Whether you’re drawn to the dramatic, or prefer practicality, our guide will have you sussed and sorted for the holiday season.
Dec 3, 2020
When it comes to dressing for holiday parties (which, this year, we’ll be indulging in on a far smaller scale), we know that the pressure is real. Even when it’s not that time of the year, we’re constantly being inundated by images of the perfectly styled (hello, Instagram #OOTD), and, given that we’ve taken to documenting almost every occasion on social media, that end of year outfit you’re wearing will likely end up being immortalised on your timeline. But, getting dressed up doesn’t always have to be about making an impression; even if you’re just whipping up an at-home holiday meal to be enjoyed solo, taking a little time to consider your look and throwing on something full of festive charm is bound to raise your holiday spirits. And, since it ‘tis the season and all, you have the perfect excuse to have a little fun with your ensembles.
With that being said, there’s little as fashionable as authenticity. So while we’d never discourage a little bit of experimentation, staying true to your own tastes is always in style. Read on to discover the top pieces for your personal brand of style.
The Drama Queen
Never one to pass up the opportunity to make an entrance and turn a few heads, the Drama Queen favors all things glamorous and glitzy, turning to bold colors, eclectic prints, and experimental tailoring at any and every opportunity. And with sparkles and embellishments being right up her alley, the holiday season was practically made for her. Sound anything like you? In that case, we suggest hitting up that Christmas time (Zoom!) blow-out in the Pleated Coat Dress by Nigerian designer Lisa Folawiyo. It’s a show-stopping silk organza statement piece that was made to stand out. Paired with a crop top and the designer’s Antique Baroque Leggings, the coat espouses a ladylike silhouette that’s both classic and irreverently theatrical. And while you may think that delicate, dainty jewelry choices are in order here, the bold, sculptural range of Adele Dejak—particularly her Bahati Almaz Choker—lends this look a commanding and powerful energy.
The Minimalist Minded
Neutral colors, delicate baubles, and unfussy silhouettes are the forte of the Minimalist Minded. But since it is the most wonderful time of the year, we don’t see any harm in adding a little bit of whimsical and festive flair to your look. Make Diarrablu’s Umy Jumpsuit your base. Available in the soft shades of salmon pink and white, these versatile, silky cupro creations are just the right balance of understatement and character, their adjustable nature being where things get fun. A custom-made garment that can be worn in up to nineteen different ways (who knows? Perhaps you’ll discover the 20th!), the jumpsuit is a clean canvas against which more avant-garde jewelry flourishes. Sidai Designs' Esther Pendant Studs are an inspired choice in this department: their Maasai artisan-crafted form, and touches of glass beading and sterling silver, result in a final look that’s both sophisticated and subdued. Top things off with every minimalist’s favorite accessory: the classic, black leather bag. An offering of the closet staple Okapi, however, delivers something a little unexpected. Made from sumptuous blesbok leather and featuring a Springbok horn closure, these luxe touches render the piece an out-of-the ordinary classic.
Frilly frocks, florals, and figure-hugging shapes are the name of the game for this style archetype. But the femme favorer has also evolved from antiquated ideas of femininity, flipping the standard on its head through considered styling: the addition of chunky sneakers offsets the delicate nature of frills, while a turn toward oversized shapes by many designers eschews restrictive, form-hugging fits. Taibo Bacar’s Mandevo Shirt Dress possesses all the touches one would expect of this archetype’s style. It’s colour (soft pink hue), materiality (silk-sateen), and embellishments (faux-feather cuffs, and crystal appliqué) all come together to provide familiar, nostalgic elements of an almost child-like ultra fem vibe. Offset the dress’s flowiness with a touch of structured craftsmanship in the form of Femi Handbags’ Aliyah purse: with its modern spin on a classic, vintage-style shape, the hold-all lends another layer of ladylike flair to the look, while the addition of Ami Doshi Shah’s brass patina Vessel Drop Earrings provides a little called-for holiday sparkle. Finish the look off by stepping into a pair of Loza Maléombho’s Thila Heels, the luxe take on the stack heel adding further polish to your ensemble.
The Practical Player
Are comfort and practicality your guiding style principles? If so, we certainly can’t blame you, particularly when it comes to holiday parties. All the dancing, merriment, and mingling can be exhausting (even if you are doing it from home over Zoom), and the last thing you want is a cinched-in-waist suffocating you as you indulge in all the holiday delicacies (that you ordered in). Consider then a sensible yet sophisticated jumpsuit for that virtual office shindig. Easy, breezy, and comfortable, Kiko Romeo’s utilitarian styles are the perfect choice. Functional, chic, and effortless to move about in (meaning you’ll be totally unhindered in your domination of the dance-floor in your living room), their Blinky Jumpsuit comes in its own take on festive shades, rust, yellow and navy tones emerging through a distinct tie-dye technique. Finally, grab yourself a luxurious leather satchel-style tote to store your essentials (Thalia Strates’ Nikki Messenger is the ultimate in versatile and cool), then turn to the simplicity of Patrick Mavros’ Sea Urchin Chrysoprase Stud Earrings for discrete embellishment. The result is a look that is sensible and stylish, all while prioritising practicality.
The Elegance Enthusiast
With superb tailoring, clean lines, and keep-forever classics dominating her wardrobe, the Elegance Enthusiast is always impossibly put together, her style choices consistently revealing a commitment to elevated basics and sophistication. Some of her favorites include double-breasted suits, pencil skirts, classic button-downs, and slinky midi dresses—but since holiday celebrations are all about turning your standard style up a notch, we suggest this dresser turn to a few unconventional spins on some of those proven favorites. Studio 189’s Red Ayumi Blazer and Crossroads Mermaid Skirt are a striking pairing, the top’s fitted form making for an ultra-flattering silhouette that’s emphasised by the skirt’s correspondingly kindred shape. The combo’s vivid blend of color is enough to quickly level up any look, while the addition of a piece like Pichulik’s Samba Earring provides just the right amount of festive sparkle. Finish things off with New Tangier’s Black Salma Clutch, a statement piece that will lend further polish to what’s an already refined ensemble.
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