It is safe to say that we've all experienced the blurry boundary between festive holiday attire and Santa's little helper. It's that time of year filled with laughs and good cheer, yes the holidays are here and so are the parties and social obligations.
This is your opportunity to see all the relatives that you never see, speak to co-workers with whom you rarely ever speak and meet interesting new people in the spirit of the season. Holiday or festive attire is confusing and I see so many men looking uncomfortable or even awkward donning apparel they wouldn't normally wear, lassoed into a look by a wife or partner that just isn't them.
Not to worry, there is a north star at the end of the tunnel, as we'll explain in a moment and you can see in the slideshow below. At one point or another, we have all experienced a boost in our spirits, or a spring in our step when we know that we look our absolute best and 'feel' comfortable. I hope to inspire you as you ponder what to wear this season because if you are comfortable with what you are wearing and really 'feeling it', you may have the opportunity to be naughty and nice. (Story continues below slide show.)
If you're feeling adventuresome, try a nice fitted cardigan instead of a traditional navy blazer - think more in the neighborhood of Steve McQueen rather than Mr. Rogers. Heavier gauge cardigans look more modern and are extremely comfortable. The fit and heft make it current rather than a sweater from the ghost of Christmas past. I would suggest charcoal gray, black or your favorite neutral, wearing it with a knit or textured wool tie to dress it up enough for a casual cocktail party. Don't be afraid to wear this look, tie and all, with your favorite darker denim jeans or cords and nice black or chocolate brown wingtip style shoes or boots. The sensible aspect of this look is that it is not going to be limited to the holiday season and you will find yourself wearing it all winter long.
Jeans and t-shirt or sweatshirt guys may want to try a smart shirt and sweater combination with a pair of nicely fitted corduroy or flannel pants. Instead of wearing a traditional red or green "Christmas" sweater, consider something in a deep rich wine or even eggplant with a fresh collared shirt to compliment. I also like the look of a corduroy blazer over the shirt and sweater if you are going with jeans and perhaps suede shoes to add even more texture.
If you really want to dress it up or have a party that requires you to knock it out of the sartorial park, try a black, dark gray or rich burgundy velvet jacket with a flannel or knit straight tie or even a bowtie. Combining different textures looks modern and elegant. On the bottom, try a flannel trouser with nice black shoes of loafers. I also like the idea of teal, blue, gray, wine or even purple neckwear instead of traditional red. If you are not into investing in a velvet jacket because of the limited opportunities to wear it, I have also seen several velvet straight or bowtie options that you could wear with a solid gray or navy suit.
To see more ideas on dressing for the holidays, please check out our Visual Therapy Blog. Most importantly, have fun, be safe and enjoy the season!