Fashion Forecast: Put On the Dog and Pamper Yourself Rotten This Holiday Season

By Whitley Adkins Hamlin

Fashion Forecast: Put On the Dog and Pamper Yourself Rotten This Holiday Season

The holidays are near, and in my book, this is a no-holds-barred time of the year when it comes to dressing. Weddings, private parties and fancy fundraisers aside, this is the Lowcountry, which doesn’t give many of us more conservative dressers a ton of room for flair on a day-to-day basis. Something about the holidays grants us an understood permission slip to take a step away from our typically more restrained wardrobe inclination.

The holidays are the perfect time of year to break out of your typical nine dots, get creative with your attire, and “put on the dog,” as my Grandmother would say. While the perfect holiday look centers on what you wear, it’s not just about your clothes, but your entire presentation. This is the time to do it up, from head to toe.

As for me and my dress, no matter the time of year, I love to put my outfit together with a dose of tension. By this, I mean I like to pair things that are not always logical. My motto is “If it doesn’t go together, it definitely goes together!” I understand this ideology is not for everyone, but your own look will be just a little more interesting by doing so. Creating a unique look incorporating personal or distinct pieces can be done on any budget and the holidays are perhaps the easiest time of year to do it.

Sequins, shimmer and shine, red lips, red satin, silver and gold; everything sparkles during the holiday season. It is fun and easy to incorporate any of these elements into your holiday look. One of my favorite outfit combinations for this time of the year is sequins and tartan plaid. Each of these elements possesses a strong personality on its own, but fusing the two spawns a happy explosion for the visual senses. Paired with a tutu or feather skirt, swiss dot tights, sequins or satin, plaid is the perfect pattern to incorporate into your holiday fashion repertoire.

Perhaps your personal style is a little more simple and sleek. Pair a flouncy winter white skirt with a simple black turtleneck, or be daring and wear a menswear inspired tuxedo. Want just a touch of sparkle? There is no better time to break out your Grandmother’s vintage broach, and affix it to your lapel, or simply incorporate sparkle with a sequined pump or embellished headband. These looks couldn’t be easier to replicate, and they’re all screaming to be worn to a holiday party.

When putting together your holiday ensemble, now is not the time to skimp on the details. If you’re at all like me when it comes to makeup, you love the idea of a red lip or fingernail while flipping through the pages of a magazine or perusing Pinterest but are a little hesitant to mimic this bold look yourself. Opt for a rosy cheek, shimmery eye and perhaps even a pair of eyelash falsies to ramp up your glam. The most wonderful time of the year is also the perfect time of year to have fun with femininity.

With more and more family responsibilities, work and other life commitments, many of us do not set aside time for a little self pampering and TLC. I know I always say I will go get a manicure or massage, but maybe once a year, at best, I actually fulfill this well deserved and rejuvenating promise to myself. Blow outs are all the rage right now, and I think getting one might just be the newest perfect form of self pampering. A little curling, a lot of teasing, and voila…Nothing says sexy like big, voluminous hair. Don’t feel like re-channeling your inner ’80s self? For a more demure style, a swanky holiday party is the perfect place to rock a romantic braid. Looking for the perfect agent to feel a part of the ever glam 1970s? Spice up even the simplest party dress by parting pin-straight hair down the middle and wearing a shimmery, lacy headband to a festive event.

Whatever your personal style, the holidays are the perfect time of year to take on your fashion inhibitions, and stylishly live life to the fullest. When you look in the mirror and like what you see on the outside, you automatically feel lovelier on the inside. When you do this, you will exude self confidence, beauty and joy, impacting not just yourself, but everyone around you. Put on the dog this holiday season, and if you think he feels left out, put the dog in tartan and sequins too. Cheers!

About this writer

  • Whitley Adkins Hamlin is a wardrobe stylist specializing in personal, editorial and commercial work, and the author of the fashion blog, the Queen City Style ( The grand daughter and great granddaughter of wardrobe stylists, Whitley has been exposed to, and collected, one of a kind wardrobe pieces since she was a young girl. As a result, Whitley both learned and taught herself the art of cultivating one of a kind looks she passes on to her clients. In her free time, Whitley is an avid runner who loves spending time with her husband and two young boys, cooking and entertaining and redecorating her house until there is nothing left to redecorate (which is never, ha!).

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