01 November 2013

Don't Get Sucked Into Buying Holiday Only Clothing

Shimmering Coin Clutch
image via Anthropologie

This is the time of year when we find we need clothing for holiday events. Every clothing shop puts out holiday wares, usually sweaters, dresses and jackets with little extra touches that are perfect for holiday parties.

Here's my reminder. Every time I buy a piece of clothing that looks especially holiday-ish, once January rolls around it just feels totally inappropriate to wear. You will find all these items slashed for clearance the minute Christmas is over. The store doesn't want them anymore either.

For example, the sweater with the fur collar or sewn on jewels, sequins and other delights. Anytime I have purchased such an item I find myself trying to either wear it in total discomfort after the holidays or brainstorming a way to make it "UN-holiday." The last time I had one of these brilliant ideas I accidentally cut three holes in a perfectly lovely sweater trying to clip the rhinestones off. F.A.I.L.

Lavish Collar
image via Anthropologie

It seems much smarter to invest in basic, classic clothing pieces that can be added to with accessories instead. Buy a great classic sweater, blouse, dress or jacket and then build on it. Buy a faux-fur collar that you can wear over a neckline, a special scarf or purchase some standout jewelry pieces and clutch to make that holiday outfit zing. You can even holiday up your shoes with shoe clips or a special ribbon added.

Star Blaze Earrings
image via Anthropologie

There are lots of ways to look smashing for the holidays without buying a Christmas outfit that can really only be worn once, twice if you're lucky. Most of these clothing pieces are far too memorable to repeat very often and we usually aren't interested in them the next holiday season. That's the big problem with holiday outfits, they are made to be memorable and no one wants anyone remembering they wore the same outfit for Christmas the last five years.

This does not necessarily mean we'll save a lot of money. Many stand out accessory pieces can be as expensive as clothing items, but one will invest in longevity with accessories more than one-off clothing pieces. Everyone expects that shoes, scarves, earrings, and bracelets will be worn more than once. It's easy to work great accessories into a myriad of outfits, usually year round, just perfect for a variety of venues, activities and events. Mixed in new ways year after year and it's an investment in something that can spice up a wardrobe for years. That sweater with the rhinestone spray on the shoulder will be worth one of two wears each year IF one is lucky. No one wants people thinking "Oh she's pulled out her holiday sweater/jacket/dress again...."

So consider saving the closet space and buying basic, classic dresses, sweaters and jackets for this holiday season that will carry over for a few seasons to mix and match with unique accessories rather than Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's outfits that will quickly be of no value. There are some fun new things in the shops. Enjoy a wander.

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