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A season of style
How to be fashionably festive at holiday soreees

Photos by Dan Bishop

December 2013

Tired of the same old LBD? Stand out at your next holiday party in pattern and shine. A basic A-line shape is flattering on all, and exudes the perfect combination of sexy and class. Who says the holiday lights are the only ones that should sparkle?

The holidays are upon us, and with them comes an influx of holiday party invitations.

Next, the inevitable, "What to wear?"

This season, holiday style is all about a flattering fit, luxe details and accessories that shine. And donít forget to top off your look with stunning holiday makeup and hair.

Here are a few insider secrets to achieve foolproof holiday glamour this season.

Preparation is Key

As with anything in life, waiting until the last minute to prepare your holiday party look can lead to disaster. About a week before your soiree, take a thorough look through your closet. If you donít want to invest in a new frock, is there something you already own that can be updated with the simple addition of a fabulous pair of shoes and luxe jewelry? How about adding a chic pair of patterned hosiery or a metallic belt? All of these items can instantly freshen even your most "vintage" dress.

Keep your most fashionable accessory close at hand with a brazen printed clutch. Animal prints are always a "do" ó and are a print-mixing dynamo ó while tribal, color blocking, reptile patterns and more are making their way onto your fave bag this season.

Rather add a new dress to your rotation? Stay on-trend with metallics, classic shapes, bold patterns, leather and lace.

Once the dress is decided, consider how you are finishing your look with hair and makeup. To get the coveted Hollywood wave, book an appointment for a day-of blow-out with your hair stylist. Plus, shake up your makeup routine by either accentuating your eyes with a classic cat eye, or make you lips the main attraction with a bold new hue, like fuchsia, orange or violet.

Maximize Current Trends

Thereís no quicker way to stand out in the holiday crowd than to make the seasonís hottest trends work for you. We all know that just because something is "in" does not mean it is perfect for everyone. The key is to find the trends that you can rock ó and take the time to find the best way to incorporate them into your wardrobe.

Stand out in a posh pair of statement earrings ó they dress up any simple ponytail and are a chic complement to your most basic holiday look. Metallics rule this season, so donít be afraid to go for the bold and gold.

Over-the-knee boots, for instance, are gracing the pages of every major magazine this season. But there are many ways the trend can go horribly awry. Pay attention to the rules: Donít pair them with short skirts or overtly sexy fabrics, like leather; do try them with simple, classic silhouettes and casual wear.

Another trend, statement necklaces, should be worn with a simple top or basic dress, rather than intricate fabrics.

A good rule of thumb is to make sure your trend piece is not competing with your outfit, but accentuating it.

Winter weather is all about layering ó but that doesnít have to mean boxy bulk. This season, toss a fur vest over your favorite dress to look great and keep toasty warm under the mistletoe.

Focus on the Details

Once you find the perfect dress, itís easy to forget about the details: jewelry, shoes, hosiery and even nails. This season, the fashionable devil is absolutely in those details.

From coordinated nail art to statement shoes with bows, sequins, metal heels and more, the accessories truly make ó or break ó your holiday look.

Stay ahead of the trend by trying these oh-so "now" accessories: colorful statement necklaces; large, ornate earrings; anything emerald; ankle-strap pumps; lace-up boots; patterned hosiery; and oversize clutches.

Moderation is essential to achieving your best holiday look. Keep a careful eye on proportion, and always remember to keep it classy, Milwaukee.



This story ran in the December issue of: