Holiday Accessorizing

The finishing touches on your holiday ensemble can literally make or break your outfit. While it’s easy to go overboard with kitsch-y holiday accessories like jingle-bell earrings or ornament-colored bracelets, it’s just as easy to get a stylish, festive look – even if you have to use old pieces to ring in the New Year.

Here are some quick tips to help you look polished and chic for all of your holiday parties:


The most popular color for evening shoes is black, with silver following a close second. Shoes can be open or closed toe or open or closed heel, depending on your preference and the style of the outfit. Favorite fabrics include:

    Silk or brocade






To look taller, avoid ankle straps. To draw attention to your feet, where eye-catching shoes and keep the rest of your outfit simple. To spice up basic leather pumps, add a flashy clip-on earring in the front.

Whatever style or material you choose, be sure to keep your shoes in the same mood and weight as your outfit. Slinky dresses call for slinky shoes, for example, while heavy fabrics (velvet, leather) call for heavier shoes.

If you’ll be wearing a new pair of shoes to a function, break them in before you go. If the soles are slippery, stand in your driveway or on the sidewalk and twist your foot against the ground as if you were extinguishing a cigarette. This will scuff up the bottoms enough to give you a little traction.

Whatever you do, make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Nothing will spoil your party mood faster than standing for hours in shoes that pinch or bind.


Evening hosiery should be sheer and may include embellishments like seams, rhinestones, and embroidery. If you opt for such details, choose a simple dress style to avoid competing for attention with your legs.

Time-honored guidelines for hosiery include:

    1. Keep it in the same color base as your garment.

    2. To look taller and trimmer, go monochromatic by matching the color tone of your hosiery to your shoes and hem.

    3. With neutral-colored skirt or pants, match all three color elements. Example: brown skirt, camel-colored hose, brown shoes.

    4. With a brightly colored garment, choose neutral-colored shoes and match hose to shoes. Example: red dress, taupe hose, and taupe shoes.

    5. Keep leg coverings in the same mood and weight as your shoes.

Should you or shouldn’t you...wear hosiery with an evening gown and sandals? There are some purists who instantly say, “no way!” but being grounded in reality and knowing that all legs are not created equal, here’s what I suggest:

If you live in a warm climate, have beautiful legs and a perfect pedicure, skip the hose.

If you live in a cold climate, have legs that look better with hose than without, or unattractive feet (like most dancers I know), wear hosiery.

In the end, it really boils down to what you feel most comfortable wearing.


Evening bags should be small and delicate, with only enough room for your money, keys, lipstick, and tissue. Like everything else we’ve talked about, it should be in the same tone as the rest of your ensemble, and compliment your outfit. Pearled, rhinestone, satin, and velvet clutches have been popular for years, and are a good investment. With care, they will last for many years.


This is the time of year to pull out your “good” jewelry. Make sure it’s clean and that all the clasps are strong and in good repair before your big night on the town.

Intricate evening clothes call for simple or no jewelry. Elaborate jewelry calls for simple but elegant evening clothes. If you have beautiful jewels, wear them. Just make sure they don’t complete with your clothes for attention.

Want a fun way to show the holiday spirit? Pull out your seasonal pins from years past to add a quick, festive touch.

Adding snappy accessories needn’t be a challenge. Just remember to keep it simple and elegant and you’ll turn heads wherever you go.

Need some more ideas on how to accessorize correctly? Download a copy of ACCESSORY MAGIC to see how easy accessorizing can be:

Accessory Magic

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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