The food has been eaten. The table has been cleared. The dishes have been done. The leftovers have been packaged up and placed in the fridge in anticipation of the promising leftovers that will beckon tomorrow. If you're like me the last thing you'll want to do is to slip into a pair of jeans. Their unrelenting waistbands cruel reminders of last night's Thanksgiving meal, of the celebrations of the seasons... Some of us will wake up and go for long morning runs, some will run to their local gyms and hit the weight machines, spin and Zumba classes in order to try to undo some of the damage. And some brave souls will get up and fight the crowds to secure some of those great Black Friday deals. I will most likely try to get in a workout and chase down some deals, but I won't be going anywhere near a pair of jeans today! I'll be dressed in something casual, comfortable, forgiving and flattering. I love dresses. There's a dress for every occasion, from play to work to holiday party - from tunic to sweater dress to shift and A-Line to the classic wrap. Paired with a pair of leggings and flats or tights (Spanx?) and boots, dresses are the perfect way to carry through this Season of Eating!
1. The Classic A-Line
This might be the most flattering of all styles with it's streamlined top that flares out generously from the waist down. Elegant, graceful and perfect for carrying you from the office to the office party. Go ahead, sneak another piece of pecan pie - if it goes directly to your hips no one will know!
2. The Swing/Trapeze Dress
This dress forgives a multitude of sins Sleeveless versions reveal toned arms and legs. Some styles allow a lightweight sweater or blouse to be worn underneath, giving the dresses more versatility. Choose from casual to more formal styles. It should be noted, however, if you are well endowed the swing dress may resemble a maternity dress, which if you're expecting, is a wonderful thing... but if you're not, you may want to opt for one of the other styles featured.
3. The Shift Dress
The shift dress (as opposed to the sheath) hangs straight from the shoulders down to the hips. (The sheath has a defined waist) Shifts became popular in the 1960s and are still popular choices. Wear a shift after a big meal and your bloated belly remains top secret. Or select something as the dress pictured immediately below so that you can fully enjoy your holiday fete in comfort. Another canapé? Yes, please - don't mind if I do!
4. The Sweater Dress
This is my go-to choice in the wintertime. Not only is it warm and comfortable, but forgiving and flattering. I wear mine with leggings for a more casual look and dressed up with tights and boots for a more polished look. For more ideas see my recent piece on Sweater Dressing.
5. The Wrap Dress/Faux Wrap Dress
Although appearing form-fitting, this dress style is forgiving and flattering- hugging you in just the right places, highlighting curves, hitting you in all the right places. A pair of control-top or Spanx will smooth out those unwanted bulges from last night's mashed potatoes ad stuffing!
and when you just want to lounge around...
Leggings and an Oversized Sweater
For those of you who are feeling more casual and plan on spending the next couple of days running errands and shopping and prepping for Christmas there's nothing that a pair of leggings and a slouchy sweater can't fix! For those of you who work in a more casual office environment you might be able to pull off a look like this or pair the leggings with a less bulky sweater and a tailored jacket. But remember not to get too comfortable in those leggings - waistbands are forgiving, but your jeans aren't. Don't let this fashion friend replace a healthy diet and trip to the gym!