Fashion Checklist for November

Metallic tights shine for the holidays. Shown: DKNY shimmer tights, Pretty Polly opaque tights with metallic embellishment and DKNY sequined over-the-knee socks. Available at Nordstrom and Nordstrom.com

It’s never too early to start checking off those holiday to-do lists. In fact, the sooner you get into the festive spirit, the more you can avoid those last-minute panic attacks when you feel like you’ve been possessed by the Grinch. Here’s a checklist of some things to get done in November, so you’ll have plenty of time to party in December.

First, take an inventory of the dressier side of your wardrobe. Whether you have a dozen invitations to black-tie events or you’re just hosting a brunch for family and friends, November and December are usually the time when you’ll want to up the fashion quotient a little. Think beyond the Santa sweaters with all the bells and whistles. And let’s face it — smooching Santa under the mistletoe is much more fun than wearing him on a shirt! There are plenty of ways to add some holiday flair to your basics. See below!

Even casual clothes can make the party circuit. This is a great time to rock a pair of colored jeans. Shop for a pair of red or burgundy jeans — slim cut or boot cut — and team them with a sparkling tunic sweater or a sequin tank and sweater coat. I also love the look of a black and white houndstooth check jacket with colored jeans. Instant holiday glam with a twist.

Dress up that little black dress. Yes, you still have time to find that perfect cocktail dress for a special occasion, but why not give your favorite LBD a fresh look with new accessories? Instead of one strand of pearls, layer on necklaces mixed with pearls and metallic beads; stack not only one bangle on your arm, but several. Wear a new pair of embroidered evening boots with metallic tights. Or give it a new attitude with a leather jacket layered on top.

Don’t forget to wrap it up. One of the best ways to check off your holiday to-do list is to scope out the accessory departments at your favorite stores and online retailers. The stash of scarves, wraps and stoles is amazing. In a wide range of colors and styles, these versatile accessories will add a whole different look to your holiday outfits, and they make great gifts, too! This year, watch for faux fur scarves to be big hits.

Think plush. There’s feathers and fur, of course, but you can also get the lush look with velvet, a holiday favorite. A velvet jacket in a rich jewel-tone color can do wonders even for a pair of denim jeans.

Check out vintage stores. Want to find unique accessories to give and to wear? Then get into the habit of visiting out-of-the-way boutiques that specialize in antique jewelry. You’ll find lots of inspiration at affordable prices and a great conversation piece. Oversized vintage brooches are my favorite — pinned on a jacket or even a velvet hat.

Book your hair and beauty appointments early. If there’s only one thing you do in November, it should be making sure you’ve got all your appointments scheduled. Hair? Nails? Facials? You can even check out your favorite makeup counter for holiday specials. Then, remember to pick up some special treats for friends, or even book them for their own facial or massage as a gift.

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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