How to Be a Ladyperson at the Holidays: 10 Important Tips

Straight from the ad pages of your favorite magazines, here’s your guide to being a girl in December. Take notes.

* * *

1. Stay cozy. Wear a baby.

wear a baby
If you play your cards right, your sensitive, goateed dad/boyfriend/professor will reward you with a pair of socks made out of his extra sweater sleeves.

 * * *

2. Flaunt your complexity.

Embrace all your many dimensions. Think: "I'm an heiress and an Italian professor at this upscale tropical funeral."
Show off all your many dimensions at once. When planning outfits for your holiday soirées, think: “I’m an heiress and an Italian professor at this upscale tropical funeral.”

* * *

3. Represent feminine softness in a hard masculine world.

coach
All around you are skyscrapers made of bricks and iron and glass and ouchy things. They’re all pointy and hard. But not you. You’re a soft pink flower in a gentle haze of light. Everything around you is blooming, because you breathed springtime into winter. You’re a superfresh candypants sugarblossom.

 * * *

4. If you’re truly hot, you won’t get cold.

bebe2
You’re outside. It’s winter. There’s snow falling around you. But also? You don’t feel cold. Whatever you do, don’t hide your light under a bushel by putting a coat over your party outfit. Just drag it along behind you in the snow and use the oil on your legs to fuel warm thoughts. Tell yourself the sequins on your dress are tiny hot-plates. Imagine fire. Visualize volcanoes.

* * *

5. Sit like this while waiting for the valet at the end of a holiday party.

What? Oh. Yes, that's my silver Ford Fiesta. Pull it 'round, will you?
What? Oh. Yes, that’s my silver Ford Fiesta. Pull it ’round, will you, Jeeves?

* * *

6. If you insist on being serious, you must be 100% serious at all times.

Here's how serious works: If you are serious, you can't have hair -- so slick it back. Also, no makeup. Only a black smock, white handbag. No colors. No jewelry. Earrings are not serious. Your expression should imply that if someone had to rescue humanity by spitting out some poisonous venom on the alien invaders right this very goddamn minute, you're the woman for the job. Because women and jobs and poison are SERIOUS.
Tired of all that frivolity? Here’s your alternative: If you are serious, you can’t have hair — so slick it back. Also, no makeup. Only a black smock, white handbag. No colors. No jewelry. Earrings are not serious. No smiling. Your expression should imply that you’re as serious as a heart attack. Now look what you’ve done. You’re so serious you’ve given everyone a heart attack. Ready to be jolly again?

* * *

7. Live every moment like a dream sequence.

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angel cats of christmas

they're everywhere

In Cartier's "Winter Tale" ad series, kittens who live in the sky (leopards? panthers? I don't know, I get the wild cats all mixed up) sneak up on gift-wrapped jewelry items. It's cute because the cats are babies, but it's sad because if they're in the clouds, I guess they're dead? So, dead baby cats. But lots of diamonds. The point is, ladies, if you're a majestic angel-kitten, heavenly trinkets are yours for the stalking. So be a wild, sexy, dead, luxurious cat-baby.
In Cartier’s “Winter Tale” ad series, kittens who live in the sky (leopards? panthers? I don’t know, I get the wild cats all mixed up) sneak up on gift-wrapped luxury items. It’s cute because the cats are babies, but it’s sad because if they’re in the clouds, I guess they’re dead? So, dead baby cats. But lots of diamonds. The point is, ladies, if you’re a majestic angel-kitten, heavenly trinkets are yours for the stalking. So be a wild, sexy, dead, luxurious cat-baby.

* * *

8. Do a sports thing. That’s funny.

Topless, smirking handbag-boxing ladies with boy haircuts are making a statement. Are you making a statement? Be bold. Have short hair and do something sportsy while also wearing your purse as a bra. This shit is crazy, and so are you.
Topless, smirking handbag-boxing ladies with boy haircuts make a statement. Are you making a statement? Be bold. Have short hair and do something sportsy while also wearing your purse as a bra. This shit is crazy, and so are you.

* * *

9. Wear makeup, like a deviant.

perversion mascara
You know what those fringy things are at the edges of your eyelids? Eyelashes. You know what it means if you put dark stuff on them? You’re a total perv. Slap some red on your lips too, and it means you’re the Lady Mayor of Kinktown, USA. Go ahead, wear a little foundation, you dirty, filthy, nasty thing, and when you show up to your office party wearing all this… this… cosmetic substance… on your face, we’ll know exactly what memo you’re sending. Tie me up, tie me 5% down like this quarter’s earnings, know what I mean?

 * * *

10. Ignore the voice of reason.

Ahh,  the warm, snuggly comfort of over-the-knee suede boots and a chunky cashmere turtleneck. But no pants. Never pants. This look is as adorable as it is impractical. But you want this impossible dream, don't you? You do, because a world where you can wear the tall slouchy boots and the big fuzzy sweater and nary a stitch to cover your ass is a world where practicalities mean nothing and there are no limits. Get what you want, and ignore the rules. Take only desserts from the buffet of life. Let the losers wear britches.
Ahh, the warm, snuggly comfort of over-the-knee suede boots and a chunky cashmere turtleneck on a brisk winter day. But no pants. Never pants. This look is as adorable as it is impractical. And you want this impossible dream, don’t you? You do, because a world where you can wear the tall slouchy boots and the big fuzzy sweater and nary a stitch to cover your ass is a world where practicalities mean nothing and there are no limits. When you ignore the rules, you get what you want. Take only desserts from the buffet of life, girl. Leave the vegetables to the losers.

Pants are for suckers. Merry Christmas.

* * *

(Past fashion ad life-guides are here, here, here, and well, there are a bunch.)

You might also like: A Few Feminist Editorial Notes on My Childhood Christmas List

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298 comments

  1. Bwahahaha! This reminds me of the time I went to Bergdorf’s with my skinny rich sister and the snooty salesperson approached me. She sniffed and asked if she could “help” me. I pulled a dress of the rack and hollered, “Do you have this in a size 18?” She fainted, because no one in Manhattan wears an 18.

  2. Reblogged this on Day One and commented:
    This is how we should dress this ‘season’
    I particularly love ;
    Show off all your many dimensions at once. When planning outfits for your holiday soirées, think: “I’m an heiress and an Italian professor at this upscale tropical funeral.”

    And “Pants are for suckers! Merry Christmas”

  3. See, I was having a bad day until I came to: “The point is, ladies, if you’re a majestic angel-kitten, heavenly trinkets are yours for the stalking. So be a wild, sexy, dead, luxurious cat-baby.” And now the day is AWESOME.

  4. Better reading than my 1,798 page Fall Fashion mags (Vogue, InStyle, MarieClaire) for the billionth time. I was almost drinking the kool aid, too. Thanks for the splash of cold water on my hopes and dreams. I really need that. L

  5. At least you hatchet wounds cannot blame us men for this. These ads are made by women and targeted towards women. You made your wire push up bra bed, now you can lie in it. Women are women’s worst enemy.

  6. My favorites were the upscale tropical funeral, “Tie me up, tie me 5% down like this quarter’s earnings, know what I mean?,” and “Ahh, the warm, snuggly comfort of over-the-knee suede boots and a chunky cashmere turtleneck on a brisk winter day. But no pants. Never pants,” particularly “Never pants.”

  7. Laughing laughing…I want to be a wild, sexy, dead, luxurious cat-baby. Will be annoying my husband the rest of today with key phrases so that I can laugh more. Going upstairs to get dressed and put on deviant makeup. xo

  8. This is absolutely hilarious. I’m actually wearing my husband/dad/professor’s sweater socks as we speak and feeling toasty and festive. My baby is at the dry cleaner’s, though.

  9. Really solidly hilarious in a world that is increasingly grim. Thanks for that ! Btw the “sans pants” look seems to be in … Probably just that liberal media feeding us some global warming crap again.

  10. Thanks so much for this – I now get an extended holiday period whilst I Iambaste away on unemployment because I took your ‘pants are for suckers’ as inspiration to run down the main aisle between the cubicles at work after removing said garments and shouting your statement. 😀
    reblogging this!

  11. In my immediate response as a male I would say these exploitations of women give a lie to who women truly are and play into the cultural myths that denigrate women into sex objects and not full human beings. Perhaps that was the intended message?

    Grandfather

  12. I love love love the last one! The look has been catching on lately. I have my fair share of fuzzy sweaters & boots but unfortunately none long enough to cover my rump.

  13. You mean you’re only supposed to do these things in December? That explains the strange looks I get when I go to Walmart in my over-the-knee boots and chunky sweater with no pants. I thought I was just over-dressed.

    Thank you for informing me.😛

  14. As a man who does poses from men’s clothing catalogues in all the family photos, I can fully appreciate the wisdom of your words. And “Superfresh, candypants sugarblossom” is my phrase of the week!

  15. This made me laugh at loud! Great antidote to all the cheesy ridiculousness of these adverts. I especially like the phrase “I’m an heiress and an Italian professor at this upscale tropical funeral.” And those adverts where models just wear pants to show off shoes and boots, ugh, super daft.

  16. Oops I meant to say ‘just wear tops’, although I’ve also seen ad versions where they are just wearing pants too and no top so I guess both are accurate!

  17. This is wonderful, I say as I take off my pants and pull on my boots for the upscale tropical funeral. Now to find a baby to wear!

  18. I think you meant–

    Step one: wait for the holidays. Step two: have a vagina. Step three: if step two fails, proceed to step four. Step four: Be whatever the fuck you feel like being.

  19. Superfreshcandypantssugarblossom is going to be the name of my first born. I will carry it around with me to keep me warm and soften the edges of this cruel, masculine world while I wear my boyfriend’s sleeve-socks under m thigh-high boots. I will strap Superfreshcandypantssugarblossom to my ass on the days that the sequins and leg oil don’t quite do the trick. Thank you for giving me the direction I so badly needed in my life.

  20. Reblogged this on Jen Cab and commented:
    **two thumbs up** Hooray for these 10 important tips! I love them all. I guess I will try one at a time, one for each day until this crazy Holiday season ends!:)

  21. I think “superfresh candypants sugarblossom” is the best thing I’ve read all week! Of course I’m going to be an angelic baby wildcat this winter. I mean, it’s what’s “in” now, right?

  22. Oh my gosh. I needed a good laugh. My teen aged son is undergoing knee surgery right now. Missing basketball season for the second year in a row. Tough year for us so it feels good to
    laugh while I am sitting here in the hospital cafeteria. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  23. As part of this year’s blogging101 course, today’s assignment was to read 5 new topics and 5 new blogs. I’m glad I chose this one because it lightened my mood – I even went upstairs to take my panties off and vomit …

  24. I believe that being showered and lightly spritzed with perfume makes me a happier person and pleases those with whom I come into contact. Right. Except yesterday at the Q tip matinee at a Boston theatre where one of the gals behind me said to her friend..”I smell wood.”

  25. What about this one? “Run, run, run for your life in those pink suede,5-inch stilettos. On ice. Uphill. Because nothing says “Strong, independent woman like falling on your face, bruising your shins, and getting up again to run another day. Then hail that cab. Don’t worry. Nobody saw a thing.” I’m pretty sure there is an ad (Jimmy Choo?) somewhere that could illustrate this.

  26. Help me to understand. Tip #1 is unclear. Where does a woman-person obtain spare fashion babies? Is there a special boutique?A lease program? Certainly we’re not expected to wear the same infant all season? That would be tacky …

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