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An Image Consultant’s Secrets to Elevating Your Holiday Look

Docket full of festivities coming up? We’re not just talking about that annual New Year’s Eve party: From office get-togethers to drinks with friends to family photos, there are plenty of reasons to break out your holiday best right now. 

“Who can resist sparkles, twinkling lights, and making things lighter and more magical for ourselves and everyone? Not me,” says Scarlett De Bease, an image consultant. “This is the time of year to bring much needed playfulness, joy, and style to our days and nights.” 

But of course, that’s often easier said than done—and deciding what to wear for a variety of events can often feel overwhelming, leading you to stick with the same old, same old. To help, De Bease shares her go-to advice: 

Add some subtle sparkle.

Sequined tops and dresses might be synonymous with holiday parties, but if you’re a bit more sparkle-averse, there are simpler ways to add a little splash. One idea: Dig out that rhinestone or diamond pin you likely have deep in your jewelry drawer—and add it to the lapel of a simple, tailored jacket, (which you also probably don’t wear that often), advises De Bease. “It will dress up your basic jacket, and make it look modern without spending a dime—and can be worn with jeans or a pair of black pants,” she explains. 

Focus on fit.

Forget those pieces that don’t fit well. As De Bease explains, “enjoy all the tempting treats and focus on mixing and mingling with family or friends versus worries over seams or buttons popping and ripping.” She offers this advice: “Wear a top untucked, or partially tucked, to hide any extra in the middle or rear, and distract with sparkly accessories.” 

Upgrade your usual accessories.

“Switch out your everyday handbag for a smaller one,” recommends De Bease. “Wearing the same bag you grab to go to the market will distract from your dressier and/or festive outfit.” That goes for shoes, too, she notes. Stick to more formal shoes and handbags—metallic or sparkly options are always fun—to help dress up any outfit, including jeans, she says. 

But actually use those accessories.

“Stop wearing the same top year after year. So many of my clients show me the red sweater or blouse they wear only around Christmas and New Year’s Eve,” says De Bease. “As long as it doesn’t have a holiday print on it, I love showing them how it can be worn for so many other times and events depending upon how they are paired and accessorized.” To that end, she also recommends not saving all your special pieces just for special occasions. “Use what you have as often as possible because those special occasions may be far and few between,” she notes. 

Stick with what looks and feels good to you.

Yes, yes, we all know skinny jeans are out—but it doesn’t mean you have to force yourself into pants that don’t feel great. “The only trend I follow and guide my clients towards is wearing clothes that are flattering for them,” says De Bease. “No need to wear a style ‘that’s in’, yet you don’t look good in it.”


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