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Festive Fashion – Choosing the Perfect Holiday Dress

As if shopping for gifts weren't enough…This holiday season, you're bound to be invited to an occasion that will have you asking, "What will I wear?" Don't panic! By developing a game plan for shopping, you can get the perfect dress in no time by following these simple steps.
1. Consider the occasion. Before you begin looking at dresses, you’ll need to have a feel for how dressy of an occasion you'll be attending. Is it a Black Tie New Year's Eve gala? Are you going to a holiday party where glitzy cocktail dresses will be the norm? Is the event a more low-key night at a friend's house where casual dresses will be in style? If you're not sure (or it’s not stated within the invitation), think about what you'd expect men to be wearing at the party. If a man is appropriate in jeans and a sport coat, a casual dress is perfect, while suits and ties would equal cocktail dresses for the ladies. If men will be there in tuxedos, you're likely required to don a floor-length gown.
2. Think about your body type. Once you have some idea of the type of dress that you need for the evening, you're ready to shop. Start by finding dresses that are ideal for your body type to try on. Follow this guide to quickly locate flattering styles:
  •     If you have a pear-shaped frame, look for dresses that accentuate the bust line with a V plunge or a strapless bodice. An A-line skirt will help to balance your proportions.
  •     If you are apple shaped with a thicker waist and narrow hips and/or bust area, try a dress with an empire or dropped waist. Pick dresses that are free of embellishments around your natural waist and hips.
  •     If you have a thin build with a small bust line, look for dresses with bandeau or scoop necks that will call attention to the line of your neck and shoulders, not the bust area.
  •     If you are a plus-sized woman, try a wrap dress or a solid colored dress that hugs your body's contours. Baggy or loose dresses will actually make you appear larger, so don't be afraid to flaunt your curves.
3. Choose a color. When you're selecting dresses to try on; resolve to allow yourself to grab one or two off the racks that are not black, gray or navy. If you want to look festive and have warm undertones in your skin, try green, rust or gold frocks. Ladies with cooler undertones can opt for red, burgundy or silver. Of course, there's no rule that you have to wear holiday colors. Don't be afraid to try dresses in other shades that catch your eye.
4. Stick to your budget. Make sure you have a price limit in mind when you're shopping for that perfect holiday dress and stick to it. The holidays are full of expenses, and you don't want to blow your entire seasonal budget on just one dress. Keep shoes in mind both within your budget as well as consider what you may already have at home and pair them up with the most appropriately matched dress or gown.

5. Feel confident!
You look stunning! Enjoy yourself!

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