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    Looking at your Google calendar, agenda and inbox for E-vites as the holidays approach is daunting. Add having to mingle with colleagues and friends of friends, and a little extra pressure is thrown in to be at least somewhat fashionable. 

    So, to prevent any meltdowns—you know the kind; the ones where you are standing in your closet completely overwhelmed, make-up half applied in nothing but an oversized t-shirt and one reindeer-printed sock, hurriedly tossing outfits at your unsuspecting significant other or room-mate before collapsing into a weeping heap of trendless woe— I’ve enlisted the help of a professional to get you looking your most dashing for the holiday party circuit.

    Danielle Rudy Davis is the mastermind behind the popular Louisville fashion blog, Lou What Wear, where she style-spots in Louisville, and provides visuals and step-by-steps, so you don’t have to experience overwhelming outfit jealousy when you see an effortlessly stylish woman walk into the room. And she offered up her tips for holiday-wear. 

    First of all, kind of a broad question—how would you define Louisville’s aesthetic with regards to fashion? 

    “It's definitely hard to define Louisville's style because it's so eclectic and different from neighborhood to neighborhood and age group. I think Louisville has a really strong sense of personal style. People here are comfortable being themselves and showcasing their personality through their clothes – whether that be preppy, hipster, edgy, eclectic, classic or boho. I love seeing how people take trends and put their own spin on it – I think you see a lot of that here.”

    Are there any trends that you have noticed emerging in the Louisville-area this winter? 

    “I think we've seen a lot of the vest trend here – from preppy J. Crew-style puffer vests to faux fur vests to leather (or faux leather) moto-style ones. It's also not a new trend here but I think boots, especially with an equestrian feel, are always big here in the winter. Personally I'm loving seeing all the fair isle style sweaters on both guys and girls during the holidays.”

    Urban Outfitters= Fair Isle Print Paradise


    What pieces are essential for winter in Louisville since the weather is volatile, to say the least? (You know, 70s one week and snowing the next.)

    “Obviously layering is key here. You could walk out the door to 20 degree temperatures and go out at lunch to 55 and sunny. I like to load up on thin long sleeve t-shirts that you can easily layer under sweaters on cold days, or top with a vest and a scarf on more mild days. It's also key to invest in a great coat. You're going to be wearing it regularly so you want to find something you really love and splurge a little. I bought a new cobalt blue one this season and I love how it brightens up any outfit.”

    Check out Pink Door Boutique for some stylish winter coats.


    So office Christmas party—what are you pulling out of the closet?

    “A good holiday party is the perfect excuse to pull out the sequins or bold colored items in pretty holiday jewel tones. I have a gold sequin skirt that I love to pair with a thin knit sweater and basic heels. I think the key is balancing it out. Add a sequined top or a gold skirt but balance it out with simple, classic- more conservative pieces. You're going to be mingling with your colleagues so you don't want anything too racy or revealing. And you definitely don't want to look like a Christmas ornament when you walk in."

    So-- the look below probably is not ideal.



    Holiday party at your trendiest, hippest friend’s house—what would you wear to be festive, but still fashionable?

    "When you're with friends, especially fashionable ones, you have a chance to try out trends or looks you can't pull off at the office. I am loving hats for winter so if I'm partying with a fashionable set of pals, I'd probably add it along with black leather leggings (I have a great pair that are leather in the front) and a long, sheer blouse. I'm kind of in an all-black outfit phase so that's my answer at this moment. When you're with friends, you can have a little more fun with it. So add a patterned or colored pair of tights with your dress or pile on the jewelry. I love adding a big, bold necklace this time of year to darker looks. I just recommend people have a good time – take a risk. The good thing is that if you're with good friends – you can do no wrong. Just be prepared for some good natured jokes (I got the Indiana Jones one when I wore my hat)."

    Dot Fox for hats.


    Cover photo: Shutterstock

    Photos 1-3: Urban Outfitters

    Photos 4-8: Pink Door Boutique

    Photo 9: Pinterest

    Photos 10-13: Dot Fox 

    Ashlie Danielle Stevens's picture

    About Ashlie Danielle Stevens

    I am a freelance food, arts and culture writer. Among other publications, my work has appeared at The Atlantic’s CityLab, Eater, Slate, Salon, The Guardian, Hyperallergic and National Geographic’s food blog, The Plate.

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