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Top 8 Ways to Survive the Holidays in Style

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If the thought of shopping, wrapping, cooking and looking fabulous at parties makes you cringe, you may need help getting through the holidays in style.

1. Don't Make it a DIY Holiday

You can't possibly do it all yourself, so get help any way you can. Don't try to make homemade cards, cook lavish meals from scratch and clean the house to perfection. Any part of this that you can hire someone for or delegate to a family member or friend will make the holidays brighter. One exception to this rule: with all the time you save buying prepared holiday meals or store-bought cards, you could give yourself a DIY makeover just in time for the holidays.

2. Keep Shopping Fun

Meet a friend for lunch or break shopping trips it into small, manageable chunks of time to keep it from being a chore. If holiday shopping is one of the few times during the year that you can dedicate to looking for clothes for yourself, don't feel guilty about gifting yourself with a few outfits. Even if you're short on time, there are still strategies to shop in a hurry.

3. Plan Ahead

Schedule your beauty maintenance well in advance of the holidays. Hair color and cut, manicure and pedicures, even getting your outfits cleaned or tailored needs to go in your appointment book ahead of time. Start early and you can get party perfect in 5 days.

4. Buy a Few Multi-Purpose Fashion Pieces

If you have more than one party to attend, you can stretch looks to cover them. Take, for example, a long-sleeve romantic blouse with lace trim. You can pair it with jeans for a casual party, with black velvet pants for a cocktail party or a long black skirt and heels for a more formal affair. Stay well-prepared by stocking your closet with party 'musts' that will be classics you'll reach for every holiday season. Just remember that most separate tops can go from formal to casual just by switching out the bottoms, shoes and accessories.

5. Save Where You Can

It's easy to blow a bundle at the holidays, especially when you have lots of people to buy for. Luckily, retailers start running big sales early in November for all sorts of holiday fashion. Look for classic items like cashmere sweaters and coats at bargain prices. You probably won't find the hottest designer bags or accessories on sale, but there are ways to shop like highly successful sale shoppers.

6. Lower Your Standards

If you’re used to being surrounded by beautiful things, or like to indulge in the good life (or if you’re simply a perfectionist) the holidays can push you to your limit. Know in advance that you'll need to find a way to look your best even when you're exhausted.

7. Remember That Shapewear is Your Friend

Sure, you could be a martyr and diet like a madwoman during the holidays, but what fun is that? Especially, when products like Sassybax (a bra that eliminates back fat) and Spanx will keep you looking slim on the sly. Time to pull out the Spanx and shaping camis to keep you looking sleek.

8. When in Doubt, Wear a Little Black Dress

The beauty of a little black dress is that it will take you to just about any party -- except the most casual or most formal -- and look perfect. Just freshen up your look by switching out accessories (for example, add a pair of lace tights or patterned hose to update the little black dress.)
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