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Add pizzazz to New Year's style with sparkly dress, embellished accessories

How to wear sparkle without looking like a disco ball

Accessorize: Dorothy had the right idea with her sequin slippers. A sequin bag or flats can add just the right amount of sparkle. And while dark and matte sequined accessories will undoubtedly look amazing, you can try shimmer versions of gold, silver, and bronze to really make an impact.

Be ironic: In the ultimate spirit of high-low dressing, try pairing a sequin cardigan or jacket with distressed denim. Add a cami or tee and some serious heels to look both effortless and elevated. A sequin sweatshirt paired with a skirt is another fun way to be casual and dressy all at the same time.

Break it up: The key to rocking sparkle is to mix and match with separates of various textures and levels of casualness. For a holiday party, try a sequin pant with a silk top or sequin top with a baggy trouser – both are totally appropriate combos. Or to make an otherwise neutral outfit like jeans and a T-shirt a little more festive, simply add a sequin jacket, cardigan or sweater.

Go dark: Think: black, gunmetal, hunter green, or deep burgundy sequins and resist bright reds, yellows or greens. A darker hue feels more sophisticated and easily mixes and matches with your winter palette.

Make it matte: Matte sequins? It’s a thing! Even better, they give your outfit a little irony, because they’re shiny in spirit, but low-key lustrous in actual appearance. For instance, a sequined matte cape will look less super hero, and more super stylish.


Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

New Year's Eve is your time to shine.

From a sparkly dress to embellished accessories, bling on 2014.

“The holidays are a time of year when everything around you sparkles,” says Gwendolyn Covington, a style editor for “Department stores and windows are gleaming with shiny fancies, people's homes are adorned with beautiful lights and arrangements, so it makes sense for women wanting to feel they are a part of the spirit of everything sparkle as well. Most of the glamorous parties and gatherings happen during the holidays, and every woman wants to stand out and be noticed.”

One sparkle item every woman should own is an ultra-sparkly top, Covington says. It is easy to wear and pair with pants, jeans or a skirt that you already have in your wardrobe. Some women feel a sparkly outfit is a bit bold and overwhelming, Covington says. But with a sparkle top, you look easily festive. Another bonus is less need for much jewelry.

The more daring will sport a jewel-encrusted dress, shining statement jewelry or an amazing sparkly shoe.

Choose a single sparkly item, and let that piece be the statement of your outfit, Covington says. If you like bold bling, then you can wear more simple clothing. If you wear a pair of sequin pants, then it would be good to have a classic blouse and maybe a colorful shoe, she says. It's important to let your sparkle accent your look and not overwhelm it.

Keep sparkle accessories in the same color family. If you are wearing silver sparkle, for example, make sure your jewelry, makeup and other accessories complement.

Women love sparkle and not just for the holidays, says Josh Saterman, Macy's vice president and fashion director.

“Sparkle and shine are present from the blazer to footwear,” Saterman says. “I think women love shine because it makes them feel special and sexy. It's bright and fun. Fashion is emotional, and putting on a great outfit that shines keeps your spirit in a festive mood.”

Too much is simply too much, so make sure the sparkle outfit has balance, Saterman says.

Although not everyone agrees with that.

“My motto is you can't ever have enough sparkle,” says Marissa Rubin, senior market editor for People Style Watch. “This time of year is the opportunity to treat every moment as a red-carpet moment. It's OK to pile on the bling. If not now, when?

“Choose some sparkling bangles, a necklace or earrings if you don't want to take the risk of the all-over sequin dress,” Rubin says. “Or go with a sequin top, black pants and sequin shoes. I say New Year's Eve is the perfect time to overindulge and go all out — and you should.”

Your sparkle doesn't have to be black either, Rubin says. Choose other colors with shimmer, such as red, green and blue. They're fun hues that give the sparkle piece an interesting twist, Rubin says.

Women are instantly attracted to sparkle, says Kimberly Coppola, co-owner of Serendipity, an accessories-inspired boutique Downtown, with husband Peter.

“Even little girls, you will see their faces pressed against the window of our store when they see something that shines,” Coppola says. “When you wear something with sparkle, it just feels festive, a little glamorous. When you wear crystals around your face, your eyes light up.”

“We are seeing sparkle everywhere,” says Gregg Andrews, Nordstrom fashion director. “And now, women wear sparkle more than one or two times a year. It's a look that you see in both daytime and evening wear. Women are getting more longevity out of sparkle pieces, and they will even wear an embellished top with a pair of jeans, which creates a high-low mix in a modern way.”

Choose your sparkle based on your personal style and self-expression, he says.

Sparkle has even ventured into lip colors and eye shadows. Let the sparkle be the focal point of your outfit, Andrews says. If you are covered in sparkle, it loses its definition, Andrews says, because the person looking at you doesn't know where to look.

“We all know that New Year's Eve gives you a license to be spectacular. It's your time to shine … literally. And you can do it, and no one will question you,” he says.




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