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Subtle Showstoppers: How to Dress Up for the Holidays and New Years Eve

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BY NAAKAI ADDY

Holiday style is dominated by Christmas colors and sequins, but there are far more understated and effective ways to look celebratory. Here are six tips for over-fifties to close the holiday season and ring in the New Year in the most stylish fashion.

Embrace the elegant shimmer

There’s a fine line between sparkle and shimmer, and the holiday season is generally the time to sparkle all the way home. If you truly want to stand out in a sea of bedazzled bodies, however, subtle shimmer is the way to go. Red and green are the obvious choices, but metallic shades of deep blue, purple or pink make a far more lasting impression. Rather than giant sequins, opt for iridescence and sheen. This creates an elegant, ethereal look, rather than a headed-straight-to-Vegas look.

From New York and Co.

Where to find it: New York & Co has plenty of classic holiday wear that is timeless yet modern. Fit-and-flare dresses are a flattering shape on most women as they fall away from the hips in an elegant line. A high neckline is perfect for showcasing metallic jewelry or even a luxe silk scarf.

Never underestimate a long sleeve

Why long sleeves became associated with matronly style is a mystery. If anything, they are a form of very comfortable, flattering, pre-attached shapewear for your arms and can in fact elongate and enhance your figure. For your next holiday party, don’t be afraid to stun in a long-sleeved cocktail dress with tights, or in a long-sleeved full-length gown.

Anne Klein at Saks (off 5th)

Where to find it: Anne Klein excels at mature, cosmopolitan and effortlessly classy style. It is therefore the perfect brand for elegant long-sleeved cocktail dresses. To make the long-sleeved look sexy, choose sleeves with sheer, leather or lace elements, and pair your outfit with wedged boots or pointy-toe heels.

Merry Menswear

Although it’s rarely celebrated, menswear has some great moments over the holidays. If you’re not ready to match your New Year’s hat with a sparkly silver button-down, start subtle with a merlot V-neck sweater or a metallic grey belt. This is also a great time to go bold with silver and gold watches, rings and even metallic dress shoes.

From Banana Republic

Where to find it: For timeless menswear classics in the holiday season, Banana Republic is always a safe bet. At this time of year, they carry all of the holiday-appropriate colors, and just about everything they sell is comfortable and appropriate for any age.

Shine in Shifts

New Year’s Eve is all about laughing, dancing and toasting the night away, but for whatever reason we encourage women to wear constricting bodycon styles so short that dancing is perilous. To really get your groove on without any fashion mishaps, choose a formal shift this holiday season. Contrary to popular belief, shifts do not necessarily drown your frame or flatten your curves. A great shift moves with you, so that your curves are still on display without been stuffed into sausage casing.

From Ann Taylor

Where to find it: Ann Taylor has some great shifts this season; the increasingly trendy brand radiates class with a youthful vibe. Find a shift with fun, festive detailing to get into the holiday spirit. Shifts have a looser fit than other dresses, but make sure that they are at least slightly fitted in the upper bodice for the most flattering look.

Coordinate Cutouts

Cutouts are still very big this season, but not every woman over fifty (or of any age) feels comfortable going to a holiday party with three inches of bare stomach showing. Make it a little bit subtler by choosing styles with cutouts on the back or the upper chest. The effect is sexy and edgy, but not uncomfortably revealing.

From Nordstrom

Where to find it: Adrianna Papell has become a reliable source for chic style in all sizes. This season, shop refined cutout styles from the designer in neutral tones. A cutout near the neckline is a sensual detail but still allows you to wear a regular bra. Mesh or sheer insets towards the bottom of a skirt are also a great way to participate in this pervasive trend without being overly risque.

Break out your winter whites

White isn’t just for summer and bridal settings; the holiday season is the perfect time to stun in white, cream and nude. Make the look winter-appropriate with embroidered accents, dark or metallic accessories and flats or pumps in a rich hue.

Winter White_Anthropologie

Where to find it: Anthropologie is known for its delicate, vintage-looking garments and graceful silhouettes. The brand has also perfected the winter white trend, with a variety of cocktail dresses in soft whites. Give this look depth with a dark belt, and look for whites that are muted.

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