Holiday Plans Looking More “Sheesh” Than Chic? Here’s Why You Still Need to Dress Up

I know as well as anyone that athleisure is a thing (and so, too, thrives the broadly named activewear category), that a certain unstudied “French girl/model off duty” attitude persists, despite the American penchant for clean hair and variety in our outfits. I am well aware that, increasingly, life is being lived and disseminated through the screens of our devices, that everything is editable and Photoshoppable and hashtag-worthy (or not).

I completely get that for some, time off from work means more time spent in a quasi-vegetative state or in various poses of fully swaddled repose. But I also know, at the risk of sounding like an advertisement for a luxury SUV, that there’s nothing quite like those IRL (that’s in real life, for the nonspeaker) experiences after you’ve put down your gently glowing devices and lived them. Look, I love a stretchy waistband and expanse of slick black compression material; I adore mesh waist-whittling cutouts and live for bright, eye-catching colors intended for any variety of “active” living. But during the holiday season? Give me a sequin and a sparkle and some stretch of velvet in something cut on the bias, please. Give me something for a different kind of activewear; give me something fashion. (Just don’t give it to me for Christmas.)

What I’m talking about is celebrating the holidays with at least a base level of engagement with your life. And what better way to ensure that than by actually spending the time and effort and dressing up for the festivities? Regardless of whatever you have planned, whether it promises to be dull or just far from exciting, nothing says “I’m here, in the present, and ready to live” like a scaled-up ensemble, one that’s been luxuriantly plotted out with purely your own enjoyment in mind. No parties on the docket? Call up a friend, dress for the occasion—any occasion—and make one of your own. Rather than lament a lame pre-Christmas cocktail get-together or a less-than-revelatory New Year’s Eveexperience as a waste of an outfit, why not consider it an opportunity to enjoy one? No matter what quality the company (or lack thereof), it’s hard to have a bad time when you look terrific. Clothes have the power to elevate your mood, to change your day (really, to change your life). Why wouldn’t you want to remember your holidays and to ring in 2016 in style?

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