The holiday season is here and we have one question for you: Whatever will you wear?
With everything you have on your to-do list -- party planning, card sending, gift buying, etc. -- it can be hard to find time to dress your best for every event. That being said, the holidays are the one time of year you can invest in having a little wardrobe fun.
Which is why we turned to Kelly Millar, owner of KM Image Consultants in Toronto. As the go-to stylist for socialites and powerful businesswomen, she knows a thing or two about dressing your best, even when your schedule affords you little time.
Find A Look That Works For You
"When it comes to finding the right look, you have to consider what suits you and your body type first," says Millar. "Fashion may dictate what's in style or hot at the moment, but that may not always be what's right for you."
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For her, the best way to define your personal style this holiday season is to analyze your closet as it hangs right now, rather than thinking about your wardrobe as you'd like it to be. Then ask yourself the following questions: Do I own a lot of black pieces? Do I primarily wear colours and patterns? Do I like wearing dresses or trousers? What styles feel like me?
"Once you've established the basics to your holiday wardrobe, you can play around with colour and texture to add some pizzazz. Layering pieces or accessories will also add that holiday feel to any outfit and will make dressing up fun!"
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Find inspiration for your holiday ensemble with these easy yet polished pieces
What To Wear, What Not To Wear
Of course, with every holiday season, there are fashion trends you may want to follow. So what's of-the-moment for 2011? "Bold colours, vintage glam (think Betty Draper), lace and satin, and sleek, sophisticated looks (like the perfect little black dress)." But take a pass on "ruffed blouses, big, unflattering wool sweaters (they're best left at the cottage), pearl necklaces, satin vests and sparkly eyeshadow."
Millar also advises clients focus on wearing these classic looks:
Pencil skirts and silk crepe blouses: Wear shirts loosely or tucked in
Black dress trousers and a blazer: This timeless look can be worn all year and is especially sexy when paired with a sequin top or a bold blouse.
The classic little black dress: Find one that you absolutely love and make it a staple in your closet.
A great way to up your sartorial ante this season is to have fun with accessories. "Bangles are still a great accessory, jewelleed bangles especially; they're great when you want to add a bit of glitz and colour to an outfit." Millar's go-to palette includes orange, gold and silver.
You should also wear shoes, belts, clutches and gloves in bold shades. "I'm seeing a lot of red, orange and green. These items are hot whether they're textured, lace, velvet, leather, sequined or embossed."
If you're going to a bash straight from a day of meetings, Millar suggests wearing a structured black suit and then swapping your day pumps and laptop case for sexy, satin heels, glitzy jewellery and a sequined clutch. "Always think about changing up your day-wear outfit with accessories," she says.
Play With Makeup
Another inexpensive way to dress up any outfit: makeup. Millar suggests playing up cheeks with high-pigment blush -- the shade will add freshness and colour to your face. Eyes are also a feature to highlight this season. "Really accentuate your eyeliner with bold, big lines. And have fun with colour -- use a colourful shadow with your black eyeliner."