Dressing for Christmas was quite different in Europe than in the United States. The biggest difference, you couldn’t buy these seasonal items year round in Germany. This post is about my first encounter with seasonal attire and features great Christmas outfit ideas.
- My first encounter with Christmas clothes
- Sometimes kitschy can be great (again)
- My first Christmas jewelry
- Let the season’s spirit inspire you
- Christmas fashion over 40
- Can you look great in cheap seasonal attire?
- More Christmas outfit ideas for mature women
- Welcome to the 287th Top of the World Style linkup party
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.
My first encounter with Christmas clothes
When I was a visiting graduate student at SUNY Albany, my friend Brita and I browsed downtown thrift stores during one of the New York summer thunderstorms. In one store, I saw a showcase with all kinds of Christmas jewelry. I had never seen Christmas jewelry before. Back then Christmas dressing in Germany was Sunday’s best. I even remembered my late mom once being very upset about my wearing a small Christmas bulb as an earring in high school during the holiday season.
“Who on Earth would wear that?” I mumbled. Brita explained that after Thanksgiving, old women would wear Christmas sweaters, Christmas jewelry, Christmas everything. As a twenty something, I found the idea outrageous.
Sometimes kitschy can be great (again)
However, in my opinion, the jewelry was so kitschy that it was already great again, like a piece of art. It seemed new, and hence, young and hip to me back then. Thus, I bought a tiny gold colored kitschy Christmas-tree brooch with big fake crystals as Christmas balls for $2 (at that time 4 DM). Britta (in her late twenties) was shocked!
My first Christmas jewelry
I wore that kitschy brooch on my coat during the Christmas seasons all during my tenure in graduate school as a joke sort of. Wearing it back then in Germany was so cool as nobody else was wearing something like that. It was sort of a statement piece in a world without Christmas clothes. The brooch lost some crystals, I replaced them and kept wearing the brooch.
When we were packing to move to Alaska, I knew the brooch would no longer be a statement piece. Thus, I gave it to a colleague in East Germany prior to our coming to Alaska. She had adored it whenever I wore it. I bet she still replaces lost crystals today.
Christmas fashion over 40
Now what to wear as an ageless Christmas outfit to not look like a granny? Of course, there are some designer Christmas sweaters that are pieces of art. Not in the sense that they are so kitschy that they become art. They are statement pieces in a world of Christmas sweaters. However, which fashionista on a budget, and most people on Earth are on a budget, can afford them?
No budget fashionista in her best mind would spend a paycheck on a designer item that she can only wear about one or two times a year in a window of a month!
Let the season’s spirit inspire you
When you brainstorm about the holiday, red and green, plaid, black, white, red pop up in your mind. So why not going with the vibe? The photo below gives an example of how to twist this color theme. The look uses cherry red and teal, i.e. colors close to the traditional colors. Nevertheless, it shows the vibe and good intend to go with the spirit.
Another twist is to try slightly off colors like in the example below.
Plaid is a typical pattern for the season as well. Here are some outfit ideas for cute looks that you can easily create by shopping similar pieces from your closet.
Can you look great in cheap seasonal attire?
Cheap Christmas clothes often look like what they are: Cheap. Looking cheap, however, is an aging, not an ageless style. Any midlife women would look like her own mother in cheap Christmas sweaters or whatever. Thus, unless you want to look like the cute funny granny, and there is nothing wrong with doing this for the amusement of the own grand kids, you should avoid them like the plague. In other words, if you like them, wear them at the family party and on weekends, but not at the office or anywhere in public. Just imagine the embarrassment when you run into your boss wearing an ugly Christmas sweater! ^^’
If you want to go for the cute granny look, make sure the look of the item is so genius-kitschy that it is cute again. For example think of the Rudolph sweater with the lighted red nose that Carrie presented at Curly Crafty Mom in her post on ugly Christmas sweaters.
Be aware that such sweaters identify everyone over 12 either as a mother or grandmother!
Teenager won’t wear that mommy stuff. It’s not cool! They go for a Santa Claus bra (under a white shirt of cause so everybody knows 😉 ).
More Christmas outfit ideas for mature women
A couple of years ago, I found in the New Year’s sale a high quality pure silk Christmas scarf for less than $20. I styled a LBD up with this scarf for various Christmas parties. Thus, check the sales in January for marked down high end holiday season accessories or clothes if you are a real Christmas fan.
The following two outfit suggesstions use just two of the holiday colors.
If not, you can still dress with the spirit of the season. Go for a plaid dress (see Example plaid), a plaid skirt or blazer. A black-white hound tooth blazer with a black skirt and red sweater pick up Santa Claus’ colors (see examples Santa’s colors for inspiration).
However, avoid to look like Mrs. Claus 😉 .
A red skirt or pair of pants with a green sweater or vice versa also look very “christmasy” without looking messy (see examples with two holiday colors). What about red and white? Break the old-fashioned rule not to wear white after Labor Day. White after Labor Day is so modern, fashion-forward and perfect for a posh look without holiday clothes.
You even do not need the right green and red. Adjacent colors still will do the trick (see first and second photo in this post, and example with off colors).
Do you like Christmas fashion? Do you think women should wear these clothes over 40? Have you already made your plans what you will wear on the 25th of December? Let me know what you wear. I am curious.
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