Fashion: Accessorizing for the Holidays

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Holiday party season has arrived, but your budget still hasn't arrived, so what's a strapped, but stylish girl to do?  Accessorize to glamorize for the Holidays!  I know that I want to save money and wear last year's black dress to this year's seasonal events.  With that goal in mind, I went in search of what's hot in fall and winter accessories.   And when I was finished researching, browsing and shopping, I was able to turn one simple black dress into six different looks.  Talk about beauty and life on a budget!  Read below and watch the segment to see how I did it!

Fashion Look #1:  Corporate
I am so glad that the little black dress never goes out of style!  And with times this tough, turning last year's design into this year's updated piece is easy with the right accessorizes.  For the basic black dress, I recommend one that has a V-neck because this look is flattering on many different body shapes.  Plus you can change the neckline with a couple of accessory tricks making this dress very versatile. 

For the corporate look, add a black tube top underneath so that less cleavage is showing.  Then place a jacket over the dress and complete with a strand of long pearls doubled up.  A thin or thick belt can also be placed over the jacket for a finishing touch.  Both wide and thin belts are in this season.  Those awesome tube tops that transform clothing in an instant from a day dress to a night out number sell for only $15 at The Purple Skirt in Ahwatukee.  Buy the tubes in different colors to switch the shade from your all black dress to one with color.  You can also match a belt to the colorful tube and again you have a completely new dress in minutes that work for work!

Fashion Look #2:  Classic
For a classic look, switch out the tube top with a long sleeved white button front blouse.  The basic V-neck black dress that we started with allows you to add the shirt underneath.  Lose the belt and unleash the doubled up pearls to one long strand.  Or use the pearls for a belt.  Quick change from corporate to classic and it looks like a different dress.

Fashion Look #3: Romantic
From day to night turning your dress into a romantic piece is easy with this season's accessory trends.  Ruffles and roses are aplenty with a variety of attractive accessories available at the White House Black Market store locations.  Or make the popular flower pins and ruffle scarves yourself with materials from popular craft stores like Jo-Ann, etc. and Michael's.  Both offer 50% coupons in the Sunday paper.  For a sexy, but pretty piece, place a ruffle scarf around the neck on the dress or tuck it in the V-neck for an instant soft look.  Or clip a rose pin at the bottom point of the V-neck or on top of a belt buckle.  See the segment to see how quickly I did this!

Fashion Look #4:  Edgy
Edgy is in this season with over sized costume jewelry, mixed metals and leather belts with studs.  All can be worn with that same simple black dress.  Add a sexy high heel and that basic black dress now shouts sexy, edgy and fun! 

Fashion Look #5:  Chic
Simple elegance never goes out of style and this is the easiest look of all to get because you undress the dress to get it.  Simply lose the long pearls, big costume jewelry and belts.  Add my favorite kind of simple necklace called the slide.  This Lia Sofia slide necklace comes with a Deb collar and interchangeable slide jewels.  The collar sells for $46 and most of the slider charms sell for under $40 with some starting at $22.  So, with this style of necklace you can change from day to night in a split second.  And this line gives back to the Dress for Success program.  Dress for Success is a group that promotes independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and career development tools.  Check out the website at

Next add a great classic pump in this season's stylish shade which looks like the color of Merlot wine.  Then add a simple clutch that matches the shoe and you are ready to give off that simple but elegant look that took little effort.  I actually use an old makeup bag of mine as a clutch purse to tie the outfit together.  So, look in your drawers and in your closet.  Chances are you already have a small bag that you can wear as a purse for the evening. 

Fashion Look #6:  Fun & Faux Animal Print
Animal print accessories are in again this season.  And you can find them for less.  Check out the accessory shelves at discount shoe stores.  Many of these shops have accents to sell with the shoes for less than department store prices.  And here is a funny idea, but it works for me.  Borrow from your little girl!  To see how I coordinated a zebra print scarf with my daughter's play purse, watch the segment.  You may not believe it until you see it, but it works!  Finish off the look with cheap but chic animal print shades.  The fun fake zebra scarf and sunglasses I show in the segment are sold at Payless ShoeSource and each piece sells for under $15.  I also found some unique accessories at second hand stores.  And several of my gal pals wear antique pins and jewels that were once their grandmothers' gorgeous gems.

So, say yes to last year's dress with this season's attractive accessories and I bet you can get away with wearing that same piece several times in one week.  No one will know except for you.  And that is keeping your beauty and life on a budget!