1. Holiday party fashion dos
"What you should wear to a holiday party depends on the kind of party you're going to. If you're headed to an office party, skip the flashy skirt and opt for a simple dress in a jewel tone," suggests Stanley. "Think magentas, sapphire blues and amethyst purples."
For accessorizing, Stanley suggests throwing on a pair of textured black tights and your favourite pumps or booties to liven up the look. "If it's a New Year's Eve gathering, go for something more fun like a black beaded dress with statement shoes, a bold clutch and some colourful statement jewels," she advises. "The black dress gives you a great canvas for some amazing accessories -- just don't overdo it! Stick to one or two statement pieces rather than several."
Specific dos for this holiday season:
• Colour: "Bright pops of colour are always a big trend for the holidays, but go with a shade that's a bit less predictable -- a magenta rather than an emerald green or red, for example," says Stanley.
• Animal prints: Animal prints are also trendy and can look seriously stylish when done in an accessory or a printed blouse paired with a show-stopping necklace. Wearing leopard-print flats or pumps is always a fun addition to a holiday outfit.
Page 1 of 2 -- Find expert advice on fashion dont's when putting together your holiday party outfit on page 2
• Maxi lengths: "Try a floor-length dress for a more dramatic statement, but pair it with a fitted blazer or cropped jacket to keep it from being too formal," says Stanley. When wearing a maxi-length dress or skirt, a modest pair of heels is a great choice of footwear. (You run the risk of getting swallowed up in fabric and length if you pair a maxi with flats.)
• Fur: Fur is an absolute fashion staple for outerwear this holiday season. Whether it's real or faux -- or a collar, a stole or a whole coat -- fur is timeless and elegant. And it's the perfect way to bundle up over your holiday party ensemble.
2. Holiday party fashion don'ts
"The best rule of thumb when dressing for holiday parties is to avoid anything that is going to make you look like you should be decking the halls," explains Stanley. "That means velvet, taffeta or anything overly embellished. If you look like you should be unwrapped or dangling from the tree, you've gone overboard!" Keep it fashion-forward yet simple with bold colours, interesting silhouettes and perhaps a pop of red lipstick. A little bit of glamour goes a long way. And remember: "No ugly holiday sweaters unless the invitation calls for it -- then it's the uglier the better!" adds Stanley.
When styling yourself for a holiday party, ask yourself first and foremost: "What kind of party am I going to?" Is it a prim and proper office holiday party? A casual get-together with old friends from school? Or is it a swanky affair at a restaurant? Whatever the occasion, dress accordingly. Wear something special that is occasion-appropriate but that you also feel yourself in.
When in doubt, go for vibrant jewel tones and subtle sparkles in the way of dark sequins or an embellished bag. If you're wearing your favourite black dress, spice it up with a bold scarlet lip and a great pair of pumps.
For the holiday season, the trick is to balance looking a little bit festive with a whole lot of stylish -- a small amount of holiday sparkle speaks volumes. Here's to another year of amazing parties celebrating the season!
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