Saturday, December 12, 2009


Keep these 10 fashion items on hand and you'll be ready for any special occasion, from winter formals to holiday parties. All it takes are a few dressy basics to mix and match your way to glamorous party success!

1. THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS (LBD). It just doesn't get any better than a perfect little black dress for party wear. The newest (and most flattering) length falls modestly right below the knee. Satin, velvet, jersey and crepe are some of the best fabrications for this style.

2. BEADED BLOUSE. Head-to-toe beading is too much, but a sparkly top is festive enough to stand on its own. An embellished cardigan looks especially fresh right now. Pair with black trousers or a straight skirt, pull back your hair and slick on red lips for a classic party look.

3. GREAT TROUSER. A wider-leg pant is the perfect special occasion partner for sexy tops and jackets. Choose basic colors -- black and winter white are faves -- and festive fabrics (velvet, satin, crepe).

4. DRESSY WRAP. A beautiful shawl does more than just look good: it can cover bare shoulders, too. Embroidered styles go great with basic strapless dresses; velvets and fringed pieces add richness to separates. Stick with a shawl in approximately the same fabric "weight" as your outfit (you wouldn't want to pair a heavy velvet piece with a gossamer gown).

5. PERFECT CLUTCH. Complete your outfit with a sophisticated clutch bag. Look for clean lines with subtle details (like gold or silver hardware) to get the most mileage. Some styles have short strap to go over your shoulder or a loop to hang around your wrist, but holding a dainty bag in your hand is still the chicest way to go.

6. AMAZING HEEL. These high-heels will go with everything from pants to little black dresses. Added bonus: unlike sandals, where you have to worry about your hose seams showing on the toes, mules have covered toes so sheer hosiery looks great!

7. VELVET JACKET. The dressy jacket is a staple because it classes up everything from simple white blouses to plain black trousers. Burn-out and embroidery are two finishes that add interest; look for traditionally rich velvet colors like black and burgundy.

8. BEAUTIFUL BLING. If you can swing it (and there are plenty of good buys out there), real diamonds are the only way to go. Hoops, drops and studs are all popular styles. Just pair your earrings to your updo (the more pulled back/up your hair, the longer the earring).

9. A LITTLE SHIMMER. Dust sparkly powders in pink or flesh tones wherever you want more attention: bare shoulders, cleavage, etc.

10. SEXY CAMISOLE. Looks great bare or under a jacket. Pair with a dressy skirt for special occasions or toughen it up with faded jeans for daytime.

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