Going home for the holidays is always an affair to remember. For some of us, it means unlimited indoor heat, laundry and showers for the first time in a while whilst our hosts kiss the tops of our heads every chance they get because they're just so gosh-darn happy to see us. For others, it can be a tense test of endurance involving much side-eye from relatives as an elder cheerfully reminds us "no more money in the holiday cards until you go back to school or get married or have a baby!". If you're a weirdo like us, it's a little bit of both.
One way to make your yearly pilgrimage more jingle bells and snowflakes than coal and tiny Grinch hearts is to show up well prepared and in fabulous armor. We don't mean chain mail. The loveliest thing about fashion is that you can use it to make people believe things about you that may not be quite true. Did you spend the last year kissing every boy in town, doing bong rips, creating an all female vigilante group and watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo? Not my daughter!
We can't be good all year. Some of us can't even be good most of the time. Still, family time can be easier when everyone thinks we're still the angelic baby they bought a pink and purple transistor radio in 1992 and not Bad Sandy at the end of Grease. Put the right coat of paint on that barn and nobody will know better! It's not lying; it's aspiration!
Been less sugar, more spice and not sure if you count as "nice"? We prepared a checklist to keep up your ruse through the New Year. Good girls are just bad girls that don't get caught.
Dressing the Part
The Skater Dress
Back in the olden days people ice skated on actual frozen ponds in nature. Now, we have to do this at a mall or in Spanaway. Alas, one lovely remnant from that time has come back into fashion, and that is the Skater Dress.
They are girly, but not too girly. They make you look so sweet nobody could possibly believe you've been up to no good. The skirt is flouncy and perfect for twirling, but the top is simple. They are universally flattering. Got a lot of boob? They will look amazing. On the flatter side? Wear the right bra and the whole world is yours. They highlight the waist and everybody's hips look the same in them! If you have long legs this style will make you look like you just walked off America's Next Top Model. If you have short legs you can wear it with heels OR flats, without fear of Stumpy Syndrome, because Skater Dresses always hit above the knee.
Pretty much the only pattern discrepancy in Skater Dresses is the sleeves. You can get one with long sleeves, short sleeves or no sleeves. Other than that, they're pretty much all the same animal. An animal you can find in almost any color you fancy!
They're also great because they're so simple you can accessorize them with just about anything. Hair bow? Jaunty scarf? Pearls? Stacks of bracelets and rings on every finger?
We would wear it with fancy tights, a skirted jacket and, of course, ice skates and a muff! Maybe a hat with earflaps too. Rosy cheeks sold seperately!
Okay, so girly skirts aren't your thing. You're going to a cold climate and want to retain as much heat as possible. Meet our best friend, the fisherman sweater!
We love them because you can find them anywhere. You can drop your life savings, or you can get one at Goodwill or Value Village with a fiver. Shit, you can knit your own if you've got the skillz. Choose a tight one to show off your assets, or get a giant one to belt and wear as a dress.The more sweater you wear, the more you can conceal, whether it's a severed head, a handle of booze or a pregnancy.
You go caroling in it and stay warm long your lashes have frozen your eyes shut. You can fall asleep in it and it will snuggle you like a lover. You can wear it the next morning while you open presents and keep it on all day without anybody knowing you're still in your pajamas.
Should the cackle of relations become too much, you can drink whiskey in it and tell your family you're channeling Ernest Hemingway. Automatic excuse!
What do you pair this magical yarn beast with? If you're going the fitted route, a denim jacket over the top looks hip and keeps ya warmer than you'd think. Otherwise, tights and boots look put together but hardly require any effort. Baby, it's cold outside!
Decorations and Distractions
Sure they're supposed to a girl's best friend, but if you're from the same economically depressed generation as we, you probably don't have any real ones. Who cares! The world is full of fabulous fakes.
Diamonds and "diamonds" are what classy ladies wear because they match everything. Especially the snow and icicles outside. Plus you can hold them in front of the lights on the Christmas tree for endlessly entertaining twinkle effects. Rapper inspired ear studs? A giant rock that would make Liz jealous? Clear rhinestones glued to everything you own? We approve.
Plus, if you want to play a little joke on your family, you can wear a fancy imitator and freak everybody out! "Oh, yes Grandma, I am engaged. We met at a Kmart. He's a Peruvian drug lord but I think we'll end up settling in Havana. His name is George...." (look around the room to find a suitable object) "...George Houseplant".
This can also be fun after the family activities have died down and you're at the bar with your friends from high school. "Oh, hello hot lab partner from senior year that didn't want to date me because I hadn't filled out yet. Fancy running into you! Don't mind that I'm enthusiastically scratching my face with my LEFT HAND".
Some people hate glitter. We hate them.
Not really, but when it's dark all the time, we'll take all the extra light we can get. That's one of the best things about holiday time. Glitter for everybody! It's distracting!
There is no such thing as too much sparkle during the holidaze. Wear it in your nail polish! Prance around like a reindeer in sparkly dresses! Coat your body in Mod Podge and roll around in glitter! That will certainly distract them from asking how school's going or why you're still taking public transit and living with roommates! (If you actually do this, PLEASE send us a picture. We will post it online and make you internet-famous!)
If the macho men complain because you shed a little sparkle and it ended up on their cheek, put coal in their stockings! (Or more glitter!) Hahahahaha!
How To Get Away With Drinking, Smoking and Murder*
When you live away from home for a while, you pick up habits that mummy and dadsy may not approve of. You don't have to take a Christmas vacation from your vices (though that might be the healthier choice). Just don't forget to bring the means to hide them.
Every lady's life is incomplete without a cute little flask to stow in her garter. When life gives you lemons, make a lemon drop! Is Aunt Harriet irritating or hilarious? After the sixth trip to the car or bathroom it gets hard to tell.
Flasks also make awesome gifts for all your secret bad girl friends.
Have a nasty nicotine habit that Grandpa doesn't need to know about? They put those secret pockets in the back of purses for a reason. Conceal, conceal, conceal!
Snuck out for a quick one and don't want to come back reeking? Here's how to get away with it: Run straight to the bathroom when you get back. If brushing your teeth isn't an option, a strong minty gum like Trident White will do. Wash your hands and put on lotion or freshen up your perfume. If it's in your hair, dust some baby powder into it and comb it out. It covers up stank, absorbs oil and creates volume.
If you're in the company of ex-smokers, we can't guarantee this will work. Most of them can smell tobacco from mile away.
If you're going for the big leagues, there's always the good old book safe. You can buy them online or hollow one out on your own as a fun vacation craft project. "No mother, I am much too literate to be smoking anything".
When you've done away with all your secret trinkets, it would be a nice gesture to leave it to a younger sibling who still lives at home. Chances are, they're up to a lot worse than you are.
*Do not actually murder anyone. That is not Shop Girl approved.
This is all just speculation. Of course we know our gentle readers have no need for this information. You guys were good all year, weren't you?
We thought so. We were too. We never misbehave.
KT & Andrea