No matter where you're heading to celebrate, make it count -- from the "off-duty chic" look appropo for a trim-the-tree party or the "blue chip glamour" that's a must for New Year's Eve as great style doesn't take a holiday.
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Like you, I'm in holiday mode. With Thanksgiving having come and gone, a festive mood has settled in and now I'm smitten! I'm buying into all the excitement of entertaining or being entertained and of course, I've turned my attention to the subject of style. Given the plethora gatherings and parties, many without a given dress code, the most confidant stylista can find herself in a "stress zone" when it comes to thoughts about what to wear and how to look. I've decided however that I want to move through the season with ease and when it comes to fashion and beauty, possess a look that has maximum impact with minimal effort. And I say, no matter where you're heading to celebrate, make it count -- from the "off-duty chic" look appropo for a trim-the-tree party or the "blue chip glamour" that's a must for New Year's Eve as great style doesn't take a holiday.

Here's what you need to know to look fabulous and have a great time doing so!

  1. Make sure to enjoy the ritual of getting ready. Decide how you want to feel and the dress code for it, then plan accordingly. Make it fun!
  2. Determine your look. Go for maximum impact and de-stress your efforts in doing so by putting the focus on one dynamic fashion element. Here are a few ideas for a variety of outings:
    • Go for a statement blouse over a pair of flared pants or a great jean. Lace, silk or a great white shirt with an amazing cut will take you there in nano seconds!
    • Try a silk dupioni or metallic slim pant in an unexpected hue and make it the focus of your look. It's an instant glam slam and one that you don't have to shoot your wad on and resources like Talbots, J. Crew and other retailers have them ready and waiting.
    • Play a chic pencil skirt in a textured or shimmery fabric in black or a bold hue. Pair it with a turtle neck and a pump for a glamorous 60's appeal!
    • Step into a statement-making cocktail dress with a fabulous neckline and a superb cut. It doesn't get any easier than that and if your pick is an LBD, know that it'll take you through the holiday season in great style
    • Work a timeless evening gown in a fluid fabric and a standout hue like a bold red, a stunning fuschia, a beautiful platinum or a caviar black!
    • Play your accents to perfection, from a conversation-worthy shoe to a bold cuff. Accessories are the finishing touch as they allow you to play existing wardrobe pieces to new perfection. Time permitting, consider hitting the stores as many great finds are on sale and while you're out there, don't forget to check out your local vintage shop for those one-of-a-kind pieces with great "wow" factor.
  3. Turn up the style factor on beauty. Now's the time to begin putting a twist on your day-to-day look from head-to-toe. Trust me, subtle changes go a long way and play a distinct role in your enjoyment. Besides, self-discovery and the process of trying something new are fabulous rituals and instant mood lifters so don't underestimate it. Here are a few tips to get you started based on your style persona:
  • Modern Minimalist: Makeup: Go for sun-baked nudes on eyes, lips and cheeks and a thickening mascara to play up your eyes; Hair: think "close" -- if your hair is long work a chignon or a ponytail, if your hair is short, go for something sleek -- if natural, work a textured look with a product that enhances your texture and checks frizz.
  • Classic Diva: Makeup: Place the emphasis on great grooming- give yourself a skin refining facial, shape your brows, exfoliate lips and get a good night's sleep! All will do wonders for your look. Then work a tinted moisturizer, a hint of blush, eyeliner and a lash-lengthening mascara. Set the look with a finishing powder and a classic matte red lip. Hair: Work a classic bob with a twist -- a directional parting or a deep asymmetrical bang (if you're visiting the hairstylist, have him or her add a clip extension to the bang with a hint of color for added dimension); if natural -- try a caught-up do for utter sophistication -- think Janelle Monae or a savvy retro-esque fro ala Solange Knowles!
  • Glamour Queen: Makeup: Turn it out with a smoky eye in woody brown hues so it's not over the top, but still has punch. Add corner lashes and work! Keep the rest of your look in neutral territory so the look is modern and forward. Hair: Make it magic, sweep hair over to one side ala retro-Hollywood with soft curled ends, or try hand-combed spiral curls or a sleek molded updo; if natural -- try a bold braid or catch hair up with a great accessory - if short, work a combo texture.

Remember, life is an occasion and everyday represents another opportunity for you to express your individual style! Happy Holidays!

Mikki Taylor

Mikki Taylor is a veteran style and beauty authority and author of Commander in Chic, Every Woman's Guide to Managing Her Style Like a First Lady, available at

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