Last year, I got invited to a super fancy Christmas party at one of my boyfriend's college fraternity brother's houses. Actually, it wasn't at his house, but inside a big barn on his property, for which he had moved around his car collection to insert a moving bar in the center of the room. Some of the collectible autos were along the walls, and at least one was hanging from the ceiling! A photo op dream!
Most of the holiday parties I am invited to, and there are not many, involve parents of my children's friends, and often we are hosting informal "game nights," so when the invitation to the fancy shebang came up, I wasn't sure how to dress. Should I be funkacular, or just festive?
Digging through the closet, my eye caught on a fire engine red dress that my sister had bought that summer for me at a thrift shop (which fit perfectly!) - perfect color! Paired with a black wrap, it was a canvas waiting to be painted. The party host had actually rented not a photo booth, but a professional photographer, along with props, so that guests could take home souvenir pictures of themselves and friends. My new friend, Christine, and I had a ball with feather boas and glittery eyeglasses.
This year's party is tomorrow, and I can't get away with wearing that same dress, so I started thinking about what statement accessories I can pair with an outfit. To me, the side pieces are the most important item - jewelry, scarves, and especially, a funky pair of tights or leggings. The reason I emphasize "statement" is that so often, people don't know each other at large gatherings, and wearing a standout piece of fashion is the perfect conversation starter; I have met so many new friends this way!
Anyhoo, I decided to put together a little collection of pieces that are currently for sale on Psychotic Leopard - newly listed, due to the winter season, which virtually guarantee a compliment from a stranger. See if any appeal to you, or hope that they may inspire you to raid some things in your closet that you might not have previously considered wearing out to a formal event!
Flying Tomato maxi sweater
This light maxi sweater, in tribal / ethnic / Aztec / Mayan / Native American style design is perfect to wear over a formal black mini dress, or any casual neutral color, as well as something bold. Its southwestern flair is timeless, and always in style. Wear with pants or a short solid colored mini skirt, but go light on the jewelry, as the bold lines here are all you need for the statement.
Buckle down vintage Jeep belt
Ahhhh, who can't resist a good belt? While maybe not as versatile as some of the other pieces, this accessory is sure to get noticed. This vintage Jeep belt buckle and paint drip design is made in the United States by Buckle Down designs, and is super durable, made of actual seat belt material, as well as fully adjustable. Wear with jeans or dark pants, and don't let anyone borrow this one - you won't get it back!
Sunshine wool beret cap
Since the age of fourteen, I've had a soft spot for wool berets. I used to buy them on the streets of Greenwich Village in New York City on many winter weekends, and felt so exotic with the hint of French couture tilted on my adolescent head. This wool cap stands out for its supercool sunshine design. Perfect for winter solstice, or any event you want to brighten up!
Gap rainbow scarf
Reminiscent of my Lisa Frank sticker fan self, anything with rainbow designs is a draw. This classic fringed scarf by Gap, with it's gray and neutral hues mixed with bold bright greens, blues, and oranges, is perfect for grown-ups, men or women! All wool, this timeless piece is another one that brightens up any room. It is thin enough to be worn indoors as well as out!
Paul Smith Accessories gloves
I love these shaggy "monster" gloves so much that I would even wear them indoors! Made in England by Paul Smith of black textured wool, they are gift quality, and would be perfect for not only Lady Gaga fans, but anyone who likes a cutesy macabre look. Betcha you won't see many people out there with these, and I can almost guaranteed that ANY TEEN - especially mine - would love to find these under the Christmas tree.
The Psychotic Leopard shop is constantly getting new items in, and so inventory is fresh and ready for this and next season. Keep your eyes out for more funktacular statement pieces to wear to welcome in the new year!
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- Tags: Accessories, Christmas Apparel, Colorful, Conversation Starters, Fashion, Festive Wear, Holiday Party, New Year's Apparel, Statement Pieces, What to Wear, Winter Fun, Winter Solstice