pearl buttons.
You cannot go wrong wearing a classic double breasted navy blazer with gold buttons, as seen being sported by Prince Charles in this image. Though single breasted is also a classic.
- Tweed sport coats
A strong staple for colder climates, tweed is a nice texture and fun functional wool. Suits are fine and a good choice, but a sport coat or blazer in tweed wool would also be a good alternative to the run-of-the-mill blazers. They come in a wide range of colors and patterns, but choose wisely so you don’t stick out too much at that holiday party.
Roger Moore in “Moonraker” looks ruggedly fitting in his tweed sport-coat, note the suede elbow patches, which are very traditional for hunting tweed jackets. Sadly, such a extra can go underappreciated now these days.
- Velvet blazers
Velvet may not be for the faint of heart but it does come in simple classic colors and patterns. But those who want to dress fiercer, you can find unique and fun funky patterns out there. Navy is again a classic, but red, surprisingly, fall into a normal color for velvet blazers. Personally, I wouldn’t go for a full velvet suit, just the blazer. It is a great choice when the dress code calls for black tie optional, like some New Year’s parties. To add some extra flair, go for a silk, neutral color pocket square; I like to pair my navy one with a white pocket square.
Something to avoid: the full on Velvet Suit! Though can be seen here on the run way, it is far from fashionable.
Instead go for something a little more fitting by just sporting a velvet blazer. Looks nice when hosting the party, or just out visiting one. And, as times have it now, it is something that isn’t too common; so it can add that bit of flair you may be looking for.
When a jacket may be too much, or it is just too hot for the other choices for your holiday party, a vest may be the best way to go. You can split up a three-piece suit to just the vest and pants, or just sport a fun vest. Colors, patterns, they even come in tweed and can add to the festive look. In addition, you can add the odd vest to add layers to keep warmer and stay festive.
Found at Nostrums.com; a tweed vest, or even a velvet vest, or just a vest in general can be a fun accessory to your ensemble or the main over piece to ring everything in together; especially for the warmer climate holiday events.
So yes, there are ways to look festive and look good other than the slick suit. In addition, accessories are always fun. Festive scarves, hats, cuff links, etc. the list goes on, just make sure it works with the rest of the outfit. Make a pass on the cartoonish Reindeer tie.