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My Mama, My Partner, and My Bestie Dressed Me for the Holidays

A swirly background in blues, oranges, and golds. The words HOLIDAYS 2022 are on torn gold paper, along with the Autostraddle logo.

Holigays 2022 // Header by Viv Le

I love clothes. Always have and pretty sure I always will. My current wardrobe is undergoing a major overhaul. I’ve tossed or given away about 65% of my wardrobe in the past month, only keeping pieces that are total fucking hits or work perfectly across multiple outfits. I also have only allowed myself to keep a few pieces that have sentimental value. My style is pretty consistent — think tartan prep hottie, with a big scoop of vixen, a cup of around-the-way girl, and a dash of plant mami. I haven’t done an overhaul in a while, and while my actual style hasn’t changed that much, I’m more interested in continuing to add solid & long-lasting pieces — new and vintage — to my perfectly curated wardrobe.

Do you remember those dress-me games? The ones where you picked clothes and makeup for an orange-hued and blonde-haired girl that was awkwardly standing there? I loved them. I also love the holidays, getting dressed up to go to a party, getting cozy pajamas to stay in and cry at “The Holiday” for the millionth time, and getting dolled up for a sweet & spicy winter date.

So, I combined them both together and instead of dressing myself I asked my crazy mama, my incredible partner, and my babe of a bestie to style me for the holidays! They each got to pick an outfit for three holiday occasions: Holiday Dinner With the Family, Date Night, and NYE (my favorite holiday!!). This was really fun to me to see what they would choose and why, you can tell they each took a different approach — like my partner very much picked things they would want to see me in, while my mother decided to dress me in things she would wear if she were me — and I LOVED IT ALL!

So let’s get started and play “Style Shelli!” and if you are a millionaire and want to buy me all of these outfits I shall send my address to you swiftly.


Holiday Dinner With the Family

A three piece sequined outfit

1. Fashion Nova Three-piece Sequin Set ($67)

Mama: “The holidays are a time to celebrate and have fun! This outfit is a walking advertisement of the joy of the season. Your spirit always shines wherever you go daughter, you like making people smile, and when they see you in this outfit they will remember life is not so bad and that you look so good. I like it for you because it shows your personality, it sparkles and shines—just like you.”

An outfit made up of a plaid skirt, red top, and black boot

1. Ralph Lauren Turtleneck Sweater ($54) 2. Ralph Lauren Plaid Skirt ($135) 3. Nordstrom Boots ($119) 4. Monica Vinader Ring ($150)

Babe: “I chose this skirt because I think it perfectly captures your style and the holidays, it reminds me of Clueless (I know it’s not the same pattern/color) and of our first date. And honestly, I LOVE LOVE LOVE WHEN YOU WEAR SKIRTS. I know you’re not a turtleneck person, but I LOVE this color and I think you’d look amazing in it. Boots with a slight heel because I’m so tall I don’t care when my GF wears a heel, and lastly rings, because I LOVE the way gold looks on your skin — especially rings on your right hand with all of your tattoos.”

An outfit made up of jeans, sneakers, a plaid shirt and a cream crop top.

1. J. Crew Cropped Sweater Tank ($70) 2. L.L. Bean Flannel ($50) 3. Levi Jeans ($76) 4. Privé Revaux Glasses ($28) 5. Fila Sneakers ($39)

Bestie: “As a fellow Taurus, Shelli and I love to be luxuriously comfortable, and a cashmere bralette fits the bill perfectly, we’re cute and cozy — and a little sexy. Flannels and queer fa-shun are a match made in heaven – we’re putting the L$Bean back in L.L. Bean, folks. It’s also one of Shelli’s sweetie’s favorite colors and would look so cute tied around the waist for this outfit. I would also like to personally thank Autostraddle for the opportunity to make my Google search history even gayer by adding “burnt sienna lumberjack shirt” to the mix.

The color of these sneakers is named “Tender Peach” and you’re telling me it wasn’t made specifically for sapphics? Sure Jan. Shelli loves her FILAs, she is a size 8.5 but will order these in an 11 for reasons we may never understand.

This outfit is great for a chill family holiday dinner because it looks put together without trying too hard, and is super comfy to wear all day/evening. Shelli’s beau will appreciate the subtle nods to their favorite color and wearing their nameplate around the fam to show some low-key affection when PDA may or may not be possible. I think Shelli will like it because it’s very close to her usual style — she might actually already have most of this outfit in her closet. She may be opposed to the jean situation, I’m SORRY.

I can totally visualize Shelli “helping” in the kitchen in this outfit, lounging by the open window (because she hates being overheated and doesn’t love cooking), keeping the wine flowing, and making everyone laugh regaling them with her delightful stories.”

Date Night

An outfit made up of a wrap top, midi skirt, and heels

1. Amazon Wrap Shirt ($20) 2. Nordstrom Skirt ($55) 3. Steve Madden Heels ($80)

Mama: “It’s comfortable, yet classy and sassy at the same time! It also commands attention and a “No matter what I got this” kind of attitude. My favorite thing is this outfit displays power and confidence and even if the date does not work out — you still look good.”

An outfit made up of a black gown, purse, and heels

1. Windsor Formal Gown ($60) 2. Banana Republic Heels ($55) 3. YSL Clutch ($625)

Babe: “Ok, so my idea for this date night is that we’re out at the candlelight symphony event we’ve talked about, but we get all dressed up and go to a sexy dinner first. These shoes (with white polish), the purse because it’s hot, sleek, and big enough to hold my wallet and keys because we both know I’m never prepared to carry my own items.”

An outfit made up of a bustier, jacket, leather pants and a Telfar bag

1. Express Trench ($99) 2. SavagexFenty Bustier ($65) 3. Telfar Round Bag ($567) 4. Vesper Necklace ($79) 5. ASOS Leather Pants ($50) 6. Cartier Love Bracelet ($8,900)

Bestie: “Is this lingerie? Yes. Am I styling it as a top? Also yes. I am taking no further questions at this time. I have never seen Shelli wear anything like these pants BUT I think it would look SO GOOD, especially the booty. Leather is super sexy for a date and this color is gorgey. These shoes are perfect for showing off her white pedicure, and this jacket?! Listen, I love a dramatic reveal. Shelli’s partner will see her walking over and think “Wow, my girlfriend looks so chic in this trench” and then Shelli will undo the waist tie, and BAM titties. We contain multitudes, okay?

This outfit with its mint, light pink, and brown color palette of my gay Sailor Jupiter dreams and OTT accessories is E-X-T-R-A, which is exactly why I think Shelli will be into it. I’m imagining this look for a little cocktail and tapas date at a sultry-lit bar, just long enough to get all hot-and-bothered before going home to listen to records and make out. I ventured a bit outside what I’ve seen Shelli wear before, but she gave me full creative freedom (which she may be realizing was a big Miss Steak). Shelli might not love that the leather pants could be a little constricting, but whatever. Honestly, BRB might go buy this outfit for myself.”

NYE!!!

An outfit made up of a 3 piece pink glitter suit.

1. TGC Fashion Three Piece Suit ($45)

Mama: “This holiday represents an “Out with the old & In with the new” attitude, and it is a ready for fun look! It’s fun, stylish, daring, and exciting just like you! It fits the mood of the night and you can match it with a glittery flask and look sexy drinking a Starbucks drink or champagne.”

An outfit made up of a cocktail dress, black heels, diamond earrings

1. Heiress Beverly Hills Midi Dress ($198) 2. Steve Madden Heels ($70) 3. Macy’s Swarovski Drop Earrings ($115)

Babe: “This dress because just picturing you in it made me salivate a bit. It’s the perfect amount of skin for my baby along with a little razzle-dazzle for your favorite holiday. This dress is a showstopper and so is my baby. I love my baby in a heel and my baby loves a heel with a strap, this one is sexy and had a little razzle-dazzle to match the dress. I know we’re both typically gold people but NYE calls for something special. I think these earrings would look amazing on you—especially with your hair up and it would go with the vibe of the night.”

An outfit made up of a velvet dress, disco pumps, a faux fur jacket and diamante earrings.

1. PLT Faux Fur Coat ($103) 2. Bauble Bar Earrings ($48) 3. Cider Ruched Dress ($24) 4. Fashion Nova Thigh Chain ($9) 5. Macys Platform Sandals ($44) 6. Free People Tulle Socks ($38)

Bestie: “Cleavage? Check. Mini skirt? Check. Under $50 so you don’t care how many coupe glasses of prosecco are spilled on it? Check, check, check. Nothing says NYE more than an outrageous heel that you are constantly in fear of toppling over in. Nobody pulls off a sock/heel look better than Shelli, plus these will prevent blisters from the godforsaken heels.

I have purposefully not included a purse because our sweet bb angel Shelli is a self-aware queen and all her belongings will be stored in her boobs, because she will not be keeping track of a bag this evening (other than her takeout bag of Taco Bell). In case you didn’t catch it, our NYE celebrations historically tend to be glorious shitshows, whether we end up getting ready for hours just to stay home, or make it out to the gay bah or a series of questionable house parties. However, a photo shoot is necessary regardless of how the night unfolds, and she loves a miniskirt/tiddies out moment. It also strikes a perfect balance between classy/floozy. I’ve never seen her in this teal color and I would love to! Wow, my friend is so iconic and I can’t wait to have another chaotic NYE with her!”


This was so fuckin’ cute! I love hearing how important folks in my life see me, and it doesn’t always have to be on some super deep and serious tip. I express myself through clothing and writing, I love and deeply adore those that I’ve let close to my heart, and words of affirmation is 100% my love language. So in a way, I got to combine all those things here and it made my heart smile.

I’m going to buy a few of these items to add to my new wardrobe and give lotsa love to all three of these people!

So happy holidays cutiecakes and here’s hoping all of you feel stunnin’, handsome, and gorgeous in every fit you wear this season!!


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Shelli Nicole

Shelli Nicole is a Detroit-raised, Chicago-based writer. Her work has appeared in Bustle, HelloGiggles & Marie Claire. She is terrified of mermaids and teenagers equally.

Shelli has written 241 articles for us.

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