My Holiday Style, Solved: Schleppy Chic Goes Glam

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Sponsored by Nordstrom Rack & ShopStyle Collective

My style is not what you’d typically call fancy. And while I love a velvety trapeze dress or something long and dramatic, the resulting look usually skews more playful than posh. As such, I’m not usually one to lean into the true glam potential of holiday dressing. Until, that is, this year.

This year, I’ve cracked the code on my personal holiday style, and it comes down to one small hack: stick with tried-and-true basics — for me, that means elevated casual a la my self-proclaimed schleppy-chic aesthetic — and make just one piece really, truly dazzling.

This could mean a shimmery T-shirt dress with chunky boots and a lofty cardigan.

Or pulling a sequined bomber over soft wide-leg jeans with a graphic tee.

A silvery crop top with black-wash jeans and block heels? Uh-huh.

My Holiday Outfit Hack: Sequined Wide-Leg Trousers + Casual Everything Else

I've cracked the code on my holiday outfits: stick with tried-&-true basics & make just 1 piece dazzling.

sweater (S) | pants (S, size down) | jacket (S) | boots (TTS, or size up 1/2 to wear socks) | similar bag | earrings | sunglasses

But in this specific instance, I’ve paired drapey wide-leg trousers with a sporty quarter-zip cable-knit sweater, an aviator jacket and ivory booties. It’s an outfit I’d wear day in, day out here on the coast. Appropriately schleppy and, yes, chic.

Except, ohhhhh. Let’s make those trousers as shimmery as can freaking be.

I've paired drapey wide-leg trousers with a sporty quarter-zip cable-knit sweater, an aviator jacket and ivory booties. Schleppy-chic holiday outfit win.

sweater (S) | pants (S, size down) | boots (TTS, or size up 1/2 to wear socks) | similar bag

There we go. Now we’re holidaying.

I adore outfits like this — where the payoff is so, so big and the effort is incredibly minimal. I want to believe it says something about my cleverness, but I think it really says more about my affinity for comfort. And since all these pieces came from Nordstrom Rack, it also says something about my penchant for scoring deals.

I adore holiday outfits like this — where the payoff is so big & the effort is incredibly minimal.

pants (S, size down) | jacket (S) | similar bag | earrings | sunglasses

OK, OK, yeah — maybe I’ll take credit for being just a little clever here. After all, I invested the most into the pieces I knew would see the most wear: first and foremost, that charming cable-knit sweater (which, while it’s a little splurge-y, is still almost 60% off retail price); then the jacket (also 50% off!); and finally, the sequined pants.

Frustratingly, the pants have been in and out of stock, but if you can nab them, they’re just $79 (down from $209), which feels like a worthy price to pay for a total holiday-outfit-maker — even if I’ll only wear them a few times a year.

These sequined wide-leg pants feel like a worthy price to pay for a total holiday-outfit-maker — even if I'll only wear them a few times a year.

sweater (S) | pants (S, size down) | jacket (S) | boots (TTS, or size up 1/2 to wear socks) | similar bag | sunglasses

If you haven’t shopped Nordstrom Rack in a while, its current selection of festive holiday attire is so stinking good. We’re talking plenty of little statement pieces, not-too-sweet mini bags, and really well-priced knits and jeans from some of our favorite brands.

I’m also always pleasantly surprised by just how good Nordstrom Rack’s selection of gifts is at this time of year. Everything from plush throws to candles (this is a favorite we burn all year), even an impressive range of crafts and toys for kiddos. It’s a true joy shopping the Nordstrom Rack website, and I still get a thrill every time I spy a deal that seems too good to be true.

Below, a few more details on what makes each of these pieces so dang great — and a little more eye candy if you feel at all compelled to adopt my One Dazzling Piece strategy as your own. It’s certainly got me giddy for the season to come.

A Casual But Still Glam Holiday Outfit: The Details

This quarter-zip sweater is a wool blend that feels like it's going to hold up really well to real-life wear.

Capri Cable-Knit Quarter-Zip Sweater: I love 360 Cashmere, but the price point is typically a little on the high end for me. Which is why, at almost 60% off at Nordstrom Rack, this sweater feels like such a find. It’s a wool blend that feels like it’s going to hold up really well to real-life wear (I already smothered it in avocado when I was feeding the babe the other day, and it spot-cleaned like a dream) — not to mention, the style is absolutely timeless with the quarter zip and luxe, textured knit.

This sweater is not at all itchy, either (even over bare skin). Definitely a foundation piece for my wardrobe that’ll get loads of wear, and as such, it’s the part of this outfit I’m most content investing just a little more into. Also available in a Quinoa color that’s like a more interesting oatmeal. Obsessed with the name, but the shade is great too. Wearing a small.

This sherpa jacket from Nordstrom Rack is a slightly oversized aviator shape with a removable faux-fur collar.

earrings | sunglasses

Ron Faux-Fur-Collar Jacket: This is the kind of no-brainer item that I just know I’ll wear the heck out of. A slightly oversized aviator shape in nubbly sherpa? Yes, please.

Add in the (removable) faux-fur collar, and the opportunities to reach for this jacket are endless. (I can’t wait to pair it with flares, in particular.) Bonus points for the fact that the hue is called Peanut, which just tickles my fancy. (Clearly very into the food-inspired hues right now.) Wearing a small.

Soft, drapey & slightly stretchy, these sequined wide-leg pants are about as low-maintenance as it gets for a garment that feels very high-impact.

leather cuff bracelet | sunglasses

Illy Wide-Leg Sequin Pants: Truly living out my Coastal-Grandmother-Meets-Vanna White dreams in these! Soft, drapey and slightly stretchy, these are about as low-maintenance as it gets for a garment that feels very high-impact.

I will say, I sized up per the recommendation online and find them to be just a bit more hipslung than I prefer, so I’d stick with your true size — or I’d actually size down if you’re between. (I’m wearing a small, for reference.)

If you fear the sequins at the waistband will be irritating (for what it’s worth, they aren’t for me, but I could see how they might be for some), layer a bodysuit underneath.

Stock is running low — ugh — so I’m also sharing some of my other picks for statement-making sequined finds that I’d actually wear, below.

I wear these leather pointed-toe boots from Nordstrom Rack in my true size with no socks or with tights; if you're planning to wear a thicker socks, go up a half size.

Unno Pointed-Toe Bootie: I’ve had these over a year and a half, and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been asked about them. Happily, after disappearing from the internet for almost a year, these pretty pointed-toe boots popped back up at Nordstrom Rack! I love it when that happens.

These leather boots are great with cropped jeans especially, but I love how they almost disappear under these trousers. Super-comfy. I wear mine in my true size either with no socks or with tights; if you’re planning to wear a boot sock or anything thicker, go up a half size.

This patent-leather shoulder bag from Nordstrom Rack is both pretty + tough & will be easy to mix into more-casual outfits too.

leather cuff bracelet

Mini Brixton Drench Patent Leather Shoulder Bag: This is my favorite size of bag at the moment — and I’m sure it has everything to do with seizing any opportunity to liberate myself from the diaper bag. Love the black patent with the black chain. It’s both pretty and tough and will be only too easy to mix into more-casual outfits too. Plus, I’ve always had a soft spot for patent.

This exact bag is coming in and out of stock, but the larger version is still available, as is this exact bag in gold. Love the tougher chain details and the unexpected pop of leopard on this one too.

These sunglasses from Nordstrom Rack feels durable & high quality, with just enough heft + flex. Not heavy, don't slip down my nose, + no weird little hardware bits that snag your hair.

Super by Retrosuperfuture Round Sunglasses: Had to give these sunglasses a shout of their own because they’re some of the most comfortable sunglasses I’ve worn. The acetate feels super-durable and high quality, with just enough heft and flex — but they’re not heavy, they don’t slip down my nose, and there are no weird little hardware bits that snag your hair. Just an all-around solid pair of designer-quality, Italian-made sunglasses at a good price point.


Here’s to finding your holiday groove, friends.

xo!
Em

Thank you so much to Nordstrom Rack & ShopStyle Collective for sponsoring this post. I’ve been a longtime shopper (my best friend even worked at a Nordstrom Rack in high school — and yes, I do still make her use the “Nordstrom paging voice” over the phone from time to time), and I genuinely find such joy scouring the site for deals from some of my favorite brands. And thank you, friends, for reading along here and supporting the brand partners that allow us to keep doing the things we do. We so appreciate you spending some time with us.

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Hey, Pinners…

I've cracked the code on holiday outfits: stick w/ 1 truly dazzling piece (like sequined wide-leg trousers), then elevated, casual-chic basics for the rest.
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