I kick off the season by deciding what our decorations will be. This year, I opted for a crisp red and white theme. I scour the web to add the latest version of “Joy to the World” to my already-long playlist. After-dinner car rides down Ayala Avenue to view the lights bring me back to my childhood.
Then, of course, comes my favorite sport, Christmas shopping! I revel in the hunt and love combing through bazaars and malls. I am always thrilled to discover unique items that make perfect presents. And I enjoy wrapping them all up with some paper, tulle and big satin ribbons. Yes, I don’t even mind the maddening crowd and horrendous traffic.
The Christmas season also brings one of the best reasons to dress up. When party invitations come rolling in, the next thought is, “I have to lose weight!” and “What do I wear?” Everyone wants to look their best for those photographs and reunions with relatives and friends.
A seemingly endless calendar of festivities calls for some serious fashion armor. As a child, I recall my mom always having matching party dresses made for my younger sister and I. One Christmas, it was black dresses with large pink flowers, an exaggerated pink bow, and a fluffy petticoat, worn with sheer black stockings and ballet flats.
Getting all decked out may be a grueling task for many. Should you wear a cocktail dress, casual short dress, long dress, evening gown or trousers? Is it a casual, cocktail or formal affair? Most people will instantly resort to black pants and a more-than-basic blouse. Before you go down that road, hold it right there. Now is the time to dress your self in something a little more special!
Play around with color, sparkle, textures and shine—and before you panic, know that there are countless options. Learn to get creative with your wardrobe. Resurrect something you’ve forgotten you own. Borrow from a sister or friend. Or, throw in a piece or two for yourself during your Christmas gift-shopping haunts.
Here are some holiday party dressing suggestions to get you started!
Office Christmas party
Impress your boss with a powerful yet celebratory look. Try a long dress with a fitted blazer and festive accessories to match! Sparkly earrings and an eye-catching wristlet will do the trick.
LONG polka-dotted dress and blazer by Halston Heritage at Rustans; beaded earrings by Nicole Whisenhunt; red satin bow wristlet by Aranaz; suede platform pumps by Gucci
Pre-Christmas dinner at home
Style solution: Relaxed hostess
Hark back to the 1960s with printed silk pajama pants, a loose blouse, and ballet shoes. So you don’t look like you just rolled out of bed, glam it up with high intensity jewelry.
LEOPARD-PRINT pajama pants by Zara; blue relaxed blouse by Mango; crystal stud earrings by Nicole Whisenhunt; pearl opera-length necklace and bangles by House of Trois; ballet shoes by Butterfly Twists
For a simple but striking look, go for a simple yet gorgeous gown in a strong color (such as scarlet, emerald, royal blue). So as not to outshine the bride, go for minimalist accessories.
RED COLUMN dress by Hoss Intropia at Rustans; earrings by Jul B. Dizon; clutch by Emi Jorge; wedge peep-toe shoes by Rajo for Parisian at SM
High school Christmas get-together
Style solution: Youthful yet sophisticated
No one wants to look matronly when meeting up with high-school friends! A bright satin dress in a fun and sexy silhouette is just the solution. For contrast, wear with menswear-inspired heels and modern minimalist accessories.
MIDNIGHT blue satin dress by Halston Heritage; moccasin heels and gunmetal leather clutch by Zara; Tahitian pearls and silver bracelet by Tahiti Perles at Aranaz; dangling earrings by Mango
Afternoon tea at a friend’s home
For a relaxed afternoon party, choose a tulip-skirt dress paired with ladylike accessories.
PRINTED tulip-skirt dress by Zara; woven leather ballerina shoes by Mango; bamboo-handled satchel by Aranaz; buffalo horn cuff and pearl earrings by Kristine Dee for AVA.ph
Christmas Noche Buena
Style solution: Sophisticated
Instead of the usual dress, try a one-piece jumpsuit in a bright hue—dressy yet unexpected! Wear with nude platform shoes, streamlined clutch, and a stack of gold bangles.
BRIGHT green jumpsuit with pleated belt by Rosanna Ocampo; two-tone envelope clutch by Zara; bangles by Mango; nude platform shoes by Zara
Christmas Day family lunch
Style solution: Flower power
For a new take on florals, try a mismatched color palette. Keep your accessories neutral to ground the look.
New Year’s Eve bash
Style solution: Sparkle and shine
If all-out sequins is too over-the-top for your style, choose a dress with just a hint of sparkle. Pair it with bright shoes, a feathered bag, oversized stone ring, and playful stud earrings.
SEQUINED dress, star earrings and ring by Mango; feather clutch and Green shoes by Zara