Elizabeth Bean Smith, owner of style consulting firm Wardrobe Therapy, describes some great, stylish looks for the party season.
Q: OK, the party season is already upon us, with holiday soirees starting up. First, if women can go all out, what's a great, stylish look for dressy events this year?
A: Right now, you're seeing so much in short, sassy cocktail numbers. So many asymmetrical (one-shoulder) dresses that range from very classic to a more modern, Grecian look. This look is great for women who want to change it up a bit. Also, sequins are everywhere. Add a little sparkle to the evening with a sequin dress; styles range from a short, sexy frock to long-sleeved, more modest shape.
Q: Most women have a little black dress already, though. So if women just want to wear that, what accessories do you suggest for instant updates?
A: Jewelry! The bigger and bolder, the better. Costume jewelry is such an easy (and inexpensive) way to update the perfect LBD. There are some fabulous "collar"-type necklaces or "bib" necklaces that can look like they are part of the dress. Alexis Bittar and Fiona Paxton have some fabulous and tres chic pieces. Or, if necklaces aren't your style, add a little fur (you can find many faux fur choices as well) to your neck. They look like the infinity scarves, only in fur.
Q: Any particularly hot colors besides black this winter?
A: Jewel tones. Deep, rich color such as majestic purples, emerald greens and merlot reds. Of course, red red is also fabulous.
Q: As for hair Hair accessories aren't just for little girls. How can grown-ups wear them well?
A: Hair accessories are so chic right now. Collier West has some fabulous lines that have feather clips and barettes. They are a simple way to add a little glamour to the outfit (without making you look like you borrowed a clip from your daughter's collection). Think of 40s glam - a little feather or jewels, not overly done. Just simple.
Q: Any other style thoughts or advice on attending these types of events?
A: Tights are so important right now to work with. There are so many combinations and patterns to pair back to a simple black dress. You can find them anywhere too, from Target to Neiman Marcus. They instantly can update a look that once felt tired. Also, a bootie can replace where we once would have worn a pump. Just don't overdo any one look. Be aware what you are mixing and matching.
For more on Wardrobe Therapy, visit www.WardrobeTherapyLLC.com.
Kristy Eckert is editor of Capital Style.