It’s a totally natural impulse — wanting to stand out at a holiday party. After all, if it’s work-related, it’s a chance to impress the boss. And if it’s social, well … who really wants to be the wallflower?
But there’s a fine line between “standing out” and being the one everyone’s tweeting about the next day — and not in a good way — because of something you wore, said or did. “The key is to be festive, not foolish,” as one etiquette expert puts it. Here are some tips to help you shine:
- The Confidence-Boosting Pose. Before you even enter the room, think Wonder Woman. “Stand with your legs apart and your hands on your hips, and hold that pose for two minutes,” advises Carol Kinsey Goman, author of “The Silent Language of Leaders.” “Your level of cortisol, a stress hormone, decreases.”
- Holding Up Your End of the Conversation. Okay, now that you’ve got other guests’ attention, what are you going to say to hold it? “Knowledge of current events can help fill any lull,” Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, has said. “And if you can find out beforehand who the other guests will be, Google is a great dinner-party aid.”
- Glam Up Your Outfit. Even if you’re just pulling out your favorite Little Black Dress from the back of your closet, one of the latest statement necklaces can make it seem brand new. Harper’s Bazaar, for one, is big on what it calls “Argentum Momentum,” which is a fancy way of saying silver — specifically, “brushed, polished and sculptural” silver necklaces. The bigger, the better.
- The Perfect Accessories. Not only does it telegraph your social status — a potentially crucial test for anyone debating whether to make a beeline for you or the crudités — but a watch like Baume & Mercier’s Linea wraparound is also a fashion maven’s dream: The Swiss watchmaker has thoughtfully provided a wide palette of interchangeable straps to coordinate with your outfit. “It’s no secret I love the versatility of the Linea,” says Lauren Dimet Waters of Second City Style. “The interchangeable strap system not only gives me the ability to accessorize my holiday outfits any way I want, it’s so easy to change the bands I don’t have to fear ruining my holiday manicure either.” Shop these watches at the Baume & Mercier e-boutique, where free wrapping and free engraving are available. Finally, a word of advice about make-up: While you want to turn things up a notch, now is not the time to try something as tricky as the smoky-eye look.