elevate your holidays at home
DRESS DETAILS: Ronny Kobo dress (rented via Rent the Runway, similar style here) // Vintage earrings (similar style here) // Roger Vivier heels (gifted) // With my mega candy on my arm - Igee Okafor You all know me. I like all the excuses for dressing up. It instantly comforts me, whatever the occasion, whatever […]

DRESS DETAILS: Ronny Kobo dress (rented via Rent the Runway, similar style here) // Vintage earrings (similar style here) // Roger Vivier heels (gifted) // With my mega candy on my arm - Igee Okafor

You all know me.

I like all the excuses for dressing up. It instantly comforts me, whatever the occasion, whatever the location. And if ever there was a year where we could all use a little more comfort, especially in the sartorial sense, 2020 should be.

In many ways, it's quite strange to be sitting here, writing an article on the topic of Thanksgiving and the general holidays at the end of a year that never seemed to have really started. When life came to a standstill in March, so interrupted with it - our jobs, our goals, our sense of security and of course our vacation plans to see our families - and I'm sure many of you meet again in similar situations. Today's post is not intended to shed light on where we are now - which is still in the midst of an ongoing pandemic without a finalized vaccine pictured - but I certainly hope it does. can remind us all how special we can put in the parts that are under our control. Holiday magic - a raised little holiday magic that is - is quite achievable and may be the right antidote for the year-end blues we might find ourselves in. Personally, every time I put on a little velvet my mood instantly changes. So bring the velvet!

If you are staying home this year to spend Thanksgiving solo or in safety with a few close friends / family, today's post is for you.

ONE // Plan a mini trip to your own town or city

Now I know what you are thinking. "If we're staying at home this year, why should I bother booking a room somewhere?" Of course, I'm not going to sit here and say this is the most convenient option - but it might just be the 'escape' you've been dreaming of for months now! And with so many amazing options on AirBnB, many right in your own backyard or even just a short drive away, it's the perfect way to stay local and get a change of scenery at the same time. Of course, it has to be said that everyone's level of comfort is quite different when it comes to staying in roommate / roommate lists, but I have found that most hosts go through extra hoops not only to clean but disinfect thoroughly, so that you can rest more easily.

Igee and I took these pictures at The Maker Hotel in Hudson, New York (about a 2 hour drive north of town) which is also another great option to consider as a lot of hotels, especially boutique hotels, are suffering right now. I would just recommend reading up on the security and travel restrictions in your state and between states, as well as the hotel security protocols you are reviewing. The Maker Hotel, for example, takes COVID precautions very seriously, with mandatory masks in all common areas at all times, forced social distancing, hand sanitizing stations throughout the property, and more.

Whenever possible, I would also recommend considering booking a rental car rather than traveling by public transport. And get a negative COVID test before hand, as well as extra peace of mind.

TWO // Support your local restaurants and dine al fresco

This year Ty and I were fortunate enough to acquire my friend Janelle's extra dinner reservation at the Dutch here in town. We're so used to cooking and cooking with my family, but since it's only us this year, we decided it made more sense to dine out and support a local restaurant in NYC. Of course, I impose a small dress code on us. 🙂

THREE // Host a mini-meeting for a chic game night

Everyone loves the game of Clue, right? Maybe encourage your guests (IRL and Zoom participants) to dress like a certain character! Guess that would make me Mrs. Scarlett here, right?

FOUR // Fill your bar car with the ingredients for a signature cocktail

This year I teamed up with my friends at Cointreau for another classic holiday-inspired drink - The cosmopolitan! Style your bar cart to make it inviting for cocktail making - have your specialty glasses outside, your shaker ready to go, and come up with your own name for the drink, similar to what a favorite local bar might call. Since Igee and I love anything Gatsby-inspired, we decided to call this Cosmo the “Old Sport” as a nod to Jay himself.

FIVE // Tune in for streaming performances from local venues

Another industry that is hurting this year - the performing arts. Live music. Theater. Ballet. I can't tell you how badly it hurts my heart knowing we can't watch The Nutcracker this year at Lincoln Center, one of my favorite holiday traditions. Having said that, don't worry! There is a lot of virtual programming going on, you just have to dig for it. For example, one of our favorite local jazz spots - the vanguard of the village - has nightly performances broadcast live from the venue with the artists themselves. Admission of tickets for the live stream link costs $ 10 and it was such a lovely evening at home! We lit candles, dimmed our lights, opened a bottle of wine and pretended to be there with them, next to the stage.

It's a great way to support local places and arts and it doesn't even necessarily have to be in your backyard either. Like the aforementioned Nutcracker performance - one of my favorites. At the moment, I can't find a New York-based dance company virtually showing performances this year, but the San Francisco ballet is! Sign me up!

SIX // Dress up - for fun!

Step into your wardrobe, pull out the first special item that you haven't worn in a while, and find a reason to put it on at home! Bonus points for jewelry. Even more bonus points for a swipe of lipstick. I'm willing to bet this cheers you up a bit.

SEVEN // Take vacation photos

Whether you're going solo this year or planning a small group photoshoot with close friends or loved ones, there's no reason not to enjoy a little photo op, on your vacation. most beautiful. Grab a tripod and schedule a photoshoot, maybe at a free time (sunrise and soon after sunrise is usually deserted in most places) to send your friends some holiday cheer and your family. I promise that sometimes just getting dressed and documenting it in a photo makes all the difference in your mood. And without a doubt, your family would love to see your smiley face, even if it's via an email attachment!

EIGHT // Go on an adventure

Book that rental car and get out of town, even if it's just for the day. Drive around and see the decorations and holiday lights in different neighborhoods. Meet at the trailhead for a long hike. Spend the whole day strolling around town, coffee in hand. Whatever the destination and whatever your business, try to make a special itinerary for yourself - followed by a delicious meal at home on your return. This will give you structure for the day, while also making you feel like a “trip” to look forward to.

NINE // Put this playlist on

And if possible, try to play it, even discreetly, in the background at all times. It's amazing the difference that consistent music can make in our moods.

TEN // Volunteer

Nothing uplifts my mood more than helping someone else. I know volunteering outside of our homes can seem risky this year when it comes to COVID exposure, but there are plenty of ways to help, which don't involve coming into close contact with people. , like leaving meals on the doorstep. retirement homes, donate old coats and jackets for others to use, etc. Here's a pretty comprehensive starting point for those in the New York area.

Are you staying at home or in the area this year for the holidays? If so, how are the very special dates this year?

Photos by Ian Stauffer


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Between balancing career, family, and finding time for ourselves, stepping out the door with style every day can seem impossible—but it’s not ! We asked the most stylish women we know ( our Stylists ) what their confidentiels are for unlocking the next level of style.

“You can’t plan for everything, but don’t let your mornings catch you off-guard. Just like you’d plan a week’s worth of meals on a Sunday if you’re trying to save time, give outfit planning a shot to make way for stress-free mornings and outfit-regret-free days. ” —Stylist, Amber F.

SEEK OUT ( STYLISH ) INSPIRATION“Find stylish women to follow—whether it’s your favorite Instagram style star or your sister’s best friend’s cousin. Discover fashionistas whose style inspires you, then use their photos as inspiration to help plan your outfits ( see tip #1 ). Not sure where to start ? Check out our Instagram and Pinterest boards for endless inspiration from our most stylish ladies. ” —Stylist, Jennifer M.

WHEN IN DOUBT, ( OVER ) DRESS“If you’re ever on the fence about what to wear, consider your destination and who you’ll see. When in doubt, err on the side of being more dressy. If you’re worried about looking too done-up, bring along a casual layer like a jean or cargo jacket to give your look that effortless chic touch. ” —Stylist, Angela G.

STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE“It never hurts to try something new. Whether that includes a bright new hue that stands out from your usual neutral palette, or shifting from skinny jeans to a boyfriend silhouette, great style is built from trying new things. Who knows what trends you might discover you love ! ” —Stylist, Jennifer M.

ALWAYS ACCESSORIZE“Try to wear at least one accessory, whether it’s a statement necklace, a pop-color bag or a great pair of earrings ( or all of the above ). A solid statement piece can take an ensemble from ho-hum to a stand-out in seconds. ” —Stylist, Stephania S.

CRAFT A CAPSULE WARDROBE“A stylist’s not-so-secret secret weapon is a capsule wardrobe. A closet full of items that can be mixed and matched with ease can take the guesswork out of your morning. Invest in classics that will last a lifetime, like a great pair of pantalons, a simple LBD and timeless jewelry. ” —Stylist, Stephania S.

TRY A STATEMENT SHOE“When it comes to footwear, color, print and style packs a huge aesthetic punch—and they don’t have to be sky-high heels, either ( flats can make the same statement and your feet will thank you ). Even if your look is casually thrown together, adding a printed flat or a pop-of-color wedge can make things appear more intentional. ” —Stylist, Jennifer M.

OWN AT LEAST ONE CONVERSATION PIECE“Every once in a while, you need that de très bonne qualité “wow” factor. Whether it’s an amazing pair of over-the-knee boots, a rétro dress that you borrowed from your mom’s closet or an enviable handbag, keep something in your arsenal for the days you need to really show up stylish. ” —Stylist, Chelsea T.

GET TO KNOW YOUR BODY SHAPE“The golden rule of stylish women ? Fit first. With that, getting to know your body shape is key. Consider yourself a petite pear shape and prefer to highlight your shoulders ? Build your closet with clothes that put the spotlight on your shape and favorite features. ” —Stylist, Crista G.

AGE IS JUST A NUMBER“When it comes to trying a new trend or rocking a piece that catches your eye, don’t allow that number to prevent you from trying something new. 62 and looking to rock a pair of coupe boyfriend pantalons ? Try it ! 22 and wanting to shift into a buttoned-up, business-first closet ? Button it up ! ” —Stylist, Megan S.

Despite being something that everyone does literally every day, getting dressed ( or putting together an outfit, if you want to get fancy ), can feel like the trickiest, most frustrating part of the morning. Who hasn’t stood in front of a closet full of clothing and thought “I have nothing to wear ! ? ” Rest assured, you’re not alone in this daily conundrum. to that end, we consulted a panel of experts—top infographistes, style consultants, and retail pros—to demystify the act ( art ? ) of getting dressed, once and for all.

How to actually do it : Obviously, you want to show off what you’re proud of—toned arms or a skinny waist. It’s the downplaying of less beloved parts that’s tricky. One tactic ? Add opposite volume, like wearing wide-leg trousers to offset a heavier upper half that’s wearing something fitted. ' The object is to even yourself out, ' explains designer Nicole Miller. ' So avoid anything too grande taille or you’ll look bigger. ' Another idea : Distraction. If you’re pear shaped, wear forgettable black pants, then bring the focus upward with a bold scarf, says Louise Roe, the author of the style-advice book Front Roe.

How to actually do it : Odds are, there’s a grown-up version of the style de la journée. Take crop tops : to avoid revealing skin, pair a shirt that hits at the navel with a high-waisted skirt—or a longer top with a crop top over it. ' It gives you a similar look, ' promises designer Rebecca Minkoff. Bottom line : ' You never want to seem like you’re uncomfortable with your age and trying to look younger, ' says Lilliana Vazquez, a style spécialiste and the editor of TheLVGuide. com.

Where your breasts sit on your chest makes a big difference in how clothes fit, ' says Vazquez. In other words, if you’re wearing a bra that fits properly, there will be no sagging or bulging—and that means your silhouette will look trimmer from every angle. The target is midway between your elbows and shoulders. You’ve scored a match when ' the front center panel of the bra lays flat, there’s no wrinkling or gapping in the cups, and the bra is not hiking up or creating bulges, ' says Kristen Supulski, the director of merchandising for Vanity Fair Brands lingerie. ' If you can squeeze just two fingers under the band and it still feels snug, that’s the perfect fit.

Strive to wear colors that enhance one another rather than ' match ' in the traditional sense. For an easy cheat, says Minkoff, ' look at a simple color wheel. The colors that are opposite each other on the wheel complement each other. ' ( Think non-obvious but fetching combos, like orange and navy or purple and saffron. ) Diversifying your accessories, in both color and matière, is another do. ( A beloved trio from the vault of Betty Halbreich, a personal shopper at New York City’s Bergdorf Goodman and the author of the style memoir I’ll Drink to That : ' A black dress, navy shoes, and a burgundy handbag. ' ) And under no circumstances should you ever rock'n'roll a suite of jewelry. Says Vazquez, ' Anything that was sold together as a set styles really dated.

Don’t give people too many things to look at all at once, ' says Halbreich. ' If you’re wearing a low-cut dress, focus on the cleavage—you don’t also need bare arms and legs. ' The concept applies to fit as well : A body-hugging dress is better with a more sensible neckline and hem, whereas a skirt that hits a few inches above the knee won’t raise eyebrows if it’s flared rather than tight.

First, a disclaimer. There’s no need to break the bank on the basics—tees, button-downs, jeans—of which there are plenty of quality possibilités available at low prices. Instead, splurge ( if you can ) on the types of items in which even the cheapo versions aren’t exactly steals. For instance, bargain cashmere will still set you back $100. But that sweater will stretch out quickly, and then you’ll have to blow another $100 to replace it, rather than spending a little more only once. ' When buying classics, like a great black blazer, it’s important to invest in better fabrics— say, wool—that will hold up better over time, ' says Minkoff. Try calculating the price per wear to help stave off sticker shock.

Figure out your go-to, foolproof styles, ' says designer Nanette Lepore, then seek out déclinaisons on that theme. Stumped ? Picture the outfits that you feel most comfortable in. Or ask people close to you what you look best in. Once you’ve zeroed in on what works, find different takes. ' I gravitate toward jackets, so I’ll do a bomber style, then a silk version, or a jean jacket with leather sleeves, ' says Minkoff. ' Whenever you feel the need to talk yourself into things, that’s a red flag that you shouldn’t buy them, ' says Minkoff. If you have doubts in the room, it may help to take a photo of yourself in the item, suggests Aerin Lauder, the founder and creative director of the lifestyle brand Aerin. ' It’s much more accurate than looking in the mirror.

Opt for a de très bonne qualité white, rather than ivory, which may skew dingy. “But since white has the potential to make your teeth look yellow in comparison, consider wearing a bold lipstick with a blue undertone, like fuchsia, so teeth appear brighter, ” recommends Florence Thomas, the creative director for Thomas Pink. Not sure which cut is best for you ? A button-up with darting at the waist or curved princess seams can create a feminine hourglass shape on anyone. Be sure the seams of the shoulders line up with your shoulders and that there is no pulling across the front or the back. “Anything else can be tailored, ” says Thomas. tera keep all-cotton shirts from discoloring, don’t dry-clean them. Have them laundered and pressed, the same as men’s shirts.

Doubling up on patterns can help you come across as confident and chic—or as if you got dressed in the dark. Achieve the former by following these guidelines. Stick to a similar color family—and preferably the same background shade. Some pairings are like PB

The right pair of earrings can complimenter your face shape. For instance, long earrings make your face look skinnier, if it’s on the round side, says jewelry designer Lizzie Fortunato. On the other hand, if you have an oblong face, bermuda, chunky earrings, like oversize studs, will draw focus outward, and your face won’t read quite as narrow. If you have a large bust, a necklace should hit an inch above the cleavage or higher. Longer strands or pendants will rest awkwardly on the body and call attention to every contour. Lastly, choose earrings in lighter colors, such as pearls or white stone, to make your face look radiant.

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