Holiday party glam on the go

With November comes holiday parties and programs as well as the test of your super ninja-mom scheduling skills. If you are like me, changing in the front seat of your car before heading into yet another event is not an odd occurrence.

So how can you successfully transition from a work function to a social outing without a rolling rack in tow? The key is mixing and matching pieces that seem simple but provide totally different looks when paired together.

The clothes

How often does that tired suit skirt do anything but sit behind a desk? It is time to make that piece pull a double shift by adding pattern during the day and blending it into a monochrome look for night.

Leopard is definitely the king of the fashion jungle this season, and it isn’t just for the catwalk. This short sleeve sweater (upper corner) is still conservative in the cut but bold in pattern. I paired it with a cream suit skirt for daytime meetings, adding black slip-on mules with closed toes to keep it formal but don’t scream WORK! when I keep them on in the evening.

For nighttime, add a top with texture like silk, velvet or lace to create interest. If you wear one color on both top and bottom it gives the illusion that you are wearing a completely different outfit, even if all you did was take off your top layer. I found a vintage slip in a similar color at a thrift shop to pair with this Ann Taylor skirt (right), creating a winter white ensemble that will stand out in a sea of basic black (and I call this my “kid-free” look because…white).

Want to go casual yet classy in the evening? Bring slim denim to pair with that leopard sweater and add a few bracelets to coordinate with your earrings.

The extras

A statement necklace and the same basic earrings you wore to work take your top half to the next level at night. I love big, bold pearls—go with off-white as opposed to true white to make them look more luxe.

How about hair and makeup? I asked my stylist at Mario Tricoci about the hottest trends in formal hair, and she immediately said braids and buns.

An easy option is to put your hair in a ponytail and braid it, then wrap the braid around the base of the pony and secure with pins.

One tip that works for all hair lengths and textures is to add a vintage clip. Part hair to the side and sweep the smaller portion back with a blingy bauble over your ear.

In terms of product, texturizing sprays are multi-taskers so that means fewer things to carry in your purse—they are a combo of dry shampoo + hairspray and can add wave (my fave is Oribe).

This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue of Chicago Parent. Read the rest of the issue.

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