Your Fab & Fru Holiday Wardrobe

Everything Old is New Again!

I had the good fortune to run into professional wardrobe stylist Robin Kopple the other day. Before we go any further, you need to know that I am in awe of Robin. Even if she’s just dropping off her kids at school, she always looks adorable and well accessorized.

Our burning question for her: how to dress for thousands of upcoming holiday parties when you don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend?!

Robin has dressed celebrities for years; most recently for Style Network’s “How Do I Look?” and her insider tips are enough to make any of us look like a superstar!

Revive and Restore…

Robin’s first suggestion for our frugal friends is to look within! Your first stop should always be your own closet – with a little TLC, a festive outfit you already own can be made to feel like new again. You can breathe new life into old threads just by spending a few bucks to get an old ensemble professionally cleaned/pressed/steamed. Robin also swears by her handy little de-fuzzing comb – she still has the same one she got working at Benetton in ’92 – love her! She points out that not only is de-fuzzing incredibly therapeutic, but these little suckers can refresh a knit top that’s seen better days in no time.

Cute as a Button!

One of the simplest things we can do to save money is to be prepared!  Rather than running out in a last minute frenzy to buy an outfit (inevitably something pricey we’ll never wear again) start planning NOW for your holiday parties next month.  One plan-ahead idea Robin swears by is to add fabulous new buttons to spruce up a simple cardigan.  Buying vintage buttons (or new ones that look vintage-y) is one of the most cost effective things you can do to make an old sweater look like a hot item you inherited from a cool aunt.

Stockings…for your legs not the mantle

If cardigans aren’t your style (and our fashionista friend cautions – they don’t look good on everyone!) we love her suggestion of adding bold stockings or tights to a dress you already own. I can attest to this one – last holiday season I donned a simple black Banana Republic skirt I had worn (approximately) 8 million times, and freshened it up with a pair of fishnet stockings I bought at a discount store – you would not believe the number of compliments I got – my old outfit looked sassy and new!  Believe me, as a mom of two, I can count on one finger the number of times I’ve felt sassy in the past few years. Robin says for the under 30 ladies (& those who want the look), Urban Outfitters is a great place to find luscious leg wear. For fun but more classic styles, Nordstrom’s has a great selection of patterns – Robin just loves DKNY for their unusual colors.

Location, Location, Location

Robin makes a rather fascinating point about which parts of the body to splurge on corresponding to which part of the country you live in! She points out if you live in Manhattan, chances are you’ll be pressed up against one another in a crowded apartment celebrating Yule Tide cheer – with your legs sadly obscured rather than garnering compliments!  If you live in a geographic location where it is likely your gams will go unnoticed, Robin suggests accentuating the one thing everyone will see – your head! A simple jeweled barrette or headband may be all you need to spruce up an old look – Anthropologie and J.Crew have some beautiful and subtle rhinestone choices Robin loves.

**While these aren’t the cheapest stores out there, if it is the only thing you are buying this season it may be worth it to spend a bit more for a high quality item that will hold up over many wears.


Speaking of sparkle, I was at a wedding the other night and a woman at my table had on a fabulous beaded necklace with a simple black dress. Honestly, the necklace was so awe-inspiring that I didn’t even notice the dress. She informed me that the frock was the same one she had worn to her own rehearsal dinner – TEN years ago – but the addition of the necklace made it new again! One piece Robin loves to add sparkle to your holidays is J. Crew’s Crystal Chain necklace for $55 – way less than a new outfit – and you can pair it with festive or more casual looks.

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