While every item may not sit atop your personal must-have list because you have it already or perhaps can't quite swing it, collectively this list of items should be printed out, posted or tucked away in a safe place, and reviewed regularly because it's the list of those items that working women need to survive the Holidays in style and on budget!
This list will affect everyone's budget differently so the items are roughly in the mid-range -- meaning you can find something similar for less and, undoubtedly, for more. What you should find, amazingly, is that these items while great for the Holidays happen to work just as well for any other day of the week... or occasion... or event... or scenario... or function. No stunners for stylish and sophisticated set, this is simply a reminder!
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- Multi-strand Necklace: this one by JCrew ($145) but MADEJewelry does a few nice ones as well. Take any tee or button-down and "BAM" kick it up a notch. Focus on a mixture of elements and texture
- Clutch: this Isabella Fiore at Guiltless is easy and the embossed gator gives it a little extra punch ($140). whether you carry a large purse, backpack or nothing at all, a clutch signals 'grown and sexy' so think about the predominat color in your wardrobe and find one on the same color palette.
- Cardholder: if you wear a clutch, your wallet won't fit...and you shouldn't need it. Focus on the essentials and this Laura Merkin holder ($25) works great and comes in fun colors.
- Scarf: I'm always cold but wearing a scarf automatically warms me up plus it's great for the plane, at work, and if you should decide that the 'girls' are not going on display. Focus on something long, of light material and with a print (to create versatility). I like Bindya scarves ($40 and up) but the list is endless.....
- Red Top: the Holidays are special so make your go-to red top special too. I'd opt for something like this Vivienne Westwood Anglomania zebra-print wrap ($150). The shape allows it to work on top of a shift dress, under a fitted jean jacket or by itself with some black tuxedo pants...and it's got red so it's ready for any Holiday function!
- [Killer] Black/Patent Shoes: consider these your Michael Jordan/Kobe Bryant shoes. Think of the most you can afford to pay, add $100, and go forth and conquer! The list is endless and I understand that my first choice of Loubies is not in the reasonably affordable category so, we'll go with these L.A.M.B. suede pointy toe pumps with a lug sole ($300). What you may lose in dressiness with the lug sole you gain in the stiletto heel, suede and ultra-pointy toe!
- Standout Ring: if you're not into jewelry, focus on a ring that has 'presence' and no colored stones. On the other hand, if you love jewerly like I do, this should be pretty easy. I adore this geometric rock ring by Frangos; focus on something with a vintage flair but goes with everything and anything!
- Memorable Coat: one might say it's a trench but at Blueprint, we're pretty sure it's anything with some cashmere or wool in it, and hits just below the knee. To go more easily from day to night, lose the belt, epaulets, etc and keep it simple. This Jaeger swing coat ($587) says 'retro vintage and ladylike but ready to start a party'.
- Totable Tote: to play Santa, you need something to stash your gifts in plus receiving a nicely wrapped gift from a haute bag just feels better....doesn't it? To stay in the reasonably affordable realm, we went ultra basic but luxe with this Calvin Klein Hayden tote ($90) which is very ladylike but efficient and even has a bit of travelworthiness in its future...
- Black Close-fitting Top: I am partial to JCrew's perfect tees ($34) because they are extra long, hold their shape wonderfully, retain their true color wash after wash, and come in a myriad of styles. Focus on ensuring it fits snug to the body.
- SBO: a stunning black outfit is a staple and mixed with anything red during the Holidays creates instant "cheer"! I believe in 'the path of least resistance' and when we're talking outfits that means a dress! Karen Millen makes wonderfully feminine and fitted clothing - this tailored dress ($250) is perfect for any occasion. Zara has a very similar one as wel for just $89! With something red, you won't be 'tardy for the party'.