With the holidays being a stressful and busy time of the year, dressing can turn into a whole other complex that can eat away at your confidence and add stress to an already challenging time. Here are a few holiday dressing tips to help bring down your blood pressure, and as it is the time for giving... they might just bring down the blood pressure of those around you.
Layer with a collar and a cuff. For men or women, layering a white shirt under a v-neck or crew-neck sweater is classic and easy. That shirt can be wrinkled or stained, and you don't have to care because we are only looking at the cuff or the collar. The budget you save on all the dry cleaning is better spent on nicer hostess gifts. The hostess will be delighted, and will forgive a little less starch. Be comfortable and touchable; wear cozy sweaters made of cashmere or merino wool. Some people find ironing calming, but not me -- there's all the setup and then you have to wonder if you left it on or the dog might knock it over. So just keep a reserve of white shirts around, and layer them with all your knits (even with long sleeve tees it is kind of cool). Also, having a woven layer to camouflage your stomach during the holidays makes having all those treats more relaxing. Enjoy yourself!
Cover up your body art. Again layering, so see all the relaxing motivation above. Tattoos and piercings are certainly mainstream now, but reach out to the conservative side and try to keep everyone at peace for family gatherings. This body visual can be saved for more rowdy holidays like the 4th of July or St. Patrick's Day. By taking a break from expressing yourself, that is one less pressure to carry around. If you have face or hand tattoos, then you've made a commitment more serious than a cardigan, so maybe have a few extra drinks before holiday gatherings and live up to stereotype.
Wear colored shoe laces or a fun accessory. This is the easiest way to start a conversation, and it says, "I am at this party to have fun and I don't mind wearing something distracting to show my commitment to fun." You will attract positive energy and jump start conversations with your daring look. For women, this can be as easy as a funky headband/fascinator. My friend Deanna can appear serious, but she throws on an eye-catching headpiece and all kinds of doors open. She even wore one to a job interview recently, and, of course, she got the job. For men, this year is all about colored shoe laces or funky socks. These quick-change accessories can bring that dull, tweed jacket back to life. There's nothing better than sitting in front of a fire with a cocktail and flashing a bit of sock that says, "If you think these socks are outrageous, wait until you see my underwear!" I'm sorry to all the guys who still want to make a statement with a holiday bow tie, but that look is rather best worn by a dated dandy, and as anyone who has tried to tie a real bow tie knows... that's one stressful Rubik's cube of an accessory.
Wear cozy tights. Women should have some cozy tights for this time of year. Tights help with the cold, but also by now your summer tan has faded. Reducing the need to wax or shave, these tights are saving you the stress of scheduling and maintenance (or the stress of having an intimate encounter). Tights lend themselves to more comfortable shoes; a fun pair of tights with a flat or a Mary Jane can always evoke a mod/party atmosphere without all the side effects of a four-inch heel. The best quality is that tights can be used over and over again without running; saving money should always lower your stress load. Lastly, tights with some control can make you feel more confident when reaching for holiday cookies.
Now that you have some time saving tips to get you through the holidays, redirect that time you would have spent in front of the mirror or running to the dry cleaner before they close and have some time for yourself -- whether it be napping, meditating or centering yourself before you head out for the holiday party circuit. No matter what you wear on the outside, people will see the stress you carry on the inside and stress is not a good look. Happy Holidays.
Follow Eddie Parsons on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jedwardparsons