Holiday Dressing

 Why should models have all the fun? Each month we’re finding a “real woman”—i.e., of any shape and size—and giving her the model treatment in The Realest. We bring the wardrobe, stylist, photographer and blog editor—she brings her anything-but-one-size-fits-all personality and style—and we all head out on location for an IRL photo shoot to showcase our monthly Dress Spotlight.

For this month’s installment, we met up with the wonderful Ribicca Mamuye. This Ethiopian-born lifestyle blogger (Abyssinia) and recent business school grad loves fashion, world travel and exploring local cuisines. We popped the cork on a bottle of champagne at a beautiful home in Portage Bay, had a mini dance party to some Diana Ross and generally partied like it was already 2016. At the end of our shoot, it was clear that this smart, ambitious young woman is on her way to great things in the new year and beyond.

HEAD-TO-TOE SPARKLE

New Year's Eve Dresses from Nordstrom.

On her style: “Describing my style is one of the hardest things for me to do. I do not like putting myself in a box since I like to continually elevate my style. If I had to choose, I would say my style is a mixture of trendy and sophisticated. I am a huge fan of prints thus my closet has a lot of personality. However, I also have days where I want to wear monochrome greys and nudes.”

On dressing for a party: “It depends on the season. During spring and summer the process is much easier since it’s not a must to have a layering piece. Fall and winter can be a little tricky since you have to find a happy medium between warm and sexy.

“For me, it always starts with the shoes. Once I pick out the shoes, I decide on the rest of my outfit—keeping in mind the occasion. Necklaces and bracelets are my go-to accessories, so I always add them as a third piece. I stick to studs when it comes to earrings since large ones overpower my outfit when my hair is in its natural state. I keep my makeup light for the most part but I like to wear bold, matte lip stains.”

SEE OUR PHOTOSHOOT WITH RIBICCA AND MORE NEW YEAR’S EVE DRESSES >

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Michelle Smith at the Milly Spring 2016 runway show

Holiday parties are the perfect time to break out the glitter and girliness, and Michelle Smith, the founder of the fashion label Milly, is just the lady to show us how to do festive dressing.

Smith started Milly in 2000, after studying in Paris and working in New York’s Garment District. Her designs incorporate sophisticated lines and luxury fabrics but exhibit an easy American sportswear sensibility, accomplished through playful embellishments and fun interpretations of classic shapes.

And if you need evidence that the designer knows how to have a good time, you only have to check out her Instagram account, @millybymichelle.

Milly front row for Spring 2016 show: Malin Akerman, Samira Wiley, Solange Knowles

Malin Akerman, Samira Wiley and Solange Knowles at the Milly Spring 2016 show.

What advice do you have for holiday dressing?

Since your coat is the first thing everyone sees, I like to invest in a statement coat in a gorgeous look-at-me color or with some kind of special detail, whether it’s a fur or a sequin collar. It instantly completes every holiday party look, but it also elevates everything else you wear during the season—even jeans and a sweater on the weekend. This is always the first thing I buy every holiday season; it goes the distance.

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Studies show shopping is at least twelve times more fun en masse. Our Try This On series is all about the camaraderie of sartorial group projects.

rag & bone Cardigan | Topshop Sweater | MARC BY MARC JACOBS Jeans | Berry Jewel Necklace Infinity Scarf | Topshop Rhinestone Earrings | Christian Louboutin Heels (for this pair call 206.628.2111)

Party season, storm season: The two sure aren’t mutually exclusive. Depending on where you live, going out for a good time can be a heck of a battle, but neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night can keep Seattle-based dancer and choreographer Kisha Vaughan down. Not with these looks in the mix.

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Party Dresses: Make an Entrance

Eliza J Metallic Tulip Dress

Eliza J Metallic Tulip Dress

Office functions, galas, family gatherings, friendly get-togethers—between now and the new year there are a lot of parties coming. Bring ‘em on. We love a good party; it’s an excellent excuse to buy a new dress. Win, win! If you’re of the same mind, head over to our dress trend guide. It’s full of metallic minis, lacy LBDs and all manner of other beautiful frocks.

Shop: Our Party Dress Guide

Vince Camuto Sequin Scuba Shift Dress
BB Dakota Lace Fit & Flare Dress | Vince Camuto Scuba Shift Dress

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“I just want to make people more beautiful and happy.”— Alber Elbaz

This holiday season, drape yourself in Lanvin and spread a little stylish cheer.

Qianna Smith

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HERO

The invites are stacking up, but what to wear to your holiday get-togethers? Whether it’s for your company Christmas party or cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with friends, here are six of our favorite little party dresses and trends that are fit for any fête.

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Come Fly Away: Wildfox ‘Let’s Get Away from It All’ V-Neck Cotton Tee

With Thanksgiving just one week away, we thought a handy guide on how to pack fashionably in a flash might be just the ticket!

Find more ways to embrace this festive time of year with our clever Holiday How-Tos.

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heroWherever your 4th of July plans take you, let your style sparkle as much as the fireworks with some patriotic stars and stripes.

Jeff Powell

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Deck Your Legs for the Holidays

Nothing says holiday like festive stockings adorning a fireplace mantel, right? This year, our window designers at the Nordstrom Seattle flagship store put their own spin on what to do with decorative stockings—why, flaunt them, of course!

From bold patterns to high shine, these stockings were made for glitzing up your legs during this chilly time of year—so make sure they’re seen.

Get this center look and add some shine to your winter style statement.
Pretty Polly Embellished Tights (Nordstrom Exclusive) | Sam Edelman ‘Pryce’ Pump
Joie ‘Tesla’ Lace Dress | Sondra Roberts Sequin Pouch | Ariella Collection Cocktail Ring
Cara Accessories Small Crystal Cuff

Find more fun hosiery options for every cold-weather occasion!

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A Star-Spangled 4th of July

What are you wearing this Independence Day? Don’t let the fireworks be the only thing that dazzles the crowds this year. We’re all for a little patriotic creativity, so here are 10 Editor’s Picks to add a few stars and stripes to your July 4th festivities.

Current/Elliott Print Tee

Jeffrey Campbell Boot

Current/Elliott Print Shorts

TOMS Painted Wedge

Nanette Lepore Dress

Dior Retro Sunglasses

Pretty Polly Tights

Grass Roots iPhone Case

O'Neill Patriot Cover-Up

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