STYLE

1 dress, 4 ways: Trendy holiday wardrobe additions to help women party in style

11/20/2012 03:11 EST | Updated 01/20/2013 05:12 EST
TORONTO - No need to break the bank on several new outfits as you navigate the busy holiday social circuit.

Whether you're heading to cocktails, the office bash or a family gathering, a few fashionable additions can add some oomph to your festive wardrobe.

"As much as we know that we've got lots of different parties on our calendar for the holidays, we don't always have to necessarily buy four different outfits," said Julia Cyboran, editor-in-chief of Loulou magazine. "It's all about how you style one main piece."

THE STAPLE PIECE

Cyboran said the little black dress is the wardrobe essential for any holiday look. That's likely music to the ears of cost-conscious fashionistas who may already have an LBD tucked away in their closet or are able to scout out a new, affordable option.

The seemingly season-less style staple has a chameleon-like ability to transform from upscale chic to laid back casual.

Selecting the right style with its own intricate details such as pleating, embellished sleeves and a flattering silhouette can ensure it can work as a stand-alone garment, Cyboran noted.

Going for glam: Looking to add a little luxe to your holiday look? Cyboran said teaming your dress with a faux fur topper along with some shimmering sequined booties can instantly infuse a glam touch.

Comfort casual: Heading to cottage country or settling in at home for a more low-key holiday celebration? Cyboran suggests taking a robust, comfy warm knit worn with a belt over the dress, along with a pair of slouchy, low-cut boots for a more casual ensemble.

Office party chic: If you're pressed for time and need to make a wardrobe quick-change for the office shindig, Cyboran said a blazer with faux leather detailing partnered with a pair of pumps can easily help translate your outfit for after-hours.

ACCESSORIES

In need of a lone standout statement piece? Or trying to select several eye-catching add-ons to amp up your party attire?

On-trend accessories for the new season can help lend a touch of refinement or bolder strokes of colour, shimmer and shine to fashionably festive ensembles.

Step in style: Whether your prefer pumps or favour flats, there are fashionable footwear options for fans of both styles.

In the case of those seeking a little lift, Cyboran said the pointy-toed pump that dominated the fashion runways is emerging as a standout on the market.

Pointy Mary Janes can add the sleek, pulled-together sexy secretary look to any holiday outfit and later can be parlayed into a suit or pencil skirt for wear at the office, she noted.

Cyboran said the peep-toe pump is also a perennial classic for any chic soiree, which, like its pointy-toed counterpart, could be a investment piece with legs beyond the holidays.

The smoking slipper left a fashionable footprint on fall style, and the loafer is also making the leap into the holiday fashion wardrobe.

While typically denoted by a distinct rounded toe and piping trim detail, a variety of options are emerging as stylish standouts for the season.

"It's not just about simple black now. When you're going towards the flats, you want something with a little bit of attitude," said Cyboran. "A lot of us are really married to our ballet flats, but the slippers have replaced the ballet flats as the flat of choice for 2012, 2013.

Cyboran suggested seeking out a slipper option with a "bit of edge" to it, whether that's a cap-toe, studded or metallic style — a fun way to add character to any outfit.

"What's really great about these slippers is that they add a little bit of a gamine, boyish feel to any outfit. But you can pair them with a nice tuxedo look and all of a sudden, you've upped the glam factor while still having a bit of comfort with a flatter shoe."

In the bag: Cyboran said the solid, structured pillbox clutch will remain a style standout for the holidays, but expect to see envelope clutches in the hands of women heading out on the town.

"Know that you're not going to be able to carry around your house keys, three cellphones and everything else with you. An envelope clutch is really bare minimum," she said, pointing to the size constraints of the bag. "But it's definitely the clutch of the season to be wearing."

Making a statement: Bigger is better when it comes to statement jewelry, with large-scale earrings and necklaces among the holiday accessory offerings.

While rose gold hit the market last spring, Cyboran said it started to surface a little last winter in watches, belts and earrings, as did chocolate-coloured gold, and both colours have remained a part of the accessory landscape.

"I would say that they're not necessarily ubiquitous but they're definitely there and you can play with them and the whole notion of mixing metals as well," she said.

"You don't have to stick to just silver or just gold or just rose gold or chocolate gold; you can also have fun and play it up and mix it a little bit."

Cyboran said decorative cuffs are easy to wear, but she suggested using some restraint and "not to pile them on all the way up to your elbow."

"The famous arm party is something that we're sort of seeing fading a little bit," she said. "It's about maybe picking one major cuff and to let that shine."

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