The holidays arrive stuffed to the gills with opportunities to demonstrate your unique sartorial perspective. Holiday parties are a regular fashion spectacle whether you love to dress up or prefer a laid-back feel. Tree-lightings are ideal for cozy, relaxed sweaters and skinny jeans; office parties are a perfect excuse to pull out jewel-tone frocks or fitted tuxedo jackets; and a gathering with friends gives guests license to trot out whatever ensembles make them feel most festive.
The dark side of holiday merrymaking is the parade of dubious ensembles which the sartorially baffled wear at every turn. If you're using the Polar Vortex: Part Two as an excuse to show up to a holiday shindig in terry cloth sweats and a puffer coat, it's time to reevaluate your decision-making skills. And if you're the spirited type who piles on as many gems as possible for a fete, 2014 is the year to scale back a notch. Because the season of holiday soirees is nearly upon us, here are seven outfits that need to be abandoned immediately — if you value the respect of your peers and loved ones, that is.
1. THE LUMPY BUMPY PRINTED SWEATER
If you can fit more than two people in your sweater or the item could serve double duty as your grandmother's throw blanket, it's time to pop out to the department store and buy something new. However, wearing a reference to Home Alone like the one above may indeed garner you popularity points.
2. THE TINSEL TOP
Anything that looks or feels like the material with which you ornament a gift or lend sparkle to your tree does not belong on you in clothing form.
3. ANY STORE-BOUGHT COSTUME WITH THE WORD "NAUGHTY" IN THE TITLE
The holidays are a time for warmth, cheer, and merriment, not to be stricken with hypothermia after wearing a "Naughty Mrs. Claus" mini and little else. A chic little red dress or mini skirt paired with stockings and a blazer, on the other hand, is a sartorial score.
4. THE FAUX GIFT-WRAPPED LOOK
Unless you're a sorority girl attending a fraternity party or attempting a prank on your significant other, wrapping yourself in a gift box and ribbon can only create trouble. The look is infinitely worse if matched to your SO's own rendition of the look.
5. THE ORNAMENT-GLITTER-AND-ACCESSORY-SATURATED ENSEMBLE
Unless you wish to be mistaken for a Christmas tree or The Ghost Of Christmas Past, abide Coco Chanel's sage advise and take off one sparkling, spangled accessory before leaving the house. A headband, costume necklace, chandelier earrings, and stacked bangles are simply too much for a holiday party.
6. THE BAH-HUMBUG ENSEMBLE
The polar opposite of the overly-ornamented ensemble, a bah-humbug look lacks any type of color, embellishment, playful accents, or cheer. It's the holiday season, not the apocalypse. Save showing off your unique mastery of the color grey for another occasion.
7. ANYTHING THAT LIGHTS UP OR EMITS NOISE
Wearing a necklace that mimics a string of LED lights or emits merry music gives all other party attendees license to mock you mercilessly and remove the offending accessories.