Smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, we’re all bound to be invited to a few parties. I usually like to take time to plan and prepare for such events, but last weekend things went a bit differently. I’ll present a possible scenario* in the hope that my experience helps you.

You may be spending a cozy afternoon swathed in designer cashmere** when you receive a call from your Significant Other:

“Baby, I forgot XX party is today! It starts in half an hour. Hurry up and get ready, I’ll be there in 15 minutes.”

You might calmly say*** “Darling, I advised you to put that on your calendar so that you wouldn’t forget! Nevertheless, I shall be ready when you arrive.”

Perhaps you serenely set aside the important project you’ve been working on**** and immediately select the ideal party look from your well-organized wardrobe,***** then spend the remaining time skillfully perfecting your hair and makeup before emerging from your winter cocoon like a dewy, flawless Venus.******

Work with what you got

Or, in case things don’t work out exactly as above, you can dress up the trusty jeans+tee combo with a few party-worthy pieces:

Gap jeans; Old Navy tee; vintage jacket, necklace, and ring; Kaneesha earrings; River Island bag; Colin Stuart boots

It’s as easy as adding:

  • A fancy jacket or blazer. Look for materials like satin, velvet, and faux fur.
  • Statement shoes. This is where those “I’ll never wear these but I love ’em” shoes you bought on a whim get some play.
  • One or two dramatic accessories
  • Lipstick

…and you’re ready to go in 10-15 minutes!

Now, Real Talk:

*Yep, this ish actually happened last weekend
**jeans and a tee I’ve had since I worked at Old Navy during college
***shout an impressive series of expletives
****scarfing down multiple packets of fruit snacks while watching episodes of Peep Show on my laptop
*****Stare in wild-eyed panic at the haphazard jumble of clothing in the closet for a good 10 minutes before grabbing something–anything!–in a fit of frustration.
******race down the stairs and out the door, trying not to trip over my feet while applying the lipstick I thought I lost, but was really at the bottom of my luggage-sized purse.

The things I have to put up with…

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