Dress for the Holidays in Comfort

Even if your daily wardrobe consists of loose jeans and sweatshirts, chances are you'll be attending at least one holiday party this season. And that means getting out of your comfort zone and dressing up. Perhaps you've got a slinky number hanging in your closet from last year. Maybe you'll even think about putting on those heels everyone compliments. You know you'll look great, but you're worried about how you'll feel in all that constricting clothing. Can you really be stylish and still stay comfortable? You can, but choose your pieces carefully. Clothing that lets you breathe and move will make for an infinitely more pleasant occasion than items that pinch, dig, and compress. You don't need to don a muumuu, but your clothes shouldn't be skin-tight either. Here, a list of do's and don'ts to help make this party season truly festive:


  • Look for forgiving fabrics. Jerseys and knits will move and stretch with you as you reach for that glass of sparkling wine.
  • Find something at least somewhat body conscious. Clothing that stays close to your shape will remind you not to overdo the calories.
  • Pare down jewelry. Armfuls of bangles plus a blocky choker will weigh you down. Pick one "statement" piece or choose more delicate items.
  • Take care of your tootsies. Mid-height or lower heels will see you through an evening painlessly. If you must wear a high heel, try an open-toe style to avoid pinching. Or opt for a rounder toe box over a pointed one for comfort.


  • Pick a fabric that shows every little stain and sweat mark. Darker colors work better and are slenderizing.
  • Force yourself into last year's size 10 when you're actually a size 12. You'll only feel uncomfortable and won't focus on the fun you're supposed to be having.
  • Stand all night, especially if you're in heels. Instead, take sitting breaks-you can even slip off your shoes for a few moments if you're hidden beneath a table.
  • Go crazy at the buffet. The point of holiday festivities is to eat, drink, and socialize. Focus on the socializing and fill your plate once with healthful options. You'll beat the bloat that can tighten your waistband, and you'll wake up happy and proud of yourself the next day.

Source: American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society, www.aofas.org.