The icing on the cake

The icing on the cake

The icing on the cake

First published in ShuttleXtra

Accessories: Update last year's dress with a statement accessory. Lisa Haynes looks at ways to decorate your outfit.

By Lisa Haynes


As Christmas trees and festive lights go up, so does the pressure to decorate yourself with a dazzling party ensemble.

If you have invitations aplenty but only one fail-safe party frock, don't fret.

Accessories have the power to switch up your look with a single statement piece.

They're the festive trimmings that you can't overlook when you're planning your killer outfit.

The key to finding your transformative accessory is all about balance. If your dress is all-singing, all-dancing then keep your extras pared down, and vice-versa.

Time to make your party dress disappear into the background. These statement accessories are the equivalent of the star on top of the Christmas tree.


LBD little extras

If the little (or long) black dress is your trusty party piece then you can seriously go to town on decor to counteract your low-key outfit.

The gold baroque look is both big and bling. What's more, it's made to team with black, so choose uber-ornate accessories to go overboard with this trend.

Try a jewelled clutch, embellished headband or standout swinging necklace that will give your look some dazzling Gothic charm. Lavishly layer up various accessories for maximum impact.

When your LBD has been worn to death, you need a game-changer of an accessory.

Your shoulders are the area that will be exposed stylishly in all those festive party photographs, so try a statement feather cape or bejewelled collar to really transform the look of a once-plain party frock.


Sequin supplements

Outfits with built-in bling require careful thought when it comes to accessorising. Often the frock will do all the talking minus any trimmings.

The same goes for metallic looks if you're channelling a golden goddess or silver screen siren.

Forget jewellery and focus on your feet with dancing shoes. Keep your sequins cool and edgy with a pair of ankle boots to keep the look fresh and modern. Experiment with a clash of textures by opting for a plush velvet material.

Pointy toe courts are instant leg lengtheners. Ditch black and bring out your chosen metal with jewel-coloured heels in blue, red or purple for added drama.

There's just one clause: make sure your heels are dance-worthy for when you're pulling out your best moves.


Bright embellishments

Whether it's a dress, top or suiting, partywear in kaleidoscopic rich jewel shades is always a festive winner.

Your accessories need to complement the shade of your chosen block colour bright.

Delicate jewellery will fade into the background so bring out your party hue with statement gem-laden pieces.

If you want to look like you're dripping in precious stones, get your magpie fix with costume jewellery that resembles family heirlooms.

Either go metallic or try a clashing coloured gemstone, like emerald against an amethyst dress for example. If in doubt, be all the colours of the rainbow in a multi-hued assortment.

Whether it's necklace, earrings, cuff or cocktail ring, keep your piece super-sized so that it makes as big an impression as the Crown Jewels.


Print adornments

From bold geometric to winter florals, statement prints are big news this party season. Whether you're going for this season's two-piece suit or dress, you need an accessory that isn't going to compete with your busy look.

Scan your outfit and look for one colour that's repeated in your print. It might be a subtle accent or bold main feature, but use that tone to find a complementary clutch bag.

Your chosen shape and texture is down to you - bow, envelope or oversized, you can try a matte, sparkly or shiny bag as long as it sits seamlessly against your print.

If you're struggling to colour match, you can't go wrong with classic black.

Fashion mavericks can always print clash their shoes or bag with their outfit. In this case, all matchy-matchy rules were made to be broken.


Get the look

Pout and pose like Paloma Faith with her Lulu Guinness lips clutch. Her exact patent leather envelope bag is worthy of a special delivery this Christmas, £275 (0843 208 0177/www.luluguinness.com).


Buy it now

Hands up if you want a designer jumper without breaking the bank. Designer duo Meadham Kirchoff has teamed up with Amazon to create four sweater designs, £75 each. The collaboration goes on sale from December 3 at www.amazon.co.uk/clothing


Fashion flash

:: Get shirty

It pays for men to wear pink. Guys who favour pink shirts earn more and are better qualified than those who favour traditional colours such as white or blue, according to research by Cotton USA. Men who go for green tones are the most likely to be late for work, while white shirt fans are the most punctual, the survey revealed. And if you're vying for promotion then it's best to plump for a purple shirt - in the last five years men who are more likely to wear purple shirts to the office have had the most pay rises.


:: Recessionista alert

Get ahead this season with a party dress and statement hair accessory. LittleBlackDress.co.uk is rewarding customers with a Johnny Loves Rosie feather hair accessory, worth £25, absolutely free when you spend £75 or more on the site. Offer available now, while stocks last at www.littleblackdress.co.uk

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