Not Little Black Dress. For the holidays we’re talking: Let’s Be Daring — lace, beads, dazzling, luxe, bare, dramatic.
By Maureen Mancini Amaturo
Not Little Black Dress. For the holidays we’re talking: Let’s Be Daring — lace, beads, dazzling, luxe, bare, dramatic. Holiday is the fashion season of extremes. Mini and maxi. Black and white. Covered and bare. Modern and retro. Uber-color and nude. Naughty and nice. ‘Tis the season to wrap yourself in sequins, metallics, embellishments, and slip dresses and bring a little party to your clothes.
Yes, you can still wear a sophisticated suit. And, of course, the standard LBD is on the list. But really, this is peak season to glam things up. Here are some holiday trends that add spirit to your style. Read the list and check it twice for alternatives that will work for you.
> White, head to toe
Dress, diamonds or pearls, high heels. A blizzard of glamour.
> Statement waist
Peplum, bow, feathers, jeweled belt. Adds newness and volume to the most basic silhouettes.
> Not-So-Lady-Like Lace
Find the unexpected in a holiday classic. Layered over neon. Paired with a leather jacket.
> Subdued sequins
Navy blue, pewter, blush. A modern, understated statement.
Fashion’s champagne toast. Whether a nude slip dress or nude sheer richly embellished with beads and lace in all the right places. TIP: some sheer sheaths come with nude under slips. Keep the double-sided fashion tape handy so those under slips won’t slip, making your dress more nude than you intended.
Skinny, cocktail, and velvet pants; straight tunics; low-cut pumps.
> ABSolutely Fab
Ab-baring styles are the way to show skin for the holidays. A peek of abs replaces the thigh slit, deep v-neck, and daring back. TIP: If baring abs, keep the hemline modest.
Anything but old-fashioned. Try a waist-cinching, full-skirt ‘50s dress. Or a full skirt and bright blouse. Universally figure-flattering.
Grand, glamorous, gilded looks. Balance the pretense of the metallic fabric with a polished silhouette and low-key accessories.
>Party Dress Precautions
Cocktail dresses can highlight different parts of the body. Choose a style that makes the most of your best. A hem above the knee accents legs. Low necklines bring attention to the bust. Peplums and belts highlight the waist. There should be one focal point in your outfit. Decide where you want the attention.
How long your cocktail dress is — inches above the knee to inches above the ankle —makes a huge difference. Are you shorter? Best to go with a shorter length. Calf-length can make you look shorter. An empire waist will give the illusion of a longer torso, too. Taller? Avoid too-short lengths for a balanced look.
Select a silhouette that is flattering for your figure. Everyone’s best friend is the A-line: slim bodice, flares at the waist, camouflages the hips and stomach. It can be cinched at the waist to create an hourglass figure, or worn natural. This shape does it all.
A common cocktail dress faux pas is wearing it with a large handbag. The more formal the look, the smaller the handbag. A clutch is always a good choice.
When choosing a party/cocktail dress, be sure you are wearing the dress, and it is not wearing you. The color and print must compliment your skin tone, hair color, and figure. The silhouette must flatter your shape.