Lee Heyward, Style Expert and Owner of Charleston Style Concierge shows us how to stay fashionable and festive without being over the top.

1.      Don’t wear clothing that doesn’t fit your personal style or make you feel confident.  You won’t feel festive or fun!


2.      Don’t wear seasonal clothing or accessories.  I’m sure there are many of you out there who would like to argue this with me but seasonal clothing takes the sophistication and modernity away from your look.  Does dressing like a tree, a jolly man, or a reindeer really speak to your personal style?



3.      Stay away from clothing that is too revealing or too skimpy.  By the way this rule applies throughout the entire year but it never hurts to mention it again.  Holiday parties do afford us an opportunity to show more personality with our wardrobe, but be careful how much you show, especially if you are attending an office party.  To stay safe go for pretty, not sexy.  You’ll be surprised you can sneak in the sexy without being too overt. 


4.      Don’t overdo the shine and embellishment. If you are as shiny as a x-mas tree you are wearing too much.   Adding shine or embellishment is a great way to make your wardrobe look more dressy and festive.  But too much isn’t necessarily a good thing.  Don’t let all of your clothing stand out.  You should pick one piece that plays the lead role, all the others should play a  “supporting role.”



5.      When in doubt, don’t underdress.  It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.  Usually when you are overdressed you can simply take off your bling earrings or change your shoes and your outfit will be perfect.  If your  unsure of how you should be dressed for an event put a pair of more casual earrings in your purse to change if you arrive and feel overdressed or bring a cashmere cardigan to swap out for your beaded wrap.


For more tips on what not to wear sign up for our newsletter where you will receive great style tips and tricks from the Charleston Style Concierge.

Doing some research sounds like a no brainer, but it is actually one of the easiest ways to take the stress out of figuring out what to wear this holiday season.  During the holidays you already have enough to stress about.


Start with your holiday invitations.  Most invitations will specify a dress code.  If not, just ask the host what the “dress” for the party is.  If you are going to a work party with a mystery dress code, talk to your colleagues.  Find out what others are planning to wear, and what they might have worn last year at the party.  This should give you a good place to start planning your outfit.


Two of the most common dress codes found on holiday invitations this time of year are cocktail attire and festive attire. 


Cocktail Attire is fun because as a woman you have so many options.  Typically women wear short elegant dresses or separates and men wear a dark suit.  Women can also wear dress pants with an elegant/dressy top.  Another great option is your little black dress.  That is something many of us have already have in our closets.  The little black dress is very appropriate and can have many different looks just by changing your accessories.  Remember that accessories can be the key to dressing up or down a look.  Also, don’t be afraid to wear color.  There are a lot of beautiful vibrantly colored cocktail dresses in the stores for the holiday season.


Many of us already have the beginnings of a cocktail outfit in our closet.  The little black dress is a cocktail attire staple, but it doesn’t have to be black.  You may have a great dark dress in your closet that you can glam up with accessories.  Play up your bag, shoes and jewelry to make over a plain dress.


Most of us have some type of dressy or evening top in our closets.  Pair that with dress pants, a skirt, or even a suit for a more conservative office party. Your shoes can play a big role in dressing up your look.  Metallic shoes, or shoes with lace, satin, patent leather, and embellishment are a great way to dress up an outfit.


Also don’t forget about your bag.  Leave your day bag at home and opt for a clutch or evening bag.  Bags are a great way to play with color, and can do wonders to tie your outfit together.  Remember that your bag doesn’t have to match your shoes.  That is an old outdated rule.


Festive Attire is another common dress code found on invitations this time of year.  Festive attire is not as dressy as cocktail attire but more dressy than casual attire.  Festive attire is meant to evoke a fun, flirty, party atmosphere.  Think metallics, beading, ruffles, bows, velvet, holiday colors, etc.  This is a great time to have a little fun with your wardrobe and the party will probably be pretty fun too.


For more help deciphering what to wear to all of your holiday parties contact the Charleston Style Concierge.

It’s that time again. The holidays. The time of year that’s packed with parties, concerts, shopping, dinners, parades, and the list goes on. With so much on your plate, the last thing you should have to worry about is what to wear and what not to wear.
Are you sick of running out to the nearest mall at the last minute to find an outfit you’ll wear only once? Hoping people won’t remember you wore the same dress to the last party? Worried you won’t be wearing the appropriate attire?
Have fun this holiday season instead of worrying about your style.  
On Wednesday, December 3, 2008, at 8 pm ET, my friend Michelle Salater will host a free, hour-long call with me, Lee Heyward, personal stylist and owner of Charleston Style Concierge, to discuss tips on how to survive the holidays in style.
Don’t miss this call. Click here now to reserve your spot for the F*R*E*E call, Wednesday, December 3, at 8pm Eastern / 5pm Pacific.

On this call, you’ll discover . . .


  • What to wear and what not to wear to a holiday party
  • How to create a holiday wardrobe from what you already own
  • Party etiquette essentials for making a good impression 


Topic: How to Survive the Holidays with Style  


Date: Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Time: 8 pm Eastern / 5 pm Pacific


Registration: www.marketingonlinebootcamp.com/holidaycall.html

Listen Now:  http://marketingonlinebootcamp.com/audio/holidaystylecall12308.mp3


If you can’t join us for the live call December 3rd, the call will be recorded, but you must register to receive the recording.  If you are new to telecalls, it is easy.  All you have to do is sign up.  You will receive an email with the phone number.  Call the number and join us for a fun hour of style tips sure to get you through the holidays in style.


If you want to stress less over what you’re wearing this holiday season, make it a point to be on this call. Don’t miss this call. Click here now to reserve your spot.
To learn more about the Charleston Style Concierge and our styling services visit us on the web at www.charlestonstyleconcierge.com.  Sign up for our newsletter for great style tips and information on future style telecalls.

With a different dress code on every invitation, how are you supposed to know what to wear.  Use this guide to decipher attire definitions, or when in doubt ask your host. 


1.  Black Tie indicates formal attire.  Women wear cocktail, long dresses, or dressy  evening separates.  Men wear tuxedos.


2.  Formal usually means the same as Black Tie.  Men might wear a less traditional tux and women will dress as they would for a black tie event.


3.  Black Tie Optional indicates a formal event.  Women wear cocktail, long dresses, or dressy evening separates.  Men may wear a tuxedo or a  dark suit and tie. 


4.  White Tie is the most dressy of evening wear.  Women wear long gowns.  Men wear a dinner jacket with tails and white tie, vest, and shirt.  White Tie is sometimes known as Ultra-formal. 


5.  Semi-Formal requires a cocktail or dressy dress for a woman and dark suit for a man.


6.  Business Formal is the same as semi-formal with the exception that women will often wear a dressy suit.


7.  Informal Attire calls for either semi-formal attire or a slightly less dressy version.


8.  Cocktail Attire is one of the most fun dress codes.  Women wear short, elegant dresses and men wear a dark suit.


9.  Dressy Casual is just a dressier version of casual.  For both men and women steer clear of jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and overall sloppy looks.


10.  Festive Attire usually dictates a semi-formal or informal event, and is seen around the holidays.  This is the time to add appropriate glitz and your holiday spirit.   


For more help deciding what to wear to a party, contact the Charleston Style Concierge or sign up for our monthly ezine full of great style advice.

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It is hard to explain why Lee is so brilliant at what she does because it is almost like magic. She pierces through your personality and reflects who you are in what you wear. She does not just pick out great clothes – she picks an outwardly appearance that creates a comfort zone while also allowing the world to see the real you.

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Working with Lee has dramatically increased my revenue, not because of what I’m wearing but because of how I show up when I am dressed like my future self.

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Lee had a surprising way about her that uncovered my deeper self, my reason for being, and encoded it onto my wardrobe like a symbol—a moment-by-moment reminder of who I am, and what I’m here to do. Her brilliance crept up on me; I didn’t realize it was her behind the changes in my life until months afterwards. Now, I am able to approach everything I do from a place of power.

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Lee brings to life a vision bigger than I imagined. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her on my personal brand, photo shoot strategy, and the brand experience of events for my non-profit. Through each piece she’s helped me grow as a leader and an organization. I love having her on my team.

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