If it glitters, wear it.
This year's look for holiday dressing is feminine and elegant - just like non-seasonal clothes - with the addition of glitter and gold. Lots of gold.
“Gold accents, gold shoes, gold handbags, gold shawls, gold pants, gold makeup, gold skinny belts - think '80's,” said Karen Koza, public relations director for the Fashion Association in New York City.
“The truly outstanding occasions call for sleeker, sexier looks full of color - especially gold,” a company news release states.
Which means dressing for holiday parties shouldn't prove too great a challenge this year. With the emphasis on elegance already pervading fashion, most women probably have something they can pair with a shiny top, slacks, or skirt. Add a stunner of a wrap or a plush fur collar (real or faux), and you're done.
Holiday clothes for men are equally elegant. The tonal look (think Regis) remains strong, as do tuxedo styles. For casual parties, Jacobson's and Banana Republic recommend turtlenecks (mock and otherwise) paired with a leather jacket or blazer.
A lot of women may not even have to go shopping at all. The usual suspects for luxe winter dressing - velvet, cashmere, and silk - remain popular, appearing in all sorts of garments.
“You can always pull out velvet and it's in vogue,” Ms. Koza said.
As for color, the usual rules apply there too. Other than gold, shades of red, green, and classic black are this year's strong players - just as they have been for, oh, the last century or so.
So what's new, then? Fur. Those aforementioned fur collars are trendy right now, but fur generally has slipped back into mainstream fashion after a decade of being shunned. Local stores are selling fur capes and coats, and designers have added fur trims to just about every possible garment.
Silhouettes remain sleek and fitted, as they have all year, so you may want to forgo that second eggnog. Still, shoulder pads have returned, which at least provide some visual balance to a serious set of hips.
Once you have on your shiny and/or plush outfit, what then? Ms. Koza reports the return of big, Dynasty-style hair and blue eye shadow. All we can say to that is, use discretion. Big hair can be hard to maintain in a Toledo winter, and blue eye shadow, is, well, blue eye shadow.
That said, it seems many others have holiday style advice.
From French stylist Frederic Fekkai's just-published Frederic Fekkai: A Year of Style:
“Be elegant but do not show off.
“Add a touch of color. Even if everything else is black, it always looks right. A wrap in a wonderful color takes any ensemble to a new level.
“Show a little skin, at the shoulders, perhaps, or legs. It is incredibly appealing, especially in the winter. But wildly plunging necklines or micro-mini skirts have a desperate quality that is decidedly unfestive.
“Day or night, a turtleneck in cashmere covers a multitude of worries, and focuses the attention on your face.
“Wear jewelry pieces that sparkle like snow: rhinestones or pearls.”
From Banana Republic's list of must haves: Sparkling scarves, something beaded, colored leather, a chunky knit sweater, and something shearling.
From Jacobson's top picks:
“If you buy only one dress, choose a black cocktail dress. Render this classic exceptional with outstanding gold jewelry and accessories, fit to your personal styles.
“Evening pants and a great blouse meet this season's requirement for the dramatic yet simple silhouette.
“Don't be afraid to mix and match separate pieces.”
And from Talbot's:
“Last year's emphasis on ball gowns has shifted in favor of dressy separates.
“This year, simple shapes are elevated by a special fabric or noteworthy detail. And the trimmings are key, so watch for plenty of jewels, particularly multiple strands of pearls or jet beads.”