In Fashion: Shortcuts to holiday style
Dec 07,2007 00:00 by Sharon_Mosley

The holidays are the perfect time to get a little dramatic and have fun with fashion. No, it doesn't mean you have to light up the room with Rudolph's red nose blinking on your Christmas sweat shirt; however, it does mean that when you make an entrance at your next holiday cocktail party, you'll get even more attention than those other reindeer in the headlights.

SHORT SALE - Go short for the holidays with Kathryn Conover's leopard print cocktail dress. CNS Photo. 
But who has time to think about making an impression at this time of year? It's time to party and here's how to take a few shortcuts to make a dramatic statement fast:

- If there is one thing you buy for your holiday wardrobe this season, it should be on the short side, a short tunic dress or a short bubble dress. Just because you don't have great legs doesn't mean you can't wear the short items. Pull on a pair of dark, opaque tights and you'll be set. Leave the pants at home.

- Let the wild side take over and wear your animal prints, only one piece at a time of course. A great leopard-print coat, a cheetah-print dress or a pair of zebra-print ballet flats will really give your holiday party wardrobe a roaring sense of style.

- Go big on the jewels. Every fashion drama queen likes her bling, and if you can't shine at this time of year, when can you? Go for the glitter - the oversized cocktail ring, the rhinestone brooch, the stone-encrusted cuff - the bigger the better.

- The knock 'em dead coat is another sure way to add some drama to a holiday wardrobe. You'll know this one when you see it - you'll need to have it and you'll wear it for years. Remember, though, this kind of special coat will make a grand entrance. Once you take it off, make sure you've got some other "drama" underneath.

- Get exotic with your handbag. Another accessory that gets glammed up for the holidays is the handbag. Whether it's a little jeweled clutch or a hand-embroidered cocktail bag, it adds just the right touch of drama to any outfit.

- Wear killer shoes. You don't have to torture your party feet with sky-high stilettos; you can be just as comfortable and stylish in a pair of killer ballet flats or kitten heels. There are many glam boots out there, too.

- Scarves, wraps, shawls or fur collars are also fun ways to give holiday wardrobes some glamorous flair. And if you're at a party where the weather is a little on the chilly side, you may not even want to take them off.

- Mix it up. Don't be afraid to throw on a sequin T-shirt over your black skirt. Or layer a furry vest over your everyday turtleneck. Button up a velvet tunic and wear it with your jeans and boots.

The best shortcut? Have fun with your wardrobe and do something a little unexpected. After all, you may like being a drama fashion queen all year long.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

© Copley News Service