At this time of year we all have extra styling pressures as demands on us to dress up and look our best send many into a complete tail spin, particularly for those on a budget and we hear over and over again "Please solve my special occasion styling dilemma."
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are in the world the holiday season puts pressure on everyone. The truth is money is tighter than ever before even for professional women and you would have to be living in a vacuum not to know the planet is in trouble from the over consumption of stuff so shopping pre loved designer brands is definitely the way to go for something you are probably only going to wear once.
If the dress code is smart, smart casual, cocktail attire or even black tie, the goal for us is you looking and feeling Hollywood Red Carpet ready without blowing your entire holiday budget on one piece for one day.
We know many of you just cannot go there, shopping secondhand, preferring the shopping experience you get when you pay full retail, and sometimes of course you do have to if you are time poor and in search of something very specific.
However we NEVER purchase these special occasion clothes new, even for celebrities. We shop designer brands secondhand because you can ALWAYS find what you need for special occasion styling preloved in mint condition. If you need anymore convincing go to the wardrobe and get all the worn once most expensive stuff out on the bed.
Your objective when styling is to show the woman, you, not an over done over powering outfit, less is more even for the holidays so having the best quality foundation garments on before you start is key and we all know who makes the best black leggings; (and who wouldn't love the perfect black leggings in their stocking?) With your base in place anyone can do our easy as one, two, three, styling to create a classic sophisticated modern Red Carpet Ready look with a twist.
HOLIDAY STYLING STAPLES TO INVEST IN
1. The Dinner Jacket
If you don’t own an incredible well fitting black dinner jacket you need one. A DJ will take your black basic foundation to a whole new level in an instant when the dress code is cocktail but you want to be quick and comfortable. A dinner jacket like a dinner suit for a man is a staple you have for life so choose one that fits like a glove and as usual we’d always recommend going for the best luxury designer brand you can afford secondhand. Key special occasion pieces like preloved dinner jackets are easy to find as like all of us, people buy them for one event and then never wear them again. Choose your luxury black staples wisely and you’ll find your secondhand designer dinner jacket extremely versatile styled with jeans or even a casual shirt dress long after the party’s over.
Shop pre loved and secondhand dinner jackets women, Balmain, Alice Temperley, Paul Smith, Bruce Oldfield click here.
2. Statement Jewellery
Six people you will always encounter on the red carpet, Harry Winston, Van Clef and Arpels, Boodles, Bvlgari, David Yurman and Tiffany. Fine jewellery and glamour go hand in hand so when you want to really sparkle the bigger the baubles the better.
Of course it's only the very rich who own 10 plus carat diamonds for real. So when its comes to faking it and still keeping everyone guessing it's about two things, what you pick and how you style it. Once again getting the look right is mostly about your skill and has little to do with cost.
Our advice would be to steer clear completely of Fashion Jewellery, the stuff you find on the checkouts of high street fashion chains, it's usually so cheap and mass produced, gives itself away even on top bloggers and models and or drops to bits mid wear, it's a false economy.
When Gabrielle Chanel coined the phrase Costume Jewellery in the 1920s, there was nothing in the middle for her customers, ordinary working women. Her friend Etienne De Beaumont started making pieces for her to offer more affordable jewellery to compliment a particular outfit. Women wanted to emulate the aristocracy at the time but fine jewellery; created from precious metals and gem stones to make an individual statement was out of reach. She sold the new "Costume Jewellery" made with the same skilled craftsman techniques as fine jewellery but using less expensive raw materials as accessories in her salon, at the time something completely new.
It is this concept of choosing statement jewellery with the specific intention to lift an individual outfit that we adhere to when styling. Heirloom jewellery is beautiful if you are lucky enough to own some and many people choose to wear jewellery for other sentimental reasons, a reminder of a loved one but on the Red Carpet when it's all about the complete look the A listers usually choose one statement piece to compliment a particular outfit and most often borrow don't buy. (they'll only wear once)
Of course mere mortals like us don't have the luxury of strolling down Rodeo Drive and popping in to Bvlgari for a favour but with a good eye and loads of confidence you can pick up a good quality piece of costume jewellery preloved and completely rock your outfit without remortgaging your house to do it.
3. Blingy Accessories
We cannot stress enough investing in evening bags, or glamourous evening shoes you think you'll wear a lot (because you absolutely love them when you are in the shop) you won't. There are two things to think about here, over the top shoes and bags with lots of adornment are widely available in like new condition and if you cannot find what you are looking for ask your friends for a peek at their expensive worn once special occasion stuff.
Plain black simple stylish clothes are very easy to lift with a well chosen pair of shoes or lovely bag, and nothing says evening and glamour louder than jewels, the bigger the better. If you love shopping high end designer brands, evening bags lose their value faster than bags for every day, another reason to shop luxury secondhand or preloved. Thrift stores, antique shops, junk shops, charity shops, yard sales and car boots are great resources for beautiful evening bags (and costume jewellery) from way back when, if you have a little time to search for that piece with a good story, your style, joie de vivre and creative thinking will be the major talking point at the party.
AND LASTLY THREE CHRISTMAS STYLING MISTAKES TO AVOID LIKE THE CHRISTMAS JUMPER
1. Scarves wrapped around for decoration (as opposed to warmth) serve more to add bulk and tend to make you look fatter than you are even when you're slim. If you are trying to hide a bad neck choose a round neck T instead.
2. Dangly Christmas tree or other holiday paraphernalia earrings will make you look childish (not fun) and long boho style necklaces which unless you are very young will make you look dated
3. The Bum Bag (Fanny Pack) and The Santa Hat, especially if it's got sparkle or glitter
Good luck, please tag us in when you post on social media we love to see your work and anything photographed from the style studio can be purchased in our on line store. Please click images to shop Rescue Boutique.