Phil Valles, Dark Essentials, holiday gift guides, luxury vintage, what goes around comes around

Phil Valles, who runs the visual blog, shares his holiday plans with us and his curated guide for the sophisticated gentlemen in your life.

What are your holiday plans?

The week, before the holidays take full swing, I’m planning to take a much needed escape to Miami. Then, I’ll head home to Danvers, Massachusetts where my family lives to spend the holidays at home!

What are you looking forward to this holiday season?

Truly, I’m most looking forward to simply being at home with family. This year has been one of the busiest I’ve had in a long time and I can’t wait to kick back while not feeling the need to check my emails, social media, etc. With my schedule, I also haven't had time to travel home to visit my family as much as I have in prior years. It'll be good to spend a good amount of time with everyone and catch up!  My family just got a new puppy and I haven't been home to meet her yet!

How do you treat yourself during the holidays?

The biggest treat I give to myself is allowing myself to take it easy. For the majority of people, we spend all year frantically running around working to excel at our day jobs, maintain our social lives, etc. No joke, I currently have over 4,000 unread emails and a backlog of unopened text messages that makes me feel like the guiltest person alive. I look at the holiday season as the moment of the year to turn all of that off to spend time with the people closest to me. If that also involves one too many espresso martinis then so be it.

What’s your go-to holiday party look?

In my opinion, wardrobe basics make sense for your day-to-day, but the holiday season is the time to wear things that are a little more fun and  festive. I wouldn’t say I have a standard go-to look, but I definitely prefer something that stands out opposed to the classic suiting or sweater route. No shade on traditional menswear, everyone loves a clean and classic look, but I think the holiday season gives everyone an excuse to step a little outside their comfort zone! Currently, I have a fantastic 2-piece black velvet Ann Demeulemeester suit that is waiting to have a holiday party moment. Why fit in when you can stand out?