This week we’re back with a few more “holiday situations” which may spark your desire to dress intentionally, whether that means wearing candy cane-scented lip gloss or breaking out the secret, poison-filled ring. What, you don’t already have one? They make delightful stocking stuffers!
1. Chestnuts Roasting O’er an Open Fire
There’s a joke in there about “chestnuts” and the overtly sexual nature of this loungewear outfit, but I’m too tired/lazy/grogged out on eggnog to write it. I initially imagined this as a wholesome outfit which would conjure up visions of Tiny Tim warming himself by a fire and intoning, “God bless us, every one,” but then I came across the Victoria’s Secret “Naughty Not Nice” shirt ($23). Things then quickly slid into Sexy-Mrs.-Claus-in-an-Abercrombie-catalog territory. Are the priceless (literally, as in I couldn’t find a price, and figuratively, as in they are awesome) red, furry handcuffs a stretch for inclusion in a holiday-themed collage? Perhaps, but isn’t Christmas a time for giving as good as you get, and isn’t that a basic tenet of BDSM? If I just broke your circular logic-o-meter, I apologize.
Moving on, I highly endorse the Honeydew underwear ($15, but they are always on sale at discount stores like Ross and TJMaxx) – I have several pairs and they’re made of the most comfortable cotton with just the right amount of stretch, plus they come in all kinds of cute colors and patterns. I also think the Mr. and Mrs. Claus slippers ($19) are genuinely adorable, and appropriate whether one finds oneself in a seductive or genuinely platonic snuggle.
2. Baking Cookies and Challenging Patriarchal Notions of Femininity
Even the most traditional, pearl-wearing, Bing-Crosby-listening, pumps-and-purse-matching lady makes time to read The Feminine Mystique in between watching Holiday Affair (a frothy departure from the inimitable Janet Leigh’s usual heavy fair), frosting cookies into perfectly shaped holly leaves, and making sure her snowflake apron is tied just so. By the way, this is ModCloth’s “Enid” dress ($150), and while I love it both for the Ghost World nod and the lovely A-line shape, I think the jagged green and black pattern makes the dress. It’d be perfect to wear in a family holiday photo or while hosting one’s very own holiday feast (for which Chinese take-out definitely counts, especially if your excuse for ordering it is that you were too engrossed in The Feminine Mystique to stuff, baste, and roast a turkey).
The mustard heels ($90) and cute little fawn ($15) are for sale at ModCloth too. My mother has a set of fawns that look exactly like the one pictured, and she would always arrange them on my dresser with other Christmas-ey knick-knacks. Sigh. I feel nostalgic, but not enough to go spend $15 on one of those little guys (maybe next year?).
3. Be It Ever So Humble, There’s No Place Like Home
This is for all you readers whose holiday with the fam may be punctuated with less cheer and more awkward silences, disapproving glances, and passive-aggressive bon mots like “What an interesting choice, dear” and “So do you know what <high school boyfriend> is up to these days?” While formal shorts ($155) may seem to invite ridicule, think about it–your family’s going to infantilize you anyway; why not just own it and deflate their criticisms with sheer pluck? A turtleneck serves a dual role–to deflect your lecherous uncle’s stares and cover up any tell-tale hickeys (I can vouch for the flimsiness, fishiness and general ineffectiveness of scarves at accomplishing the same task). As for the blazers–if you want someone to back the eff off, a broad shoulder and some imposing lapels ought to do the visual trick. The grey jacket on the left is a $1,920 Alexander McQueen (hit up ebay for this one or just sell your soul to Mephistopheles) and the green is a $198 Elizabeth and James (I feel like comparing these two is very similar to Vogue shilling a $20,000 gold-dipped fur coat next to a $400 mink stole, but the E&J stuff goes on sale fairly frequently, theoretically making the green blazer more attainable).
The item that looks like a jump rope is actually a set of the Army’s latest Combat Arms Earplugs (no word on where or if civilians can get a pair). If they can block out the sound of a helicopter lifting off, I think they’ll do just fine at muting your aunt’s drunken speech about the death of family values. Speaking of drunkenness, if your family consists of teetotalers, you can always sneak in booze in the mini-flask shaped like a lighter ($12, holds 2 oz.), though if they also disapprove of smoking you might have to conduct a cost-benefit analysis or wind up pre-gaming in your childhood bedroom. Last but not least, for the extremely put-upon young person, Vivienne Westwood’s “New Orb Poison Ring” ($300) flips open to hold a pinch of arsenic, sleeping powder, cocaine, or, my personal favorite, Pixy Stix powder. Hey, we all have our coping mechanisms.