Category Archives: Holiday Fashion

Holiday Party Dress Ideas

I cruised the web looking for the most adorable holiday dresses I could find.  Here are some of my Cool Yule picks for this year, from Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Dots, Wet Seal, and JCPenney. It’s like an online fashion show! Which one is your favorite?

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I’m showing the rear view of this fantastic $35 blue lace plus-size dress from Wet Seal because I think it makes the dress really special. The front is a modest scoop neck, and with the sleeves, this is an holiday office party appropriate choice, but it still stands out in that fabulous royal blue color. Classy but still vroom vroom!

This flirty red plus-size dress from Nordstrom was almost sold out online the last time I checked, but you may be able to find it in stores. A great antidote to the little LBD in a feel-good color and easy-to-wear cut make it a winner at just $88.

This flirty red plus-size dress from Nordstrom was almost sold out online the last time I checked, but you may be able to find it in stores. A great antidote to the little LBD in a feel-good color and easy-to-wear cut make it a winner at just $88.

This luxurious looking gold lace dress from JCPenney was actually quite a bit more pretty in the store than it shows in this photo, IMHO. It's one of the few longer dresses this season, too, for those who prefer that look.

This luxurious looking gold lace dress from JCPenney was actually quite a bit more pretty in the store than it shows in this photo, IMHO. It’s one of the few longer dresses this season, too, for those who prefer that look. This would be a lovely dress for that photo-op by the Christmas tree.

Nordstrom has some of the hottest dresses in plus sizes. This well reviewed sequin dress is $168. I love the not quite black color - universally flattering.

Nordstrom has some of the hottest dresses in plus sizes. This well reviewed sequin dress is $168. I love the not quite black color – universally flattering.

Okay, no Christmas tree will compete with you in this red sequin number. Check out the back on this dress! You'll turn heads, that's for sure. It's $188 from Nordstrom.

Okay, no Christmas tree will compete with you in this red sequin number. Check out the back on this dress! You’ll turn heads, that’s for sure. It’s $188 from Nordstrom.

The metallic touches in this simple dress make it a classy choice from Anthropologie, $168

The metallic touches in this simple but elegant dress make it a classy choice from Anthropologie, $168. This is the dress you want for the after-five holiday party or networking event, don’t you agree?

This is the dress you want to wear to the Kennedy Center to see the Nutcracker ballet, am I right? The copper lace is gorgeous. It's $228 from Anthropologie

This is the dress you want to wear to the Kennedy Center to see the Nutcracker ballet, am I right? The copper lace is gorgeous. It’s $228 from Anthropologie

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This adorable black chiffon cocktail dress from Dots is only $16! Love the sequin detailing at the shoulders.

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This show-stopper from Dots will only set you back $22. If you’ve got the body for this dress, flaunt it! I can see this on New Year’s Eve on the dance floor.

jcpenney emerald dresss 31 99 _80

Tired of LBDs? This well-reviewed dress in emerald from JCPenney is marked down to $32 from $80 this weekend. I bought the black version and I love it! It’s a flattering fit if you’ve got curves.

Tulle is a hot trend this winter. This is a classy number and it's only $30 at Wet Seal. Pair it with a soft cardigan if you feel chilly.

Tulle is a hot trend this winter. This is a classy number and it’s only $30 at Wet Seal. Pair it with a soft cardigan if you feel chilly, or check out their website for an edgier look with black tights and a blazer.

A Gold Mine of Holiday Dresses in Gold, from $17 to $258

This knockout dress from Anthropologie will set you back $258 but you’re sure to be wearing one of the most memorable dresses in the room!

For the holiday and New Year’s Eve, it seems a shame to me to play it safe and go with a little black dress, when you could really shine at your holiday party or big night out.

Metallic fabrics and sequins are the big fashion look of the holiday season this year, but why stay with safe black?  Gold is flattering to many skin tones and it looks great next to a Christmas tree in holiday photographs!

Here are a bevy of glittering gold dresses for every budget.  Click on the dress photo to order.

Prefer long sleeves in winter? Here’s a gold sequin dress from Coldwater Creek for $200

This gold and polyester lurex dress has a pretty cut and is a steal from Wal-Mart for $17.88 plus .98 shipping!

A gold sequin Michael Kors wrap dress is $150 at Macy’s.

This gold sequin number from Dress Barn retails for $62.

When it has to be a RED dress: my holiday red dress picks

Nothing beats the attention-getting power of a red dress, and there’s no better time than the holidays to wear one.  Hear are five red dresses to consider for your holiday parties and nights out this year…these are selling out fast online, so don’t wait until December!

If you have a fair complexion, a deep red might be more flattering than a bright red.  This dress is festive but low-key enough for business and office events.  Snap it up from Dillards in limited sizes left for $36.

 

What a beautiful red satin dress from Dress Barn.  Love the twist detail!  This one is $70.

Here’s a frankly romantic dress with print roses and ruffles that you would want to pull out again for Valentine’s Day night out.  This one is from White House | Black Market and retails for $140.

Another great dress from Dress Barn, with just a hint of sequins at the hip…at $42, you can’t beat the price!

 

If you can wear junior sizing, then you might like this $40 JCPenney dress.

 

Bargain Fashion Finds for Holiday 2010

Only $24!! Dots Red Sequin Dress (S, M, L, XL) stores only

What to wear…what to wear?

Like you, I want to look festive (and feel comfortable) during the holidays, and probably like you 🙂 I’m on a budget. A TIGHT budget! Many times, it makes sense to invest in quality pieces.  But for the holidays,  you may only wear these items once or a few times.  So, I think it’s worthwhile saving some money.

I fell in love with lots of the festive “Glisten Up” items at Talbots and other chic items I saw at stores this year, but all were too expensive for me.  I did find some great alternatives, however…

  • For that chic holiday party after 5: Instead of Talbots black velveteen ankle pants ($79.50), buy Walmart’s flat front, fitted black velveteen leggings: $12. These fit like ankle pants, not skin tight.  You save: $67.50.  Pretty good, considering how often you will actually wear them!
  • I also saw a fabulous sequin scarf in the accessories section at Wal-Mart in silver, black, or rose, and it was about $10.  Sorry, Talbots, it looks and wears almost like your $69 sequin scarf Save $59 smackers right there… I almost bought it.  Wish I had!
  • Need to dress up your suit for the office Christmas party?  Instead of Talbots sequined tank top ($69.50), choose Target’s Xhiliaration sequin tank top in colors like blush, black, or gold, in stores, $12-$17.  You save:  up to $57.50. I think I’d top this with one of the many soft cardigans they had in matching colors for under $20.  With a longer fine-gauge cardigan, that top would also be a great look with jeans and heels.
  • There was a fantastic lace pencil skirt offered by Talbots for $159.  Loved it.  Black lace over copper silk.  So gorgeous.  But it’s a dream.  Now the lace Covington skirt at Sears? That’s a reality.  Black lace over white satin.  On sale for $20.  You save $139.
  • White coat (Wal-Mart $20), mittens ($3) and hat ($3)

    You need a warm coat for going to see the National Christmas Tree downtown. Wouldn’t winter white be so chic instead of predictable black?  Yes, it would!  Instead of Lands End lightweight down jacket in white ($59), choose Walmart’s white, quilted junior parka, $18 (in plus sizes for $20).  You save: $41. This is a great looking coat that is actually nice and warm for most DC days.  I added a cute seasonal hat for just $3!

  • For me, New Year’s Eve is all about shine, and it’s the one night you can pull off a sequined dress.  It’s hard to beat the glam of Talbot’s tank-style sequin dress, but let’s face it — that’s a one-time only dress.  You will look fabulous for one night for $299, and then you can’t really wear it again.  I loved it, I really did, but opted for sleeves, and an A-Line cut and got a red version that kind of looks like sequins online from Dress Barn.  Hey, it fits!  It’s down to $25, now, online, if you happen to wear a size 14W.   I’m wearing mine to the One Party with a black jet necklace.  Dress Barn’s also got a great sleeveless black sequin dress with a really fabulous cut (I tried it on) for $49, online and in stores.  And, if you’ve got the figure for it, all eyes will be on you in this red sleeveless sequin, v-necked tank dress from Dots for just $24! (sizes S, M, and L).  There’s a Dot’s store in Alexandria, VA.  Buy one of these glittery numbers and save between $225 and $274!  
  • Accessories can add up, unless you know where to look.  The dollar section at Target is a great place to buy little seasonal accessories.  I bought a black jet necklace there for $1 last year that I’m wearing to a party.  This year, I bought a pair of sequined headbands — you get 2 for a dollar — one in dark red and one in black.  Or go for green tinsels and red “lights” for a dollar.  Again, since these aren’t everyday pieces, quality is not really an issue, but price is!

The fashions at Talbots and other stores are incredibly lovely, but if you haven’t got the moolah, use those looks for inspiration and find bargains elsewhere (like Target, Sears, and Wal-Mart).  I don’t think hardly anyone will notice the difference…it seems like most holiday party settings are pretty dark, anyway.

What are you wearing for the holidays?  What trends have you seen?  Have you found any bargains?  Feel free to share them in the comments.

Now We Don Our Gay Apparel: Cool Yule Holiday Fashion Tips

Attending a special party or performance this holiday season?  It’s time to show off a little bit!  You know, Washington, DC is a conservative town in many ways.  Even at the Kennedy Center, many women tend to dress down.  I go to plenty of after-five networking functions and I notice that some women look like they didn’t want to be perceived as trying too hard.   Well, ladies, it’s time to turn that around.  There is nothing unprofessional or show-offy about looking fantastic!  Here are some fashion tips to help you shine for the holidays.

Turn Heads with Sassy Leg Wear

Fancy hosiery is one inexpensive way to update and accessorize a simple holiday outfit.  The holidays are one time when you can really pull off patterned leg wear, which is great because  that is one of the hot looks this season, and anyone of any age or size can wear them.  Choose patterned leggings for a more casual (and warmer) look, or go for lace, sparkly or patterned stockings or tights to dress up your look for holiday parties.  I’m gravitating toward the lace styles this year.  One very hot look this season is bright color tights — hot pink and magenta, even.  (I saw this look in More Magazine, so it’s not just for young women.)  Try them with black or charcoal grey dresses or skirts.  Another head-turning look are printed tights in floral and animal patterns.  There is a wide range of prices on these, starting at $7 and up.

Rethink the Little Black Dress

It’s hard to beat the little black dress for easy sophistication.   Go to any holiday party and you’re sure to see ubiquitous black skirts or trousers topped with festive blouses and sweaters.  Even black blazers.  Black is a no-brainer.  But it’s so predictable!

Check out this picture featuring two women in Lane Bryant silk holiday dresses.  Which woman would you remember?  Which would you notice from across the room? Sure, black is classy and elegant, but you only go around once!  Might as well have fun.

Black can be flattering if worn strategically.  Otherwise, black can make you look tired, or less than festive.  If you choose to wear black close to your face, for example, a solid black blazer or top, consider adding contrasting jewelry or hair accessories, in pearl or bright jewel tones, to bring color and light to your face.  For example, I have a very simple black dress that has a v-neck line, but I like to wear a statement necklace with enormous peridot green stones with it.

Pay  a bit more attention to your makeup than usual when you wear black, particularly mascara, eye liner, and brows.  If you’re older than forty, bright red or dark lipstick with black can be a bit harsh, so consider a more subtle lip shade, with a little shine, and accent your eyes.  And of course, the best accessory is a smile 🙂

This adorable dress is available from Target for $31.99

If  you really want to stand out at the party, however, why not go for color this year?  I’ve seen some lovely dresses at Target and Dress Barn in deep purple, deep teal, and cranberry red.  Or try something unexpected and complexion-flattering, like chocolate brown, pewter, sage green, or champagne matte satin — all very chic and sophisticated looks that can look festive when accessorized with the right jewelry and perhaps warmed up with a soft cardigan sweater with three-quarter sleeves (to show off a pretty bracelet).

Check out this flattering, empire-style Target dress which is available in women’s sizes up to 16 for only $31.99!

Would you ever look back at basic black after rocking this fabulous dress from Dress Barn?

What to Do About Shoes?

Shoes are where a lot of people give up.  There is always the compromise between comfort and style, especially if you are traveling on Metro to a downtown event, or the weather is bad.  But people do look at your shoes.

Most work day shoes, such as a simple leather pump or plain flat, as comfortable as they are, cannot stand up to the glitz and luxe of holiday fabrics.  You really have to buy a dressy shoe to look your best, but there are comfortable and affordable holiday shoes to be had.

Consider another color for dressy shoes instead of black.  Shoes close to the color of your complexion (think satin pumps, metallic sandals) will make your legs look longer.   Check out these lovely champagne colored slippers (they’re on sale at JCPenney this week for $39.99).  Now imagine them with some champagne sheer hose, with an emerald or teal dress.  That could be an elegant look.   Or these little red numbers, which look as comfortable as they are pretty ($55, from JCPenney).  Couldn’t you dance the night away in those? 

But black is great, I agree.  If you choose black pumps, consider wearing black patterned or sheer hose to extend the leg.

Casual Looks for the Holidays

Hey, every day can’t be a party (I wish!)  But every day can be a little more fun in the cotton holiday t-shirts I have seen at Wal-Mart and Target for only $5 each.  Why not wear one to the gym the next time you work out, or layer one with a sweater the next time you go shopping or ice-skating?

The ANA and Worthington brands at JCPenney have some great, updated, and affordable looks for casual get-togethers that are wearable for women of any age.  Consider these looks, my darlings, instead of those holiday santa or applique sweaters.  Reindeer sweaters are cute, perhaps, but this holiday, let’s all go for HOT instead of cute.  Here’s a very good reason to donate those cute sweaters to Goodwill and embrace your fabulous hotness while still looking festive.  I love this gorgeous charcoal gray sweater from JCPenney, less than $40.  It’s hip and it has the most subtle touch of Lurex for little holiday sparkle.  Wouldn’t this be smashing with boots and jeans, or leggings?  Or you could wear it for dinner out.