Holiday Queen: Three Stress-Free Looks To Conquer Your Holiday

Seven years ago, I hosted my first holiday as a freshly-minted married woman. On that day, I was a glamorous holiday queen – no duplicitous contouring or tilted camera angles required. My show-stopping holiday ensemble consisted of a festive red blouse completely saturated in boob sweat as I spent the previous six hours hovering over a hot oven, unsuccessfully basting a dry tyrant of a turkey. My hair was beach waved to perfection, and the tips were generously doused in a tested and tasted gravy that just would not emulsify. And of course, to tie the look together, I wore a pair of fitted beige khakis with a fresh dusting of flour and sugar fingerprints along my backside from a failed attempt at making hand pies. This light dusting provided the perfect polished holiday style of appearing like I had just been slapped by a band of disgruntled holiday angels.

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Ah, the holidays. Days are shorter, nights are colder, and if you are hosting this year, I imagine there is a healthy dose of anxiety on the brain. Between managing the tantrums of a temperamental roast and trying to force-feed family members an experimental casserole gone awry, there is much to juggle during this season. Your holiday outfit should not be one of them.

While I love the idea of being festive, velvet blazers and gold-sequined jumpsuits are not style staples most mothers typically have on hand. In the rush of the holiday season, I’d like to gift you with one less thing to juggle: how to reinvent your holiday look with a few stylish fashions already in your closet. No shopping required! We start with a little black dress (LBD) and a pair of leggings as the blank canvas for configuring your holiday ensemble.

Let’s look at three different outfits made by layering different pieces on top of this simple canvas.style

Outfit #1: Flannel + LBD + Leggings

You may be surprised at how easily you conjure the spirit of the season with something as understated as plaid flannel. For this first look, you will need a dark, patterned plaid top as close to the red color family. Burgundy purple, pink, and even blue are all great options. Clasp every button except for the last two, and tie two knots with the loose fabric from both sides of your blouse. This look defines your waist and instantly adds a pop of understated style and holiday cheer to your LBD.

styleOutfit #2: Sweater + Flannel + LBD + Leggings

Not wanting to showcase your waistline? No problem. For this second look, you will master the art of layering with one simple addition. With the same LBD canvas, button your plaid blouse all the way up the collar and pair it with a crew cut, neutral-toned sweater over your flannel. My favorite colors are cream and a slate-esque gray for conjuring a festive spirit. Finish the look with a small cuff of the sleeves. With the sleeves of your shirt pulled to your wrist such that it is seen under your sweater, flip the cuffs over once so it sits above the end of your sweater. Instant holiday layers!

Outfit #3: Maxi Skirt + Necklace + LBD + Optional Leggingsstyle

For this last look, we will transform your LBD ensemble into a makeshift bodysuit. When you pair the LBD ensemble with a flowing maxi skirt, you have achieved something miraculous: a casual, holiday-appropriate ball gown of sorts. I like to pull the waist of the maxi just below my bust line, creating a flattering silhouette and ample room for a fourth serving of honey glazed ham. When it comes to the color and pattern of your maxi, you have free reign as the LBD works to tie it all together. To perfect this style, choose a maxi skirt with a length that hits at the ankles and comes away from the leg line. Top off the look with a neutral necklace to add visual intrigue to your upper half. Leggings are optional according to your preference.

Feel Like A Holiday Queen in Style

Boob sweat and being slapped by a mob of disenchanted holiday angels will never make anyone feel like a holiday queen. BUT, with a few reinvented style staples from your closet secured, you are set to conquer the holidays in effortless style!


styleKat Depner, personal stylist and owner of Seven Styling, is Portland’s Mom Whisperer when it comes to style. Kat blogs weekly at Seconds To Impress, Seven’s style blog. You only get 7 seconds to make a first impression, and Kat will help you make them count!

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10 Responses to Holiday Queen: Three Stress-Free Looks To Conquer Your Holiday

  1. Avatar
    Amber November 27, 2018 at 4:22 pm #

    Wow Kat! I knew the LBD was versatile, but you take it to a whole new level. I love the look of the LBD with flannel. I agree the holidays are a very busy time and they also are a very expensive time which is why it is smart to wear items that you already have on-hand.

    • Avatar
      Kat Depner November 29, 2018 at 8:00 pm #

      Thanks Amber! I concur; I’m a firm believer in digging around your closet for a festive look 🙂

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    Meryl November 27, 2018 at 4:59 pm #

    Kat, I love the idea of using the little black dress as a body suit! Such a quick and cute way to reinvent your outfit. I’m taking notes…

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      Kat Depner November 29, 2018 at 8:02 pm #

      Hey Meryl! Changing the LBD into a body suit has been a game changer for me. Glad you found some holiday inspiration too 🙂

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    Melinda November 28, 2018 at 1:37 pm #

    I love the idea of the maxi dress tied with the little black dress! It looks so classy when you add a necklace! Thanks for the tips Kat!

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      Kat Depner November 29, 2018 at 8:03 pm #

      Melinda, happy to help! I’m a big fan of a statement necklace over top the LBD.

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    Mary Rohrer November 29, 2018 at 4:55 am #

    Omg so cute anybody that knows me well, knows I needed these tips. Thanks for posting. P.S. I love your logo design:)

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      Kat Depner November 29, 2018 at 8:04 pm #

      Thanks Mary! So happy to hear these tips have been helpful to you 🙂

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    Cindy November 29, 2018 at 12:19 pm #

    Great outfit ideas! Love that you use wardrobe staples that everyone has!

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      Kat Depner November 29, 2018 at 8:05 pm #

      Hey Cindy! I’m all about “shopping in my closet” for new looks. Sometimes the best stuff is right at home!