By Kamilah Gray Lewis
Special to The Times
Every Christmas, friends call me up in a panic over what to wear to a holiday party. And every year, I tell them to pause and just breath because dressing to impress doesn’t have to be hard. It’s just a matter of knowing what goes where.
Here are a few tips to help you sparkle and shine for any outing this season and into the new year:
The Over-the-Top Holiday Party
This event will be fancy, so that little black dress just won’t do. Instead, have some fun with a sequined dress or a velvet or lace ensemble. Consider a black or midnight blue velvet double-breasted pants suit with straight legs. Finish off the look with those sparkling shoes you’ve been waiting to wear!
Add a coordinating clutch and jewelry with bling. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so why not go for rhinestones or diamonds for a little holiday magic.
The Office Holiday Party
You’ll want to look festive while still professional for this event, so opt for a day-to-night outfit that can be easily transformed.
During the day, consider a black blazer, pencil skirt and a gold metallic blouse with pumps.
At night, remove the blazer and add a black belt with a gold, ornate buckle or accent. Throw in a metallic blouse for drama and top off the look with a red lip. People will remember you as well as your entrance.
The Not-So-Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
Who says your sweater can’t be cute? This year, oversized sweaters with embellishments are hot. Paired with slim-fitting pants and booties and you have a winning look. If the sweater has a low neckline, add a button-front blouse with cuffs. And if you can, show off the cuffs. They add a level of sophistication to an already festive look.
Connecting With Friends And Family
Forget jeans and a jacket for that next date night, girls’ night out or house party. Go the extra mile. You’re worth it.
Why not consider:
*Sequined-covered knit pants, a blazer, a V-neck blouse and pumps
*A tulle skirt that hits at the knee or 2-inches above the knee. Pair it with a bodysuit or a thin, V-neck sweater. Be sure to tuck the sweater into the skirt’s waistband. Add a wide belt to cover the waistband. Finish the look with your favorite pair of booties.
*A dark-colored velvet wrap dress, matching, colored tights and tall boots or pumps. But be sure not to go overboard with the colored tights.
New Year’s Eve
*Make a lasting impressing with a dress that shimmers, has sequins, shines or has embellishments. Finish the look with a killer pump and flesh-tone hosiery.
Back At The Office
Once the holidays have ended, your fashion fun shouldn’t. Continue to dress up like there’s a party with your name on it. One of the easiest ways to do that is with black and white. It’s appropriate for the office, uncomplicated to be casual, and appealing for an evening out. The options are limitless.
Consider wearing a white, overlapping single-breasted or double-breasted blazer with a slim-fitted black skirt and black pumps. If your look has a high neckline, opt for an unobtrusive necklace that matches the blazer’s hardware. Add a pair of matching earrings and stacked bracelets for impact.
Fur vests remain hot this season, so throw on a black one over a black top and a pair of black pants. Bolster the monochromatic look with a thick and a black belt with an ornate buckle accent in gold, silver or white. Top off the look with coordinating accessories. It’s sleek, subtle and perfect for any setting.
There’s nothing wrong with all black, either. An all-black pants suit with specks of white grab attention and say, “I’m ready for business.”
Sure, you could add a pop of color to this look, but the contrast between black and white can be striking. Go for it and watch the compliments flow.
Kamilah Gray Lewis is a fashion stylist in Birmingham, Ala. Follow her on Instagram or Facebook at StyledByKamilah. For styling questions, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.