Holiday Fashion – Repurposing is Key

November 30, 2018

‘Tis the season…for the not-so-fashion-conscious to freak out, slightly. 

By: Jamie Penn

To some, like me, the holiday season feeds deep, dark fears of fashion faux pas, and going bankrupt shopping for ten perfect outfits for ten holiday parties at local boutiques. But for fashion-lovers, it’s that super-exciting time to let their fashion sense shine – shopping until they drop; mulling over outfit combinations; and, breaking out the dresses, jewelry and heels that they’ve stored away specifically for this moment.

But, let’s face it, even for the fashion-conscious and super-savvy shopper, winters in Wilmington are tough to dress for. December temps can be anywhere between 35 degrees and 70 degrees on any given night; and, the dress code for most events or dinner parties can range from jeans and a blazer to Italian-Cady dresses complete with Jimmy Choo heels and Tiffany earrings.

New Holiday Trends

There are just a handful of holiday galas and parties left that keep it traditional (and easy to shop for) with sequins and satin written all over them. For the less ambitious, one-stop shopper, this news is a bit intimidating.

No matter which category one falls into – the super-conscious, or the less-than conscious – two things generally apply for locals planning to dress for the season: 1 – versatility is a must; and 2 – shopping local matters.

So, I recently visited mother/daughter-owned, Elle, my new favorite Wilmington boutique shop on the corner of Military Cutoff and Eastwood to find out how to get the most out of holiday party purchases.

One of my favorite things about Elle is Gabrielle – creative director and co-founder. Gabrielle is that fashion-consulting genie you wish would pop out of your closet before every occasion. The shop itself is laid out in a manageable and simply beautiful way that is both calming and delightful. Layering, accessorizing, and repurposing is an obvious theme at Elle.

Here are a few of Gabrielle’s ideas for acheiving high-fashion and ensuring versatility without breaking the bank this holiday season. All pieces are available at Elle, of course.


1 – The Trouser


Why? This chic black satin pant can be worn on-the-clock, or out on the town.  It’s a high-waisted trouser that features a button detail down the side that adds the perfect amount of interest.

A Night Out: Wear with a coordinating satin top and strappy heels to ring in the New Year, or any time of year.

To Work: Pair with a fitted sweater and Oxford loafers for the office.

Christmas Party: Opting out of wearing a dress to the holiday gathering? Pair with heels and a metallic knit top for a look that’s both merry and bright.



2 – The Fur Vest


Why: This fur vest is all about comfort with a touch of glamour.

Family Time: Keep warm in style by the fire with friends, or hunting for the perfect tree with family. Pair with a neutral-colored mock-neck sweater, dark wash denim, and boots.

To Work: Glam up your work outfit this winter and wear with a cream colored blouse, dark washdenim, and a necklace for added sparkle.


3 – The Multi-Purpose Blouse


Why: This cream colored blouse instantly elevates an outfit as simple as jeans and a vest. The warm tone goes well with the fall and winter color palate and should be a staple in every closet.

To Work: Pair with a fun blazer for a pop of color and dark-wash denim to tone it down. The best part? Go straight from your desk to dinner with this versatile look.

Family Time: Wear it with your fur vest and statement necklace to add interest and spark to an annual gathering or Christmas dinner.

Girls Night: Be an outfit-repeater! This look is so versatile, you can wear it to dinner on a cold January night with friends.

This is just the beginning at Elle, and Gabrielle’s fashion brilliance is endless. So, to look amazing this holiday season and to save money and time (and, to meet Gabrielle, of course), head to Elle…soon.

*Sponsored by Elle Clothing. Visit Elle at 1437 Military Cutoff Rd #105, or shop online at

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