Men, Don't Flip Out Over Holiday Party Fashion

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Men, Don't Flip Out Over Holiday Party Fashion
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Let's be honest: Worrying about what to wear to parties is probably near the bottom of your priority list, no matter how much you're into fashion. Include the fact that it's the holiday season and you still haven't decided what to buy your the folks in your life, and the idea of holiday party fashion can be downright stressful. It doesn't have to be, if you adhere to some tips, tricks and advice for a great holiday party look.

Costume-y Isn't Cool ...
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Costume-y Isn't Cool ...

Don't go overboard on the holiday-themed sweaters, shirts or any other over-the-top outfit (unless you're heading to a theme party, of course). It's one thing to get into the holiday spirit, and quite another to wear the type of sweater you might have worn as a fourth-grader -- you know, like the one snowboarder Jayson Hale wore here at the 2010 FIS World Cup.

... But Sweaters Can Be Sophisticated
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... But Sweaters Can Be Sophisticated

Just because a reindeer sweater isn't suitable doesn't mean all sweaters are off-limits. A good rule is to steer clear of the traditional red-and-green holiday theme. You could also opt for a nice cardigan-over-button-down combination, like the one actor Dane DeHaan is wearing at a New York City "Lawless" screening.

Keep It Simple, Yet Cool
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Keep It Simple, Yet Cool

The key to looking great at any party is to look like you're not trying too hard. Stick with a simple outfit, like the laid-back shirt and vest actor Chris Hemsworth donned at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards. Simple doesn't mean boring, says Grant Harris, owner and chief style consultant for Washington, D.C.–based Image Granted. "The simplest outfit can be the most stunning if it fits well, makes you feel confident and creates a buzz in the room that wasn't there before you entered."

Don't Underdress
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Don't Underdress

Keeping it simple also doesn't mean underdressing for the occasion. "Over- is always better than under-," Harris says. Trying to decide between loafers or dress shoes? Go for the dress shoes. Debating whether to wear a suit jacket? Wear it, even if you later opt for just the shirt and slacks like actor Justin Bartha does here at a press event in Beverly Hills, California. "It's easier to remove a jacket than it is to act like you're comfortable not wearing one while everyone else is," Harris says.

Don't Limit Yourself
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Don't Limit Yourself

Just because a tailored suit might be the norm when it comes to party outfits, don't assume it's your only option. "Variety in a man's wardrobe is key," Harris says. He suggests going for pieces like dinner, smoking or velvet jackets -- like the one seen here on Ryan Gosling at an NYC premiere of "Blue Valentine." A cashmere sports coat would work as well.

Go for Color
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Go for Color

Black, gray or navy may be the standard when you want to look great, but don't be afraid to pull out some color every now and then. Harris suggests sticking with warm and subtle colors to match the winter season and warns men to steer clear of loud, vivid colors. Try unique reds; burgundy, crimson and merlot look great, similar to the color actor Firass Dirana wore here, as well as deep purples, moss green and even midnight blue, Harris says.

Make It Special ...
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Make It Special ...

The holidays are the time to pull out an outfit that's a step above the rest, says Harris. "This is [the] time to show off something different that people don't normally see from you," he says. Typically wear a suit to formal functions? Opt for a tuxedo. Often stick to the same standard colors? Throw on a more statement-making hue in the form of a tie, pocket square, jacket or even your pants, like British gymnast Louis Smith did here at the 2012 GQ Men of the Year awards.

... But Don't Break the Bank
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... But Don't Break the Bank

If you've decided a tux is the way to go -- and you're attending more than three formal events a year -- Harris says the smartest thing to do is buy a tux. This may seem counterintuitive, but renting costs more in the long run he says. "Owning your tuxedo will pay off over time and keep you from shelling out $250 every winter." If tuxedos aren't your thing, opt for a tailored black suit, like the one actor Zac Efron wore to the Venice Film Festival.

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