The holidays are looming, raising the perennial “what to wear” question for events, galas and informal parties. So shake the moth balls out of those ugly Christmas sweaters, vests and pants, and prepare to have a good time.

Casual versus black-tie-optional is the major dress code puzzlement. Does “resort casual” mean shorts and flip-flops, cruise wear or golfer’s togs plus sports jacket? Now that “out” is “in,” there are multiple retro style choices and sizes crammed in my closet. In fact, it’s so crowded I can’t find a thing to wear. (That’s my shopping excuse, and I’m sticking to it.) As for my spouse the Binmeister, Mr. GQ’s selection of trousers, shirts, sports jackets, suits and two tuxedos hang neatly with space between each item in his closet. Amazing! Nevertheless, to tie or not to tie, standard or bow, those are critical questions for Binmeister at this time of year. He has an assortment of ties, but he’s stumped by invites specifying “festive attire.” While dressing for a holiday party last year he asked, “How’s this?” holding up an orange tie with a red checked shirt. (He thinks he’s funny. Someday, I’ll let him go out in one of his bizarre color schemes.)

“Wear the Santa tie and Christmas pants; they’re festive,” I instructed.

He reluctantly donned the snappy red plaid Christmas pants. As we checked in to the gala event, a man behind us commented, “Those are really great slacks!” He was a men’s clothing store owner, and said he wished more men had such good taste. My natty spouse looked unsure of the compliment, but I gave him an “I told you so” raise of the eyebrows. Then his confidence soared when a well-endowed young woman approached from the rear and cooed, “Those pants are really cute!” Oh brother! It was my turn to eyeball the flatterer with suspicion. I’m not certain I like other women checking out my husband’s—ummm—trousers.

During the gala, a waitress admired Mr. Smart Pants’ attire, as did the hostess at the door. Needless to say, he was too big for his britches by the time we returned home. I told a friend that I thought the Binmeister’s Christmas pants had gone to his head. “Are you sure those women were looking at his pants and not his [posterior attributes]?” she asked. “One thing’s certain, now you’ll never get him out of them.”

Egads! I’ve created a fashionista Bin-monster.