It’s officially the holiday season: outdoor lights are glowing, peppermint lattes are brewin’, and your schedule is suddenly jam-packed with post-work cocktails and seasonal soirees. With the hectic holiday season in full swing (and a dozen people to check off your gift list), it’s hard to find the extra time and room in your budget for head to toe holiday attire. So what’s a frugal fashionista to do?
Have no fear my ProfessionGal pals because it’s easier than you might think to look seasonal-chic after a long day at the office. Take your happy-hour style to a whole new level by throwing on an affordable, oh-so-stylish accessory over your work day attire. Whether it’s a sparkly jacket or killer heels, these statement pieces will add just the right amount of outfit pizazz for your sophisticated social life. Here are a few favorites that’ll keep your stress levels low and your holiday cheer high:
*Tip: store a few in your car or purse, and you’ll look party-ready without having to run home during rush hour to change!
lace jacket ǀ pink cardigan ǀ blue sweater ǀ studded blazer ǀ sequin shrug ǀ silk blazer
One of the easiest ways to spruce up your 9-5 attire? Toss aside your suit jacket and slide into a gorgeous embellished cover-up! Lace, sequins, studs, sparkle, and satin are so hot right now, and will keep you looking both polished and sassy. Don’t forget about a bright blazer: jewel tones will make that outfit pop (and grab the attention of your cute coworker).
leopard pumps ǀ sparkle heels ǀ oxford heels ǀ blue pumps ǀ wedges ǀ turquoise pumps ǀ ankle boots
Carrie Bradshaw would agree: shoes make the outfit. If there’s one piece to wear again and again this season, it’s a saucy pair of shoes. There’s nothing like kicking off your neutral-colored work flats or heels and sliding into a fabulous pair of leopard pumps or color-block wedges. Pick a pair of shoes with character—I’m loving those studded booties, embrace new heights, and let the happy hour games begin!
gold necklace ǀ sequin scarf ǀ silver necklace ǀ leopard scarf ǀ blue necklace ǀ ruffle scarf ǀ red necklace
I’m obsessed with statement scarves: they’re chic, warm, and so stylish this season! They also add just the right amount of effortless-casual to your uptight work ensemble. Just make sure to pick a scarf that’s loud, eye-catching, and not too bulky (think vibrant hues, sequins, animal print, or silk). Take the same approach with bib necklaces: an embellished, intricate necklace will add instant holiday appeal to your tailored dress or a simple white blouse.
fur clutch ǀ python clutch ǀ red bag ǀ black handbag ǀ glitter clutch ǀ blue wristlet
Perhaps my most favorite happy-hour staple is a haute handbag that looks expensive (but doesn’t cost you a fortune!). While I love Kate Spade’s sparkle purses and J Lo’s gorgeous snakeskin satchels, I love a bargain bag even more. The trick? Find a purse made of luxxe-looking fabrics: fur, animal skin, glitter, or quilted will do the trick. You could also sparkle up an existing bag: my girlfriends recently did a DIY glitter handbag tutorial that’s so easy and inexpensive! Clutches and mini crossbody bags are trending now, so opt for a chic smaller purse.
circle ring ǀ square studs ǀ bracelet ǀ drop earrings ǀ jewel ring ǀ bangles ǀ flower studs
Need a quick presto change-o? Then bright, glitzy fashion baubles—earrings, rings, bracelets and bangles—are your go-to for instant elegance. I’m a firm believer in the power of the cocktail ring: every time you take a sip of that drink, all eyes will be on your fabulous finger accessory. For those of you sporting a chic bun at work, throw on a pair of glamorous diamond or pop-of-color studs. Candy-colored bangles are also everywhere right now and the perfect complement to everything from pencil skirts to tailored trousers.
This season, a little after-work bling definitely goes a long way.
Author Bio: Molly Borter is a fashion aficionado from Indianapolis, IN, who enjoys bargain shopping, apartment decorating and accessory scouting. By day, she writes content about stylish knee high socks and other 2011 holiday fashions, and by night, she enjoys exploring restaurants with her chef boyfriend, spending time with her crazy family (including her adorable triplet nieces), and stalking everything wonderful on Pinterest.