IT'S ONE OF my favorite annual traditions: For the last few issues of the year, I turn the proverbial mic over to some of the fashion and lifestyle professionals who influence me, and let them tell us what's up. First topic? What to wear (and not to wear) for this season's holiday festivities, complete with contradictions and bizarrities. Interpret at will!
Postmodern, futurist looks in formal wear. It's almost expired, but Liza Rietz (lizarietz.com) did it right for 2014. And: anything silk or silk velvet; men in wool and knitted things; women without makeup; old jewelry; all black, head to toe.—Sierra Gardiner, founder, Oneironaut, a forthcoming line of "dream wares for serious oneironauts"
I want to see ugly sweaters layered over plaid, and shirts paired with hunting caps.—Erik Prowell, founder, Bridge + Burn, bridgeandburn.com
I wish every woman owned a tapered curling wand. It's really, really good for (A) parties, and (B) giving a quick "I took time on my hair" to your look. Hair is your most fashionable accessory. Use it! Use good shampoo, and keep it glossy. I want every woman to understand that youthful-looking hair reverse-ages you better than Botox. Treat your hair the same as you would fine silk.
I was recently stoked to sport a very festive Maison Scotch coat from Adorn (shopadorn.com) at our Ginger Salon holiday party. Everyone else bought dresses—I chose to instead focus on the coat, handbag, and hair.—Mandy Zelinka, hairstylist, Ginger Salon, gingersalon.com
Glam it up! This is the best time of year to take things a little over the top. Metallics, sequins, gold lamé if you've got it. This, for me, never goes out of style. Red lip, fancy hair. I'm oddly into the velvet that is popping up, and I'm super in love with the Reif (reif-haus.com) velvet turbans. For smelling good, check out the AMAZING perfume selection at Amelia (helloamelia.com). I seriously hate perfume—it's gross—but have purchased and worn several scents from her shop, my favorite being the Smoke line.—Alyson Clair, apparel designer, Clair Vintage Inspired, alysonclair.com
I absolutely love to dress up, and also love seeing my fellow Portlanders all dandified. The holidays are the perfect time to bust out the sequins, silk dresses, fancy heels, badass tights, and furs! Personally, I've never been into the "ugly sweater" movement. Why waste a perfectly good opportunity to look your best by wearing god-awful shit? That being said, some who embrace it can really make it work and still look bangin'. It's also the time of year when my husband unveils his royal blue velvet sports coat, fitted Levi's, and shiny boots, so THAT is something to celebrate. I love seeing red lips this time of year, too, especially when ladies know the perfect shade to complement their skin tone and hair color.—Katie Guinn, apparel designer (and Mercury contributor), katieguinn.com
I like seeing party people wear stunning things. Break out the vintage, the remarkable, the family heirlooms. There's nothing better than crazy Aunt Carol's massive broach or a fascinator from Xtabay (xtabayvintage.blogspot.com) to spark conversation at your life-partner's boring office party. I am so OVER ugly holiday sweaters, and if I see another person donning leggings as pants I'm going to hang myself with a braid of tinsel. As for grooming, a little sparkle and some liquid eyeliner is always a nice touch. For men, how about tidying up that Movember beard?—Holley Shepard, fashion stylist, puttogether.net
Scarves! Fall and winter are scarf season. Most people have one or two go-to winter coats, so accessories—scarves and knit caps—are a fun way to stay warm and add some color to an outfit. Also, bow ties. Bow ties are the perfect combination of fun and formal.—Dawn Yanagihara, co-founder and creative director, Kiriko, kirikomade.com
My staples: camel-colored wool coat, a bolo tie, and sky-high Jeffrey Campbells with a samurai bun. Bell-sleeved dresses and sterling silver earrings and bangles. I love seeing emerald green sequin mini dresses, wine-colored lips, and platinum blonde bobs in the winter, too! And I'm a huge fan of a tailored and creative Canadian tuxedo.—Caroline Marie Griffin, creative consultant and designer, Atelier Cornelia, ateliercornelia.squarespace.com
Happy to see Portlanders are embracing a little more bling/sparkle this year! Just a little, but it is nice to see people becoming more adventurous when it comes to being shiny. It's fun to sparkle! Portland is still pretty shy in this area, so I don't fear it becoming too crazy... just crazy enough.—Sarah Bibb, owner/designer, Folly, follypdx.com
I hate the holidays. They are filled with greed and overconsumption, and are generally a total misrepresentation of, well... facts. So my influences for the holidays might represent that. I would start with some good old-fashioned manger-wear, mix in some Partridge Family, add on some Poison, then weave in some original settler, and you have yourself a great holiday look. I am hoping for long hair, weird bangs, lots of fabric, and some practical accessories like walking sticks, headbands, fanny packs, and vests. Voila! Holidays gone wild!—Kelley Roy, founder, ADX, adxportland.com
We are excited to wear/see people wearing oversized knits; love an exposed little ankle (it doesn't really get that cold in Portland); a great slim patent leather loafer (or a great tuxedo slipper); comfy everything—it turns out you never regret it! Gray and navy are everything, but all black is a forever. Minimal everything always—we hate seeing people look like they try. You NEVER need to look like you tried. Just because you are going to a holiday party doesn't mean you have to look so "outfit-y" or "cute" or "matchy." We get the heebie-jeebies when we see it! Oh yeah, and don't forget to throw on a little something from one of your Portland makers—showing a little pride never hurt anyone!
We really DON'T want to see ugly sweaters. They never fit people right, and, well, they are just underwhelming. Dare we say that the joke is over? If you are going to do a bow tie, please, please, please do it right. Refer to Harding & Wilson (hardingandwilson.com) if you need help! And fuck party dresses! You are going to buy it, wear it once, and hate it next holiday season—so just don't do it!—Jacquelyn Caballero and Mikola Accuardi, co-founders, Portland Supply Co., portlandsupplyco.com
I'm LOVING lots of sequins! Golds and greens and silvers look great this time of the year. I have a green sequined dress that I can't wait to wear! And I'm kind of over the ugly sweater thing. I think it's fun sometimes for work parties or casual hangouts, but if it's something nice, might as well dress up!—Tonya Smith, student and fashion blogger, the Moptop, themoptop.com
What I don't want to see this holiday season: sleeveless, strapless, or tights-less dresses, sandals, or other summer wear. I'm cold just looking at you.—Brett Glass, freelance writer
I'm loving the winter white trend. Why save white, flow-y dresses for after Memorial Day? Pair them with gold boho jewelry, a furry coat, and a black hat. On the contrary, I am never a fan of body-con sequin ensembles—ick!—Anna Fickle, owner, Branch Birdie, branchbirdie.com
• The designed in Portland/made in Brooklyn line of Everett K ties is taking $20 off the top of their designs until Christmas! Use code: Holiday. Everettk.com
• The truly delightful and worldly West End Select Shop is hosting a trunk show for the gorgeous line of ARA handbags designed by Portland's own Amber Arambul. Take 10 percent off ARA purchases during the event, get a free gift with purchase, plus there will be sparkling wine and gougères. West End Select Shop, 927 SW Oak, Thurs Dec 18, 5-8:30 pm
• Indie Ella—your source for reimagined saris—is having a holiday sale, with both new styles and discount bins. Plus, of course, refreshments. Indie Ella HQ, 333 NE Hancock, Ste. 2, Thurs Dec 18, 5-10 pm
• Invocation: Art & Garment is both the debut of new photography from Jenny Hannah Roche, as well as an opportunity to check out exclusive clothing designs used in the photographs. Plus: drinks! Amelia, 2230 NE Alberta, Thurs Dec 18, 6-9 pm
• Nationale invites some of its favorite pals to co-host an informal happy hour, and OLO Fragrance is next! Meet and greet with founder/perfumer Heather Sielaff, and look for special offers. Nationale, 3360 SE Division, Fri Dec 19, 6-8 pm
• PERSONAL PLUG ALERT: The Fashion in Film series I co-host at the Hollywood is featuring one of my favorite guilty pleasures of all time: 1992's Poison Ivy, starring a young and still "bad-girl" Drew Barrymore. If it's been a while since you witnessed her titular character's transformation from a leather-jacketed runaway to perfectly done crasher of sports cars, get thee to the theater. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy, Fri Dec 19, 9:45 pm, $8
• Dapper D—the local clothing brand that provides "men's style clothing for women"—is having another pop-up shop. Stop in through the weekend to shop their wares along with those of guest jeweler Nicolas Stone. Plus, a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Make-a-Wish Oregon. Cupcake Jones, 307 NW 10th, Fri Dec 19-Sat Dec 20, 11 am-7 pm, Sun Dec 21, noon-6 pm
• Ease the tension of the season with Dig a Pony's Holiday Pop event, featuring a very cool collection of vendors (like Reif! Sticks & Stones! All Bad Days!) along with the typical DAP scene of delicious menu items and deliciously beautiful people. Dig a Pony, 736 SE Grand, Sat Dec 20, 1-6 pm
• It's hard to go wrong with fancy edibles and drinkables as gifts, especially when shopping at the beautiful Oso Market. They'll be serving up glasses of cava while you pick out items from their artisanal selection of wine, beer, and snack/pantry items. Oso Market, 726 SE Grand, Sat Dec 20, noon-3 pm
• Online lingerie entity Jane's Vanity emerges in the flesh with a chance to round out the last of your shopping. They'll have a DJ, cocktails, models, and raffles, in addition to fancy smalls, cashmeres, and jewelry from lines like Fleur of England, Marjolaine, Barazandeh, and more. The Cleaners at Ace Hotel, 403 SW 10th, Sun Dec 21, noon-7 pm