Stand-Out Styles for Your Next Holiday Soirée

Stand-Out Styles for Your Next Holiday Soirée

Got a calendar of holiday events to attend and not a clue what to wear? Take advice from some of the most fashionable retailers we know. (Psst ... that little black dress is still a closet essential!)

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Fifi's customer Mandy Martin shows off a little black dress by Leith outside the West Main Street shop.
Fifi’s customer Mandy Martin shows off a little black dress by Leith outside the West Main Street shop.

“Go straight towards that little black dress (LBD). You’ve worn it 100 times before, but that’s OK. All you need to do is embellish your trusty LBD with modern and fun accessories and – voila – you have a new look! Wear your hair up and add impact with big sparkly earrings, or wear your hair down and frame your face with a beautiful statement necklace as your centerpiece. Don’t leave your wrists bare: Add a couple of stacked jeweled bracelets for movement and sparkle.

Choosing the right clutch for your event is key! A bag with a strap is a must if you are moving around at a cocktail party. For a sit-down dinner, choose a bag that you can hang on the back of your chair comfortably. If your accessories are your main statement, throw on your trusty black pumps, and you’re off! If you’ve gone minimalistic on accessories, think strappy, metallic, patent, platform or anything that will bring drama to your LBD. If you don’t have a LBD, you don’t have to spend a ton of money – just focus on the fit and you’ll look like a million bucks. At Fifi’s, we have a LBD shop, which makes shopping a cinch and easy on your wallet.”

– Lauren Calderazzo
Owner, Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel


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Whitney Sandor wears an outfit from her own Mynt Boutique.

“Have a pop of color and some texture, and then add an accessory that’s festive. Make sure your items are versatile – if you have a great jacket or top, you can put different things with it. Black pants and heels and a blazer would go well with this top (featured right), but you could also wear it – depending on what type of party you’re going to – with denim.

A plaid shirt is an obvious holiday staple, but pair it with a sweater for a cozier, home-for-the-holidays look. The No. 1 concern I hear is: “I don’t want to wear jeans and a T-shirt if I’m hosting; I want to look like I’m a bit more dressed up, but I also don’t want to be in a party dress and in heels if just the family is coming over. Just put a great plaid with something over top of it, like a cozy sweater, and then jeans and booties – a pair that are comfortable but have a heel, so you’re somewhat dressed up. Add a piece of modern jewelry – it’s the simple details that make it. And a great black pant will take you a long way.”

Whitney Sandor
Owner, Mynt Boutique


Rory Kelly Gillis is both a devoted Magpie customer and Durham Magazine's senior VP of publishing.
Rory Kelly Gillis is both a devoted Magpie customer and Durham Magazine’s senior VP of publishing.

From work fetes to cocktail attire events, turn heads in the most chic and elegant way possible. Our suggestion is always a little black dress to keep things elevated and alluring. This season, our favorite versatile holiday staple is this LBD caressed with leather trim from Otto D’ame. On-point jewelry and accessories are key to giving you a polished look. Tassel necklaces, cuffs and earrings adorned with labradorite stones worn with fur-trimmed accessories are ultra- luxe. They always raise the fashion bar! We’re loving the labradorite collection from Atelier Mon and a plaid Linda Richards fox collar, cashmere-blend wrap.

While most women will reach for the go-to universal heel, the fashion world favors the bootie for an evening out, and so do we. Ankle booties create height and are a bit more comfortable for those long nights of standing. Leather satchel bags are all the rage this season; you can’t be seen without one. Plus, the handles are essential when you need to go hands-free for sipping that cocktail while texting!”

– Po-Ming Wong
Owner and Personal Stylist, Magpie Boutique


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Bekan Bohlen modeling the metallic Rachel Comey May Heel.

Invest in metallic shoes. Our pick this season is the Rachel Comey May Heel. We love it styled back to a jumpsuit, like this one from No.6 Store that Vert & Vogue photographer and graphic designer Bekah Bohlen is modeling, or paired with denim and a cashmere sweater for a more casual look. The versatility of a metallic shoe can make getting dressed easy – it’s a fashion staple year-round. Always remember – comfort is key.”

– Catherine Kobe
Buyer and Creative Manager, Vert & Vogue


Photography by Briana Brough

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Amanda MacLaren
Amanda MacLaren is the executive editor of Durham Magazine. Born in Mesa, Ariz., she grew up in Charlotte and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in journalism. She’s lived in Durham for five years now. When she’s not at work, you can usually find her with a beer in hand at Fullsteam, Dain’s Place or Bull City Burger or getting takeout from Chubby’s.