Welcome to December! If you're anything like me, you are already watching your calendar fill up, with parties and dinners and all the other festivities that crop up this time of year. As you're organizing your time and money, make sure to set some of both aside to get yourself holiday ready. Here are five things to attend to now, before the frenzy starts, so that you'll be able to relax and enjoy when it does.
Book a haircut. Don't wait until the week of your office holiday party to try and squeeze in a cut; you'll only wind up feeling stressed and rushed -- if you're even able to get an appointment. Block out time now for cut and color, if needed; your hair will look great, and you'll have time to get used to styling it before your big events kick off.
Choose a dress. Get in your closet and do some shopping -- what do you have that you can wear to whatever it is you're going to? Have more than one event this season? Try on lots of options. Take the time now to pick out your clothes now, and you'll be less stressed later when you're trying to get the kids fed and get out the door, or when you have to run from work to dinner. Don't have anything appropriate in your closet? Unclutterer has the scoop on rental dresses. Beter than buying! Pictured: Boden double layer jersey dress, $118.
Road test your shoes. Planning to break out of your comfy flats rut for a night out in heels? Practice first -- the last thing you want is to be crippled at your holiday party. Wear your heels around the house, or out to run errands; practice walking in them, and don't forget to climb some stairs! You never know what you'll wind up doing in those fancy heels. Hello Beautiful has great suggestions for the heel challenged (my favorite: start small).
Examine your foundation garments. Do you have the right bra? Panties? Stockings? A great dress -- or sweater or pair of trousers -- can be ruined by the wrong underthings. Better to know now that you need a new pair of Spanx than to find out on the night of a party. And if you're looking to upgrade what you already own, a great pair of textured tights can do the trick, for under $10. Party ready and budget friendly! Perfect.
Treat yourself to a manicure. It doesn't have to be a fancy salon mani -- a DIY home manicure will still give you a moment of calm and quiet, and leave you with lovely nails. Fashon's Maven has a step-by-step for an easy home mani. Stick with light colors if you're doing your own; if you make a mistake, no one will notice. If you really want dark nails for your party, have a professional do them -- but make an appointment now, rather than just crossing your (unmanicured) fingers and hoping for the best on the day of the party.
Finally, keep in mind that you don't have to get dressed up to have fun at the holidays, but the more prepared you are, the easier it is to get ready to party -- even if you're partying in jeans and a tee. (Just add a great necklace or scarf!) The holidays should be fun; wearing what's in your closet, and knowing that it fits well and looks great takes the stress out of getting ready, and leaves you more energy to enjoy the season.
Susan Wagner writes about pragmatic fashion at The Working Closet and chic suburban living at Friday Playdate. She's been tottering around her house in a pair of peep toe pumps, practicing for the holiday party season. Ouch.
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