dec14_holiday_dressingAs the holidays approach, the special occasion shopping season begins. Boutiques and malls display bright red dresses; evergreen blouses, pants, and skirts; and a plethora of Santa Claus-printed boxers, socks, and ties. Looking your authentic best at cocktail parties, office parties, family dinners, and lunches with best friends requires serious thought about what to wear.

If you are like me, you may have one or two favorite pieces of clothing that re-appear only at this time of year. As I unpack my Christmas sweaters, holly scarves, and jolly ornamental jewelry from their boxes, I feel the season’s spirit of joy.

For me, the light of the holidays is reflected in the glow of gratitude and rebirth. Accordingly, an important gift I can bring to others is the way I show up in the world. My intention, then, is to bring more of my light to the season by wearing the colors and beauty reflective of celebration.

My favorite holiday dress was designed by the Italian designer Alberta Ferretti. I wore it in a fashion show I did in Nashville, of all places. This warm and cozy woolly blanket of a dress is a floor-length, dusty-red, and sage-green plaid. No one I’ve known has ever worn this same iconic dress, and so every year, I put it on as if I am wearing it for the very first time. It always sparks a conversation, inviting others to share in its little story, and to offer their own tales of favorite festive outfits over the years. Such connection and interaction adds dimension to less compelling small talk at parties or other possibly awkward get-togethers.

Who doesn’t want to shine or feel good about themselves at their own office party? To talk about something other than the long shopping mall lines and how much work it is to wrap presents? Dressing with the intention of giving your light to others is a meaningful way of sharing your own inner beauty and style over the holiday season.

These inner qualities are illuminated when you are conscious about how you dress and how you show up in the world. When deciding how to dress for the holidays, ask yourself the following questions:

1. What qualities or gifts will I bring to the party? (Some examples: joy, elegance, fun, light, romance, and accessibility)

2. How do I want others to perceive me?

3. What experience do I want to have at the event?Dress according to your inner choices and watch how your wardrobe magically reflects your light and love as you join in all the reindeer games.

Lorelei Shellist, author of Runway RunAway: A Backstage Pass to Fashion, Romance and Rock ‘n Roll, is a speaker, host, model, stylist, image consultant and inner beauty coach. She is also the founder of Fashion Icon Archetypes™ Personality Programs. Lorelei holds an MA in Spiritual Psychology, with an emphasis in Consciousness, Health and Healing, and she puts her skills to work coaching women, at-risk teens, and the incarcerated: loreleishellist.com.

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Lorelei Shellist, author of Runway RunAway: A Backstage Pass to Fashion, Romance and Rock ‘n Roll, is a speaker, host and model, Image Consultant, Inner Beauty Empowerment Coach, and the founder of Fashion Icon Archetypes™ Personality Programs. She holds master’s degrees in Spiritual Psychology, and in Consciousness, Health and Healing from the University of Santa Monica. Lorelei coaches executives, women, and at-risk teens, and facilitates spiritual psychology workshop activities with prison inmates through the Freedom To Choose Foundation (freedomtochoosefoundation.org). Visit: www.loreleishellist.com