Add Swag to Your Holiday Attire

It’s that time of year again: holiday work soirees, New Years Eve galas, and neighborhood cocktail parties beckon. You can certainly reach for your go-to white button-down, black tie, and black slacks that you wore to every party last year and wear it again to every party this year. But, why not switch it up a bit? Here are some ways to rev up your holiday attire and stand out from the crowd.

Bling-a-ling-a-ling

Who says that only femmes get to sparkle and shine? Not us! Nope. Not at dapperQ. We’re all about bending, pushing, breaking, blurring, redefining.

The jackets alone from this Dolce and Gabbana collection will run you about $1,800 and up. Don’t have that kind of cash stashed in your mattress? Join the club. Here are some more affordable ways to shine:

Studded collars are all the rage right now and are an easy way to add some bling to your holiday outfit. You can purchase the one pictured here at Dorthy Perkins for $35, or thrift a shirt and add your own studs. Hugo Boss (black sequins), Cor Sine Labe Doli (ceramic gold), and Christopher Chaun (gold with chain) all make statement bow-ties ranging from $100-$275. But, you can find similar items (search words “sequins bow-tie” or “metallic bow-tie”) on Etsy like these for $23. Steve Madden and Jildor carry sparkly and studded oxfords and slip-on flats ranging from $80-$100. Gold spiked bracelet from Modocat for $22. And, $175 sequin scarf from Piperlime? Again, try Etsy.

Call of the Wild

Animal prints: in style, then out of style, then back in style, then out again. Forget it! Animal prints are a staple in my wardrobe and I’m so happy to see them in menswear.

You can get your hands on some slim-cut leopard print trousers at River Island or at Zappos But, animal prints tend not to flatter my hips. If you’re like me, consider prints on top:

You can find leopard button-downs from Topman for about $60. The leopard print blazer with velvet trim starts at $50 and up from Fashion Union. Shopbop carries Dolce Vita cheetah oxfords on sale for $55. The blue leopard print scarf shown is from Dolce and Gabbana and sells for $327. But, common! I got one JUST like this for $5 (same color and everything) from a street vendor in NYC. The bow-tie? A steal at $17 from Ties.com. It is a toddler size, which my friend who is short and thin wears to avoid overwhelming her face. You can find larger sizes on Etsy.

Color Pop!

“Excuse me, but can you get us some more bread? Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were the waitstaff at our company’s holiday dinner, what with all that black and white you’re wearing. Didn’t realize you were the techie from the 4th floor. My bad.” Yeah, you can avoid all that. Wouldn’t it be nice to stand out and be a bit more festive?

Add a few pops of color here and there:

Topman carries festive, colorful chinos and cardigans starting at $60 and up.  $80 at H&M can get you the turquoise blazer. The red and purple floral handkerchief is from Charles Tyrwhitt starting at $17. Suede pop color lace-up oxfords are on sale for $16 at Charlotte Russe. The oversized velvet bow-tie featured is from Mr. Porter at a pricey $135, but I found similar ones on Etsy (search words “velvet bow-tie”), like this burgundy one for $14.

Anita Dolce Vita

Fashion and culture blogger featured in Newsweek's Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Curve, Autostraddle, MTV/LOGO's AfterEllen, SF Weekly, Globe & Mail, DIVA, GO Mag, Beijing Review, and Bosnia's Manjine.BA. Education/Credentials: University of New Mexico (B.A., magna cum laude); New York University (MPA, top marks); SUNY Downstate Medical Center (BSN, cum laude); NYS RN.

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