I think I’m a bad atheist. I read the God Delusion at the age of 14 and was a steadfast convert (if you’ll pardon the expression.) I’m a woman who loves and trusts science, who refuses to accept beliefs without evidence, who scorns superstition. But goddamnit, I just can’t quit Christmas. I’m a Christmas fanatic; sometimes I find myself fantasizing in July about holiday sweaters and cookie parties. I’ve lovingly curated no less than 8 different Christmas music mixes for whatever occasion, from Ella Fitzgerald to Sufjan Stevens. I refuse to let go of the tradition of going to Frosty Mountain Tree Farm up north in Sebastopol. I insist that my father buys eggnog (in my case, coconut nog) to have ready for fireside sipping on Christmas Eve.
So when it comes to holiday parties: you bet your tuchus I have outfit ideas. Here are three of my most…doable outfit blueprints. I’ll spare you the handmade holly headbands and themed earrings.
1) Sparkle Motion
What’s more festive than sparkles? Answer: nothing, or possibly a complete Santa suit. This vintage top isn’t super comfortable to snuggle anyone while wearing, but damn if it isn’t eye-catching:
These are the kind of earrings that gently bop your cheeks when you turn your head too quickly. They’re a whole lot of fun.
I used to wear high heels. Every. Single. Day. This was back in high school, when I would drive to school, park in the parking lot, then daintily trip my way to class. Ah, teen life in the ‘burbs. Once I tasted a little bit of city life in college, I realized that sprinting to morning class is a lot easier when you’re not hobbled by your shoes.
But once in a while, I want some grown-up glam at the end of my gams, and so:
Pardon my mean-mugging, but wearing sparkles just makes me feel haughty.
2) Red + Gold = CHEER
Watch a couple of holiday party makeup tutorials on Youtube. After a while, they’ll all start to bleed into each other and make you start hallucinating red lipstick and gold eyeshadow. Yes, red and gold are THE colors of the holiday season, and probably will be until the end of time. I have no problem with that. If you know me in real life, you probably already know this outfit very well. It’s my fallback for autumn and winter events: comfy, versatile, and allows me to go hog wild with accessories.
I also bought a pair of the same pants in teal. Hey, when you find pants that don’t need hemming, you STOCK UP. (They’re from Target. No shame here.)
Allow me to show off my golden tassel earrings, like a cat proudly offering up a mutilated mouse.
I can feel the Festivus spirit from here:
I think of these little gold slippers as my “elf shoes.”
3) Tartan Housewife
I’ve already confessed I’m a sucker for plaid; same goes for tartan. I like to address the important issues head-on, so let me interrupt myself to explain to you the difference between plaid and tartan. Tartan is a plaid pattern, but plaid isn’t always tartan: in the same way that a fennec fox is a mammal but mammals aren’t necessarily fennec foxes. Tartan is Scottish in origin, like me, and is made of woven wool that traditionally represents specific familial clans, not so much like me. Plaid can be any old plaid, but tartan? Tartan means something.
With that being said, I have no fucking idea what this tartan means. To me, it means a chance to doll myself up in ’50s housewife drag for a hipster party. Sorry, Scots.
This outfit is part June Cleaver (cardigans and brooches) and part rugged highland maiden. Remember when I said I would spare you from all my holiday-themed earrings? I lied, a little.
What was it that Coco Chanel once said? Something about looking in the mirror before leaving the house and taking off one accessory? Coco and I see eye to eye on many if not most fashion rules, but you can pry my brooches out of my cold, dead, probably pin-pricked hands.
I usually wear these shoes with colored stockings, because bright colors peep through the vinyl mesh in a most sassy way.
So whatever your feelings on ruthlessly organized religion, I hope you can enjoy the (godless) best of what this holiday has to offer. Go to this thing at my favorite Oakland movie theater! Go stare at tap dancing Christmas trees tonight in Jack London! May your December be filled with spiked soy nog, sugar cookies, and screenings of camp classic White Christmas where you eat cookies and drink nog. It’s better with a lot of nog.
There’s not much that can make this dyed-in-the-wool heathen say this, but: God bless us, every one!