Party Ready: Holiday Entertaining Attire with George Brescia

This article was originally featured in the December issue of 4Memphis Magazine.

With December’s arrival, holiday soirée invitations suddenly swarm our calendars. And if you’re anything like me, an entertaining expert and bonafide foodie in town, this season’s retail offerings in-store and on social media urge us to host parties in our own homes. 

Whether an office affair, a girlfriend get-together or a family gathering, the volume of holiday-themed parties require a game plan for our schedules and our wardrobe. Luckily, New York-based celebrity stylist and TV personality George Brescia visited Memphis at the perfect time to advise us in party-ready attire. 

I spent one morning with George at Oak Hall, where he regularly frequents to style his clientele, to grasp his expertise and put it to practice. George’s approach is both attainable and brilliant. Here are a few key takeaways by George to make your season’s wardrobe seamless and sophisticated.

TRANSITION FROM DAY TO NIGHT

George’s motto is to make it easy. Thus, day-to-night outfits are the key to juggling a full day of work with an evening holiday party. 

For example, velvet is a new trend for daytime apparel; but we also know it’s a fantastic feel for holiday looks. George grabbed a black velvet jean to pair with metallic sparkle top and gold jewelry for a party; but the same jeans can be worn earlier in the day with a denim shirt, down vest and boot.

PREP BASIC & PARTY BEDAZZLED

When planning a party at your own home, the notion of cooking, prepping and looking glamorous by the first doorbell might feel impossible. George advises to take something simple and comfortably to wear—such as a jumpsuit or basic knot dress—and wear with flats while preparing your bites and sips in the kitchen. Stay away from drapy long-sleeved blouses or one-shoulder tops, as they might distract your cooking and cause more spills than necessary.

Twenty minutes before guests arrive, throw on a heel and jazz it up with sparkled jewels. Add a smoky eye and red lip to your makeup foundation. When getting the party ready, you should feel at 60% of your look. During the final moments, bring it up to the 150% we’re going for.

  Photo via  camillestyles.com

LET THE TRENDS FIND YOU 

George emphasizes the importance to let the trends find you—you don’t need to find the trends. A wardrobe, especially this time of year, is all about clothing you look good and feel good wearing. The stores’ selection will offer plenty of trendy choices, so spend your time addressing and adjusting the pieces that speak to your personality and presence.

STYLE IN SOUTHERN COMFORT

Though he travels and works all over the country, George has a special affinity for the South and, especially Memphis. Oak Hall, he notes, encompasses the way he prefers to work with clients—give the clients clothing that represents their lifestyle and make it easier for all of life’s occasions from a kid’s soccer game to a black tie benefit. George notes, “People here are so fun and friendly; they have truly taken me in!”

Learn more of George’s tips through his book, “Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life Because You Can’t Go Naked!” Available at Oak Hall.