STYLE GURU STYLE: Merry In Monochrome

Coming home for the holidays can be tricky; you’ve gained a plethora of new found confidence at school, developed your own voice and a totally new style. You’re coasting on the dream that is your life the way you want to live it: colorfully, independently, and decidedly devoid of dress codes. You may experience, much like I did, a sudden realization that, while your plunge bodysuit and leather mini dress may get you serious style brownie points back on campus, these up-and-coming trends may not be the best way to present yourself to your elderly grandparents that haven’t seen you in five months. But fret not, Fashionistas; there is a way to retain that blessed style and independence while easing your parents into the concepts of American Apparel hot pants and vintage fur coats.

I live for this season’s chunky layers and mixed monochrome textures, especially drawing inspiration from Tom Ford’s fall 2015 ready-to-wear collection. His mix of textural elements like leather and fur in a palette of strictly neutrals and monochrome provides major style without being overwhelming. This collection packs a stylish punch that is both understated yet distinctly unique and fashionable, perfect for your winter break debut.

To take a more family-friendly approach to your festive fashion, gravitate towards this season’s conservative necklines and polished pieces to make your mark. Turtlenecks are making a major comeback for both warmth and fashion. Pair them with a leather A-line skirt of a similar hue; monochrome ensembles are not only slimming but also add a layer of complexity with contrasting textures. While your leather mini is stylish move, you may want to cover up a bit in the back. Take a cue from Mr. Ford and throw on some outerwear for that family meet-and-greet: trench coats are a great way to add length and additional texture to any outfit. Finish off this look with a pair of sky-high boots; over-the-knee suede is the epitome of style right now, and an optimal investment for the winter months if you’re dreading the inevitable New York winter like I am. Bonus points: a chunky heel gives you height without the hurt! Want some extra leg coverage? Tall boots are just as cute, and even warmer, with some textured socks, like these ones from H&M. Finish off your look with dainty accessories that double as conversation pieces. These Swarovski crystal wrap bracelets are a perfect way to mix metals, and are also super important to me (presents from my first internship here in New York). A pendant necklace like this tiny harmonica (that actually works!) lengthens the silhouette and draws the attention downward, creating movement.

There’s no need to compromise fashion for family this holiday season; this winter’s textural trends will make you the star of any family gathering, no dress code required.

Get my look: 1. This faux leather skirt from Zara. 2. Over-the-knee boots. 3. A cozy wool waistcoat