The Value Of Playing Dress Up As An Adult

La Regle du Jeu (1939)

La Regle du Jeu (1939)

There are innumerable reasons to love the holiday season. Who doesn’t love the phantasmagoria of lights, hot chocolate, snow, trees, gifts friends and family that come along with December?

Beyond the aforementioned perks of the season, this year I have found myself most excited for all the dressing up. Much like Nan Kempner, my favorite part of the party is often getting dressed for it. Unlike the other eleven months of the year when it’s considered uncool to look dressed up or as if you put any thought–let alone effort–into your appearance, come December, it is all big curls and bright sequins.

During a majority of the year, on trend, after-eight outfits usually consist of a high-low pairing, a crew neck sweatshirt with a sequin skirt or a pair of tennis shoes with a flouncy cocktail dress. Your outfit is suppose to feel nonchalant and effortless, as if you were all together too busy with other more pivotal things than to worry your perfectly imperfect bed head and what you’ll wear with it. Lots of menswear extras that tone down fanciful feminine pieces. Simply putting some brogues on was a common theme this past season.

The irony of this is that it takes, in my experience, just as much time to make an Adidas tennis shoe work with a vintage brocade dress as it does to match it with the perfect heel, but I digress. I trust you have participated or at least witnessed this trend, and understand my frustration.

However, during the holidays, the rules on being “cool” become irrelevant and petty. It is a time to embrace magic and romance in all facets of life–especially when getting dressed. For me, the holidays are a time for ultra feminine glamour. A perfect time to go digging through your mother’s closet or through the racks at your favorite vintage stores. There is something so empowering about putting on all of your favorite, most beautiful things.

You can reach this post's author, Tara Dalbow, on twitter.
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    • Samantha_Escobar

      I love glittery, fun stuff for the holidays. It’s one of the only things that makes this absurdly hectic, frigid season worth it.

    • JennyWren

      Last night my flatmate and I hosted an early evening party as a preamble to a wine and cheese party being hosted by some other friends; after a couple of mugs of hot apple cider with rum in it, all the ladies present decided that we were going dress up for the wine and cheese do because we’re all in grad school and we never get to look pretty. It was glorious, all the women were running in and out of our bedrooms asking to borrow purses and necklaces and colored tights. Then we drank more wine, ate fancy cheeses and sang Christmas carols around the piano.