The holiday season is officially in full swing. From work-related parties to the traditional get-together with friends and family, you’ll need to dress appropriately as you mingle with the boss and drink eggnog with Uncle Buck. With many of these events scheduled for the same day, you’re going to have to balance comfort, style and versatility. And believe it or not, this is easier than you might think.

  1. Layer – learn to overlap cotton and wool clothing appropriately. Whatever you are going to be doing, you want to be comfortable doing it. A big part of that is wearing clothing that doesn’t cause you to overheat, allows your skin to breathe and protects you from the elements. Both cotton and wool are time tested fabrics that, when layered appropriately, can help you make it through the holidays without freezing or breaking a sweat.
  2. Avoid seasonal ties and socks. They appear every holiday season, and like good soldiers we accept them with a smile and wear them so our loved ones can see that we really do appreciate their thoughtfulness. Clip-on Christmas ties with Santa Claus and the bright red socks with Frosty the Snow Man—really, why do we do this to ourselves?
  3. Wear a jacket. Many holiday parties will not require a suit; however, this doesn’t give us the freedom to show up in sweats. This holiday season consider wearing a sports jacket or blazer – match it with a pair of jeans and a button-down shirt for a casual yet professional appearance at your company’s afternoon Christmas party and then transition seamlessly to the evening’s get-together with friends.
  4. Invest in an overcoat. You iron your shirt, polish your shoes and adjust your tie – only to ruin the entire presentation by tossing on a bright red ski coat or an old leather motorcycle jacket. Does this sound familiar? When it comes to a professional looking coat, many of us look at this as a luxury. But in the winter, your outerwear is the first and last thing many people will see you wearing. If the event is outside, it’s the only thing they’ll see. Far from being a luxury, a good overcoat is must for any man living in a region that experiences cold weather.
  5. Opt for darker trousers or jeans. Leave the khakis at home and wear a pair of dark trousers or jeans that can take a piece of dropped cake or spilled glass of eggnog without you having to change outfits.
  6. Always carry a handkerchief. A gentleman should always be ready to help a lady, child or fellow man in need. Carrying a simple white cotton handkerchief in your back pocket is a habit that’s inexpensive, easy to pick-up and allows you to come to the rescue in a potentially embarrassing moment. Oh, and the proper response when they thank you is to say “You’re welcome, and please keep it.”