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How to Dress Up if you Hate Dressing Up

Unless you’re a total humbug of a Grinch, chances are you’re going to at least one holiday celebration where you’ll have to dress up. But what if you’re more of a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal? How do you dress up when you’re averse to sequins, heels, and form-fitting frocks? Here are a few tips to creating some holiday style even when you’d rather not.

When in doubt, go with basic black. The Little Black Dress is a classic go-to for a reason. It’s versatile and flattering. For the holidays, you want a LBD in a comfortable silhouette with coverage, i.e., long sleeves, midi-length, that you can punch up with bold accessories, like hoop earrings or a printed scarf. If your dress is in velvet, even better. Nothing says Christmas style like a rich velvet. If you’re totally opposed to wearing a dress, go with black trousers and knitwear. Again, utilize accessories to give your all-black ensemble some festive flair.
If you DO want a bit of sparkle in your holiday look, pick one focal point item and build an outfit around it. A beaded bag or embellished heels will make any ensemble feel more formal and give the illusion you are more dressed up. Also, sweaters and T-shirts that have a bit of metallic sheen in their material are just as comfortable as regular tops, but give you a hint of shimmer, which is right in line with holiday dressing.

Feel free to skip the pantyhose (and the shaving that goes along with them). Instead, opt for opaque tights, which can be just as dressy as hose, but will keep you warmer. Black tights are fine but consider unexpected colors, like pink, purple, or a patterned pair for an extra oomph. Leggings are also a comfortable alternative under dresses and skirts. Basic black again is fine, but if you are really feeling the season, try leggings with a fair-isle print or bright stripes. Of course, you can also go with more novelty patterns, like reindeer or twinkly-lights, but Christmas-specific motifs can verge on tacky.

If you must wear jeans, wear trouser-cut jeans. With their bootleg silhouettes, higher waists, and hook and bar closures, they have the comfort of denim but look dressy like suit pants. Paired with a crisp button-up or chic blouse, you’ll have a party-ready look with minimal effort.

Don’t forget makeup. You don’t have to sport a full face of foundation this holiday season, but a bit of blush, mascara, and a bold lip can elevate a simple outfit for your holiday soiree. Also, consider a manicure and blow-out, which goes with any and every outfit.

Overall, the key to dressing up when you’re not a big fan of dressing up is to elevate the type of outfits you would normally wear. You want to stay in the silhouettes and styles you naturally gravitate towards instead of trying to go for high glamour that may not suit you.

Happy outfitting and Happy Holidays!

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