Even if the thought of holiday dressing seems premature, it’s pretty inevitable that all of us are about to come face-to-face with a barrage of RSVPs and save-the-dates for festive affairs between now and January 1. And if you’re like Olivia Culpo, your outfit planning is already on lock.
We sat down with the former Miss Universe, actress, style star, and recent Stella Artois collaborator to dig into all her holiday style advice. Not only does she have a foolproof ensemble that works for nearly any occasion, but it turns out that she also has a surprising go-to boot silhouette for the season that she claims is flattering on everyone.
Below, read on for more of Culpo's holiday style tips, her best advice for playing host, and the 2017 trend she hopes to see less of in the New Year.
WHO WHAT WEAR: Everyone has holiday traditions, of course, but when it comes to style, is there anything that’s customary?
OLIVIA CULPO: Number one, you want to be sure that you’re comfortable. And for me, going back to New England, you need to be warm, and you need to be in something loose enough that if you’re eating a lot, you’re comfortable. If you want to take a little afternoon nap after everybody eats and cleans, you can do that.
WWW: What kind of outfit would you suggest for that?
OC: I love over-the-knee boots, black tights, oversize sweaterdresses with a belt because you can take the belt off eventually if you get too full. Hats are also good because it’s cold. That’s like a pretty standard uniform.
WWW: Are there any holiday style tropes that you’re not a fan of, like tinsel or bows?
OC: I wouldn’t say there’s anything I don’t like. The more festive, the better! My mom wears weird light-up earrings, and I’m all for it. I think that the holidays are a time to have fun. For me, I like to wear a lot of black in the holiday season… and red and green and blue and sparkles. That’s pretty much my color scheme.
WWW: Seeing as you’ve teamed up with Stella Artois to help master the art of holiday entertaining, what are some of the key things that make a really good host?
OC: Planning in advance is really important for creating a good party. Also, it’s helpful to have people around you who will help you or someone who you’re delegating tasks to instead of having to carry all the weight on yourself. There are also things you definitely need to have planned in advance, like having all the hors d'oeuvres set up so people can come in and feel like they’re not coming into an empty room and have drinks available. It’s just making sure that everyone feels comfortable.
WWW: Do you wear anything different when you host?
OC: Yes! Definitely not going to wear white because I’m going to get it dirty.
WWW: Work holiday parties are probably one of the trickiest situations to dress for. Have you ever been to an office party?
WWW: Still, do you have any advice for what someone can wear in a setting that’s festive but, ultimately, professional?
OC: If you’re trying to stay chic, then black is always a really safe choice. You can do a really cool business suit. Over-the-knee boots are always really flattering on everybody. You could wear those with a nice skirt with a slit up the side. But I think even if you were to wear an ugly sweater to a work party, it would be appreciated. It’s fun; it’s a celebration. You’re not supposed to take yourself too seriously.
WWW: What about jeans for a holiday party—yea or nay?
OC: I think it’s fine. If you know it’s a more formal event and you don’t want to offend anybody, then don’t wear the jeans. But it depends on what household you’re going to. You don’t have to feel like you have to be perfect—that’s no way to make anybody feel comfortable at a party.
WWW: Do you have a jeans outfit that would be good for most party situations?
OC: Yeah! I would say black denim and a turtleneck black bodysuit. Over that, you could have a faux-fur vest, blazer, or long sweater and then over-the-knee boots or a stiletto heel or bootie.
WWW: Clearly you’re a big fan of over-the-knee boots. A lot of people might still be pretty intimidated by the trend. Any insights to help?
OC: I’d definitely say suede is better than leather. Leather can be a little bit too shiny and harsh-looking.
WWW: Noted on the suede. Considering we’re almost a month away from 2018, are you a New Year’s resolution kind of person?
OC: Yeah, I think it’s fun to set goals and reflect on the things you did last year that you appreciated and the things you could get better.
WWW: How’d last year’s resolution go?
OC: Mmm, I think I fell off of it about three or four months into it.
WWW: That’s not so bad!
OC: It was to meditate more. And I did meditate more—see how I worded it more. Not meditate every single day.
WWW: And finally, in the spirit of making a fresh start, what 2017 trends are you happy to leave in 2017?
OC: I don’t really love velvet all the time, so that’s one thing that I could do less of and I would be okay.