Steer Clear of These Holiday Fashion Gaffes

We're not saying you don't know your sartorial stuff, but it's all too easy to get frazzled during the holidays and end up in something you wouldn't put together with a cooler head. What with RSVPs, special dates, weekend getaways, gift buying, and your regular work schedule to contend with, it's not always easy to keep it together. Think of this short list as a simple reminder of easy fashion faux pas to avoid as you're busy basting the turkey, cleaning house, and trying to choose an outfit all at the same time.

Don't take it literally

Avoid kitschy color combinations like green and red, Santa Claus pins, and reindeer-themed jewelry. We know you only wore those earrings to the family holiday party because Aunt Sally made them especially for you, just don't forget to take them off on your way to your beau's holiday office party. Got an "ugly sweater party" to attend? This isn't necessarily a reason to make yourself totally ridiculous. Stick to one over-the-top accessory or clothing choice and keep your commitment to chic style in the mix. You never know who you'll meet at one of those things, after all.

Don't overdo the shine

Okay, you've got sequined leggings, glitter platform heels, a metallic-thread tank, and your favorite statement necklace out on the bed for review. Which do you choose? The answer is: only one (maybe two). Yes, we all know the rule of keeping balance in your look, but some of us tend to go overboard at holiday time as we're excited to bust out seldom-worn pieces. If you must wear all of these, make time for more parties!

Don't overcomplicate the look

This goes hand in hand with the previous tip, but it merits its own reminder. When you're short on time, the easiest thing is to pull out one of your favorite dresses, put on a statement necklace, and be done with it. Separates show off savvy style skills, but can also spell "danger zone" for the sometimes needed quick dash out the door. Give yourself permission to keep it simple when an unexpected time crunch hits. If you're simply a separates type of girl, no need to waste precious gift money buying frocks. Read our next tip instead.

Don't wait until the last second to pick a look

Lay out your invites and RSVPs on the kitchen table and plan accordingly. If you don't mind writing directly on invites, go ahead and jot down what you expect to wear, or at least a fail-safe look in case you run out of time to plan on the day of the event. Even if it sounds like work, it can be fun. Think of yourself as your own personal stylist. Take a look at holiday style slideshows and magazine features to get inspired to create the "perfect" look to go with each gathering. Or better yet, invite your besties over for cocktails and have a pre-holiday fashion show to let them help you decide.

Know your legwear faux pas

These days it seems like virtually anything goes when it comes to covering up your gams. So here are a couple of things you'll want to avoid in that department during the holidays. Pantyhose are your mother's and grandmother's hosiery. Don't wear them. Instead, go for tights in black or navy. If you like to take risks, pair a patterned tight with a simple skirt or dress. Basic cotton leggings are just too casual for 99.9% of your holiday-themed get togethers, so take those out of the equation. Leather or faux leather leggings, however, are totally cool. Always watch out for the dreaded VPL or camel toe. No matter how much you love them, if a pair of pants don't fit, they need to be left in the closet. Bare legs are completely okay, so long as your fete is indoors.

Pick one: hair, makeup or outfit

Just what can you glam up during this festive time? A good rule of thumb is either your hair, your makeup, or your outfit. Whichever you choose, keep the rest simple and chic. 

Don't come to the party over- or under-dressed

This is easily avoided. If you're at all unsure about what the required attire listed on the invite means, call the host and ask for specifics. It's better to be unsure in private rather than in public, after you've arrived. If the invite doesn't list attire, don't make assumptions about what the party atmosphere calls for. Call up the host and ask. If she's vague, then go with an essentially casual look dressed up with accessories and heeled booties. 

Behave as chic as you look

There are ways to ruin an outfit that have nothing to do with how it's put together. A bad attitude, too many drinks that cause sloppy behavior, and acting like an ungracious guest will leave those you encounter with a sour taste in their mouths. So remember to be kind, be courteous, and don't give in to reactive behavior from anyone who's showing signs of bad behavior themselves. Sip your cocktails slowly and your conversations will be much better — and much more memorable. So will your look.