TSG Tip: 184 Holiday Ready Must Have List from Erica HanksPhoto by Laura Sumrak.

The holiday season is upon us! To make sure our wardrobes are party-ready, we asked Charlotte, North Carolina-based stylist Erica Hanks to share her must-have pieces for looking festive and stylish at the coming weeks’ occasions. From statement-making accessories to something slightly unexpected, here are her recommendations:

Invest in velvet. “Velvet is bigger than ever this season,” Hanks says. “I love Preen’s slinky ruched velvet dress. The deep burgundy hue looks great on everyone, and has an understated vibe of festive that’s not over-the-top.” 

Find a little bag with big personality. “‘Tis the season for a statement clutch,” Hanks advises. “Kayu Design has been a favorite handbag line of mine for a few years now, and her evening clutches are unique and affordable.” 

Add style with a statement earring. “Most party photos will be from the waist up, so earrings will be a standout,” Hanks notes. “I love the fall collection from Mignonne Gavigan right now, especially this pair that has almost every color in them—which means they’ll go with so much in your closet. I also love these earrings by Rebecca de Ravenel, which just came back in stock.”

Take comfort in cool, comfortable shoes. “A low, stacked heel has never been so chic,” says Hanks. “I love the fur details of the Brother Vellies tufted fox fur sandal for a holiday party, and the 2-inch chunky heel will keep your feet going all night long.” That said, if you love your heels to the heavens….

Try a festive strappy sandal. “Lace-up sandals are still going strong, and the pom pom details on this pair by Aquazzura make them perfect for any holiday party,” Hanks says. 

Go for something unexpected. “Finding a sophisticated and modern jumpsuit for a holiday event can be a good way to set yourself apart,” Hanks suggests. “I love the tulle and crepe Self-Portrait jumpsuit with cropped legs. The velvet and lace feel festive, and the silhouette keeps it current.” 

Add subtle fragrance. “There’s a lot of greeting and hugging that happens at holiday get-togethers—at least at mine!” Hanks says. “I love using Oribe Cote d’Azur Hair Refresher to give my hair an extra fresh boost that’s not overpowering. It also cuts down on static, which can be a problem on chilly evenings.”

TSG Tip 184 from wardrobe stylist Erica Hanks, who is featured in The Scout Guide Charlotte. Hanks’s work extends beyond her group of professionals, athletes, and well-known men and women across the country to commercial and editorial wardrobe styling for corporate companies, national campaigns, catalogs, TV segments, and magazines.