This holiday season, avoid a case of the dreaded what-do-I-wear syndrome, and strategically plan an outfit for every occasion on your calendar. Planning ahead not only helps you dress appropriately, stylishly, and holiday-ready but allows you to be more present and enjoy this season with loved ones and friends.
Ahead, POPSUGAR assistant editor Kelsey Garcia shows us how she's dressing for the moments that matter most this season, revealing how putting thought into her outfits helps her embrace the holiday spirit with confidence and enthusiasm. From exchanging gifts with friends to attending the annual office party, here's how the right wardrobe choice makes each occasion more festive and fun — not to mention Instagram-worthy!
"Whatever feels right and like yourself is what you should wear this holiday season," Kelsey says. "If that's a sequin dress or cool printed pants or a cozy teddy bear coat, then go for it! There's enough pressure out there that people deal with on a daily basis, and the holidays should be a time for you to celebrate yourself and feel good." Amen to that!
Keeping it casual yet stylish, Kelsey loves this look for a day out in the city, complete with ice skating, shopping, and hot chocolate. "This outfit is great for a day of ice skating, because it's comfortable enough to move around in but thankfully warm enough so that I won't be freezing my butt off out on the ice," she says. "I can move around the city quickly while also looking cute and put-together."
This look proves that warmth and style aren't mutually exclusive. "The sweater is so soft and surprisingly warm, while the lilac color definitely makes it feel trendy," Kelsey says. Throwing a cute hat on is another sneaky way to add a layer of protection without sacrificing taste. "This newsboy cap really pulls the outfit together nicely and adds an unexpected element," Kelsey says. "I love that this outfit makes me feel like I'm not trying too hard, which can sometimes be a difficult balance to strike!"
Viewing the holidays as a much-needed break from the norm, Kelsey uses them to expand her style and temporarily hang up her go-to uniform of jeans and a tee. "I think I spend so much of my year dressing for work that the holidays really allow me to dedicate a little more time to a festive look that's certainly more glamorous than the same black sweater I wear to work at least once a week — sorry, not sorry," Kelsey says. "It's good to get out of your wardrobe rut!"
This refreshing, elevated look checks all of Kelsey's boxes. "I really, really love this look. It's dressed up and definitely makes a statement, but it's also deceptively comfortable and cozy," she says. "This outfit is ideal for a holiday office party, because it's professional and appropriate, yet it still shows off my style. With so many different elements, I like that it doesn't feel very one-note." When you feel confident and sexy, you can walk into any party room and own it.
"Dressing up for the holidays is always a fun event in and of itself," Kelsey says. "I love taking my time getting ready before a holiday party or gift exchange with friends. It's always a great opportunity to stop and reflect on the previous year . . . while wearing a really cute outfit." Gift exchanges call for one-upping your everyday style with a festive flair and a dash of the unexpected. For Kelsey, that means classic yet bold.
"I feel modern and put-together when I'm wearing an outfit that's aligned with my everyday style, but a bit more daring," Kelsey says. "It's casual but still cute enough where I'd hopefully get a few compliments from friends." Her favorite piece? The irresistible teddy jacket. "I like how the fit of the jacket is slightly more masculine, but the fabric feels very current and trendy," she says. "The print on the pants is also a pretty dope detail."
The holidays only happen once a year, so take advantage of it — i.e. don't be shy about layering on the sparkles and dusting yourself in glitter. "When dressing up for the holidays, I like wearing something a little more glitzy and feminine than what I might normally wear," Kelsey says. "I especially like flirty jumpsuits and rompers paired with tights and a jacket. I think the holidays are also a great time to wear something classic with really fun accessories that stand out."
Metallic is a no-fail option this time of year, and in the form of a romper, you'll fit right in at any soirée. "Is there really a better place to wear this glamorous number than to a holiday cocktail party? It's just so fun and event-ready," Kelsey says. "The pattern gives it a cool '70s feel, which is really trendy right now, and I liked dressing it down a little with my trusty leather jacket." Kelsey's final conclusion? "I love an outfit that makes me feel ready to party!"