Tips for buying the perfect holiday dress


by mponto

Posted on November 16, 2009 at 2:12 PM

BCBG opened in the Houston Pavillion in November.It's the holiday party season. And whether you're attending a black tie ball, an office dinner or a family affair, you're going to need to look fabulous.

So because we're all on time and wallet budgets, I decided to get some help from the experts at the BCBG store in the Houston Pavilions.

When it comes to buying party wear, I admit I go for the basic little black dress. I figured if it was good enough for Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, then it's good enough for me.

Jewel tone sleeveless dresses are great to hide broad shoulders.Turns out I was wrong.

"Everyone gets either a red or black dress for the holidays. To make a statement, go for something in a jewel tone," said Carnesha Allen, Store Manager at the new downtown store.

Allen told me that this season is all about jewel tones like emeralds, sapphires, and amethysts. Rich colors like boysenberry are also popular.

"You'll see more ruffles and lace on the dresses this year. The look is bold, but feminine," said Allen.

I also learned that you don't always have to wear a dress.

"Not everyone is comfortable wearing a dress," said Allen. "If they are more comfortable in pants, I recommend going for tuxedo pants. They can be very dressy."

Ruffles and two piece pant suits can be worn instead of dresses. Two piece sets also tend to be more versatile. The pants could be worn again with different tops or even a sweater.

"Dresses are memorable. I have so many that I've only worn once because everyone has already seen me in it," said Allen.

But what if you already have the little black dress? Well, there is good news. You can still change it up with this year's jewel tones with accessories.

"We always say that the perfect accessory can complete your look. It can take you from great to fabulous," said Allen.

Accessories can make a great outfit, fabulous.Allen said that one way to brighten up a black dress is with colored tights or a jewel toned bow clutch. Other popular accessories include the thick bangles and big cocktail rings.

But the accessory of the season has to be the pashmina.

"The pashmina comes in all the jewel colors and it adds a nice pop to outfit," said Allen. "You can wear it as a shawl, a belt, and so many other ways."

As women, we tend to be flaw finders. There is always something that we would like to change - even if it's just our knees. But with the right outfit, you won't need to change anything. Instead, you can camouflage your flaws.

Here's Allen's advice for common body types:

Broad shoulders: Women with broad shoulders should go for strapless or halter style dresses. Basically anything that shows off their collar bones. Cap sleeves, prints and patterns around the necklines should be avoided.

Thick arms: Choose outfits with ¾ length sleeves or long sleeves. If the dress is strapless, drape a shawl or pashmina over your shoulders. Try to avoid cap sleeves or sleeveless dresses. This will only make thick arms look even bigger.

Fuller figures: Sweater dresses are a good choice for fuller women or even if you just want to hide your stomach. The thicker fabric tends to hide imperfections and smooths out flaws. Allen said tunics and sweater dresses can be a girl's best friend - especially after eating a big meal.

Too big or too thin legs: A lot of women hate showing off their legs. Some say they are too fat, others complain that they are too thin. Either way, the solution is the same - all you have to do is disguise them. Try wearing colored tights, choosing dresses with a hemline that goes below the knee, or wearing high boots.

In the end, it doesn't matter what you wear as long as you're comfortable and you have a good time. Because isn't that what going to a party is all about?