Step into character with a white russian. (Courtesy Stephanie E.M. Coleman)
By: Stephanie E.M. Coleman, The Eastern Door’s Fashion Filosopher
“Can I grab you a beer?” asks the host of the Christmas party you’re attending.
“No thanks, it really doesn’t go with my outfit,” you reply.
She gives you an odd look.
“Hull-o! Isn’t it obvious?”
You roll your eyes and gesture with your hand up and down from shoulder to hip for emphasis.
Now it’s your host’s turn to roll her eyes, plunk a glass of merlot in your outstretched hand and move on to the next guest, slowly shaking her head.
Okay, okay. Maybe you don’t need to bring that much attitude, but stay with me here. If you happened to catch my article on fall fashion, you may remember the gist of it was that there are no real rules in fashion anymore, and it’s harder than ever to pin down any real defining trends to follow.
In a season where we’re spinning around trying to balance friend parties, work parties, shopping, baking, Christmas tree decorating, sending Christmas cards and doing your year in review for 2016 – all while still remembering to exercise, eat right and keep your life clean and organized – it may be just a little much to think about what to actually wear to the various holiday season parties, ski trips, sleigh rides and whatever else may come up on the calendar.
You might be feeling a little exhausted just after reading that paragraph. Sorry ‘bout that.
However, I’m not actually here to remind you of the chaos ahead, or the chaos you may be living. In fact, while at my parent’s house something clicked in my head as I poured myself a glass of wine in their may-or-may-not-be-real crystal glasses.
The way the wine reflected off the facet of the glass was so pretty, almost like a big piece of jewelry, a giant gemstone you hold in your hand instead of slide on your finger.
Well now. In lieu of any trends or any sort of structure at all upon which to hang our fashion plans, why not simplify our lives and dress to match our drink of choice on any given evening?
I mean we can do whatever we want. This way we can make our hosts guess what we want to drink based on our outfit and drive them all mad. Hahaha!!
Alright let’s break it down, starting off gently here.
An après ski tea:
You’ve been out on the slopes all day, or maybe you were just walkin through the mall but since that counts as exertion too, you’re ready now to hunker down by the fire and have a nice hot cup of tea.
You’ll definitely want to slip into something more comfortable but also festive, right? This is where you get out your fluffiest sweater and slip it on over something slinky and smooth on your skin- a satin camisole would be great.
Throw on some rings so they clink against your mug, and catch the sparkle of the fire burning in the hearth. Skinny jeans work here, as long as they’re comfortable, and go ahead and pull your chunkiest socks up over them.
That sounds a little 80s, but yah, think Flashdance and loose sweaters that show a little shoulder. Easy and luxurious, girl.
If you’re feeling a bit more buttoned up and have watched a few episodes of Shetland on Netflix, you may be feeling those giant fisherman sweaters and large cableknits.
Don’t be shy, these coordinate perfectly with a cup of tea. Switch out the satin underlayer for plaid and you’re good.
Christmas cocktails with colleagues:
When faced with all the different mixed drinks there are out there, I have to say I’m often overwhelmed. I like to keep it simple: in summer I’ll go for a gin and tonic, fizzy and refreshing, while winter has me in a different mood.
These days I favour a white russian. Esquire.com has a nice recipe for this mixed drink made with Kahlua, vodka and cream over ice. Delightful.
It pairs nicely with fur boots, lots of white, and icy jewelry – I’m thinking Swarovski crystal and lots of silver, and borrow a friend’s husky for extra flair.
The same look works with Bailey’s or bourbon, though I may switch out the silver for hints of gold in that case. This is up to you though, darling !
Now I suppose I could’ve made this article about how to dress to match your turkey, but it just doesn’t feel quite as glamourous, right?
Before you go shopping online or in store or in your closet for your Christmas dinner outfit, I highly recommend pouring yourself a glass or zinfandel, swirling it around in the glass and look into the deep bordeaux hue for inspiration.
When I do this I automatically think of velvet and brocade, which also happen to be fairly easy to find in stores at this moment.
I would choose a deep green, blue, or, well, wine tones – whichever complements your skin the best and don’t be afraid to show off your curves or your collarbone.
No bulky sweaters here, we want body skimming glamour. You barely need any jewelry, just keep your glass full of syrah since it’s now playing the all important role of lead accessory.
Heck you don’t even need to drink it, just focus on posing with your glass at artful angles. I won’t judge you if you practise in the mirror before your guests arrive…
New Year’s Eve:
The last big party of the season, of the year… by the time New Year’s Eve rolls around you may be tapped out for ideas of what to wear, having cycled through all your best outfits all month long.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to think too hard this year. New Year’s is all about popping champagne, so let light and frothy be your buzzwords for the evening.
A pale pink, white, or shimmery gold slipdress immediately snaps into my mind, topped with a big fur coat and strappy sandals while holding a charming flute of bubbly.
Can’t you just see it ?
I’m sure you have the hang of this now. I could shout any drink at you and in less than 60 seconds I bet you could rattle off the dress, the jacket, the shoes to go with.
Gosh we’ll have to do this again in the summer, right? Mojito! Pina colada! Margarita! Wait a minute, for those of you who go south, that may not be that far in the future at all.
Take this as a mini training ground and run with it. As I like to say, the best style tells a story, and I think the funniest, most memorable stories we tell each other often start with something simple – like a drink- that we build around.
The point is to pick a theme and become the character that goes with it. After all, you could dress to match your turkey, your ham and your bacon this holiday season – girl I won’t stop you. I will believe in the story you’re telling.