2013 Holiday Outfits for Girls

This article will feature a few items to jump-start your brainstorming. Click here to view the full collection of all the pieces, including the ones shown below, I picked out to wear this holiday season.

Gold and Black is the new Black


If you haven't noticed it while you were shopping, now is the time to know. A gold twist has been added to the classic black, ranging from dresses (see our Firey Homecoming article) to rompers to accessories. Not only will this be perfect this season, but it's a trend that will never get old. 

Red Nosed Reindeer


You can never go wrong with classic reds, either bright like Rudolph's nose, or dark like the Grinch's heart. With dresses or skirts (or shorts!), black tights are the safest to go with. If you're feeling bold, make sure you consider what shoes you're wearing before picking out the stockings. Pair the red with a matching lip color or smokey eyes! 

Make the Cut





As the stores fill with more and more dresses every season, designers must think of new innovative ways to differentiate their holiday dress from the others. Sure, we love the classic little black A-line dress but this year, we've noticed edgier cuts in stock. If you're not afraid to show some skin, these dresses will flatter your body in new and interest ways. However, these probably weren't made for your family's Christmas party.


Metallica


Foil and metal plating and metallic coatings are all the rave, especially this season. Begin 2014 with dazzling pumps or sparkling arm candy, ready to face the new year like the tough cookie metal you are. Don't go overboard though; keep the metallic accents to a minimum. 


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Ryan Kim


Name: Ryan Kim
College: Duncan '14
Major: Mechanical Engineering Pre-Med

Describe your style: "I'm a minimalist. I focus mostly on my pants, shoes, shirts, and then cardigans or whatever the outerwear. But I feel like giving a little bit of detail... brings you up to another level. So I often wear a pocket square with my blazer, or, if I'm wearing really simple toned cardigan or shirt, I try to boost it up a little with my glasses because they're a little more flashy [he has four different pairs] or I'll wear nicer shoes. I'm always balancing back and forth between classy casual and formal."

How is your closet fit for a college budget? "My principle is when you need to spend, you need to spend. But if not, save up all that money." Most people believe I'm super lavish, but I'm actually kind of frugal. "I focus most of my money on my shoes and outerwear." Since people will mostly focus on your outerwear, save most of your money on the balzer, and cut down the spending on the shirt that's inside. Also, I focus more on how a piece of clothing looks on me, rather than the brand. I don't actually have a lot of clothes. Rather, I am able to make many, many combinations out of what I have, so I have variation in my outfits. 



Since you study fashion on your own a lot, what do you look for when noticing other people? How a person looks put together. It’s really the combination of everything a person is wearing that completes their image, and that is what I look at. 

Do you also study women's fashion? I usually only study men’s fashion, but I do have standards for women’s fashion. I'm not a fan of the preppy or grunge style, more of the classy chic. Something like leggings with a fancy dress is fine. The super baggy clothes thing, where the shirt is barely past the butt, with leggings, yeah. No. Not a fan. It takes like two minutes to dress like that. No effort. 

What does fashion mean for you? "I want to emphasize this. Fashion, I believe, can be a very personal thing. Of course, it's great if you look better in other people's eyes, too. Like, who would hate that? But. Even before that, I feel like it's all about how you convey your emotions, how you actually cater to the inner self. It's my way of expressing my feelings and my way of pulling up my energy. When I wear [nicer] clothes, I feel better, I feel energized, I feel more motivated." I really focus on pleasing myself and sticking to my own standards, rather than following whatever the fad is. "Fashion is just so built into my way of life." It's like second nature, as natural as checking the weather every morning [to plan what to wear.] I've heard from strangers, like you for example, describe me as 'that tall, classy, Asian dude'. It kind of disappoints me that they don't describe me as 'Ryan Kim, that cool guy who is a MechE but also interested in social issues'. It's like people see me for being fashionable, which, I mean, isn't a bad thing, and it's cool that people recognize me for my style, but I wish people would look past that and only see me and my personality. I wish looking fashionable isn't always firstly associated with being materialistic, and that people would look more at the inner beauty. 



Photographer's statement: I chose to feature Ryan because even on the worst of days, he is always dressed completely well. When friends pointed him out to me, Ryan stood out as a splash of class among a sea of sweats and t's, and it was refreshing to the eye. -Thu Nguyen


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Elle Eccles


Name: Elle Eccles

College: Martel '15

Major: English & Psychology

Describe your style: My color palette typically involves reds and burgundies, corals and pinks, turquoises and dark blues. And purple. Lots of purple. I’m careful to only buy things that go well with my skin tone, although black and white and red is also a great combo that I keep coming back to.


Style Inspiration: I get my ideas from the styles of my peers, TV show characters, strangers on the street—really, keeping a style-inclined eye out helps me get an idea of what looks good on what body type, what colors go well together, etc., and I often end up organizing not just my look but my friends’ looks as well. That being said, I don’t approach style as a way to dress, I approach style as a creative outlet. It’s something I feel. And I’m always looking to change things up, always reinventing old outfits as a way of creating just one more thing that’s nice to look at.



Favorite Clothing Item: Every single A-line dress I own.



#1 Accessory: My hair. I’ve actually had to re-introduce myself to someone before because my hair had changed dramatically that they failed to recognize me. I love how much I can do with it.


Tips? When looking for clothes, find clothes that flatter your figure; there are always some out there, if you know what to do with them and when. I often try something on I think will look great on me, only to find out I was terribly wrong; a lot of times it’s just a matter of trial and error. And also, I guess I’d add that there’s nothing wrong with modesty. A good look balances class with adventure.
In my opinion, a look is everything.
It’s hair, it’s nails, it’s rings and earrings and necklaces and shoes, it’s legs, it’s color agreement, it’s overall silhouette; it’s attitude, too, as well as clothes. The number one comment I receive on my appearance is that I am “well put together,” and more often than not I am complemented on my whole look, as opposed to just a single item, because when I’m putting together my outfit in the morning, I take it all into consideration. It is my firm belief that assembling pieces well says a lot more about my presentation and creativity than does a single strong piece on its own. The latter says, “I know how to buy cute things,” but the former says “I know how to assemble.”
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Belle Douglas

"I bought the pants when traveling in Greece. They were just so beautiful and they make such a statement."
 Name: Belle Douglass

College: Martel ‘16

Major: Psychology

What's your favorite clothing item: I love dresses, but I think my true obsession is with shoes. I own over 30 pairs.

"I found the dress for $5 at a thrift store. I love these red boots. Red is definitely my favorite accent color, it just adds so much life to an outfit. I especially love the black, white, and red color scheme. "

Making my own clothes: I first learned to sew at age 10 when my grandmother taught me to make clothes for my dolls. We cut patterns out of newspaper, and I sewed the clothes by hand. I now have a sewing machine (it used to belong to my great-grandmother) and cut patterns out of pattern paper, but I still love making clothes. I have a very loose process when it comes to designing things: sometimes I have a shape in my head that I really want to try out, and other times I just fall in love with a fabric and spend hours trying to figure out what it should be. There is a very steep learning curve when it comes to making your own clothes; the first time I tried to go off pattern I ended up with a skirt about two sizes too small! That being said, it is an extremely valuable skill because now when I go shopping, if I see something I really like but it’s too big or too long, I can just alter it to fit me. I still have a lot to learn about making my own clothes but it is a hobby I will have for the rest of my life. 

Fun Tip: A thrift store is a great place to go fabric shopping on a budget. Just look for a larger size than you usually would wear so you have some leeway with the fabric.

"I make some of my clothes and alter even more of them. This dress started its life as a floor length dress with an extremely high collar and HUGE shoulder pads. My mom couldn’t understand why I was buying it but I just loved the pattern. Since then it has undergone some significant alterations (it was also a few sizes too big) and I love the end result. "
Photographer's Statement:
"I chose Belle because she always stands out. She's a person with a soft voice but a loud wardrobe, and I have mad respect for people with style, especially those who let their clothes do the talking. I thought her style was unique, eclectic, and personal, and I wanted to showcase her artistic personal tastes." - Elle Eccles
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Esperanza 2014: 4 Fiery Tips

We're back once more with the second part to our Esperanza 2014 style guide -this time we're sparking your imagination with these hot tips!

Follow the Flames
ASOS | Lipsy Dress | $70
If you’re looking for nice detail, the stitching and embellishments on this go well with the orange-red, as if flames have been sewn on.

Catching Fire

For inspiration we turned to the fiery spirit of Katniss from the Hunger Games. 


Embody the brighter flames with this flowy, bright yellow dress – it’ll stand out among the icy dresses and dark suites for sure – or a billowy red one like the one Cinna created.

Nasty Gal | Rare London Giovane Brocade Dress | $98
 ...Or if you're more inspired by Katniss's coal outfit. Melted metallic gold and black make for a sultry combination!

Smoked Out
Pictures are from becomegorgeous.com
Smokey eyes have always been a great go to for a weekend night out, but sometimes people forget to tone down everything. Keep the blush to a minimum and choose a nude/light pink lip color.

Iconic Reds

From our beloved Princess Mia (Anne Hathaway) to the modern country princess Taylor Swift, the classic full red lip is always a do. Fires come in many different colors, so don’t feel pressured to wear a bright red that doesn’t match your dress. And, similarly to the smokey eyes, if you go for the bright red lips, tone down your eye makeup. A single, light to medium stroke of liner will do, with some natural shadowing if you must.


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Esperanza 2014: 4 Icy Tips

Esperanza is less than two weeks away and we hope that dress shopping hasn't been too stressful. With two great themes (Fire & Ice), there's a lot of room for fun and creativity. Here are a few simple tips that will inspire and help you find the perfect icy dress! 


Falling Snow
JK2 | Strapless Mesh Cocktail Dress | $56
Nothing says ice more than actual ice. Sequins, jewels and crystals are the perfect way to turn a dark colored dress into a snowy night.


Teal, Mint, and Purple Mountain's Majesty
Zara | Long Gathered Dress | $139
Everyone and their mothers are going to be wearing blue! Mix it up a little by adding in some green and purple hues and you'll be queen of the tundra.



Sleeves of Snow
BCBG | Lake Rhine Stone Cocktail Dress | $428
Esperanza is going to be in a tent outside. You want to look cool but that doesn't mean you have to freeze your butt off. I personally think long sleeved white mini dresses are so so classy.


ICE ICE BABY


If you already have a nice simple dress and just want to add a few more thematic touches, go with a statement necklace! No matter where you shop or what your price range is, you can always find ones that look like snow crystals, icy rocks and glassy flowers.


....Stay tuned for the fire guide!
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Sarah Percival


Name: Sarah Percival
  
College: Duncan '14

Major: Math & Statistics 



Describe your personal style:
Colorful, simple, modern.

Favorite places to shop:
Forever 21, Buffalo Exchange, other thrift and consignment stores.

What is your style journey? Why do you dress the way you dress?
I want to be able to express myself visually, but I can't really draw or paint so I use my clothes to make a statement. It's easier to put on a pretty dress in the morning rather than putting on pants and a shirt. I'm pretty lazy in the morning, so I like to do things that are quick.



Any fashion or style tips?
Shop at thrift stores, 'cause you can find really interesting things that are really cheap.



Photographer Statement:
"I featured Sarah because she has a unique, colorful style that really stands out." -Nathan Alison
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Monica Burckhardt




Name: Monica Burckhardt

College: Will Rice '16

Major: Architecture 

Describe your style:
Conflicted. I find myself bouncing back and forth between a thrifty grunge aesthetic and one that tends towards more refined lines and shapes. Going grungy or classy depends on what sort of mood I'm in.

Favorite places to shop:
The Salvation Army. My most-worn garments were each purchased for under $5. Also Steve Madden. Good shoes make for a good life.

One Fashion Do and One Fashion Don't:
Do: Wear black
Don't: I personally avoid blue jeans like the plague

Favorite Garment:
I never go anywhere without my watch or denim jacket





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Brittney Xu





Name: Brittney Xu

College: Brown '14

Major: English & Economics

Describe your style in three words.
Evolving, Vibrant/Colorful

What was your style journey?
The way you dress shapes how others see you--it's always an experiment for me. It's fascinating that people react differently when I dress up and each outfit feels like a different costume or personality. That's why I can't quite pin down my personal style, because it's dependent on who I want to be that day. I believe in fashion's power to challenge people's expectations and speak against authority.




You say you experiment--what do you look for in people's expectations? What's a "successful experiment"?
If I'm trying to look good, I could try to get compliments, of course. If I'm feeling cynical, maybe I'll subvert how you're "supposed to dress". Any reaction is successful, because what I'm interested in is the reaction and the social context behind it. It's more of what I can do to myself.

Do you pay attention to fashion and trends?
Yes, to a point. I like to try out new trends, but I know what works for my body type. It's an exercise in imagination, and I think trends work well with that--it's new material.




Best and worst style decisions/outfits you've done?
Best: I found a velvet evening gown from Goodwill with a thigh slit and I wore it with an oversized T-shirt that said "it-girl" on it. I liked it because it was unexpected, and it reflects how much I like to go thrifting. I like to think about how the items came to the thrift store. Every vintage piece has a story, and I can incorporate that into my story, and how I wanted to look that day.

Style tips?
Know your body type, know what looks good on you. Don't be afraid to experiment, but at the end of the day, you have the power to say yes or no to certain fashions and how they define you.



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Ashley Ugarte




Name: Ashley Ugarte

College: Martel

Major: Health Sciences and Environmental Policy Studies

Describe your style: Sexy, Confident, Eclectic, with a touch of vintage

What inspires your style?: My mom, she was and still is a fashion icon in my eyes. Always starting trends and would rock MC Hammer pants back in the 80's. Gotta love her.

Favorite Place to Shop: Definitely secondhand clothing stores, thrift shops, and vintage boutiques. You run into lots of gems there. Then there's always Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, and Anthropologie, a few of my faves for when I decide against being entirely eco-friendly.  






Favorite clothing item: High-waisted anything. I seriously can't wear normal pants, shorts, or skirts anymore. 

#1 Accessory:  Earrings. Only studs. Otherwise I feel naked or look like a chola... no hoop earrings for me thank you very much! 

Tips, yo?: Don't be afraid to be yourself, as much of a cliche as that is, it always holds true, from style to making friends. If you wear what you want and don't care what other people will say or think, you can rock anything... even my mom's MC hammer pants.


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Nathan Alison






Name: Nathan Alison


College: Brown College '14

Major: Computer Science

Describe your style: Classy-ish, geek-chic.

What motivates you to dress up everyday? It's a cascading feedback loop---people liked it when I dressed up so I started experimenting more until I dress like this everyday. People actually get mad when I don't dress up. It makes me more confident and helps me stand out---plus it's fun.







Any fashion faux pas? Senior year of high school, I wore exclusively pastel polo shirts.

How do you feel about fashion trends? I believe in them so much as they are something to subvert. They exist but you can work around them.

What inspires your style of dressing? I try to be as unbound by time period as possible. My bow tie/suit combo has been around since the 1800's. I purposefully fit different decades into my aesthetic.





Any fashion advice? Maybe a lot of people have the mindset that "You don't have to worry about dressing up because you're a guy", but you should try it. It does make you more confident and helps you think about how you present yourself.
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