First step: identify your personal holiday-dressing persona. Are you all about classic glamour (think Cate Blanchett), trendsetting style (a la Sienna Miller), casual luxe (Kate Hudson, naturally), sexy-chic (like Jessica Alba), or business formal (can you say Condoleeza Rice)? Take our quiz and find out what approach most complements your personal look and lifestyle preferences. Then, hit the stores to find the perfect outfit so you can welcome the festive season in style!
1. My biggest-priority holiday social events typically are
a) Formal dinners and maybe even a fundraising gala, plus cocktail parties
b) Fab parties and dinners at the hottest restaurants
c) Cosy dinner parties at our family cottage, vacation time at a ski resort
d) Cocktail parties and small dinner parties
e) Apres-work office events and industry parties
2. The amount of time I'm willing to invest getting ready for a key holiday event is
a) Pretty generous. I'll get my hair done at the salon, along with a mani-pedi, and spend an hour on my makeup that evening.
b) About one hour for hair and makeup. (Wardrobe selection and styling: that may take me up to a week in advance planning, though!)
c) About 20 minutes: concealer, shimmer cream, mascara, hits of eyeshadow and lipgloss are all I need. Yoga gives me a natural glow, after all! And I'll let my hair do whatever it wants, or else just grab it in a pony.
d) As long as it takes to get every detail right and double-check my face and wardrobe from every angle. That usually means four play-throughs of the CD FutureSex/LoveSounds in its entirety.
e) I'm the expert of office bathroom prep. It'll take me just 10 minutes to brush my teeth, trade my buttondown shirt for a cami, and freshen my makeup.
Page 1 of 3 -- Our fun holiday style quiz continues on page 2
3. I see holiday social events as:
a) A wonderful opportunity to get dressed up and enjoy fine conversation and food with adults (and maybe an extremely well-behaved child or two) in a festively formal setting.
b) A fun time to get together with friends and stay out late merrymaking!
c) A beautiful time to enjoy the season with close friends and beloved family members, with an emphasis on slowing down and relaxing.
d) Getting out there and hitting the party circuit during the most festive and dressiest time of the year (and, truth be told, wowing people with the fruits of my workout regimen!).
e) A series of great opportunities to log festive face time with business associates and make new contacts in a friendlier, less 9-to-5 setting. Food, drink, and shoptalk: what could be better?
4. My personal wardrobe-building philosophy is
a) You can't go wrong investing in designer labels and quality worksmanship, not matter what the cost. Avoid the trends and pay more for pieces that will last 10 years – or more.
b) It's fun to spend time experimenting and pulling together a look that's uniquely your own, and quality vintage pieces plus inexpensive trend items achieve that nicely.
c) Comfort is luxury, so investing in pieces that flatter the body through draping and flowing (as opposed to nipping and supporting) are always a smart approach. Designer brands take the care to ensure the look is chic, not schleppy.
d) You should flaunt your assets, so anything fitted, lower-cut or short fits the bill nicely, in a mix of classic and trendy pieces.
e) High-end suits are an investment in your career. Impeccable tailoring shows a woman is inside that suit, while prestige scarves, shoes and purses show you've arrived.
5. My celeb style icons include
a) Cate Blanchett, Charlize Theron, Sonja Smits
b) Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, Mila Jovovich
c) Kate Hudson & Goldie Hawn (like mother, like daughter!), Rachel McAdams
d) Jessica Alba, Giselle Bundchen, Jennifer Hudson
e) Condoleeza Rice, Angelina Jolie, Michaëlle Jean
6. My personal style mantra is
a) Good taste is timeless.
b) Stay ahead of the curve.
c) Mix comfort and style – fabulously!
d) Turn heads wherever you go.
e) A beautifully tailored suit and killer heels will get you through anything.
Page 2 of 3 -- Find out how you score on page 3!Find your style
Tally up the number of As, Bs, Cs, Ds and Es you chose and read the holiday shopping tips for your type.
If you chose mostly As, your style is Classic Glamour
You're driven by ideas of timeless femininity and good taste. You're not interested in what the "hot thing" today is: you know what looks beautiful on you and you're shopping for keeps. Build your holiday wardrobe around a long, body-skimming gown by Ralph Lauren, known for his sophisticated, ageless glamour. On a budget, hit a J Crew outlet in the U.S.
If you chose mostly Bs, your style is Trendsetting
You love what's new, but with a caveat: it can't be what everyone else is wearing. You're an early adopter and by the time the others have caught up, you've found a new look. We don't need to tell you where to shop, although this might be the time to invest in some estate jewelry for extra oomph for your dress-up occasions. Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection has some beautiful finds, or hit some estate sales yourself!
If you chose mostly Cs, your style is Casual Luxe
You're right: if you've got natural beauty and uncontrived style, you're already ahead of the game. For gals who like to take it easy, the holidays may be just as likely to include a pair of jeans with a flowy tunic by T-Bags (worn with Uggs at the ski lodge, of course), as a billowy gown by Dior by John Galliano. Okay, so you don't have Kate Hudson's wardrobe budget: hit your local Little India to buy a beautiful sari, instead.
If you chose mostly Ds, your style is Sexy Chic
You want a glamour-filled holiday season, and who can blame you? With a hectic schedule of romantic nights and photo-op-filled party-hopping to attend to, you need body-flaunting dresses to paint the town red in. Minis are back in, so if you've got what they take, flaunt it! Looking to splurge? Go for Roberto Cavalli. Or save? Roberto Cavalli for H&M, naturally.
If you chose mostly Es, your style is Business Formal
For you, work and play intermingle, so looking your best after hours usually means adapting what you were wearing during work hours, too. For a holiday luncheon, pair your skirt suits with a soft Holt Renfrew private label cashmere sweater and Hermès scarf, and for nights, bring power dressing to a new level with a sleek black Hugo Boss pantsuit. Belt it over the jacket and wear a racy silk charmeuse shirt underneath for a bit of edge. (Need to save? Try Femme de Carriere for work/holiday attire at a lower, but still corporate price point.)
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