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Holiday Style Essential:The Statement Earring

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With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, the holiday season is in full swing -- and, with it, the holiday party circuit. I may be biased, but there's really only one thing you need to punch up a look and that's accessories and, more specifically, jewelry. You could wear the simplest LBD, but with smart accessorizing, you'll turn heads. A stylish pair of shoes? Sure, but after you make your entrance, they'll fade from the spotlight. Ditto for a cute clutch -- it remains unseen at a dinner party, tucked beneath the table and under your chair. A brilliant pair of statement earrings, however, goes a long way to light up your outfit and, since it beautifully frames your face, it pulls attention to where it matters: you.

Designers Oren and Yarden Katz of Carbon & Hyde also highlight another reason why statement earrings are a holiday essential: "As we get into the colder season and start bundling up, stacking your ears is the best way to add a good sparkle while your wrists and neck are covered in sweaters." Plus, the look is very now, and very on trend.

The recent runway shows were awash in extravagant, bold earrings -- we haven't seen a jewelry trend this strong and focused in quite some time. There was no shortage of adventurous styles: impressive mobile-like earrings at Proenza Schouler, brightly colored door-knockers at Altuzarra, massive leaf danglers at Mary Katrantzou, oversized button earrings at Balenciaga, some striped to match the clothes.... And these were the Spring/Summer 2017 shows-- meaning this trend will continue to go strong for some time.

But I know that not everyone can pull off the high drama of runway bijoux -- say, Delpozo's florescent floral earrings that cascade down to the shoulders and beyond. For a more accessible holiday party look (or even for the daytime, dressed down with jeans and a T-shirt), I recommend three earring types: hoops, threaders and the sculptural.

Hoops are a classic, and a great investment because they can be styled in myriad ways. They can easily veer ladylike, sophisticated or glamorous as well as street-wise, punk or bohemian. Pair them with a fluid bias-cut dress and you can channel Bianca Jagger or Lauren Hutton in the Seventies; wear the same pair with denim and a cool, slouchy sweatshirt and you can tap into your inner Rihanna.

Threaders are a favorite of mine -- easy and elegant, and they can both complement a feminine look or offer a delicate point of contrast to something more tough-chic, like the of-the-moment leather and shearling jacket trend. "They are so versatile because you can wear them as a pair, or wear a single on one ear with a different stack on the other ear to create an edgier, mismatched look," the Katz sisters add. "So many girls these days have multiple piercings, so you can also 'thread' them through multiple holes -- which always gets the most attention. With threads, you can also play with the length because they don't have a post -- you can pull them long on one side, or wear the chain evenly on both sides of your ear. The options are endless!"

And when it comes to the sculptural, in addition to the all-out audacious styles seen on the runways, there are more minimal (read: wonderfully versatile) options, too. For instance: Hirotaka's diamond bar head earrings -- a painterly stroke of gold, topped by diamonds.

These styles all work well with the current cold-shoulder and off-the-shoulder trends, and are equal parts sexy and modern. Try pulling your hair into a low bun or, if you have a shorter do, slick your hair back with some gel to really let the jewelry shine. "The holiday season is always filled with exciting parties and special events -- the perfect excuse to push the boundaries with your personal look," says Sarah Gittoes of Sarah & Sebastian.

"Statement earrings are an easy way to amp up a look," continues Gittoes, who understands that, for some, they "can still take a little while getting used to." Her advice here? "Wear your hair down and behind your ears." Either way, you're sure to dazzle.