It's not that you lack the holiday spirit, but rather, your finances have met up with the Grinch.
Even your best rationalizing won't allow you to splurge on a dress so beaded, bangled and bedazzled that it plays a one-time-only at the most elegant affairs.
To the rescue the Little Black Dress. It's that simple silhouette dress in basic black on black that takes on whatever accessory personality you give it. It slips quietly into the office under a plaid or plain blazer with a scarf or pin.
Bag the blazer at night and add a set of accessories, such as a matching silver bead bracelet and necklace with earrings. Buying silver accessories, especially in brushed or muted tones, isn't the extravagant expenditure it might seem.
Many items, including mesh belts and some bags, work well for daytime outfits in everything from denim to navy blue suits.
Buying separates blazers, skirts, blouses also helps stretch a holiday wardrobe, said Dawn Griffin, fashion consultant for T.J. Maxx stores.
A glittery sweater may be wearable only in November and December, but if it's paired with a simple skirt, at least the skirt's life is extended, she said.
"Due to the economy, I think you are seeing an emphasis on classics. If you are going to invest in a dress, it better be one you can wear next year," Griffin said. "It's the kind of thing that you can change with a change of shoes or a scarf."