Every year we're faced with the same dilemma: What to wear to Christmas parties without spending a fortune on a one-off outfit? You don't want to wear work clothes to the party, but you also don't want to stand out like Ivana Trump.
These tips are guaranteed to see you through the holiday season stress-free -- by taking your look easily from the office to the party.
According to Cathy DeSerranno, a corporate and personal shopper and wardrobe consultant, clothes that have a crossover appeal can transform a day look into an evening one in seconds. For an understated, yet sultry evening look, pair one glitzy item, such as a lace-trimmed tuxedo shirt, with something subtler, such as a black stretch cotton pant from your closet. Or, if your best assets are your legs, put on a skirt with a side slit or a pair of black sequined pants with an understated black turtleneck. DeSerranno also suggests adding a silk georgette blouse with mesh or beaded trim to a skirt or pair of pants.
Suits, especially tuxedo styles, are highly stylish for women to wear to parties, especially work-related ones. What you wear with the suit determines what it's appropriate for. You can wear the suit all day at work with a collared shirt and when you are leaving for the evening party, simply throw on a black or red bustier, sleeveless sequined top or silk blouse and leave the suit jacket open.
Wearing dressy jeans to a more casual party with girlfriends is a new trend. "Many jeans or jean skirts are beaded, accented with lace, or trimmed with faux fur," says DeSerranno, which adds a chic element to them. She suggests pairing jeans you wore during the day with a pair of high-heeled leather boots or strappy heels for evening.
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Watch your step
What you wear on your tootsies depends on the party's venue. High-heeled boots look elegant and dressy with pants or skirts and are appropriate for a restaurant or club function. However, if you are attending a party at someone's home, a slingback or mule is more appropriate. "Shoes and boots are showing textures, beading and lace," says DeSerranno, "Boldly decorated boots and shoes strung with beads are ideal for evening". Any outfit can be dressed up with a dazzling pair of heels.
Nothing changes the look of an outfit faster or more dramatically than stylish accessories. DeSerranno advises wrapping a bold necklace that has a cascading waterfall look around your neck for the evening. The most basic work pants can be spiced up instantly with a studded or rhinestone belt and a vintage choker takes a work shirt straight into party mode. Or, if you are wearing a very conservative office dress, put on a pair of chandelier earrings, add a beaded or fringed shawl around your waist, and you're ready to dance the night away.
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