4725mag's daily fashion essentials: experiments in dressing for the holidays

It's five days until Christmas. Where did this year go? This past week, it's been a full agenda of having a good time - a work party, a blogger brunch and the Christmas equivalent of Friendsgiving dinner with a bunch of pals.

On this rainy Oakland Sunday, I'm taking it upon myself to keep warm and dry by sharing my favorite outfit of the past week of party with you. Just you.

I've tried on a million, ok a couple of hundred, combinations of sequined, faux furred and be-glittered items from my closet, but this is the one that just felt the most right. The most festive without straight up draping myself in baubles and also the most luxe. With layers of gorgeous texture and a little polyester thrown in for good measure. 

Feline fine, rawr.

So this ensemble is truly built around this sweater. Doing my feel-good bit for charity this holiday season, I invested in this cashmere sweater (yep, this is an investment piece I've worn a massive one time) by Charlotte Olympia and Karen Elson. A hearty chunk of the price of this sweater is donated to Save The Children, a charity from my native Britain. So in purchasing this you can look good and feel good.

You think I'd want to keep it simple and let this puppy, or should I say kitten, shine. But I felt like because it can hold it's own so perfectly, I could have even more fun with what I paired it with.

So firstly jewelry. Lots of jewelry. Playing with both matte and shiny golds, minimal and more overtly glam styles, faux emeralds and textured spikes, I played off the gold accent in the sweater by dousing my fingers and ears in even more gold.

I went with an assortment of pieces, some I've had for a long time and some more recent purchases. I picked up the hand crafted, muted gold, stackable rings shown above center from Kitkitdizzi in Nevada City, CA. and these circular earrings below, from OAK + FORT, were purchased over my cyber week/weekend shopping binge and are still available.

So what do you pair masses of jewelry and an emerald green cashmere, gold sequined sweater with? You layer a vintage plaid shirt - that for the record, cost $1 from the San Pablo flea market - underneath it, obviously. And then tuck both of them into a leather skirt.

Mine is from Banana Republic, bought earlier this year but I've linked you a bunch of currently available options - that have NYE written all over them - above.

Ok. Now we need a bag. But not just any old bag - something with a personality all of its own that can hang with Bruce the cheetah that's adorning my chest. Cue this Yves Saint Laurent clutch.

I scored this at the Yves Saint Laurent outlet outside of Florence (yep, the one in Italy) 11 years ago, and I dust it off both when I want to make a statement and when I just need a neutral clutch. It can be the star of the show and it can sit back and not selfishly compete with an overall look. It works for a bunch of different occasions and that night was one of them.

Sooooo, now I've just got to put some shoes on and I'm good to go.  But I'm at fork in the road - do I grab my black Chelsea boots and call it a day? Or, do I play with the element of sparkle I have going on up top and balance it out with some sparkle my tootsies can call their own?

Um, clearly, I'm going with the latter.

These party boots from ASOS in a cool silver feel like the perfect, plussed up version of a neutral this outfit needs to top it off a treat. As a whole, I love the clashing colors and textures of this experiment in dressing. It should feel like a big pile of wrong, however, it just feels so right.

The moral of this story? Pattern mix, texture mix and embrace accessories. You'll wade through a few hot messes, but when you get the balance just right, you've struck personal style gold. And, NO ONE at the party will be wearing the same thing as you. Guaranteed.

Now, go party safe and party stylishly, see you in 2016. Warm and happy holiday wishes,


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