But we weren’t ready to let go just yet. So, with days to spare before the Christmas party/Hanukkah singles mixer/New Year’s gala fashion crisis kicks off, we’re bringing Thomas back for a chat devoted to holiday style. Join us Thursday at 1 p.m. for Got Plans? and you can ask her your most pressing fashion questions, one more time. Submit your questions early here.
We caught up with her before the chat to get her take on seasonal partywear and find out what trends we’ll see in the coming year.
Q. New Year’s Eve dressing is a tricky thing: You want sparkle, but you need something comfortable enough to wear for hours, quite possibly in freezing temperatures. Are there any inventive ways to look chic?
Thomas: My secret is layering two pairs of tights, especially if one pair is by Wolford — they’re the warmest I’ve found, though I know some ladies swear by fleece-lined tights from Target. And you’d be surprised how warm faux fur can be — I have a small bolero and a longer-length vest, both in faux fur, and I layer them under jackets and coats for extra warmth. For shoes, I always opt for wedges if I’m going to be on my feet for long periods — some girls can go for hours in 5-inch heels, but I’m not one of those girls.
What can men wear to step it up on New Year’s?
As always, making sure your clothes fit you well is essential — the effort and money you put into finding a good tailor is a wise investment in the way you look. A slim, solid-color tie is a nice modern update and looks great whether you’re wearing a suit or just a blazer and jeans. Dress boots, definitely — I particularly love wingtip boots at the moment. And I appreciate when men pay attention to detail, whether it’s with small personal touches, like cool cufflinks or a contrasting pocket square, or something bigger, like a custom lining in a suit jacket.
What are some of the big trends that we’ll see in 2012?
I’m most excited about the bright pastel hues from Tibi, Chris Benz, and J.Crew; another season of languid, relaxed menswear silhouettes; and separates that are retro-inspired but ultra-wearable — the Milly and Tory Burch spring collections were full of them and I loved it all.
What three wardrobe staples should a fashion-lover snap up to carry her through the next 12 months?
It sounds a little unseasonal, but a loose-fitting blazer in a muted sherbet hue, like mint, creamsicle, or lemon yellow — it will add a nice splash of spring color on dreary days and will look great with slim white pants in the summer. Tangerine tango is Pantone’s color of the year for 2012, so you’ll see lots of bold orange in stores soon — if you’re a color-phobe, pick up an accessory, like a clutch or a pair of pumps, to experiment without busting your budget. And if you don’t have a chic, super-walkable pair of flat or wedge ankle boots, you should definitely invest in a pair. You can find lots of them on sale currently, and I guarantee you’ll wear them to shreds.
Okay, dish: What are some of the favorite pieces you’ve been wearing this holiday season?
I finally made a pilgrimage to Uniqlo recently, and have been living in their marled knit sweaters and surreally comfortable legging pants. I splurged on a blush-colored sequin skirt from Zara for my 30th birthday, and I’ve gotten more wear out of it than you’d expect from a shiny, sparkly miniskirt. For running around to events, my go-to outfit has been a vintage cream wool blanket coat, a vintage leopard-print blouse and my super-Swedish-looking black platform ankle boots from the Gap.
One holiday-party clothing trend you’d like to see retired, permanently?
I’m not a fan of how NYE has become like Halloween part II, an excuse to wear as little as possible. It’s January — you need to wear tights, so just accept that and find some cute shoes to go with them. I think you can still look sexy without showing a ton of skin — I’m all for creating mystery while keeping it classy, so I’m a fan of anything with cutouts and sheer paneling. My personal rule of thumb: If you’re going skimpy on the bottom, cover up on top, and vice versa. Balance is essential for so many parts of life, and fashion is one of them.