December 7, 2009

winter wear: party dresses

Dresses might just be my favorite article of clothing. Lately I’ve been wearing them to work a lot because they’re so easy to throw on in the morning with a pair of tights instead of picking out multiple pieces for an outfit. I especially like party dresses and there are plenty of excuses to wear them this season. In the next two weeks I have two office holiday parties to attend so I’ve been looking at cocktail dresses and thinking about ways to accessorize them. If your dress happens to be online, take note of how the store styled it for inspiration.

I saw this dress over the weekend at House of Hengst on Valencia at 20th. It’s well priced at $184 and it also comes in equally saturated pink and purple. The draping is really flattering and the solid color allows you to play with fun accessories. Wear it with a long pendant necklace or dangly earrings and a sexy pair of heels.  Susan Hengst is a local designer whose fall collection was inspired by Mata Hari, the exotic dancer and courtesan who was executed for espionage during World War I. She shows the film adaptation at the boutique every evening starting around 7pm.

I always have luck at Bloomingdale’s when I’m looking for party dresses and they have a great selection if you’re pressed for time (not to mention good sales). Below are some of my favorites with ideas for how to style them.

One Shoulder Metallic Print Dress: Aidan Mattox. One shoulder dresses are very popular right now and they look great on all different body types. I think they look best with fun earrings and lots of bracelets.

Sweetheart Gold Dress: DKNY. Reese Witherspoon wore this dress on the cover of last month’s In Style Magazine with a multiple gold chain necklaces at the collar bone, a fitted black blazer with the sleeves rolled up, and red nail polish.

Fleur Fern Dress: Tibi. Flutter sleeves are a nice alternative to strapless. Dresses with these kind of details don’t need many accessories.

Organza Dress with Overlay: Jill Stuart. Silver accessories go best with the purple grey in the dress so try a few chain bracelets and rhinestone earrings.

Marina Silk Dress: Catherine Malandrino. This boat neck is perfect for a long but simple necklace that hits at the chest.

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