Originally published November 22, 2010 at midnight, updated November 21, 2010 at 3:16 p.m.
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we are barraged with party invitations from friends and family. Don’t be stressed out — plan your holiday outfits ahead of time instead. After all, once you’ve got the dress, darling, it’s downhill from there.
The most important thing to keep in mind when you shop for a dress is your body shape. Trends aside, if your dress lacks a flattering fit, you will not look your best. If you are petite, pick a dress with a shorter hemline, preferably at or above the knee. Also consider a dress with a defined waist or one that can be belted to create a sharp silhouette. If you are plus-size, dresses with flat pleats or empire waists are the best option. Women that are pear-shaped, ought to consider a ’50s-’60s silhouette with a high waistline or a peplum shaped waist.
Accent your dress with fun accessories. My favorite part about holiday parties is the excuse to wear more sequins, sparkly jewelry and glittery shoes (please though, not all at once). Search out a gold colored evening clutch for an easy, go-to party purse. Gold is the new black; it works as a neutral color that goes with everything.
Similarly, consider a different shoe option that you might have overlooked. Ankle booties serve as the perfect alternative to ordinary evening shoes. They will update your look and stand out in the sea of shoes. One warning — if your ankle booties are particularly loud, balance your look with simple accessories and black or nude stockings.
More holiday dress tips
• Not a dress person? Pants are perfectly acceptable party apparel. As an alternative, velvet, straight-leg pants or wide-leg trousers are always an option. Consider an extreme, wide-leg pant — one that almost resembles a skirt — for a fun, fashionable look.
• Never leave the house without earrings. A dangly, sparkly pair of earrings creates a subtle shimmer and a gentle movement around your face that will beautifully complement your outfit and the festive occasion.
• If you find yourself always wearing black, open your eyes to other worlds of colors. Be daring and opt for a little red dress. Red is a total knockout amidst dismal, winter hues — plus it is very holiday. Just don’t attempt to match your accessories — select a neutral-toned purse and pair of high heels so you don’t look like a bridesmaid.
• Still refuse to give up your LBD? Fine, fine. But at least add in a jolt of color. Pair any all-black outfit with a bright pair of heels for a more personalized and fashion-forward look.