Dressing for the Holidays: Tips and Tricks From Stylist Tracy Clifford

Not only do the holidays bring gifts, snow and delicious food, but also plenty of parties and events, which means finding something great to wear while juggling the stress and busyness of the season. Tracy Clifford of Tracy Clifford Style has your back with these tips and tricks to make sure you look great all through the holiday season whether you’re going to a formal party or a casual family gathering.

1. Closet Check

Be sure to review your current wardrobe before hitting the stores for new party gear. We tend to fixate on finding something new, when in reality, the perfect outfit is already hanging in our closet. New does not always mean better.

2. L.B.D.

Now is the perfect time to bring out your favorite Little Black Dress! It is a classic look that is appropriate for every party and always on trend with holiday wear year after year.

3. Accessories Are Key

Accessories can complete and change an outfit. A shoe, statement jewelry or great topper can take you from coffee at the office to champagne at a holiday party. You can also accessorize to make the same outfit look different enough to wear to multiple parties this season (as shown in Day to Night With Beverly Johnson).

4. Time to Tailor

When shopping for the holidays, allow enough time to visit the tailor. No one is a perfect size anything! Clifford recommends allowing at least one week from store to party.

5. More is Not Always a Good Thing!

Holiday clothes tend to incorporate sequins, fringe, embroidery, etc. There is a fine line between festive and tacky — save some of the holiday glitz for the tree!

6. Know Your Party Style

Be conscious of where you are going and who is going to be present. For instance, watch your hemlines and necklines at corporate events, don’t take a large handheld clutch when the night requires balancing a cocktail and handshakes and don’t wear winter white to a holiday wine tasting.

7. Party Clothes Log

The holiday party circuit is smaller than we realize. It is important to keep track of what you wear and who is in attendance. You do not need a new look for every party if you look different around the same group of people.

8. It’s a Shoe Thing

Holiday parties often include long periods of standing and cocktailing. Do not choose a shoe that puts comfort or balance to the test! There are walking shoes, car service shoes and party shoes — party shoes should be somewhere in between.

9. Outerwear

Be mindful of what you are wearing over your party attire. You cannot wear your warmest North Face coat over a cocktail dress. And you do not want to be waiting for your Uber on a snowy night in a sleeveless top and heels. It is worth investing in a fur piece (real or faux) or pulling out your best coat to complete your look and stay warm this season.

10. All Work, Some Play

Remember that a work party also means work people. Do not wear anything too fashion forward or sexy to a holiday work function. You have to see the party guests every other day of the year at work. You want to be fun and look fun without altering your work persona.


Get more of Clifford’s advice and expertise on Shop For Good with her Event Styling, Holiday Gift Shopping, Wardrobe Consultation, and Personal Shopping services.

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