Wednesday, December 2, 2009

l'etoile Guide to Holiday Cheer

l'étoile just put out its annual Guide to Holiday Cheer. It features a gift guide, restaurant ideas from award-winning food writer Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, a wine guide from wine connaisseur Dana Lade, holiday-themed punk poetry from Paul D. Dickinson, holiday drink recipes, and DIY gift ideas. I contributed a piece on What to Wear this holiday season.


The holiday season is filled with festive occasions that all demand a different style of dress. And if you know l'étoile at all, you know we don't like to be seen in the same "costume" twice. Check out our guide, complete with shopping tips and recommendations for numerous holiday occasions!

WHAT TO WEAR: JUBILEE presented by l'étoile and Blacklist Vintage

We can’t help but toot our own horn -- l'étoile is known for throwing a mean party, and this holiday season is no exception. Since it’s been the year of Mad Men and we wanted an excuse to buddy up with our friends at Blacklist Vintage, we figured ‘50s was the way to go. Do your best Betty or Joan and don a body-hugging number, all the better to show off your hourglass figure. Don’t forget the matching pearls and necklace set! Fellas, whip out that suit and skinny tie, and be sure to tuck your cigarettes into a shiny case. Bonus: Blacklist is hosting a Black Christmas shopping party on December 11 to get you ready to go for the big event on the 19th! (Jubilee, Saturday, Dec. 19; Secret location, RSVP to to request an invite to this private affair)

WHAT TO WEAR: Transmission’s annual New Wave dance party

Jake Rudh’s weekly Transmission dance night has long been the primo choice for Wednesday night debauchery, and the night before Christmas Eve should prove to be the place to tear it up before enduring some family time. The always-dapper man knows his way around the DJ booth, so you’ll want to wear something that’s easy to dance in and can withstand a packed house. Since no one’s going to see your lower half, go for big hair and hot pink lipstick. While you’re at it, it’s probably a good time to bring out the sequins, multi-ruffle dresses, and Madonna-esque corsets. Fellas, do your best Flock of Seagulls homage and skip the popped collars in favor of skinny pants and eyeliner; if you’re really feeling festive, add a holly-red ruffled poet shirt. (10 p.m. Dec. 23. Free. 21-plus. Clubhouse Jager, 923 Washington Ave. N., Mpls.)

WHAT TO WEAR: Holiday lights & Skating in Rice Park

During the early winter months, St. Paul’s Rice Park boasts the most dazzling holiday lights display, right alongside the most fanciful, romantic ice rink in the Twin Cities. Take in the stunning view of downtown St. Paul’s European architecture and twinkling trees while holding hands with your main squeeze - in an ultra-chic warm weather ensemble, of course. Guys, a classic pea coat is the way to go. Ladies, pull out your favorite fur-collared vintage coat. Besides, what better reason could be there to don our favorite winter accessory, the muff?

WHAT TO WEAR: A night at the theater

A night at the theater requires something more than the usual jeans-and-a-t-shirt, and we personally love any opportunity to dress up. Whether you’re heading with the family to “A Christmas Carol” at the Guthrie (ongoing through Dec. 31) or the less traditional “Ballet of the Dolls: The Nutcracker (Not so) Suite” at the Ritz (Dec. 10-31), go for classic sophistication. You’ll look like a serious appreciator of the arts in all-black - a wrap dress or pencil skirt always look classy. Guys, your shirt should require buttons and a tie, and a sport coat would be ideal. Wear jeans if you must, but if so, they should be a dark, well-fitting, hole-free denim. What you wear on top is also important: leave the puffy North Face coat at home and opt to cover up in a long wool or fur-trimmed coat.

WHAT TO WEAR: New Year's Eve

There’s always a ton of parties happening for New Year’s, but wherever you go, dressing down is not an option. Ladies, think all that glitters, sparkles, and twinkles. Up the zing factor if you’re wearing an all-black ensemble with bold costume jewelry (try vintage or Betsey Johnson for maximum sparkle), a jeweled belt (Belle Reve has a gorgeous one that will add glam to any basic look), or even legwear. Guys, you can get into the act too if you find a skinny tie with a subtle sheen to wear (jacket required, though a matching suit isn’t necessary). But with this New Year’s providing our leap into the ‘10s, you could just go all-out and don a tux, complete with bow-tie - why the heck not? Keep your eyes peeled for details on the l'etoile-sponsored NYE bash at the 501 Club and the Secrets of the City annual NYE soiree at the Red Stag Supper Club!

While you're at it, check out our hugely comprehensive Holiday Shopping Guide for locally-focused holiday shopping events.

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