Merry and Bright-ly Dressed

by Kelley Malott

The festivities of the holiday season present the perfect opportunities to play with textures and colors that we may be too hesitant to try at other times of the year. Everything is bright and cheerful, from the sparking gold of downtown Appleton’s Avenue of Angels to the twinkling lights in our own homes. This holiday season, give yourself the gift of trying something new and extravagant. Even if your holidays will be spent on a Zoom call, why not use this rollercoaster of a year as your reason to say why not?

One of my favorite trends for the holidays is velvet. It’s the perfect blend of glam and cozy. This is a trend that is easy to find at your local thrift store thanks to the popularity of the velvet mini dress in the 1990s. If you’re not keen on a short skirt for a Wisconsin winter, you can be sure to find other velvet options at many retailers. My current favorite is this dark purple midi dress available from Lane Bryant. I also love the vintage glam of this floral velvet jacket and tank from Chico’s, which is a great option if you’re not a dress person. 

Sequins are probably one of the easiest trends to find in stores and incorporate into your regular eveningwear looks. Sequined dresses are readily available this time of year, but a small clutch or shoes can give your standby evening look a festive flair, especially if you’re trying to find a way to transition your work attire for the office holiday party. What you’ll see more of this year is sequined tops and skirts. A sequined top is a great way to give your suit an evening look. Or, if you want to try a bold option, find a solid that’s within a few shades of your sequined piece, like this bold sequined maxi skirt from Eloquii that they’ve paired with a red bell-sleeved top. 

Another trend is silk satin. This fabric can be a nightmare to take care of, but Banana Republic has machine washable options like this camel colored skirt. Silk can be intimidating to wear because the light fabric tends to cling. You can either embrace the cling, or, if it makes you more comfortable, find yourself a nice pair of Spanx. I love the way Banana Republic pairs their silk skirts with soft, neutral toned sweaters and kitten-heeled boots. Add some pearl earrings and you have a look that is both classic and glamorous.

The best thing to keep in mind is that all of these textures give a feeling of luxury and feeling comfortable in them can start with just getting up the courage to wear them for the first time. If you need to ease yourself into these trends, embrace neutrals like plain black or white tops to keep the focus on your statement piece. Regardless of whether you’re looking at velvet, sequins, or silk, they all follow similar rules for styling. For most day to day wear, these textures are better balanced with wardrobe basics. For parties, get adventurous. You might not have known that a hot pink sequined dress was just what you needed until you try it on.