Party Dressing: Touchable Textures

‘Tis the season for parties! When you’re planning what to wear, think about this: Texture.

You’re all crowded in the kitchen, someone touches your shoulder as they skootch through to the bar set-up. They say, “Oooohhhh, is that velvet?”

I can’t get enough of velvet right now. The way it catches the light, the soft-stiff play of the fibers when you rub it. The colors are richer, more complicated. And it’s warm, which is critical for east coast winters. I also love to wear it to parties. Festive and touchable.

Layering texture for holiday and party outfits

Layering texture for holiday and party outfits

Suede works, too. As does mohair, silk, leather. Better yet, combine two or more major textures for tactile and visual appeal. Go with a monochromatic approach to texture layering for a more refined look, or splash colors together for high drama.

Rich texture in the same palette gives a luxe look

Rich texture in the same palette gives a luxe look

Enjoy the winter holiday season and be prepared to be popular at the parties!

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The Ugly Christmas Sweater: Real Talk

The Ugly Christmas Sweater parties have reached every corner of everywhere. The sweaters are available at every corner of retail. It’s mainstream, sure, but theme parties are fun, and I have this to say: Go all in.

You can get a moderately Christmas-y, pretty unattractive sweater. You can. You can show up at the party and barely qualify to be there. But you can also go out in the thrift world (specifically, Frugal) and score the big winner. Throw some extra ornaments and battery lights on that sucker and be the damn party.

In-house Frugal creations and their all-in owners

In-house Frugal creations and their all-in owners

At Frugal, we learned a couple of years ago that we couldn’t meet the ugly sweater demand through donations alone, so we started our workshop. We gather Christmas baubles and bits throughout the year and sew and hot glue them all over some of our plain sweaters. They are hilarious and hideous, and they fly out the door.

The Contest Winner. The back lights up.

The Contest Winner. The back lights up.

This party philosophy carries through to any theme party or holiday. You will always have more fun if you go over the top. If you have to dress for any theme or time period, you have to go a couple of steps beyond the authentic dress of the time to qualify as constume-y. Push it. It’s more fun.