By Stephanie Coyle


'Tis the season of swell parties, glorious dinners, family get-togethers and nights out on the town, all with your favorite people. So, how do you blend festive with fashionable to create a smart look?


Although it's hard to go wrong with sparkly or red during the most wonderful time of the year in the Triangle, you always want to dress to feel your best. A big part of that is having the confidence that your ensemble fits the tone of the occasion. Here are six common functions with suggestions on what to wear.




Night out

What's the holiday season without a totally fabulous red dress? Paint the town red with a scarlet frock. You'll fete fabulous in the attention-grabbing hue. Whether you call it carmine, rose or burgundy, Santa Claus isn't the only one wearing the color this month. Don't want to go all-out? Toss on a tomato scarf to spice up a basic-black wardrobe.






Glittering affair

It's your turn to shine! So, show off your style. Choose a cocktail dress or gown in a fabric with shimmery sequins or a metallic sheen. Prefer moderation? If you don't want to appear in head-to-toe gloss, slip into a sleek garment with a twinkly decorative trim. But whether your dress dazzles in crystal, gold or silver, be sure to limit the bling.






Work party

Oh no, it's the dreaded office party! You want to look mirthful but not kooky. A lace, velvet, silk or satin blouse can be elegant yet appropriate, especially when paired with tailored skirts and jackets. If you're going to the gathering directly from the office, one of the easiest ways to dress up your business outfit is with accessories, such as a killer necklace or bold earrings.






Casual event

Stay classic yet cozy with textured knit tops paired with nice trousers, slouchy pants or your best-loved denims. Up the wow factor with sassy boots. Display your personality with jewel tones - ruby, emerald, sapphire, amethyst, turquoise - in feel-good outfits. Avoid theme-laden garments, such as reindeer-embroidered sweaters, unless the theme of the occasion is corny cardigans