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Surviving the season in style

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Saturday, December 01, 2007


Heading to the company holiday party? Not in that outfit you aren’t. Tito Chowdhury, an executive director of Portland Fashion Week, offers advice for the Oregon businessperson who needs some direction in selecting suitable holiday wear for those inevitable office parties.

  1. This year, it’s all about the fit, Chowdhury says: not too tight, but well-tailored. Under no circumstances should you wear something that just hangs, he warns. If you know your strongest features, emphasize them to distract from your weaker points.

  2. For men, Chowdhury advises against sticking with the ordinary suit; holiday events require more effort. Whether your party is black-tie or business casual, don’t feel confined by the traditional options; not everything has to be plain black and white. Chowdhury recommends Saks Fifth Avenue for picking a well-fitted shirt with personal touches and Portland’s Duchess brand for custom suits.

  3. Women should skip the evening gown this year and go for a short dress paired with stockings. Knee-length styles, such as the ones by Portland designer Amai Unmei are a good choice. The options for stockings are endless, from opaque tights in a variety of colors and textures to myriad patterned nylons.

  4. Chowdhury reminds partygoers that an outfit isn’t complete without the top layer. “Invest in a good winter coat and keep it clean,” he says. Don’t ruin your suit or dress with an oversized or outdated abomination. He recommends Mario’s  for those in need of a wardrobe update, or the Leanimal collection (at right).

  5. Finally, pay attention to the details. “Wear something that shows the designer has put some work into it,” Chowdhury says. The holidays are the best time of year for glam, and be-jeweled women’s fashions are big this year. Men should aim for one flashy detail, like stitching embellishments. As for accessories, big and bold is best.


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