Holiday Style: Sexy and Festive At Any Age

12/12/2011 08:15 am ET | Updated Feb 11, 2012
  • Jesse Garza

Happy Holidays! Just because its that time of year doesn't mean that dressing post50 has to turn into a parade of green and red applique sweatshirts, jingle bell earrings, and be-dazzled ensembles. As you approach all the parties and family gatherings, it's a time to count your blessings and be grateful! Be pro-active and creative. Pre-selecting your holiday looks will ease the stress of having to figure out the eternal question of what to wear. You will be organized and ready for anything that may pop up last minute. Here are a few tips to get you party perfect!

Start by pulling out anything that you feel fabulous in or that is slightly festive. Ideally, it's best to set up a rolling rack (always good to have one under the bed or in the garage). A tastefully sexy black dress restyled with a pair of black suede stretch boots and long glittery necklaces can do the trick. Now is the appropriate time to pull out velvet (but stay clear of red velvet, we are not going for the Mrs. Claus look!) A sleek black velvet pencil skirt with a fitted white satin blouse with a bow tied around the neck can also look chic and festive. (Story continues below slide show.)

Remember, subtle is sexy and it's not always about cleavage; try a sweater that nonchalantly falls off one shoulder, with skinny grey flannel trousers, a big belt and high heel booties (comfortable ones, of course). If you are going to wear red, make sure you choose the right shade that is most flattering to your skin tone (check out our book "Life In Color" for guidance). Think outside the box. A red dress in an Audrey Hepburn or Jackie O shape can be much more exciting than the typical red sweater or twin set.

Last but not least, let's not forget beauty. You can be wearing the most fabulous outfit, but the wrong hair and make-up can flatten your look. If you're in the mood to treat yourself, I suggest a fresh blowout on the day of your party. It's worth it! You'll look great and more importantly, you'll feel great. Most department stores offer free make-up applications so take advantage of these professionals during the holidays. Have them do something clean, but maybe add a bold lip or smoky eye (but not both at the same time). Consider buying the lipstick so you can re-apply later.

Now you're ready! Pull out your social calendar and plug in all the looks. Part of being a modern post50 woman is being calm, cool, collected and always appropriate. To see more ideas on dressing for the holidays, please check out our Visual Therapy Blog.