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What to Wear This Holiday Season

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Ah, the question that has haunted women, particularly moms, likely originating from the Fall of Man as Eve pulled the first leaf from her closet of nature, looking around, thinking “I have nothing to wear” and feeling certain that the foliage was unflattering in most every way – unfashionable and adding ten pounds in all the wrong places. Well, chalk it up to the imperfections of humanity but we women have a battle to win and I hope to provide a lil ammo in this textile fight.
 
The most important thing to remember in the predicament of fashion ~ the natural beauty of the female form. Too often, women strive to conceal the very aspects of their bodies that make them uniquely beautiful. Somehow, decades ago, the waif-look became all the rage and was accepted as a measuring stick (or twig) for beauty. The satirical twist to all this is that just because the camera loves it doesn’t mean that every man does.
  
So what do men love? Well, the even more preposterous element of all this fashion biz is that women *don’t really care what men think* …of our outfits (sorry guys, just the facts.) Statistics show that we girls are putting up all this fuss to impress lady friends. Now that’s fashion for thought.
 
I’m not bold enough to think that I’m going to make waves in the oddities of female fashion trends, but I do believe a bit of common sense and timeless tips to looking fabulous in anything (or nothing) can go a long way. So, before you step out this holiday season, take a look at this list, adjust accordingly, another look – in the mirror this time – and out the door in confidence.
 
 1. Color
Choosing colors that bring out your best natural features is an essential step in selecting the right outfit. How to find your colors? Think back to compliments you’ve received. Someone has probably already pointed out a certain sweater or even realized it was that color that brought out your eyes or skin tone. You can also hold fabric up to your face and see for yourself. A general rule: black is a universal color AND is slimming…but I believe a color pop (in your hues) is important for style and more importantly, for fun. 
 
If you want to get detailed with your color discovery, you can use the handy dandy color wheel (what can’t we use this tool for?).   Find your natural shades on the wheel and determine if your colors are more monochromatic (from a single hue base) or analogous (neighborly hues.) If you are naturally more monochromatic, you should limit the range of color in any one outfit, whereas someone more analogous will likely look better in an array of different colors. My rule: take a look and decide for yourself – when in question, ask a friend.
 
2. Shape
This is what we want to work with – not against. Your curves are yours to define and making them look the best you can is the goal. I like author Antia Renfroe’s theory, “If You Can’t Loose It, Decorate It.”
 
Take a look in the mirror at your fat distribution (and realize this isn’t a negative thing!). Decide where you’d like to add emphasis. Combine that information with the best colors for you to design the perfect outfit. Use layers to hide your least favorite parts and flair to accent your best features!

3. Size
Know your actual size and always try clothes on before purchasing. Wearing something that is either too small or too big is going to be far less flattering than an outfit tailored to fit your individual body. Size and comfort go hand in hand and you most certainly want to feel comfortable in your clothing. Several department stores will help determine your size if you don’t already know your numbers.

4. Flair
Flair is an easy way to change the look of an outfit and a great way to show your personality…while complimenting your natural beauty. Choose flair in colors that look great on you. A scarf, earrings, purse, belt, hat, shawl, skirt, camisole, shoes etc. can be chosen as a color pop and add dimension to an outfit. Add a belt to create a waistline, a scarf to bring out your eyes, a jacket to contrast a funky top. The color wheel will again assist you in this design – remember to look directly across the wheel for interesting coordinates when adding a color pop, and keep in mind that matchy-matchy isn’t always the way to achieve great style.

5. Common Sense
New fangled fashions might look great in a magazine but is it something that will work for you? Because I’m a mom and like to consider the entire family when choosing my clothing budget, I don’t splurge on many (if any) designer items. Off-department store shopping is a solution I’m happy with when it comes to price, and I can almost always find an outfit (or part of one) in my wardrobe that *already fits,* huge bonus. When looking for something unique or great flair, I scope local thrift stores…and don’t underestimate the possibility of the yard sale find. 

Comfort is another common sense factor for me. I love adorable heels but don’t want the pain that accompanies them. I will sacrifice an hour or two, maybe, for a wedding or special event, but a cute pair of comfy boots will suffice for a holiday party or evening out with friends.
 
Consider the weather, think layers and do what feels right for you. People around you will see the beauty resonating from the inside out when you’re confident in what you are wearing. Real fashion isn’t at all about the clothes on your back – it’s about wearing something that says, “This is me and I love the person I am made to be.”
 
photo: magfashion, tinaandrebecca
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