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Holiday Style Tips: How to Look Festive, Without Looking Overdone

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As last-minute shoppers this holiday season, we're all fortunate to be in a trend phase that is perfect for holiday fashion. This means that lace, shine and all of those really rich, almost "royal" fabrics are what's in right now -- which ultimately makes it easier to spot in stores and put together some really great outfits. So in short, this season play with what's trending. For those of us who still need last-minute outfits for the final holiday rush, I've put together two major dos and don'ts to stick to this week.

DO: Pick a Lane

There's no harm in being fashion-forward and creative, but my single biggest piece of advice is to stick to a lane and own it. With all of the beautiful materials and patterns that we're seeing right now (lace, velvet, brocade and floral print), there's no need to try and incorporate them all together in a single outfit. To avoid looking like you've been plucked out of Game of Thrones, try sticking to one of the themes below.

A Head-to-Toe Look:
Whether we're talking about prints, pattern, materials or even color, head-to-toe looks can really make a statement during the holidays. Rewind four or five years, and on the runways we witnessed the emergence of "winter white." Now if you go to any of the mass-market retailers, the look dominates. But the good news is that white isn't your only option this season -- try a head-to-toe look with reds or forest greens, or even richer tones like navy or eggplant purple.

If you're working with solid colors, try to embellish it with a piece of statement jewelry such as earrings, a necklace or an embellished collar. Or if you want to try a more forward look and play with patterns such as jacquard or brocade (these you can even mix and match), you can also finish off this look with an embellished collar.

For those of you who are really into classic silhouettes, which I'm also a big fan of, try updating the print, fabric or color with something abstract. Here you have the option to play with shine and lace a bit more liberally. And don't worry -- simple black still works. If you're opting for a dark dress this holiday, make it pop with heels that make a statement.

Mixing It Up With Separates
Print and pattern separates are also a huge trend at the moment. Be brave enough to do a top and bottom -- why not? Mix and match and be merry!

Three seasons ago, we saw the emergence of plaid. Then we saw floral, then polka dots and now brocades. This year, try a printed pant with an elegant blouse or a sequined top with a more understated pencil skirt.

DON'T: Become Part of the Holiday Decorations
It's easy to get excited about the holidays, but when you're experimenting this season avoid overdoing the mixing discussed above. Also, whether mixing patterns or not, be smart about the embellishment you choose and where you put it. Like with anything, embellishment is all about balance. For example, if you're going with lace -- that's embellishment enough -- there's no need for the addition of shiny fabrics or glittery accessories which can take your outfit from looking holiday-chic to overdone and ornamental.

In 2013, we're going to see the emergence of macro trends that drive consumer purchasing decisions (and I'll get into that in my next post), but for now around the holidays be conscious of what you're buying -- be authentic and make decisions that reflect your holiday spirit!