Black Dress for the Holidays, Glittery Tops

Dear Kathi,

I have several upcoming dressy events. I am used to wearing one of my suits with a glittery blouse to jazz up for the holidays but this year would like to do it a little better. What should I buy to add some jazz to my holiday outfits?

Jennie, Carlsbad

Jennie,

Glittery tops paired with suits can run the risk of looking like you’ve simply thrown together an outfit for your holiday office party.
Instead, consider tracking down that perfect little black dress this year. There is no replacement for the perfect black dress and it is worth investing your time and money to find the best cut, style and lines for your body shape. Once you have found the perfect black dress, it will last for years and you will wonder how you ever lived without it.

Try to choose a classic cut to transcend future years, such as a sheath or a dress with an empire waist. Look for vertical seams that narrow in at the waist.

A V or scoop neckline usually works for most body types. 3/4 sleeves will help your dress stretch across all seasons. Choose the sleeve length based on your body type. Sleeveless dresses work well for women with nice upper arms, whereas short sleeves, 3/4 or long help conceal wobbly upper arms. Keep in mind that 3/4 and long sleeves are much more elegant than short sleeves unless they are capped.

The perfect hemline for your new dress will be knee length. This is a timeless classic length. The hem should stop at the skinny part of your knee. The perfect black dress will emphasize your best assets and skim, not cling to, any part of your torso.

Avoid sparkly designs built into the fabric. Instead add your own sparkle with jewelry if the event dictates a little glitz. Jewelry can change your dress from glam to sophisticated. For a formal office event, accent your dress with pearls and sophisticated low-vamped pumps. For New Year’s Eve, consider wearing rhinestones and glitzy gold or silver, strappy sandals. For a less formal Christmas dinner, let the dress stand on its own with minimal, simple gold jewelry and ballerina slipper style slides.
Once you have the perfect black dress, you have the basis for several holiday outfits. A sheer wrap will transform your dress instantly. Wrap it around your shoulders, under the arms and tie it in the back to add the illusion of sleeves to a sleeveless dress. Try a satin or velvet wrap for an elegant flair.

Buy a short velvet or organza jacket that has similar lines and your dress will transform right before your eyes. Or choose a long brocade trench coat for the Audrey Hepburn look.

A faux-fur trimmed sweater or blazer can completely transform your little black dress. Buy this sweater in cranberry, eggplant or evergreen for another surprising pizzazz.

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Please submit your questions to: advice@addspacetoyourlife.com
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San Diego Professional Organizer

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2 Responses to Black Dress for the Holidays, Glittery Tops

  1. Mama Eva says:

    As a breastfeeding mother, I want to look good yet still feed my nursling. I found a dress that allows me to do both: http://tinyurl.com/littleblacknursingdress
    It looks great, feels fabulous, and is right in my budget!

    • Kathi says:

      What a cute dress. The empire seaming is very flattering and the Vneckline is perfect for sneaking in a feeding. Thanks for the scoop – I think other moms will love this dress!

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