Holiday Style Tips From NBA Stylist Courtney Mays

The holiday season brings it’s own special style challenges, but luckily for you, we’re bringing in the big guns to help you manage, our good friend and NBA stylist, Courtney Mays. With a client roster of some of the most stylish men in the NBA, guys like Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Love to name a few, Courtney is definitely our go-to source for style advice. This time around she’s got some holiday style strategy, a few go-to looks, and a some do’s and don’t that are going to ensure you’re looking as stylish as possible all the way through New Years.

Be Prepared and Go Transitional
“The holidays usually add more parties, family gatherings, and work events to your schedule, which means your look should be transitional. Keeping this in mind will help you be stylishly prepared for the holiday social scene. At the office, wear a well-fitting sweater with your suit and change out your dress shoes for a clean white sneaker or loafer and you're happy hour or holiday party-ready. Maybe have a lapel pin or a different tie hidden in your desk drawer and you're prepared for a more formal event.”

Accessorize Your Holiday Spirit
“Obviously I’m a big fan of the right accessories and they’ll let you play with the more festive colors, fabrics and prints without committing to major holiday wardrobe overload. Snowflake printed socks, red and green details, plaid ties and scarves, they’re all a fun way to incorporate a little holiday trend into your look but in a subtle way.”

Do’s and Don’ts

Do: Use color and fabric to amp up your holiday spirit
“Burgundy cords or chinos, camel coats, dark green sweaters, textured suits like tweeds and herringbones, it’s all good! Try layers, plaids and textured fabrics too, it’s definitely season and weather appropriate. Just because it’s not red and green doesn’t mean it isn’t festive.”

Don’t: Get get too spirited
“Often it’s the biggest mistake that men struggle with when getting into the holiday spirit and they’ll break out an array of vintage holiday sweaters, reindeer printed ties, and Christmas tree scarves. Find a balance between that and just wearing your same regular navy suit and pretending the holidays don’t exist.”

Do: Wear red and green, just maybe not together, all at once
“Definitely take this time to splurge on those red or burgundy chinos as an alternative to khakis or a green or red cardigan to pair with your grey trousers or dark denim.”

Don’t: Ugly Christmas Sweaters
“Don’t wear those ugly Christmas sweaters unless you’re specifically going to a party with that theme. The same goes for argyle and red and white stripes, you don’t want to look like Santa, a candy cane, or an elf, trust me.”

Do: Go Traditional 
“Classic holiday elements like Fair Isle or Nordic prints, tartan plaids, or snowflake prints, can look really cool when styled correctly. Just try them in moderation (like with denim and boots), you don’t want to end up looking like you just walked out of Christmas Town U.S.A.”

What To Wear To All Those Occasions

The Office Holiday Party: “If it’s not formal, break up your suit and throw on a wintery sweater with your trousers and your crisp collared shirt and tie. Or, if you have a pair of tweed or textured pants wear them with a shirt, tie, and a blazer.”

The Family Dinner: “Right now, I am a huge advocate of layering with knits. Pair your grey suit with a camel knit instead of your traditional white button up or wear one under a blazer with denim. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a turtleneck, it’s an instant way to add a bit of James Dean swagger to your look!”

Holiday Weekends or Casual Friday: “Definitely flannels. Worn open over a thermal or under a suit or sweater for an uber-stylish, editorial look, a flannel shirt is an instant holiday classic.”

New Year’s Eve: “Dress up, it’s a party! A tux is great obviously, but you can try mixing in some variations on a tux like wearing the jacket with denim or adding some color to your tux look. These are great ways to be a little more adventurous and step outside of the traditional black tuxedo.”

One Final Tip
“Have fun and go for something adventurous. The holidays, like any other time, allow you to interpret style in your own way and play up the seasonal trends.”