Dressing for the Holidays

HOLIDAY STYLE TWO WAYS WITH TALBOTS

I’m short on words these days and long on to-do lists. We’re already racing our way into December and I’m finding my schedule filled nearly every day. Which is why it’s helpful to have a few festive pieces on hand that can be styled more than one way. A cardigan that works buttoned up as a fun little shift dress, or unbuttoned as a casual outfit topper fits the bill. Finish with a peppering of plaid and you’re good to go. Luckily Talbots has lots of pieces right now that feel holiday-ready yet still classic enough to easily mix and match with the things already in my closet.

Now if only I could be in two places at once I could maybe keep up with all the things on my agenda…

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P.S. This cardigan looks like it’s sold out right now but I’ve seen some stock come back in stock so keep an eye out! And if not, this one is another great option – I love the pearl buttons!

Thanks to my friends at Talbots

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THE PERFECT PUMPS WITH SARAH FLINT

I rarely subscribe to the idea of hitting certain milestones by certain ages, but I do feel fairly strongly about the fact that by the time you’re in your 30s you should have a few specific items in your closet that are fail proof. A really nice blazer. A pair of jeans you feel great in. And the perfect black pumps that don’t hurt your feet.

My closet was, until now, lacking the latter. When NYC-brand Sarah Flint asked me to sign on to be a brand ambassador I jumped at the chance. I’m long admired the female founder’s mission of wanting to create high quality, timeless shoes that are *actually* comfortable. All of the shoes are handmade in Italy and has a legion of devoted fans that include Cindy Crawford, Meghan Markle and Amal Clooney.

I chose the ‘Perfect Pump 85’ in black suede because I knew they’d go with anything and everything and stay in my closet for years to come. And the comfort factor? Truly next level. I feel like it absorbed the shock of the concrete sidewalks and actually had arch support that nestled all the way up to my high arches – which has never once happened in a pair of heels for me.

Right now – you can use code SARAHFLINT-BASTEELE to get $50 off 1 pair, $100 off 2 pairs, $150 off 3 pairs or $200 off 4 pairs during their Black Friday sale. And even after that passes, my code will get first time shoppers $50 off a pair. The perfect pairs are waiting.

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APRÉS SKI SWEATERS

I love an ‘Aprés Ski’ style sweater this time of year – from something that literally spells it out to more classic fair isle or fun novelty knits like the snowflake one I’m wearing here. They feel like December to me. Here – a few of my favorites that would make a great gift or just something cozy for yourself now that it’s cold.

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HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: 10 CASUAL & FESTIVE OUTFIT IDEAS

If we’re being honest – I’m still coming to terms with the fact that this holiday season will have more occasion for leggings and far less for sequins. So in an effort to balance being comfortable and cozy at home but also still feeling a bit festive, I came up with 10 outfit ideas that will be perfect for the season ahead. Lots of relaxed denim, cozy sweaters and simple styling. Hopefully this inspires you to find a new piece or two that will make the holidays feel special or wear something you already own in a new way. The full IGTV video is here and all outfit details are below.

I’m not a leggings person at all but this pair is a 10/10. Super high waisted, totally opaque and they don’t stretch out throughout the day. Pair with sequins and slippers or a cute ski sweater and comfy boots.

LOOK 1 (Above Left):

LOOK 2 (Above Right):

This headband and velvet hair bow get a lot of wear whether I’m staying home or out and about. Pair with extra plaid or a chic, metallic vest.

LOOK 3 (Above Left):

LOOK 4 (Above Right):

This black crewneck is a great base layer. Pair with a mini skirt and tights or with lace trousers and a leopard scarf.

LOOK 5 (Above Left):

LOOK 6 (Above Right):

A pop of plaid always works – whether tossed on over a velvet tank or as a finishing touch with a bright sweater dress.

LOOK 7 (Above Left):

LOOK 8 (Above Right):

Navy and red is a favorite combo this time of year – and again, clearly, plaid. A cotton turtleneck paired with a plaid button down or a classic pajama set with a cute headband.

LOOK 9 (Above Left):

LOOK 10 (Above Right):

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SIMPLE JOYS THIS SEASON

From the general consensus that I’ve gathered on the internet – a lot of us are struggling right now. We’re tired from the election/news cycle, we’re missing our family and friends, we feel daunted by the thought of renewed Covid-19 restrictions (my dear friend in Minnesota just went into full lockdown again in their town), we’re sad that the holidays won’t look like normal this year. I get it. And I feel all of it too.

My family just made the tough decision not to gather for Thanksgiving this year – a first for us all aside from the year that Adam and I were in LA. My brother in law traveled recently so he needs to quarantine, my niece and nephew are still in daycare, Adam still works in the office – so even to have just my immediate family together (3 different households) would put my parents at risk who are in regular contact out of necessity with my two grandparents, both in their 90s. A meal together just didn’t feel worth the risk.

Which means Adam and I will celebrate here in the city for the first time. Since I wasn’t about to attempt to cook a full turkey dinner in our small kitchen, we ordered a multi-course meal from a favorite local restaurant (Friend of A Farmer) to-go. It feels like a great way to support a local business and also get something that still feels special. In a situation that felt like sort of a bummer, I’m now really looking forward to a small, quiet holiday – just the two of us.

It’s that approach of focusing on simple joys that I’m trying to take to heart for the whole rest of this uncertain season. I’m talking Little Women-era basics at this point. The things that you’re otherwise always too busy to slow down and really revel in. Things that feel cozy and content. Here are a few of the simple joys I plan on indulging in this season.

  • Pick up a holiday scented candle (this one is a favorite) and string some lights. Now that it gets dark early I find the warm glow so comforting in the evening.
  • Treat yourself to a new flavor of tea or coffee to make at home. I’ve been loving a cup of peppermint tea in the evenings while I read.
  • Take a long, hot bath – extra bubbles too.
  • Handwrite letters (or holiday cards!) to friends and family that you might not get to see in person this season. Mail like that really makes people’s day.
  • Bake something – even if it’s out of a box. We just got a gingerbread mix from Trader Joe’s I’m excited to try. I love when the whole apartment smells like something fresh out of the oven.
  • Devour a new show – I mentioned on IG stories but The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix is incredible and I’m planning to dive into the latest season of The Crown today (Princess Diana here I come!) – or have a holiday movie marathon. Love Actually is always my favorite.
  • Play an old-fashioned board game. We bought Scrabble last year and it’s one of our favorite at-home date nights. We usually mix up a cocktail and put on our favorite records too. Finding an online game to play with a friend could be great too though!
  • Speaking of cocktails – is there anything a homemade hot toddy can’t solve? If whiskey’s not your thing – substitute a hot chocolate with extra marshmallows.
  • Pick up a new book and get lost in it for an afternoon. I’m currently reading Royal Holiday which is super sweet. And I plan on sharing a whole round-up of other cute holiday-themed books soon!

Sometimes simple joys are the best kind.

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(Wrap + Corduroys c/o Talbots, Ballet Flats c/o Margaux NY – enjoy 10% off your order with code: STEELE10)

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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.