Holiday wardrobes can be tricky. On the one hand, it's nice to look as festive as you feel; on the other hand, you don't want to look like you were dressed by Liberace.
In this article, we'll recommend five beautiful accessories that say "festive," not "costume."
You can sport them at the office party, a family gathering, a New Year's event or just around town while you take care of your shopping.
It just takes one or two to take your holiday look up a notch.
Up first: Put a ring on it…
Few things say "Woo hoo!" like a giant gem, and the cocktail ring is a perfect vehicle. What once may have been gaudy is suddenly stunning, stylish and drawing all eyes to your manicure.
That giant ring should shine, of course, but not look cheap -- look for subtle finishes. Consider it a statement piece that nearly stands alone: Avoid matchy-matchy, a major bracelet or nail gems that fight for attention.
Go for big, bold and out-there chic, and consider a red stone. It screams "holidays."
Up next: Pull it back…
With the resurgence of flapper-style head wraps, hair accessories have come crashing into the spotlight as statement makers in their own right. In general, bold hair pieces say "special occasion." Beaded and jeweled versions quickly say "holiday time."
Head wraps are one option. There are also jewel-encrusted headbands, giant-flower barrettes, faux-ruby-tipped chopsticks, and rhinestone bobby pins, for a start. Consider something in a color that makes your eye shadow pop.
(Tip: You can turn your favorite brooch into a hair accessory by pinning it to a structured, fabric headband.)
Up next: Hold onto it…
Clutches are back with a vengeance. You'll find them everywhere and in every incarnation -- fabric, leather, framed, beaded, jeweled and designer-logoed.
This one, too, can be a statement piece, although it sits far enough from a necklace or earrings that you don't have to worry about them duking it out. Consider one in gold leather, silver crystals or, for a real attention grabber, a mirrored finish. (The latter can double as a lipstick-check.)
Up next: Step into them…
Everyone knows shoes can make or break an outfit. Shiny shoes can make your outfit holiday-worthy.
It's hard to go wrong with metallic-leather platform pumps. Beaded straps, crystal embellishments or a simple black satin number with a silver heel can be all the "festive" your look needs.
Pair them thoughtfully with the clutch -- the shoe-and-bag combination is back in.
Up next: Let it shine…
Can you say "of the moment"? The Statement Necklace is in, and it can say so much -- bohemian, retro, expensive, arty, avant-garde. Making sure it also says "festive" is a snap.
Look for something that shines; crystals and quality rhinestones can do it admirably without looking cheap. Gemstones, silver and gold, and dramatic beading (especially a bib) can all convey holiday glamour.
Whatever you do, do accessorize, and go dramatic. This time of year, it's easy to pull it off without going Liberace.
For more on holiday style, check out the links on the next page.
Holly and Tracy of Stuff You Missed in History Class explain why the stories of the Hope diamond have been greatly exaggerated.
More Great Links
- "Best Buys: The Gold Standard." Harper's Bazaar. (Oct. 6, 2010) http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/fashion-tips/best-buys-gold-dresses-and-accessories-1208_
- Gaynor, Violet Moon. "Hot in Stores: Sparkling Styles." Elle. Nov. 16, 2009. (Oct. 6, 2010) http://www.elle.com/Accessories/Trends/Hot-in-Stores-Sparkling-Styles
- "Get in The Holiday Spirit With These Hot Hair Accessories." Shine. Nov. 26, 2009. (Oct. 6, 2010) http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/get-in-the-holiday-spirit-with-these-hot-hair-accessories-548552/
- "Sparkly Holiday Accessories for Every Budget." Real Simple. (Oct. 6, 2010) http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/shoes-accessories/holiday-accessories-for-every-budget-00000000025301/index.html