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Sustainable Holiday Party Style Ideas For You
These sustainable holiday party style ideas will help you to look amazing all festive season long. Celebrate in style with these practical and easy festive fashion tips. With this post I am also wishing you very happy holidays. Look like the belle of the ball with your very own virtual personal stylist Jenni at I on Image 🎅⭐️🎄🎁
There is not a soul who doesn’t know by now that sooner or later we will be drowning in fast fashion. Or perhaps it’s toxic side product, pollution, will get to us first. I haven’t quite decided which way I want to go down but let’s assume that in a long run people would still choose a healthy life over a glitter-bombed one-night stand with an outfit that cost less than a proper meal in a restaurant.
Please don’t think that I am a saint. I too have an array of fashion skeletons in my well-curated closet. There are clear traces of online sale shopping out of boredom. Evidence of high street prowls after liquid lunches. Discarded victims of fashion haul culture that serves literally just 1% of the population.
I am far from perfect but I strive to be better, and I would like you to do the same this holiday party season. In this guest blog I am sharing some stylish ideas on how to look amazing at every party without torturing the already overworked planet.
1. Shop Your Closet
If you are anything like me, your closet is probably bursting out of it’s seams but oddly you feel like you have nothing to wear. In this situation the answer is not to shop for new party clothes, but to sort out what you already own. You might be surprised to see how much you actually have!
My popular “Shop Your Closet” wardrobe editing guide will help you to do the work on your own. The idea is to discover new ways to wear clothes hiding in your wardrobe but also to have fun while sorting everything out. As a result you will have a clear overview of the contents of your closet.
My clients are always amazed how many amazing looks they can actually get from so very little. You too can achieve that with just a little patience and some organizing skills. Real style doesn’t come from huge wardrobe. On the contrary, a huge wardrobe can confuse you and make you feel like you have nothing to wear.
The trick is in clever styling and creativity. I am sure that you will find several holiday party outfits to wear throughout the entire festive season just by taking a deep look in your own closet. Remember that the most sustainable Christmas party outfit is the one already hanging in your closet!
2. Buy Second Hand
I have recently rediscovered second hand shopping. When I was young and had no money I was forced to drift shop. Going through racks of donated clothing in charity shops developed my style sense and showed me what a well-made garment really looked like. They don’t make clothes like that anymore -and that’s a fact!
I am thankful for those style lessons that preceded my formal fashion education years later. I forgot the habit for years but to my delight I am vintage shopping again. Nowadays there is more selection than ever before. You won’t believe the amount of almost new –or even brand new with tags- items in second hand shops.
People simply buy more than they can possibly handle. As a result, you can profit from amazing finds for a fracture of their original price. I have also found second hand items that I missed for their original price. For a fashion nerd like me it was a thrilling experience to make such a style score.
Your stylist recommends: Second hand designer fashion at The Next Closet or make fun fashion finds for very little money on Vinted. I set up my own little second hand fashion stores on these platforms to make good use of clothes that I no longer wear but are still amazing. What doesn’t work for me might very well look stunning on you so go and take a look and let me know if you have any questions.
Please note that these second hand fashion sales are not affiliated with my business I on Image.
3. Rent A Dress
Sharing economy is big news right now. If we are already our renting homes and cars, then why not our fashion too. Renting a holiday party dress is a sustainable way to wear something new for every occasion.
I would recommend fashion rental services for people who have either a once-in-a-lifetime event, limited storage space or so many events that buying new would bankrupt them in no time. Let alone having to store all those outfits somewhere. In Amsterdam nobody has the space for that.
Look for a local fashion rental service to minimize transportation because your dress will have at least two trips. Check also what type of dry-cleaning services they use. Opt for one that use exclusively eco-friendly dry-cleaners.
Some fashion rental shops offer you the option to buy the items you fell in love with. It’s like test driving a car before buying it. You’ll know exactly that the dress works for you and the compliments will be flowing in. I like that idea a lot, although the business model’s sustainability is then slightly questionable.
Think also if you want to rent from a curated collection at a central location rather than from someone’s personal wardrobe. One of the advantages is that their dresses come in multiple sizes. This way you don’t have to search for your fashionable body twin. Sustainable holiday party style has never been this low commitment before!
4. Swap Dresses With A Friend
The advantage of having stylish friends is that they might be happy to share their style secrets with you. If you have a good reputation, and the same dress size, they might be open to a clothes swap too.
I am often lending items to my friends, if not a dress, then at least accessories. My walk-in-closet is like the shop that opens when all the other shops are closed. Just a bit more interesting and often wine is served during “shopping”. After all, that’s the most fun way of shopping, right?
Dive in your friend’s closet but remember to be nice. Return the items in pristine condition and offer to replace damaged goods. Have the items dry-cleaned and pressed by a professional before returning them. If your partying can’t take a vintage Versace, don’t swap a vintage Versace. Go a good few price brackets down.
Discuss the terms in advance to avoid those awkward conversations later. Don’t ever put your friend in a spot or be rude about borrowing her clothes. The idea is to keep this fashion swapping thing going on for years and the only way to make it a success is to have mutual respect.
5. Repeat A Look For A Truly Sustainable Holiday Party Look
This is a tough one and it feels almost unthinkable. Who in their right mind would wear the very same outfit they wore to the last year’s party? But let’s think again. Is it really such a faux pas?
I hate to break this but nobody will remember what you wore last year, or the year before. It’s nothing personal against your outfit but people don’t tend to think about things like this. Even if there are photos, it’s highly unlikely that anyone would remember what you wore. If you don’t believe me, then go and ask around.
I have been to many events in one and the same plainish Little Black Dress and, while it’s painstakingly stylish, it’s also kind of invisible. People tend to remember me and not what I wore. And that’s the whole purpose of creating a personal style, in my opinion.
Coco Chanel said: “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman”. I think she was really onto something!
Just style your lovely dress with different jewelry, shoes and bag. Style your hair differently and wear different makeup. If last year you were all about the red lip, go this year for a smokey eye. Nobody will know that it’s the same dress making a comeback! You can go as glam as you want or keep it understated.
Trust me, this option will save you loads of time, money and effort. Just repeat what was fabulous last year and have a lot of fun. Simple as that -and oh-so-sustainable!
More Sustainable Holiday Party Style Ideas In Blog
- How To Upgrade Your Wardrobe In The Most Sustainable Way?
- Language of Sustainable Fashion
- How To Recognize Green-Washing in Fashion?
- How to Be a Sustainable Fashion Consumer?
- 10 Sustainable Fashion Myths Explained
Share your best sustainable holiday party styling tips in the comments below. I am curious to hear how you manage to look so amazing every year so go ahead and spill the fashion beans with us.
I am wishing you a really lovely festive season. Stay stylish! 🎅⭐️🎄🎁
This post was originally published on I on Image’s blog on 3rd December 2020 and updated on 10th December 2023.