It starts this week: the entertaining-for-the-holidays season. Whether you invite guests to dinner or go to a party at a friend's, the occasion calls for wearing something special.
If the event is neither come-as-you-are nor black tie but something in between, there is a wide degree of latitude in what you might wear. It should be a little dressy but not formal, with perhaps a modicum of shine but not too much sparkle.
But to many women, an evening at home calls for wearing pants. This year, that might mean a slinky cat suit or spandex leggings, something sleek but with enough stretch to allow for movement.
After all, if you're the hostess you may be bending to put canapes on the coffee table or to retrieve a wayward fork. And if you're a guest, you may want to curl up on the rug with your buffet plate.
"To me, if you're at home you'd better be comfortable," said Andrew Basile, fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman.
"Comfortable but glamorous in easygoing kinds of things: a black velvet cat suit with tons of jewelry; a top covered with giant paillettes; or a taffeta blouse with full sleeves, worn with leggings or stretch velvet pants.
"I love the idea of something big on top and narrow on the bottom. It's younger-looking than a tunic and full pants."
If you don't want to reveal your figure so blatantly, wear a blouse outside instead of tucked in.
But remember this about cat suits and spandex leggings: they possess some of the molding advantages of a girdle but not enough to flatten out bulges. So if you expect to eat a huge Thanksgiving dinner, you may want to wear a big top to camouflage the damage.