Styling

Dressing for the Holidays

We’ve approached that time of year where just about every weekend holds a holiday party. It all starts with Thanksgiving, or “friends-giving,” and ends with the night of all nights, New Years Eve. If you’re the type of person to start gift shopping in November, then you may also want to start outfit planning. In this digital age, the last thing you want is the same outfit appearing in every party picture.

Here are a few ideas to get you started…

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This little gold dress used to be floor-length. A vintage piece I purchased for a New Years celebration several years ago, I later decided it would be more useful as two pieces; a party dress and a knee-length skirt. I like to toughen up something this glamorous with a leather jacket. Not only does it keep you warm on cold winter nights, but it prevents the look from turning into a pageant ensemble. I chose minimal accessories and hair&makeup styling for the same reason: you have to balance the sparkly with the simple.

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I inherited this gold lamé skirt from my mother and I absolutely love wearing it. I followed the same guidelines as my previous picture, off-setting the gold with some leather, but did so in a more elegant way. You don’t have to show a lot of leg and cleavage to be sexy. This ensemble is sleek and refined without being boring. Oh, and a red lip never hurt!

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Attending a more casual affair? You can’t go wrong with a sweater. I love this moss green color, as it makes my eyes pop, but it is also a less obnoxious holiday hue. Pair it with black jeans and some gold accessories and you have a perfectly understated holiday ensemble. I did add a little bit of fun with snowflake earrings: subtle, yet festive!

*On a side note, turtlenecks can be tricky depending on your body type. I learned early on that they can make my bust-line appear larger than it is, throwing off my proportions. This sweater works because a) it is a darker color (read: minimizing) and b) I have my hair pulled back (so the combination of the neckline and full hair doesn’t overpower my face). If you can’t do a turtleneck, look for an open neckline like a v-neck or scoop neck. Those who are petite on top can benefit from a brightly colored turtleneck, or a top with added detail (like ruffles or pleating).

 

Still need outfit inspiration for your upcoming holiday event? Take a look at some of the party-worthy ensembles I’ve created in the past. Remember: when in doubt, throw on a LBD and some sparkly jewelry!

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Styling

New American Goth

The goth kids from high school, with their excess makeup and zippers to nowhere, are not the goth kids of today. This underground style has evolved into something so chic, so now, that everyone is doing it.

The goth kids of today are it-girls, tattooed photographers, and that chick on the treadmill sporting all black. They covet Rick Owens’ latest collection, spend the weekend shopping local, and their iTunes library contains The Cure as well as Lorde.

This new variety of goth is not limited to black. Take collections from Rick Owens, where he incorporates all-white ensembles that are just as spooky as his all-black looks. The concept is a minimal, neutral color palette with luxe textiles (think brushed silk, chunky cable knits, and skintight soft leather). The focus on detail has shifted from studs and buckles to textures and contrast.

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The 90’s revival has influenced the new goth aesthetic, but not as much as one would think. Instead of being kitschy, the New Goth is toned down and void of stretchy tattoo choker necklaces. The cross-over is seen more so in the make-up decisions: redish hues around the eyes, dark (almost black) lip colors, and not a trace of blush. Fashion wise, the 90’s influence is more Wednesday Addams than Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Take a cue from American Horror Story: The Coven for a modern pop culture interpretation.

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Goth has even become sporty: you don’t have to hate yourself to hate the world, thus goth kids have ventured to the gym in their black Lululemon leggings and Nike sneakers. They prefer Samurai buns over ballet buns and would rather listen to The Distillers during Boot Camp instead of Top 40 remixes. They are health conscious, eco friendly, and slightly more social than their predecessors. The new goth kids embrace life with the same enthusiasm they have for the macabre.

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I remember when I painted my nails black and my mother thought I was joining a cult. Until recently, all-black everything was considered too strange for every day. Now you see professionals draped in dark layers, models leaving fashion shows in combat boots and black leather jackets, and people of all ages embracing the New Goth. The aesthetic can even be a little bit feminine, à la Alexander McQueen.

The New Goth is elegant in a Morticia Addams kind of way. Long black dresses elongate and slim the figure, while eclectic accessories help to differentiate you from the masses. Sheer tights and mesh sleeves are wonderful ways to stay dark and mysterious without being too revealing: keep the sex appeal subtle for this new aesthetic. A sleek hair style featuring a center part hasn’t always been en vogue, but Nicole Riche has perfected the look and inspired others to try the “wet hair,” which happens to pair perfectly with the goth philosophy.

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Do not be afraid of goth, as it is a part of us all. When the season changes and the temperature drops, when leaves fall from trees and the sky turns grey is the time of year when Goth feels “right,” but in reality it is a look that can be pulled off year-round. You don’t need to live near a cemetery or drive a vintage car to feel at home with this style. Try incorporating a little edge into your daily ensemble or experiment with a black monochromatic #ootd. Next time you see a 30-year old soccer mom with dark plum nail polish, remember that anyone can do goth with the right attitude.

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