Jennifer's Note: From time to time, I like to bring in a guest expert--someone who knows a topic better than I do and can bring a fresh perspective.. During closet edits, I run across a lot of red blouses and sweaters, about which, the owner says "No, we don't need to try that on. I just wear it for Christmas". The top and I exchange glances, and it gives me a resigned shrug of it's misshapen shoulders. We both know the deal--once a year, it gets trotted out to look "festive", and the other 364 days of the year it waits patiently for it's big moment. It knows you don't really love it. Frankly, it's not crazy about you, either. So here today to share some truth and knowledge is your red sweater. Take it away, Red Sweater!
Hi Everyone--and a special thanks to Jennifer for getting me out of that closet. This is more daylight than I've seen since you brought me home in 2007! So, listen. This is awkward, but I have some things I'd like to say.
First, thank you for making me a part of your family traditions for the last 10 years. It's nice to know you rely on me to let everyone know that you're in the holiday spirit. I appreciate that. I truly do. We've been a real team, you and I...but don't you think it's time we see other people? Just last year, I heard your cousin Linda say "there's that sweater again" under her breath as she was passing the butter. I know she didn't mean to make me feel bad, but maybe I've become expected...almost a holiday style rut? I mean, look at your holiday party pics from the last 10 years. There I am! In every.single.one. The rest of the family has different clothes, so obviously you found time to go shopping...just not for yourself, huh?
Next, I need to tell you that I don't feel appreciated. During your closet edit, Jennifer asked what you liked about me, and the only thing you could come up with is "It's red". Really? That's it? Don't I make you feel beautiful and stylish? I know I did 10 years ago...what's changed? Wow, that much, huh? I hope you don't mind me saying this, but after all the body and life changes you've experienced over the past decade, perhaps it's time to find a holiday look that better reflects who you are today.
Finally, I'm tired. Holidays are exhausting, and that's all I ever do! Can't you let one of the newer, younger pieces in your closet handle this one? Look at me--I'm not aging well. These little rhinestones are adding years to my look (and yours). Back in my prime, I was a real looker, but now I just feel kind of sad and out of place. Like a Vegas showgirl past her prime. Which would be ok...but unfortunately dated clothes make YOU look dated too, and I want better for you.
I know the holidays are fast approaching, and you might be a little stressed about what to wear if you and I part ways, so I'd like to give you a few options for easy looks that are a little more current...and don't involve a red sweater.
A Green Blouse (or sweater)
Rumor has it that Christmas has two "official" colors, so why not give the other one a try? Jennifer told me that dark green is having a serious fashion moment this season, so not only will you look festive, you'll also look on-trend. Another thing she told me is that dark green looks more elegant than bright red, and at first I was offended, but I can see her point.
The holidays are all about Sparkle & Shine, right? Most women are comfortable with Sparkle (add a statement necklace, and viola, you're done), but how about giving Shine a chance? Pair a metallic skirt with a basic sweater and booties, or a metallic sweater with jeans (and you KNOW you've got plenty of jeans in here) for an easy glam look.
You'd have to be living in the back of a closet not to know how big velvet is this season. Oh, wait...I DO live in the back of a closet, and even I know velvet is huge. You could wear a velvet tee under a cardigan, or go all out with a velvet dress...no matter how little (or how much) velvet you add, you're sure to look festive and luxe (Jennifer's word, not mine).
Originally, Black Pants and I were going to write this article together, You see, he's tired of holiday parties too. On the other hand Black Pants goes out ALL the time, so he's in a different spot than I am. He's currently in a meeting, but he wanted me to tell you that he goes out so much that he doesn't feel special anymore. Sure, he goes with everything, but he'd like to officially put in his request for time off over the holidays. He suggested the dresses fill in for him, since they always look polished and special. He said you don't even have to go for the fancy ones--a casual dress with great accessories is all it takes!
I hope you're not upset with me for being honest. I'd like to leave you with this last question: Do you like me enough to wear me other times of the year? If so, I'd like to stay and perhaps we could go out for dinner in January. If you don't see us spending time together outside of the holidays, I think we should break up. Sometimes people and holiday tops drift apart, that's all. No hard feelings.
I didn't get featured in the Winter Capsule Guide, but if you're struggling to find something fab to wear over the holidays, the guide has over 150 outfit suggestions--including holiday party looks!
PS, Jennifer was kind enough to put together some options for Holiday Looks That Don't Involve a Red Sweater. Online shopping is tough without hands... Some of the options may contain affiliate links.
Want more style advice? Red Sweater is retiring, but I've got more to say! Let's get social!