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Bring Back Black: Beyond the Basic Black Party Dress

Sharon Mosley on

It's the season of parties, parties and more parties. And chances are that at least one of your go-to post-5 p.m. fashion choices will be a little black dress. But it doesn't have to be boring. Here are five ways to bring black back and make it festive.

--Add a statement jacket. A black shift dress is probably one of the best classics you can have in your wardrobe. But if you top it off with a shimmering metallic coat or edgy leather jacket, you've got a whole new way to shine. Fur or velvet vests are other chic ways to add extra glamour to this classic. Since a black dress acts as a neutral background, you can experiment by adding updated toppers that will steal the room's attention and transform your LBD into glamorous holiday attire.

--Don't forget to fluff. Black is also a great way to show off a colorful fur scarf or wrap. Leopard print is a classic, of course, but this year, accent black separates or dresses with pastel furs that brighten up dark neutrals and add lots of drama for very little money. These fur wraps make sleeveless dresses much more wearable, especially in chilly weather.

--Bring on the bling. Rock those jewels. Bigger is still better when it comes to necklaces and earrings this holiday season. So, what better way to dress up the LBD than with bold baubles that sparkle for attention in statement choker crystal necklaces, long chains, ropes of pearls or swinging chandelier earrings? Anything tasseled is all the rage, so look for these frilly little accessories to freshen up any basic black standbys.

--Get creative. Leave those bulky leather totes at home! They just weigh you down, anyway. The clutch handbag is a party essential, and it's one of the best buys you can make to boost the style power of traditional black. Choose from quirky little minaudieres in all shapes and sizes to add some whimsy to your holiday outfits. Embellished crossbody bags or wristlets offer lots of hands-free possibilities, too.

--Dazzle with show-stopping footwear. There's no better time to let your toes twinkle than the holidays. If you've always worn black pumps with your LBD, it's time for a change. Switch to something a little unexpected like tapestry ankle boots, feathery stilettos, sequined sandals or velvet animal print slides. And if your LBD is on the short side, think about changing it up with over-the-knee suede boots.

 

--Do some glove love. If you haven't shopped for gloves in a while, then you don't know what you're missing. Long elbow-length gloves in soft leather or velvet are holiday favorites, and what better way to do the diva than to wear a pair of elegant opera gloves with a sleeveless LBD? Channel Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and enjoy a little Hollywood glamour for a special occasion.

--Amp up the makeup. When the focus is on your face, it's the perfect time to play up the makeup. Go darker red on your lips and nails, do a winged eyeliner, or dust on a little glittery eye shadow. When the dress is simple and sleek, you can let your face make a bold statement. Ditto for hair. Sparkling hair ornaments a la "The Crown" exude royal party magic.

--Wear the pants. One of fashion's newest looks is the dress-over-pants trend. This one definitely depends on the style of the LBD and, of course, may not work with all silhouettes. But consider layering your favorite little black dress over narrow leggings or lace pants, and go way beyond basic black to transform any holiday wardrobe. Remember, black never has to be boring!

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To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

 

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