Holiday Dressing, Courtesy of New York's Cutest Couples

Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
'Tis the season to be in love. And, with New York City being the epicenter of all things romance, especially during the holidays, who better to turn to for style insights than eight of our favorite couples? We asked the most adorable pairs across the city to cover all of the must-know seasonal bases, from how to dress for every type of party (yes, even ugly-sweater get-togethers) to the ins and outs of gift-giving (including those embarrassing presents they'd like to forget) — plus, their thoughts on why this time of year is the best. See, love actually is all around.
1 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Occasion: A Cocktail Party

Name: James Aguiar (Right)
Age: "Younger than Cher, older than Miley."
Job: National Fashion Director, Modern Luxury Media

Name: Mark Haldeman (Left)
Age: "Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr..."
Job: U.S. Retail Director, Paul Smith

How long have you two been together?
James Aguiar: "Since before cell phones and e-mail."

Mark Haldeman: "We just celebrated 19 glorious years together."

How did you meet?
JA: "We met at a bar on a snowy night. I said hello, knowing that if I didn't, I would regret it forever."

MH: "Literally, on my first day in New York City after I moved here from Minnesota. I walked into a bar, and he was across the room. I was too nervous to say anything to him, but he said 'Hello' on his way out the door, and the rest is history!"

What is the best and/or worst part about being in a relationship during the holidays?
JA: "The best part is the history and the tradition. The worst part is my insatiable desire to snoop for presents!"

MH: "The best part is having someone to share them with. The worst is trying to decide who gets to wear the plaid jacket for the holiday photos."

What's the most embarrassing gift you've received from your significant other?
JA: "I can't say what.... Let's just say it was quietly returned."
Advertisement
2 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
Describe your holiday season in three words.
JA: "Festive, fabulous, fancy, flawless, and filled with finery — I know, [that's] more than three."

MH: "Shiny, sparkly, and bright."

If you could give your partner anything, what would it be?
JA: "I would give Mark lunch at Dawnridge, Tony Duquette's Beverly Hills home, followed by a private plane trip to Doris Duke's Shangri-La in Oahu, Hawaii, for dinner. Fantasy all the way!"

MH: "Bob Hope's former home in Palm Springs. [It was] designed by architect John Lautner, [and] the price has recently been slashed from $50 million down to $34 million. Worth every penny!"

What holiday song best describes your relationship?
JA: "I love 'Baby, It's Cold Outside.' It's flirty, romantic, and a little naughty. Plus, it's a duet, and many holiday songs are not."

MH: "For someone who wants to start the holiday music in July, this is a very tough question. I'm going to go with Celine Dion's 'I'm Your Angel.' Why? Partly because I love a little Celine at the holidays, and partly because he's so lucky to have me in his life (and vice versa)."

What is your favorite holiday food or drink?
JA: "Cheese fondue. At our parties, no one eats it for the first two hours. By the end of the night, our guests are literally scraping the bottom of the bowl. As far as drinks go, Champagne all the way (with a preference for Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rose)!"

MH: "It's a toss-up between my grandmother's ginger cookies with icing and James's turkey bacon-wrapped dates."
3 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Occasion: An Office Shindig

Name: Alisa Sniderman
Age: 27
Job: Ph.D. Candidate

Name: Zachary Sniderman
Age: 27
Job: Journalist

How long have you two been together?
Zachary Sniderman: "Seven-plus years."

How did you meet?
ZS: "We met watching a play during college pre-frosh and talked about The Seagull instead of watching the show."

What is the best and/or worst part about being in a relationship during the holidays?
ZS: "Well, her — she's the best. I've got someone to walk around the city with."

Alisa Sniderman: "One of the best parts is going skating, especially on a pond up north."
4 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
What's the most embarrassing gift you've received from your significant other?
ZS: "A really nice book for our wedding anniversary, a day late."

AS: "A Hudson Bay toque, too small."

Describe your holiday season in three words.
Both: "More snow, please."

If you could give your partner anything, what would it be?
ZS: "A puppy, and probably an enormous one — a Newfie or Bernese Mountain dog."

AS: "A puppy, and probably a herding dog — a Sheltie or a Berger Picard."

What holiday song best describes your relationship?
Both: "'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.'"

What is your favorite holiday food or drink?
ZS: "Chocolate."

AS: "Apple crisp."
5 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Occasion: A Family Dinner

Name: Cipriana Quann
Age: 27
Job: Cofounder & Editor-in-Chief, Urban Bush Babes

Name: Aaron Parker
Age: 33
Job: Bar Manager

How long have you two been together?
Cipriana Quann: "[Aaron] will say that it feels just like yesterday, but I know that's his code for 'I can't recall the exact date' [laughs]. We have been together for over five and a half years."

How did you meet?
Aaron Parker: "When we initially met five years prior to our relationship; she thought she knew me from working at the same venue. But, I'm an identical twin, and she confused me with my brother. Yes, she has an identical twin, too [laughs].

"Long story short, she went to Paris for modeling, and we bumped into each other about five years later in SoHo. Her twin was opening for Nas, and she invited me. I was like, 'Man, this drop-dead beauty from another universe not only wants to hang out with me, but is inviting me to see Nas perform. It's a win-win!'"

CQ: "Even though I had randomly bumped into his twin brother at different events, I was never attracted to him. When I finally met Aaron, there was an instant connection, which I thought was weird since I never felt that spark before. Little did I know that he was a completely different person!"

What's the most embarrassing gift you've received from your significant other?
CQ: "Sigh, I know this sounds throw-up-worthy, but I have never received an embarrassing gift from my love, because everything he gives me comes from the heart. Unless he gave me nipple tassels or something like that!"

6 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
What is the best and/or worst part about being in a relationship during the holidays?
AP: "Deciding whose family we are going to spend time with on each holiday (since they live in different area codes) and dividing leftovers — Cipriana is scary when it comes to food and not messing with her share."

Describe your holiday season in three words.
CQ: "Love, giving, stomachaches."

If you could give your significant other anything, what would it be?
AP: "The ability for her to have genie-like abilities, or an actual genie in a bottle. She works so damn hard on her website, even pulling all-nighters, it would be nice to see her have more time for herself. Heck, I would even be her genie in a bottle."

CQ: "A literal money-generating tree that, instead of shedding leaves, would constantly shed $100 bills. Aaron is so creatively talented, with incredible taste, and I would love to see him have an unlimited source of finances to make all of his ideas come to fruition."

What holiday song best describes your relationship?
CQ: "'Baby, It's Cold Outside,'" by Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer. The words of the song pretty much mirror a situation that happened around the holidays; I went to visit him during a blizzard, and he was trying to convince me to stay."

What is your favorite holiday food/drink?
CQ: "Sweet-potato pie."

AP: "Rosemary-sour-cream mashed potatoes."

Advertisement
7 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Occasion: A Cocktail Party

Name: Alan Eckstein
Age: 29
Job: Cofounder, Timo Weiland

Name: Haley Loewenthal
Age: 27
Job: Fashion Stylist

How long have you two been together?
Haley Loewenthal: "Three years."

How did you meet?
HL: "Working together."

What is the best and/or worst part about being in a relationship during the holidays?
HL: "The best part is all the cozy parts! The worst part is trying to find the perfect gift."

Alan Eckstein: "The best part is receiving the perfect gift. The worst part is traveling back and forth between different families."
8 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
What's the most embarrassing gift you've received from your significant other?
HL: "Alan once regifted me a hat that was supposed to be for him but didn't fit his head. I knew it instantly — I guess that's more embarrassing for him than me, though!"

AE: "Foot powder. I don't want to talk about it."

Describe your holiday season in three words.
HL: "Home Alone, always."

AE: "Beer, whiskey, wine."

If you could give your partner anything, what would it be?
HL: "An epic holiday-getaway-beach-vacation extravaganza."

AE: "The greatest home anyone could ask for in the Hudson River Valley."

What holiday song best describes your relationship?
HL: "'Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel."

AE: "'The Nutcracker.'"

What is your favorite holiday food or drink?
HL: "Pumpkin-spice latte. Just kidding. No, I am not."

AE: "My grandmother's cheesecake."
9 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Occasion: An Ugly-Sweater Party

Name: Matthew Malin (Left)
Job: Cofounder, MALIN+GOETZ

Name: Andrew Goetz (Right)
Job: Cofounder, MALIN+GOETZ

How long have you two been together?
Andrew Goetz: "20 cleansed and moisturized years."

How did you meet?
AG: "We met at a bar in the East Village aptly named The Bar."

What's the most embarrassing gift you've received from your significant other?
AG: "I’m probably more likely to give an embarrassing gift than to receive one. I honestly can’t think of one embarrassing gift."
10 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
What is the best and/or worst part about being in a relationship during the holidays?
AG: "The best part is I'm really good at getting us to leave a holiday party when it’s a bit of a dud. The worst part is that Matthew is really good at getting us to leave a holiday party when I’m having lots of fun."

Describe your holiday season in three words.
AG: "Eat, drink, Mr. Greenberg."

If you could give your partner anything, what would it be?
AG: "A team of gardeners."

What holiday song best describes your relationship?
AG: "'Father Christmas,' by The Kinks."

What is your favorite holiday food or drink?
AG: "Roast goose and Glühwein."
11 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Occasion: A Family Dinner

Name: Julian Tepper
Age: 35
Job: Writer

Name: Jenna Gribbon
Age: 35
Job: Artist

How long have you two been together?
Jenna Gribbon: "Nine years."

How did you meet?
JG: "We met at a holiday party that I was crashing. Julian said 'Merry Christmas,' and the rest is history."

What is the best and/or worst part about being in a relationship during the holidays?
Julian Tepper: "The best: Someone to go home with after a night of holiday gallivanting. The worst: hangovers."
Advertisement
12 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
Describe your holiday season in three words.
JG: "Lord help us."

If you could give your partner anything, what would it be?
JT: "A house on an exotic beach for Jenna to spend the winter months."

JG: "I’m not really into extravagant gifts, but a good custom suit would be nice. Or, maybe a first edition of Das Kapital."

What holiday song best describes your relationship?
JT:"'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.'"

What is your favorite holiday food or drink?
JT: "Ham and a nice brandy milk punch."

JG: "Sugared cranberries and hot toddies."
13 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Occasion: An Office Shindig

Name: Mimi Lester (Left)
Age: 27
Job: Rapaport Archivist, American Folk Art Museum

Name: Rae Tutera (Right)
Age: 29
Job: Co-Owner, Willoughby General

How long have you two been together?
Rae Tutera: "Four years."

And how did you meet?
RT: "We met as archivists at Brooklyn College, but we didn't date until Mimi found me on OkCupid several months later. Her articulate, sincere, and sweet message was really a diamond in the rough — she simply reminded me that we'd already met, pointed out we both talked about cyborgs in our profiles, and suggested we meet again."

What's the most embarrassing gift you've received from your significant other?
RT: "Mimi gave me a sweater shaver (or, really, a garment shaver) once, which I don't think is embarrassing, really, but some might consider how excited I was to receive this gift embarrassing, or more specifically, the zest with which I use it."
14 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
What is the best and/or worst part about being in a relationship during the holidays?
RT: "The best part about being in a relationship for us during the holidays is that we both come from New York-based families, so we get to celebrate with each other's people with uncommon ease. The worst part is being fried at the end of it, which is inevitable after Thanksgiving in both Westchester and the Bronx, Hanukkah in Brooklyn, and Christmas on Long Island."

Describe your holiday season in three words.
RT: "Long-john party."

If you could give your partner anything, what would it be?
Mimi Lester: "A year abroad in Italy."

RT: "Since Mimi brought that up, I would want to give her a year abroad in India. We shook hands on this one. Of course, we would want to go with each other, so this is a scenario in which we'd both be thoroughly spoiled."

What holiday song best describes your relationship?
RT: "'The Christians and the Pagans,' by Dar Williams. We've coincidentally both always loved this song, and the last lines, '"Lighting trees in darkness, learning new ways from the old, and / Making sense of history and drawing warmth out of the cold,' feels like the spirit of our relationship."

What is your favorite holiday food or drink?
ML: "Latkes and hot toddies."

RT: "I like Mimi's latkes and big, spice-driven seasonal beers like 21st Amendment's Fireside Chat."
15 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
The Occasion: An Ugly-Sweater Party

Name: Kevin Rath
Age: 27
Job: Customer Experience Manager, Warby Parker

Name: Mary Beth Barone
Age: 23
Job: Retail Analyst, Warby Parker

How long have you two been together?
Kevin Rath: "A year and a half."

How did you meet?
Mary Beth Barone: "We've actually known each other since we were kids! We grew up in the same neighborhood, and Kevin is my brother's best friend. We reconnected when Kevin referred me to work at Warby Parker and began dating a couple of years later."

What's the most embarrassing gift you've received from your significant other?
KR: "Mary Beth bought me underwear because I was too lazy to go buy it."

MB: "Before we lived together, we were arguing about where to sleep. Kevin bought me a dress so we wouldn't have to stay at my place."
16 of 16
Photographed by Kristiina Wilson.
What is the best and/or worst part about being in a relationship during the holidays?
KR: "The worst part is the pressure of finding the perfect gift."

MB: "The best part is having someone to kiss under the mistletoe (we've never actually kissed under mistletoe, but we could if we encountered any)."

Describe your holiday season in three words.
Both: "Johnstones' Christmas party."

If you could give your partner anything, what would it be?
KR: "A private Katy Perry concert."

MB: "I would get Kevin a Dehradun guitar — it's this awesome company that hand-makes them in India."

What holiday song best describes your relationship?
Both: "*NSYNC's 'Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.'"

What is your favorite holiday food or drink?
Both: "Turkey!"