Art of Attire: Sustainable Holiday Styling for the Busy Women - Alterre

Art of Attire: Sustainable Holiday Styling for the Busy Women

Contributor: Harmony Richards


The holiday season is upon us, ushering in a whirlwind of festivities and celebrations. If you’re a Christmas junkie like myself and struggle to navigate the demands of a hectic schedule while embracing the joy of the season, I gotchu. In the midst of the hustle, it's crucial to align our choices with values that matter. Let us explore the art of sustainable holiday styling, tailored specifically for overachievers like ourselves... and when we say ourselves, we mean you as well. It takes a lot of planning and foresight to do all the decorating, attend all the parties, and also plan those outfits. Not only can sustainable outfits be better for the planet, but it can benefit our wallets and time as well.

The Power of Sustainability

Sustainable fashion isn't just a trend; it's a conscious choice that echoes the values of environmental stewardship and ethical production. This is a core ethos of Shilpa and mine, which built the foundation for Alterre. For the busy and ambitious woman, incorporating sustainable elements into our wardrobe is a testament to our commitment to making mindful choices.

Understanding Your Style

Amidst the hustle and bustle, taking a moment to recognize and understand personal style preferences is paramount. Busy schedules demand versatile wardrobe choices that effortlessly transition from day to night. This is an opportunity to create a wardrobe that seamlessly complements the upcoming activities in your life. Do you always wear a blazer to work? Great! How does it look pairing a colorful turtleneck underneath?  Is there a festive pair of earring you can toss into the mix?

Sustainable Holiday Wardrobe Essentials

Crafting a sustainable holiday wardrobe involves selecting key pieces that not only exude festive charm but also align with a busy schedule. Investing in versatile items ensures a range of stylish options without the need for an expansive wardrobe.  I’ve said this over and over in previous articles,, but curating capsule wardrobes is my favorite thing to do for every aspect of my life.   Many people associate a capsule wardrobe with someone who is minimalist by nature.   I use capsule wardrobes to organize my closet by the season, the trends, and what I’ll be doing.   For example, December is a time I bring forward all my festive sweaters, sequins, and metallics.  With a little planning, you’d be amazed how many ways a lurex dress can be styled for multiple events.

Quick Styling Tips for Busy Days

Busy days demand efficiency, especially during the holiday season. Lean on the key items in your wardrobe that bring you the most joy and confidence to wear.   If you have a favorite sleeveless dress, throw on a sheer blouse under or over it. Add a belt for structure.  For a pant look, try layering a knit sweater over your shoulders for instant style. If you’re like me, and get annoyed when sweater sleeves untie themselves, I’ll occasionally add a brooch or tuck the sleeves into each other. There’s a create tutorial here.   For an even faster style trick, throw a tailored coat over your shoulders for that “someone puts my coat on for me” appeal.

For those on Instagram, Carmen Gimeno is one of my newer favorite style icons.

Now for the ultimate holiday style hack...

While I do fully encourage taking a little time now to reacquaint ourselves with what we already have in the closet.   A very easy holiday hack would be to paint your nails something festive and throw on a pair of holiday earrings. It will add a touch of holiday to any outfit.

I use this method for any holiday or seasonal period that I'm short on time and can't take a few hours to organize my closet in advance.  


Shopping Sustainably on a Tight Schedule

With a hectic schedule, traditional shopping sprees might seem out of reach. We honestly don’t advocate for the fast fashion mindset either. If you do need to make some last minute purchases to round out your holiday wardrobe. Embracing second-hand and vintage finds is a viable option, allowing for a uniquely curated sustainable wardrobe without disrupting an already packed agenda.  I have a couple in the LA area that are my go-to for party wear like Wasteland.   As much as I love rummaging through Goodwill for what I call "steals of the day", a packed holiday month is not the best time for spending hours sifting hangers.  Lean toward curated second-hand boutique stores to increase the chances of finding something right away. 

If you have some time to build out your holiday wardrobe (say for New Years Eve or next year), here are some e-tailers I love:

Alternatively, there are usually makers markets in urban areas that support small businesses.  This a great place to plan a social outing or date while supporting local designers.

In conclusion, the holiday season is a time for celebration, joy, and reflection. For when busy and ambitious women, like us, should be able to spend more time enjoying the art of hosting than focusing on fitting a square (unplanned wardrobe) into circle (our lives).  By understanding the power of recognizing personal style preferences, curating a sustainable wardrobe, adopting quick styling hacks, and shopping efficiently, we can navigate the holidays with finesse, proving that style and sustainability are not mutually exclusive but, in fact, go hand in hand.

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