The holidays are a time filled with fun, family, festiveness (yep, that’s totally a word now), and definitely fashion. The holidays provide a plethora of opportunities for families to dress-up, from Christmas Eve church service, to Thanksgiving dinner, to holiday photos. It’s important to have some go-to ensembles that can easily work for your family in these situations, so, as a wardrobe stylist, I’ve compiled some tips to help you when it comes time for dressing your family this holiday season. These tips will keep your family stylish, yet practical and comfortable all season long.
1. Step Up Your Game 1 of 7
You don't have to get over-the-top fancy for the holidays, but it's definitely a time of year when there is an excuse to elevate your ensembles and step up your family's fashion game, which is something you can do with a few simple tweaks. Does your son usually wear jeans and T-shirts? As long as the jeans are a nice dark wash (or a fun color!) and the shirt is simple, just add a cardigan and a cool bowtie to instantly fancy it up. Add a fancier-than-usual hairdo and sparkly statement necklace to that basic blouse for yourself and a cute metallic headband for your daughter. If he's not already a fan of button-up shirts have him swap out his T-shirt for buttons and voila. Small fixes that will make a big impact on your family's outfits.
2. But Above All…COMFORT! 2 of 7
I know I just said to step up your fashion game, but, above all, consider comfort. Don't squeeze yourself into a too-tight dress or make your husband tuck in his shirt if that's not his thing. Ditch the itchy tights for your little one if she truly despises them and don't make your little man be too buttoned-up. If you and your family look uncomfortable, you won't look as good. You could have the chicest, most well-coordinated ensembles, but if you're all tugging and fussing with your clothes it will distract from the look. My tip is to look for comfortable fabrics - things with a bit of stretch. Also, consider layers so you can enter the holiday party looking polished, but can shed pieces as needed.
3. Avoid Getting Too Matchy Matchy 3 of 7
As much as I love a good cable knit sweater, I do not love the matchy matchy family look for holiday photos and parties. All of these pieces are cute in their own rite, but an entire family of cream and grey cable knit? It's just too much. Same goes for any other matching looks...matching plaids, matching denim...just say no.
4. Mix It Up With Textures 4 of 7
Playing with textures is a great way to create visual interest and balance in your family's outfits. The pieces I chose are a good example of this, though I might've swapped out the men's shirt for a different color so it didn't veer into matchy matchy territory, but I wanted to show the texture. A metallic jacquard dress, paired with a textured dress with leather sleeves, a wool men's shirt and a knit boy's sweater all balance well with one another. So spice it up with some texture!
5. Play With Patterns 5 of 7
Pattern mixing is a fun way to keep things fun when dressing your family for the holidays. If you find yourself drawn to all things matching and are having a difficult time resisting the urge to dress your family in head-to-toe cable knit, then pattern mixing might be a good solution for you. The patterns I chose above definitely have a matching vibe to them, because they all pick up on the various colors in a particular palette, but the varying patterns keep it from being too cheesy. A green-and-white striped shirt for your son, a classic plaid button-up for dad, a floral frock for your daughter, and red polkadots for mom. You'll feel coordinated, but not like carbon copies of one another.
6. Don’t Buy One-Time-Wear Shoes 6 of 7
When the holidays roll around, it seems like everyone remembers that their fancy shoe collection is lacking and races out to outfit their family in patent leather church shoes. Now, there is nothing wrong with patent leather church shoes if you find yourself dressing up often, but if you're like most people they will probably never get worn post-holiday season. Stick with shoes that can be dressed up or down. These t-straps with a good sturdy sole are a good option for a little girl - they can be dressed up, but are still great play shoes. A pair of desert boots for men are a classic he'll be able to wear all the time - easy to dress up or down. Ankle booties are far more practical than heels for a mama - can be worn just as easily with dresses as they can with jeans and a tee. And these little boots for boys are great - I actually love them for girls, too, and my daughter has that exact pair.
7. Fit, Fit, Fit! 7 of 7
Do not, and I repeat DO NOT ignore fit. It doesn't matter if that dress is a Chanel, it's not going to look good if it doesn't fit properly. Don't be afraid to play with sizes in order to find clothes that fit your family well. Going a size up doesn't mean a thing - all it means is that you may find a piece that fits better and that's what we all want. No one will be looking at the tag. Too tight or too loose clothing looks sloppy - even when it is a fancy holiday dress.
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.
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