Children understand holiday sparkle. They love twinkle lights and blinking Santas and tinsel by the ton. Not for them tasteful green swags and tree trims.
So this season, take a joyful lesson from the youngsters and go for the glitter. Holiday party dressing is for the moment, not a lifetime investment. Forget the sure and safe and experiment with some gaudy touches. That's not to say you should abandon that little black dress, just drench it in some holiday punch.
Here are some glittering ideas for the season:
* Sequins are this year's hot jewels. They're to be found in all price ranges and covering everything from barrettes to ballgowns. Unlike the heavy beaded dresses of yesteryear, sequins are light and won't slow you down on the party whirl. But if you feel a sequin-covered garment is too much of a good thing, go for the look in smaller doses. How about a beret, big earrings, a headband? There are sequins to be had from chain stores and street vendors and they all have a fine shine.
* Gold is still a good investment, be it karat or K mart. Think slick, shimmery jackets, gilded slippers, twisted belts, glittery stockings and tights. Pile it on, don't be a miser. Gold is a wonderful foil with rich red and green and black -- all great holiday colors.
* Button up a look! Rhinestone and metal button covers abound at accessories counters. You can upgrade a modest jacket or start with great buttons and shop low end. Can't find the right size covers? Enlist some flashy earrings for temporary duty.
* Try cheating on a Chanel look. Loop gold chains everywhere -- through belt loops, hanging on the hip or dangling around the neck. If two chains are good, four are better.
* Is there a tuxedo jacket in your life? Scatter a family of pins on the lapel or fill the bare neckline with beads and necklaces -- enough to attract attention yet preserve modesty.
* Put some twinkle on your toes. Evening shoes shine with metallics and rich embellishment this year. If you plan to dance and haven't step tested a new pair of shoes, perk up your comfy pumps with fancy clips available at the shoe store.
* You're invited to a great party with no time to shop? Shampoo your hair until it shines and twist some tinsel through. After all, the best thing to bring to the party is your sparkling personality.