'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house, everyone was freaking out about what to wear to the last string of holiday parties, even the mouse!
The holiday season is a time for family, friends and parties. Lots and lots of parties. You've probably already been to debutante parties, office parties, Hanukkah parties, masked balls, unmasked balls, oyster roasts and a number of other variations on the holiday party circuit.
And now, you're standing in front of your closet and thinking, "I have already worn every cocktail dress and 'holiday-chic' outfit I have, but I still have to make it through the last gauntlet of holiday festivities."
It may seem like a daunting task, but with a few quick rearrangements or maybe a short shopping trip, you can revamp what you already have without breaking the bank.
"If you just don't have enough cash to fork out for the new cocktail dress or you would rather spend it on someone else this season, a few new accessories can make that old black dress come alive," says Weezie Hiott, women's wear buyer for Gwynn's of Mount Pleasant.
Hiott suggests that adding new accessories, especially to a simple black dress, will transform a look, and no one will realize it's a piece you've worn before. "Jewelry is always a great way to turn things out," says Hiott. "An armful of bangles and a great cocktail ring ... (or) I like the look of Alexis Bittar oversized broaches that you can place in areas that look like they are part of your dress."
There are more ways than just adding jewelry and accessories, too. This is definitely the season where you get a chance to have a little fun with your wardrobe without risking looking like you're trying too hard. "If you want to add a little funk," says Hiott, "try mixing one of your cool leather jackets or a solid colored jacket over your dress."
However, Hiott does warn that if the jacket is too heavy, it will look like you kept your overcoat on.
If you're looking for a small change but nothing too out of the box, Hiott also recommends patterned tights. They come in subdued pin dots but also in more adventurous animal prints and other wild patterns.
There is enough stress this time of year without having to fret and worry over what to wear to another party where you'll see the same group of people you've seen 10 times already this year. It might be the time of year to give to others, but while you're out shopping, keep your eyes peeled for accessories and layering pieces that can transform your holiday wardrobe.
A little less stress this time of year will mean a "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
Seth McCormick Cooke is a stylist and freelance writer based in Charleston. Reach him at SethMcCormick@me.com.