Friday, November 18, 2011

Frugal Fashion Friday - Easy Holiday Party Staples

It's really hard for me to believe that next week is Thanksgiving.  The year seems to have flown by and the Holidays are upon us.  That means Holiday parties and events for work, family and friends. There is a party or event happening almost every weekend from Thanksgiving through New Years.  I love Holiday parties, getting together with friends and dressing up.  At lots of these occasions I will see the same faces.  It sounds a bit Hollywood but I don't want to show up in the same outfit twice. Even more important, I want to feel stylish, confident, and at ease. There are also those impromtu and last minute events where I'll need a quick outfit that will look great.

Over the years I've come up with some strategies for these events. I've bought some stand by items that have served me well and they are my go to party items. I feel polished and confident in them and they are easy to mix and match with great tops and accessories to create an easy to throw together party outfit.

My Go To Party Items
  • Tuxedo Jacket - They are available in all sizes, styles and price points. You can wear it with a skirt or a pair of jeans and look polished.
  • White Dress Shirt - Pair it with your tuxedo jacke or your satin skirt, ala Sharon Stone (see below).
  • Great Tee - A simple, well fitting t shirt in a neutral color can dress down your maxi skirt or be a blank canvas for your tuxedo jacket and statement necklace.
  • Stand Out Shoes - Choose a pair that fit your personal style, taste and comfort level. I have a pair of heels and a pair of flats, I choose based on my mood and need for comfort.
  • Statement Necklaces - I have several but if you only want one, pick a version that suits your personality.  You can wear it to a party or to dress up your jeans and tee.
  • Satin Maxi Skirt - I love my satin maxi skirt. I have worn it so many times to different events and it's my go to for evening weddings. If satin isn't your style, try chiffon, or silk.
I found all of the items listed above at a bargain.  By checking department store outlets like Saks Off 5th and Nordstrom Rack, I scored the satin skirt ($40) and tuxedo jacket (Gianfranco Ferre, $60) for a steal. I also own a men's tuxedo jacket that I bought at Goodwill for $6. My white dress shirt is a no iron shirt. It makes it easy to wash and care for. A t shirt with stretch in a fabric like Tencel or Modal will keep its shape and drape beautifully.  I used to select party shoes just for their looks but after suffering through many parties in pain, I've changed my way of thinking.  I now own a few pairs that look great but feel great as well. I even own a pair of party shoes that are flats. Statement Necklaces can be found in every price point.  Check out discount retailers like Target and Kohl's for amazing bargains.  A satin or dressy maxi skirt can be your go to for many fancy events and parties.  I've worn my to fundraising dinners as well as evening weddings.  It's a simple palette that can be dressed up or down. In searching the web I found them in every color (mine is black) at bridal retailers for less than $50!

I mix and match my tuxedo jacket with jeans, skinny pants, and skirts.  I've worn the skirt with a white dress shirt, t shirt, chiffon blouse and more.  Pairing them with a statement necklace, stand out shoes and a fun bag can take these basic staples to the next level.
Many celebs have mastered the art of amazing party outfits.  My favorites are those that mix the fancy with the simple. Here are a few of my favorites.

Sharon Stone in her GAP t shirt
at the 1996 Academy Awards
Sharon Stone wearing
her husband's white dress shirt and a Vera Wang skirt
at the 1998 Academy Awards 

Olivia Palermo wearing a tuxedo jacket, flats and cigarette pants
Basic go to pieces are the key for me when dressing for parties.  It takes the stress out of deciding what to wear or buying a new outfit every time.  New outfits are fun but my budget doesn't always allow for that extra purchase, especially during the holidays.

Tuxedo Jacket, $10 Sequin Skirt, Bargain Stand Out Shoes (Details Here)

T Shirt and Statement Necklace
(also wearing my satin maxi skirt, not pictured)

What's your go to party ensemble?

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