It’s the holiday season. Are you and your closet holiday party ready?

The biggest fashion mistake I used to make at holiday season was only planning outfits for formal parties. The fact is that there are many holiday season invitations that call for a more casual outfit. These kinds of meet ups, lunches or shopping dates mean a chance to flex your casual chic muscle. Read on to find out how to elevate almost any outfit with 5 simple steps.

5 Steps to look holiday party ready. Holiday season means parties and celebrations with friends, family, neighbors or co-workers. Oh what fun it is to get excited about your party schedule until you think about what you’ll wear. Because some of those invitations come up last minute and as a result you’re left scrambling trying to look put together, chic and festive for your holiday party invitations. The solution is to employ the following 5 steps to look holiday party ready for those more relaxed and casual gatherings. Everyone should have at least 1 version of each of the following in her wardrobe and makeup bag.

1. Bold lipstick

A little lipstick goes a long way. It’s one of the easiest and most universal ways to “dress up” what ever you are wearing. Find a bright, bold color in red tones, orange or pink tones and wear it with aplomb. Because its festive, easy and total mood booster.

2. Festive shoes

Take off the Ugh boots, workout shoes, cleaning the house shoes. Changing them out for something more dressy is an easy and quick solution to looking far more presentable. Everyone should have at least 1 pair of fun or festive statement shoes in her closet wardrobe. Because they act as the pop element to almost any outfit, they can truly polish off your entire look no matter what you are wearing. The statement shoe can elevate jeans, a little black dress or your daytime outfit. Choose a heel that will be comfortable for the entire party or event. Fortunately there are loads of cool, chic shoes available in all heel heights, and prices. Go for it.

3. Luxurious clutch or small handbag.

Break out those clutches ladies! The time is now to bring them out and wear them. Use it not only for a big night out, but also on your next impromptu holiday lunch date. Leave the tote at home and look chic with a festive bag. Choose one that holds just what you need for the occasion.

4. Statement necklace or earrings.

Grab you statement necklace or earrings (or go big and wear both!) to instantly upgrade whatever you are wearing. This trick will work for a conservative office outfit, daytime dressing or even a casual jeans outfit. The less busy your outfit is the better you can tilt it to a party look.

Juxtiposition dressing has been very popular for several years now and I don’t see it falling out of style any time soon. The idea is that you mix 2 items that are complete opposites and wear them together. The key to making this work is wearing an attitude that exudes the confidence, that “yay, these things look great together!” 

5. Chic coat 

Everyone should have a seasonal festive coat or jacket that is suited to creating a chic, festive and special gathering look. This is a perfect example of the power of what’s known as “the 3rd piece” in wardrobe building and styling. The 3rd piece often has the power to tilt a bottom and a top and create a look, mood or vibe that you are wanting to achieve. Leave the casual puffer at home.

If you have more time, cue up each complete outfit in advance. Plan out each detail so you won’t end up with a mediocre outfit or scrambling at the last minute rushing to look good for your party or last minute lunch date. Read this blog post for more details regarding advanced holiday party prep. And check out Vogue’s round up of holiday party style tips here.

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