If you've ever dressed up shinier than a Christmas tree or turned down last-minute party invitations because you had nothing to wear, you'll know that the holiday season is loaded with chances for fashion disasters. From overdone party looks to being caught with nothing to wear, there are lots of ways that holiday fashion can catch you at your stylish worst.
With a little help and preparation, you can learn how to avoid common holiday fashion mistakes and look your prettiest this year.
Here are some common holiday faux pas and how to avoid them:
Wearing Too Much Glitz
Beading, metallic and shimmer are all fine for the holidays. In fact, most women wait until a good party to break out all of the glitzy finery. But too much shine can overwhelm anyone, especially if you wear it in areas that you don't necessarily want to highlight (like a beaded chest sweater for a busty gal). Done right, glitz can light up your face and highlight your best body parts. And don't forget that sometimes the best glitz appears only in accessories: a beaded clutch, sparkly shoes or a hint of glitter eye shadow can go a long way.
Find out how to wear glitz right: How to Wear Embellishment.
Showing Too Much Skin
Thigh-high miniskirts and cut-to-the-navel dresses may look great on the runway, but in reality they are almost impossible to carry off. Not only is it possible to dress sexy while leaving lots to the imagination, it's also the best way to look your prettiest for the holidays. The secret here is to accentuate your best features with a suggestion: a lace-trimmed camisole under a blazer hints at great cleavage, a small slit on a skirt gives a glimpse at gorgeous legs, a halter dress shows off toned arms.
More ideas: Dress Sexy, Not Sleazy
Getting Caught With Nothing to Wear
Nothing is worse than being invited to a fabulous party and having nothing to wear. By keeping a few dressy basics in your closet you can always be prepared for last-minute invitations. You can even re-wear the items and make them look totally different just with accessories. Essentials like a great little black dress or perfect dressy black pants can take you a long way.
Find your holiday basics: 10 Party Musts
Making It Too Complicated
No wonder women approach the holidays with dread: trying to coordinate outfits, gifts, travel and parties can overload even the most organized woman.
Instead of trying to match up dressy separates, try a little black dress this season. Not only is it universally flattering, it will take you to almost any event in style. Just add accessories and you're set. Your hair should look uncomplicated as well. Opt for sexy half-up/half-down styles or pull your hair back into a low ponytail. Keep your makeup simple, but special: sometimes all it takes is a great red lipstick to dress it all up!
Shop now: Little Black Dresses
Being Under or Over Dressed
You show up in jeans, everyone else wears velvet; you wear a long dress and others wear business clothes. You're not alone if you have trouble deciphering dress codes on a party invitation: most people get confused by designations as ambiguous as "Dressy Casual" or "Cocktail Attire." A few dressy items span several categories -- such as the little black dress for her or dark suit for him -- both of which can attend everything from semi-formal to cocktail parties.
Brush up on dress codes: Party Definitions