Monday Muse

Monday Muse: Redefine the Holidays, Starting with Your Clothes

Fashion is often associated with frivolity, and holiday festivities can be similarly considered silly and wasteful. Though the hyper-consumerism found in both is certainly questionable, the act of caring about the way you present yourself to the world along with the need to sit back, relax, and celebrate that world once in a while seems like an entirely worthy pursuit to me. To consider either of these things trivial is to be missing out on two wonderful outlets for self-expression and exploration. But that doesn’t mean they can’t wear on you after a while. So if, like me, you find yourself occasionally dreading all the dress-up days, the crowds, the fuller bellies, etc. that the tinsel trifecta (Nov-Dec-Jan) is known for, it might help to alter your perspective a bit, change a simple habit like what you wear or where you go—to redefine the coming months for yourself. Though mindset is key, visual representations of change are always helpful in jumpstarting inner transformations. With that said, here’s how I’d like to be sartorially switching it up this year, in an effort to get excited about what feels like the same-old same-old.

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Amidst the excess of black clothing in my closet is an abundance of sparkle that might be unexpected upon first meeting me and giving my style the once-over. Perhaps it’s just my inner magpie, but since I began shopping for myself way back when, I’ve always gravitated towards shimmery pieces that were slightly off. I’m not talking tight sequined mini skirts from fast-fashion chains, or even a wildly glittery clutch. Rather, I’m drawn to oversized embellished tees that an older woman in Florida donated to Goodwill, or a so-ugly-it’s-not faded sequin dress that was made in the seventies and has been all over the map since. They’re not sexy by any conventional means, but I like how they add interesting texture and something more unique to my usually monotone looks.

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Though I always pair these pieces with fairly drab garb to tone them down, not everyone agrees with my choices—in fact, a friend recently referred to a sparkly secondhand top I was wearing as “my wizard costume.” Most shimmery clothing, after all, has been relegated to holiday dressing only, given its annual fifteen minutes of fame between Christmas and New Years when sequins are so prevalent it can hurt the eyes. The result of this, for me, is a need to limit the sparkle that I turn to so frequently during the rest of the year, and find other ways to dress in line with the holidays, albeit a little off the mainstream mark.

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I’m not a huge jewelry person. I’ve had the occasional favorite ring, bracelet, or watch, but they usually end up broken or lost with very little effort made to replace them. However, lately I’m into the idea of streamlined and subtle jewelry peaking out in all the right places to offset the blank slates of my white, black, navy, and grey-heavy clothing. This recent Vogue Korea spread (photos throughout the post) seems to be working with a similar idea, but one that’s perhaps more creative and stand-out for the slew of holiday activities coming up. Their solution? Hair accessories of the not-too-flashy-but-just-flashy-enough variety. Suddenly I’m itching to replace minimalist jewels with a string of Christmas lights through the hair, or an acorn embellished headpiece that looks like it was pulled straight from the wreath. Easier said than done, but as someone who never gets crafty, it can’t hurt to add that to my mixing-it-up-for-the-holidays mix.

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On paper, christmas-light accessories and headgear pulled from a wreath might read like the dowdy outfits of that holiday-obsessed substitute teacher from your youth, but in practice—when coupled with bare make-up, lightly tousled hair, and outfits that are eye-catching in their simplicity—they look pretty damn cool. Rather than settling on the usual celebration standbys this year, I suggest trying something new, something a bit off, but still not wanting in allure.

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Photographs: Arizona Muse photographed by Will Davidson for Vogue Korea December 2013

Feel free to share your own suggestions for changing it up during the holidays, be it re: your interior or your exterior, in the comments!

1 reply »

  1. I like the christmas lights hair-do :-) As for me, I also am attracted to shimmery things, but more in bracelets or earrings than actual clothes because I always feel like it makes me look fat or awkward and get back to something more classic. Also, here in winter, it gets hard to be classy since it´s fucking cold and you need to put a sweater and a winter coat and a hat or something, which makes hair accessoriezes (or whatever is it spelled) kindda…impossible. For some reason, in winter, I wear all boring black ordinary – but nevertheless useful! – clothes, whether in spring, I like everything colourful and bright. As for summer, I´m usually travelling in “3-t-shirts-2-pants” backpackstyle, so I totally lack any kind of fashion and usually spnd autumn recovering of it… :-) Anyway, how do you make the christams-hair-lights light up while wearing them?

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