The harshest part of winter hasn’t even arrived, and you’re already finding yourself in a major wardrobe funk. After all, how interesting can a fisherman sweater and your bootcut jeans be? You don’t need to tell us twice: We’ve been there before and completely understand your pain. And while endlessly staring at the black hole that is your closet doesn’t always spark endless imaginary outfits, perhaps turning to a different source of inspiration will do the trick: We’re talking about our favorite holiday movies. You’ve been watching them enough this season, so instead of writing these off as heart-filled flicks, study them with a sartorial lens. Here, we break down six sources of inspiration from some of the most iconic holiday films.
1. Expand your bottoms beyond the world of jeans, like Kevin McCallister
For an 8-year-old kid who was fortuitously abandoned by his parents while his house was the target of the evil Wet Bandits, you have to admit that Kevin McCallister was pretty independent: He coordinated a house full of booby traps, befriended the neighborhood outcast (Old Man Marley), and even welcomed his family home with eggs, milk, and fabric softener (naturally). And while doing all of that, the Home Alone protagonist was able to pull together some pretty superior ensembles. Our favorite? His cream sweater paired with army green cargo pants and combat boots. Because while your jeans seem like the default decision, swapping in a new, funkier pair of pants will breathe some much-needed life into that sweater you’ve worn 10 times already. Plus, these pants give off a vibe that is equal parts jolly and tough. Don’t have a pair of cargo pants (and have no interest in buying one)? Opt for that dreamy pair of corduroys that has been hanging in the black of your closet.
2. Opt for George Bailey-worthy outerwear
While he didn’t realize it until he wished he was never born, George Bailey truly had a wonderful life: a beautiful wife, loving children, and an unapologetic sense of honesty that put Mr. Potter to shame. When it comes to menswear, the It’s a Wonderful Life leading man was also blessed with a slew of impressive outerwear: long coats that comfortably hit his knees and casual car coats, which are perfect for frolicking around the snow in Bedford Falls. You’re probably already sick of your fitted pea coat by now; however, ’tis the season to make your toppers stand out. Whether you layer a leather jacket underneath a dress coat or invest in one that boasts a cool texture or color, an easy way to cure the winter wardrobe blues is by mixing your coats. Not sure which coats you should have this season? Check out our guide.
3. Don’t forgo your signature piece
During his very own Christmas story, Ralphie Parker, a character from the film A Christmas Story, had several major fashion moments: pom-pom-adorned outerwear for pulling his buddy Scott off the frozen flagpole, a conservative sweater for a less-than-perfect meeting with Santa, and (arguably his most iconic look) those bubblegum-pink bunny pajamas. But the one thing he rarely left the house without (unless he accidentally shot himself in the eye with a BB gun)? His brown horn-rimmed glasses. Whether attending a uppity office party or watching the ball drop in style, the holidays have a way of convincing us that we should forgo those staple pieces in search of a more festive look. And while that may be true for apparel, you’ll find that your most iconic accessories are actually quite versatile. For example, your penchant for fun socks will look festive with that tacky holiday sweater, and it will also spice up dressy button-down and trousers pairing. Just do us — and by that, we also mean yourself — a favor and stay far away from any animal motif jammies.
4. The more turtlenecks, the merrier
If you’ve ever seen the movie Love Actually, you’ll know two things: Love actually is all around, and a group of British romantics have an affinity for turtlenecks. From the brooding Jamie (Colin Firth) to the secretary-turned-mistress Mia, saying that there is at least one turtleneck sweater in every scene is not that much of an exaggeration. The takeaway? Switch up your sweater game by investing in one of these neck-covering options. Not only do they tend to make your jawline look more pronounced, but they are the perfect layering piece (especially paired with a scarf). Whether worn alone or with a smart blazer, this piece will instantly elevate any ensemble and make you look like that stylish, modern guy you strive to be.
5. Spice up a look with accessories, like Frosty the Snowman
We don’t mean to sound dramatic, but accessories are a game-changer. They can breathe life into any ensemble and, in Frosty’s case, even inanimate objects. Sure, you may be a little accessory-adverse during the other 11 months of the year, but use the holiday season as the time to sport that watch your mother gifted you the previous year or to experiment with bow ties. And if that’s not enough to inspire you, think about it this way: You can’t wear your “festive” holiday sweaters all month long, so seasoning your regular threads with some jolly extras is an easy way to spice up your wintry attire without being a serial outfit repeater. And, just like Frosty, they’ll help you stick out against a slew of similarly-dressed guys.
6. Be careful with your grooming regime
Mr. Grinch was notorious for being the mean one of Whoville. But appearance-wise? He’s known for his unkempt green fur. Being called a “Grinch” could imply having a sinister soul and teeny heart, but it can also mean that you don’t give a hoot about your appearance — a major holiday style faux pas. Heed our warning, dear reader: Just because it’s chilly outside (and you’re a little nostalgic for Movember) doesn’t mean you can go AWOL on your facial hair regime. Translation? A surefire way to avoid any Grinch-like connotations (style-wise) is to comb your hair before leaving the house and use a waxy pomade to avoid any pesky flyaways. And even if you do decide to keep the scruff, invest in some beard-friendly products to keep your facial hair in check.
Follow Kelsey on Twitter @KMulvs.
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