How To Choose a Festive Outfit? + More Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season

Festive season is in full swing. Speaking of which, I hope you all of you who celebrate Christmas ended up enjoying a fabulous Christmas day. Those of you who don't celebrate it, I hope you had a great day too. New Year is almost here and choosing a festive outfit is still on top of our priorities. Maybe we can learn something from our previous experiences? What are your tips for choosing the perfect festive outfit? Do you remember what you wore last NYE? Are you happy about the choice you made last year? I think asking questions like that can actually help us to find our perfect outfit for this New Year Eve (and other festive occasions still to come). 

 Today I'll show you two things:  what I wore for Christmas day & how I have decorated my home this festive season. I'm also going to talk a bit about choosing an ideal outfit for the festive season. Moreover, I'll offer more tips for surviving the festive times. If you remember, my last post was all about how we can reduce holiday stress. My ten tips for lowering holiday stress included: being grateful for what we have, making healthy choices, getting enough sleep, making our own rules and being present in the moment. So, how did my Christmas day turned out? It was quite nice, a bit bittersweet as it is bound to be, since I didn't get to see any of my family members (apart from the husband and the in-laws obviously). I really tried to lower the stress this season as I wasn't feeling well and I was somewhat successful in that. The Christmas celebration left me a bit tired (as it to be expected) but not as exhausted as usual. I simplified things to the best of my abilities, and I managed to find some time to rest. I quite enjoyed doing the Christmas decor this year. I chose my Christmas outfit the very last moment because I didn't feel like overthinking it, yet I'm quite happy with my choice. I think I might even follow a similar outfit formula for New Year celebration.


I was planning to decorate my home the day before Christmas but I had started a bit earlier. I love the tradition of putting on the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, but I ended up putting some of the decor the evening before Christmas Eve. It was a joint effort, and I think both of us are quite happy with the result.  I think that with everything that takes place during holiday season, we should remember to follow our own rules and heart.


That brings me to more tips for surviving the holiday season. One thing I'm still learning is to have realistic expectations. Plan your time in a realistic way and try to find time for things to love. That sounds like a pretty good advice to me. I'm still learning to follow my own advice. I think one of the problems with festive season is that people often have unrealistic expectations. I mean if you're tired because you've been working around the clock, there is nothing you can do about it, so just accept that you're tired and then enjoy the festive occasion to the best of your abilities. We shouldn't expect the impossible from ourselves. Festive occasions don't have to be perfect to be enjoyed! Work with what you have and make the most out of it. 


When choosing a Christmas tree, a lot of people face the fake or real tree dilemma. Both have its prons and cons. I'm not going to argue for neither, as I think both choices should be free for everyone to make. A plastic tree is often considered a more ecological choice, but lovers of real trees always emphasize that nothing can replace the smell of a real Christmas tree. Well, I solve that dilemma by using an old plastic tree while bringing in some tree branches. Fortunately, we have an enormous tree in front of our house. My husband planted it many years ago. Every year I pick some branches from it, and that way I can have the best of both worlds. We are thinking of getting a bigger plastic tree, but I think that can wait. I've grown quite attacked to the tree we have. It's probably as old as me, and I do like old things. 


As I mentioned in my last post, I had prepared some traditional dishes in advance, so that I'm all set and I don't have to stress about cooking on the Christmas day itself. We actually had only breakfast at our home and lunch and dinner at different in-laws. This is the first time I didn't prepare any sweets or cakes, we just bough some. I might write more about our Christmas traditions in the future, but I'll skip on it this time as I want to talk more about reducing the stress during the festive season.  Do feel free to share your own Christmas cooking and other traditions with me. I'd love to know what you prepare, what kind of food do you enjoy, and how you avoid stress related to Christmas meal preparation.


I didn't do much shopping these holidays and that applies to holiday decor as well. I don't get the holiday shopping frenzy. Must we always buy everything new? Maybe someone has to, but I feel like many people shop just for the sake of shopping and that's just not the right thing to do. Isn't it boring to always do something just because others do? We bought the candles for our Advent wealth and some new ornaments before the Advent started. I bought some Christmas ornaments from kids in my school. I love hand made Christmas decor and ornaments and they are often sold for charity. Every Christmas, I buy something of the kind, some item sold by various fundraising organizations. 

Besides hand made ornaments, I also love vintage holiday ornaments. I do understand why some people opt for different ornaments each year. Someone might enjoy having something 'new' every year, but I'm a bit of a traditionalist. I like to combine vintage and handmade Christmas decor. Sometimes I even make my own Christmas decorations. Even when I don't take the DIY approach, I like to add my own touch. For example, this year we though about putting on Christmas lights on our home, but in the end I decorated my balcony in another way.  Duplicate Christmas decor doesn't appeal to me. I love Christmas decor that feels unique. I suppose that my advice when it comes to Christmas (or any festive) decorating is to do what makes you happy and comfortable. 

When it came to furnishing our home, we opted for minimalism, but when it comes to Christmas decor,  I didn't run away from colour. As soon as the festive season starts, I'm suddenly not afraid of kitsch. I feel like it's the only time of year when kitsch feels appropriate.  Maybe I'm wrong, but tacky Christmas decor often feels warm and welcoming. I think we're allowed a bit of cheesiness when it's Christmas time, especially when we're talking about Christmas tacky vintage ornaments and items. 


For my Christmas outfit, I opted to wear a grey long sleeve dress and a red blazer I showed to you at the start of this post. I added a faux fur scarf because really you can't go wrong with one and because there is something glam about a touch of fur. I also wore a coat that I forgot to photograph, but you get the idea. My Christmas day outfit wasn't different from things I usually wear and it was certainly a very comfortable one. I knew that I will be out of the home for most day and there was some driving included, so I wanted to wear something I'd feel comfortable in but still look dressed up. When it comes to choosing a festive outfit, we shouldn't be afraid to pick the clothes we already know and love. It doesn't have to be something new. I bought this dress not too long ago, but I wore it so many times it already feels comfortable and familiar. I love that it's a bit longer and I think that knee length is a very flattering one, especially for the family dinners (where you don't want to wear anything too short). I do like the combination of colours as well. This bright red blazer has been a long time favourite of mine and it looks great paired with dresses. Sometimes just by pairing the things we already have in our closet, we can end up with something new and fresh. Moreover, I think hairdo and make up are a great ways to make our festive outfits more festive. I braided my hair in a classical European way.  Nobody speaks of braids as a way of covering a bad hair day, but they do the trick. I put some nut oil on my hair and it made styling it even easier. I don't know about you, but I always feel better with a nice hairdo.  What do you think about my outfit? Does it speak to you? 

Here are my tips for choosing an ideal festival outfit:

1. Consider one thing first: comfort 

Now, it is important to remember that comfort is something that depends on the person. Some ladies (like myself) feel comfortable in pencil skirts, heels and tights, while others don't. Similarly, some people prefer certain materials to others. Some like silk and satin, others prefer something else. Most people like to wear something special for NYE. However, special doesn't have to mean uncomfortable. I really do believe there is a special New Year outfit there to fit everyone. You can always find something in your style, whatever your style might be. If you always wear sneakers, you can pair a pretty dress with glitter sneakers. There is a clothing item and a shoe choice for every kind of New Year occasion.  Still, there are some things that are universally comfortable and uncomfortable. A dress that is too tights will never feel comfortable. Some things are just common sense. Don't wear sky high heels if you plan to dance the night away. Don't wear a dress that you can't move in. You can't look good if you don't feel well. It is fine to wear something that isn't the most comfortable thing in the world, but don't compromise on comfort too much or you'll end up feeling miserable.

2. Get inspired by trends, but don't wear something that just isn't your style

Trends are the perfect place to look for inspiration, but don't end up wearing something you'd hate or something you know won't look good on you. Remember there are many ways to take on a trend. Accessories are a great way to make your look more trendy. With a trusted LBD and a trendy accessory, you may be pretty sure you'll feel both modern and stylish. If certain colours or prints are trendy, but you don't feel them, try to opt for an accessory in that colour or print. That way the trend won't feel overbearing. Another good thing is to explore different takes on some trend. If you're not crazy about the cowgirl trend but you like some aspects of it, you can always incorporate that something into your wardrobe. Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone to consider some trend, but avoid wearing something don't actually like because that's a big no-no. 

3. Make sure everything fits

A good fit is essential for a putting together a winning festive outfit. Unless you're going for an oversize look, you should wear your size. Don't wear something that doesn't fit, no matter how tempting it might be. If you want to preserve some fabulous clothing item in memory, take a photography but don't wear it. NYE or any festive occasion usually involves a bit or a lot of celebrating, dancing and socializing.  You won't be able to celebrate or to present in the moment if you are distracted by your clothes or shoe choices. 

4. Don't forget about make up and hair

Hair and make up can take your outfit to a whole new level but don't forget it. I tend not to wear any make up on everyday basis, but even I wear make up for the holidays. A festive make up can transform even the most simple outfit into something glamourous. The same goes for hair. A good hairdo will make any outfit look more polished and put together. So, consider your make up and hair choices wisely. Your hair can be your greatest accessory when styled right. A perfect make up can make you look more beautiful and alluring. 

5. Take weather conditions into mind

Be sensible. Consider the weather conditions you're going to celebrate in. If you are celebrating a special occasion in warm indoors, you can pretty much wear what you like. However, if you plan on celebrating outdoors, you really need to consider the weather conditions. The last thing you want is to get sick during the holiday season. Everyone's cold residence is different. I personally have none whatsoever and as soon as it's windy or cold I wrap myself in endless layers, but even the most stoic individuals should remember to warm warmly when it gets cold.  

What are your tips for surviving the holiday season? Are you a holiday lover or a Grinch? How do you decide on what to wear during the festive season? Do you have any holiday styling tips to share?


  1. Wooow! You look stunning! Fantastic post!

    Happy New Year!!

  2. I love to see that you are dressed for the weather. It amazes me how many sleeveless dresses I see for this occasion, yet it's WAY too cold here for that (or else I'm a wimp).
    We've become a lot more minimal in our decorations too. It takes a lot of the stress off during this time.

  3. I haven't decorated my home for Christmas this year and I feel so bad about it :( Next year I should prep in advance. It's so much joy giving... Thanks for sharing, you look gorgeous! Merry Christmas!

  4. Bello il lok che hai scelto per Natale Ivana, mi spiace solo che tutto non sia andato al massimo ma vedo che come sempre sei molto saggia e hai trovato un modo di essere contenta in ogni caso. Buone feste mia cara!
    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger

  5. We, too, went very minimal with decorations this year. I wish we had with the gift-giving, too :/ We still have Christmas to celebrate this coming Sunday with family, but at least no more presents to buy. Cooking consisted of baking two apple pies (one to take to our neighbors' house for a traditional Christmas dinner and the other for us) as well as several turkey pot pies (for us and for neighbors as gifts). I didn't relax at all over the four-day weekend. I should have taken the day after Christmas off as a recovery day! I love that you didn't fuss with what you wore. It looks lovely and the red jacket makes it festive, as does the faux fur scarf (I'm going to have to look for one of those for myself - I love it!). Classy, dressy and comfortable - it's the only way to do it! This was a great post filled with lots of good information!

    1. thank you Ruth! Baking apple and turkey pot pies as presents is such a great idea, I should try it some times. I didn't have much time to relax either, I'm actually relieved that I went to work this morning so I have an excuse to rest this afternoon. With holidays there is always so much to do! Sometimes we might even feel like we need a holiday from holidays!

  6. This post is definitely festive! The outfit perfect for Christmas and I am swooning over the faux fur and love the holiday decor!

  7. Glad you enjoyed your Christmas. I like that there are a lot of tips going out to cope with the stress from the holiday festivities. I can see it - especially with everything being crammed Love your outfit. I love the smell of Christmas trees but you have to buy a new one every year. I like your method of putting your tree together.

    Nancy ♥

  8. Thanks a lot :D

    nice tips my friend :) super interesting post

    InstagramFacebook Official PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

  9. Dear Ivana, you look super beautiful in your Christmas look you have created last minute. Red suits you so well and I love also the other pieces of your look! I can imagine you felt well in what you wore.
    Normally, Christmas is fortunately not that stressful for me. But I think this depends on the fact we plan and work ahead. For example we decorated our Christmas tree already on the 3rd of Advent. On the afternoon of the Holy Eve many family members and a good friend are visiting us. We offer (purchased) "Stollen" (traditional German Christmas cake), "Lebkuchen", Parma ham, "Schüttelbrot" and cookies made my mother. In the evening this heard we had a friend as guest and ate Raclette.
    On the first day of Christmas we invite friends and family to a restaurant and afterwards we have have coffee and cake at our parents. In the evening dinner is skipped normally as we are all still very full :)
    On the second day of Christmas my younger sister with your family normally visits us (like it was yesterday the case, too) and we offer similar things as on the afternoon of the Holy Eve including some salty pastries and punch. In the evening we are eating the rests of the raclette :)
    About my outfits: I planning them in advance and often I wear things I wore already during Advent and showed on my blog. This year I wore on Holy Eve denims and a cardigan with blue and red flowers and some lurex as well with navy high heels with straps. On the first Christmas day I opted for a red velvet blazer with black pants, cognac boots and earring with stars. Yesterday my look was more traditional with a hand-knitted vintage cardigan with hood in red, a black dress, hiking inspired boots.
    Thanks for sharing how Christmas was for you. I'm relieved it was quite okay for you and you found even some time to relax. But I really understand you miss you relatives.
    Have amazing last days of 2018!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    1. It is really interesting to read about the traditions in your family. We usually have breakfast at our home with our inlaws as guests, then we go to my sister-in-law for lunch and finally we go to my brother-in-law to have dinner. Sometimes we visit other cousins too.
      My parents said they will come to visit this weekend so I'll get to see them after all.

  10. I see you were extremely busy for Christmas and I agree with what you said about surviving hollidays, it is no always easy. I also love your outfit very much, it is perfect for this occasion and for many other.

  11. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!! I loooove this outfit. I'm still trying to figure out what I'll be putting together for a new years outfit but I'm thinking some kind of a faux fur jacket - or maybe something velvet!!
    xo, allie

  12. Ma che belle le tue decorazioni! Ed il tuo look! Sei perfetta, elegante ma festosa!
    Mi dispiace che tu non sia riuscita a vedere la tua famiglia per Natale, ma mi pare di capire che sei riuscita comunque a passare dei bei momenti.
    Sei sempre molto saggia ed intelligente!
    E comunque sono d'accordo con te: giocare d'anticipo è il segreto per non stressarsi troppo durante queste feste, pensa che noi iniziamo i preparativi gà dal 1 Dicembre! ^^
    Buone feste, tesoro!

  13. Great post honey! really amazing!

  14. 682/5000
    Your Christmas outfit looks very chic and festive, dear Ivana! Red is a wonderful color for the Christmas season and fur / fake fur always looks classy! You also use a lot of red in the decoration - I like that very much. I think like you, that we don't have to buy constantly something new. And that the holidays should be as stress-free as possible. I will show my Christmas outfit in a blog post in January, first I have posted a chapter of my Thailand travelogue again .
    Have a nice time "between the years" and a happy new year!
    Hugs, Traude

    1. yes, we don't have to buy something new all the time. I love red!

  15. great tips! thanks for sharing! you look amazing in red!

  16. I love seeing photos of your sweet festive home!
    You look absolutely gorgeous! Love the red jacket with faux fur stole over it, really brings the Winter theme into the occasion! :)
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, dear Ivana!!!

  17. che bello il tuo giacchino rosso. Ti auguro un meraviglioso anno nuovo

  18. Your festive outfit ist georgeous! The pairing of the grey dress with the grey tights and the red jacket ist simply perfect! You look so pretty :-)
    All the best

  19. Thank you so much for sharing these amazing tips. I must say you are an incredible writer, I love the way that you describe the things. Please keep sharing.

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  20. che belle queste decorazioni natalizie a casa ,mi piace anche il tuo look ,specialmente la giacca.

    1. grazie mille Chiara, sono contenta che ti piaccino.

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