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‘Tis the season…to not fret

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Denola Grey

Denola Grey

‘Tis the season… to get bombarded with so many invitations to end-of-year parties, weddings, Christmas parties and soirees to the point where you feel an acute amount of anxiety or even a panic attack because its way too much to deal with! * Deep breath* Ok, so another December has rolled into the galaxy just like that. To say 2016 has flown by would be an understatement. I literally feel like I have time-lapse whiplash. I digress. I’m sure you have been wondering how in the world you are going to possibly deliver fresh looks to all these social obligations. Fret not for I am here to help.

First of all, you have to remember that just because it’s Christmas, doesn’t mean that your style should be restricted to the suggested season’s looks. In Nigeria, we have the benefit of living in year-round summer weather, so unlike most parts of the world, you don’t have to wear thick, woolly clothing. The only downside to this is that we don’t get to wear the traditionally ugly Christmas sweaters, which is a blessing in of itself. To get in the festive spirit, a little more glam should be introduced into your wardrobe, even with your most casual outfits. For instance, ladies, if you’re going to wear a sundress to a day party or a BBQ, your footwear could be bejeweled flats or brushed gold to add some festive flair. Men, you could wear dressy velvet slippers with your casual jeans and t-shirt combos.

Next, you have to know which fabrics are your friends. December also comes with Harmattan, so it’s not only going to be blaringly hot, but equally as dry and dusty. I advise that your daytime outfits have a linen base to abate the heat. Linen is also appropriate for any holiday beach runs that you may have. For the men, a crisp white linen shirt with light chinos and earth-tone leather sandals will always be a classic hit. Silk is pretty much touch and go for everyone. As we are well aware, silk is the fabric that doesn’t breathe. That’s why we tend to sweat more while wearing silk even though it is a seemingly lighter fabric.

It’s hard to cut silk from your wardrobe especially as retro silk blouses and shirts have recently made a huge comeback. My tip is to keep the silk outfits or tops for indoor activity. Also, when it comes to wearing silk during the holiday, deep regal colors will do. Try to stay away from any neon or overly bright colors on your silk fabric. Safe bets are gold, deep purple, red and navy blue. Silk maxi dresses and/or silk or sheer retro shirts are all good. Make sure you pair them responsibly with footwear and trousers/skirts when necessary.

Try to stay away from heat absorbent colors like black. Keep it light and bright. We can borrow colors from the spring palette to aid your dress choices. To clarify, the spring palette colors consists of, but is not limited to, mint, dusty pink, pale pink, pale blue, peach etc. The vibrant colors in the right blend could go a long way in ensuring your outfits come together nicely. For evening wear, the colors should always be regal and dark. For indoor soirees where there is bound to be air conditioning, you can wear slightly thicker fabrics. Men, you can pull out your velvet smoking jackets and ladies, you can wear velvet dresses if you please. Note that if you are opting for a velvet look, please try and stay away from red as its too closely associated with Santa. Caution: Only opt for red if you are attempting a quick appearance on a sleigh. Appropriate velvet colors are usually of the royal persuasion. Think of the royal colors of England; deep purple, jade green, royal blue and black.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! If you look back at all the tips I’ve mentioned in this article, you would find that its probably not that much different from what you are currently doing with your wardrobe. This is about conditioning your mind are removing the added pressure of the holidays fro the mix so that your style comes out as effortless. While there may be added pressure of seeing friends you haven’t seen in a while, impressing in laws etc., the trick is to treat each event with the same casual approach as you would at any other time of the year. You definitely shouldn’t want to look like you are trying too hard.

Which leads me to my next tip.
Always make sure that you dress responsibly. This is especially for the ladies. 2016 was definitely the year of “no chill”! Everyone showed up and showed out with reckless abandon in most cases. I’ve seen tons of pictures of wedding guests in outfits so elaborate, that they end up upstaging the bride! Now, I’m all for embracing your inner glam goddess, but there is definitely a time and place. If you are invited to a dinner party and the dress code calls for glam, it’ll do you well to do some homework.

If you are familiar with the person throwing the party, and you know what their style is like, you would probably have an idea of what he or she might be wearing. I’m always up for a deliciously shady fashion moment (you know, when the guest shows up looking ten times better than the host on purpose), but please don’t steal your hostess’ thunder. Pick an outfit that is objectively fabulous but not over the top. It’s only good manners. Plus, it is the holidays after all. Think of it as your good deed of the month.

Yes, it’s the holidays but that doesn’t mean you have to lose your mind figuring out a “fabfit” (Fabulous-Outfit; I’m trademarking that) for every occasion. Try to stick to the aforementioned tips and you should be just fine. Its not a science, but it certainly goes a long way in helping you realize that you’ve got all these events under control and you get to be your best, fabulously festive self. Go out there and make me proud and the only thanks I would accept from you is for you to be flawlessly dressed and have a great time this month!



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