More Holidays, Less Fuss: What I’ll Be Wearing This Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Sheri Radel Rosenberg is optimistic that we'll be partying together for the holidays, and shares her fav festive fashion to help us look our best.

The holiday season is upon us, and I’m looking forward to a bit “more” this year. And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t ask myself what to wear for all the festivities. From parties to twinkling lights to champagne toasts, I’m here for absolutely all of it. Could the notion of more mean less when it comes to how we dress?

Take the vulgar logomania happening all over social media. I’m not above an “it’ bag or a Gucci loafer or a Louis Vuitton combat boot. But the constant barrage of aspiration has become too much. Too over the top. Too gluttonous. Case in point? Alessandro Michele’s recent Gucci show in LA. Called the “Love Parade,” it was a heavily spangled and star-studded event that was all about “extra.” Is he a genius designer? Yes. I particularly loved the always-great suiting, but there was also much to snarl at, too (no, thank you, Macaulay). But one glowing (always glowing) Gwyneth Paltrow caught my eye. In a red velvet tux, she stood in homage to Gucci’s Fall/Winter 1996 collection by Tom Ford looking like an absolute zillion bucks. It was over the top (red velvet) but understated all at once, and very expensive.

But I digress. Because I’ve been thinking a lot about my looks for holiday soirees, I’m way less into over-the-top than I thought I would be rounding the corner on our collective homebody. I thought I’d be craving gobs of glitz. Or disco-dusted glam. Or major sparkle. Surprisingly, I want the opposite.

Enter the concept of “stealth wealth,” a term referring to the understated elegance favored by the mega-rich. Think Shiv Roy from “Succession.” Though she often looks a bit stuffed into her clothes (maybe that’s why she’s always so cranky), there is a middle finger chic when one is rich enough to eschew all forms of logos and over-the-top excess that I find intriguing. This look is all about the aesthetic of designers like The Row, Phoebe Philo for Céline, and Max Mara. Think neutral tones and luxe fabrics that feel great against the body. Silk and whisper-thin cashmere in elegant, spare silhouettes. It’s all about the perfect drape of a pant leg — the ease of a dropped shoulder coat over a simple slip dress. In short, a more minimal moment that whispers, “I’m glad we’re here” vs “LET’S PARTYYYYYYY.” 

What I love most about fashion is its ability to be a cultural bellwether. And maybe it’s that the rich are worried and seek to hide their wealth, or perhaps for the rest of us it’s a reaction to the financial hardships caused by the pandemic and a need for more substance and a focus on what matters most. Could a quiet elegance speak to those who are feeling the need to take a chill pill when it comes to conspicuous consumption?

Here’s how I see it.

Last year, I bought the most beautiful Geoffrey Beene vintage maxi dress from the ’70s. It’s a black, super lightweight wool wrap and would be gorgeous with a trouser or a high leather boot. I am obsessed with it and can’t wait to get it on my body. No jewelry except maybe a gold bangle and a pearl stud earring. It is the chicest thing I have ever owned, and I am so glad I justified buying it by telling myself that I will eat indoors again one day. With people. At a dinner party. 

I also love a relaxed suit from a fantastic brand like sustainably-sourced UK brand Asceno, like this one in garnet silk. 

And this Lingua Franca sweater would be nice with a skirt or leather trousers. It’s classic with a wink and the message suits my mood.

A silk charmeuse dress from Miranda Bennett is great for many body types. It’s sexy and easy and not in the least bit over the top. I’d wear this to dinner at Indochine (an annual tradition during the holidays) and then again to a holiday party. I’m going back to my beloved black after a technicolor spring and summer. And navy, brown, olive, deep red, charcoal grey, and cream. Red may make a surprise appearance, in honor of that coveted Gucci tux above. 

But what I really want for the holidays has little to do with clothes and more to do with a desire to come together and celebrate. Call me Pollyanna, but I’m feeling optimistic. Velvet-Gucci-tux positive? Not quite. But dark-cape-coat-from-The-Row positive? Yes, absolutely, because if an investment is in order, make it last forever.

As always, cheers to picking your own poison when it comes to style.  Wishing you a beautiful and timeless fall and holiday season.  XO


  1. Something very odd about that last photo…..I love the outfit but the feet look as though they’re going the wrong way or maybe its the shoulders and arms that are wrong? hmmmmm…. but great article


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Sheri Radel Rosenberghttp://sherimavenblog.com/
Sheri Radel Rosenberg has spent a life in advertising. Currently she's a freelance writer focusing on women at midlife and the power of reinvention. She regularly writes on her own blog and also works with brands to develop content in the areas of women's health, wellness, fashion, and beauty .She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and a ten pound ball of doggie fluff called Khan.


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