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Hot holiday style

“Today” style editor Judy Gordon, creator of, shares tips on how to take your wardrobe from ho-hum to ho-ho-hot during the festive season.
/ Source: TODAY

Want to take your wardrobe from ho-hum to hot with ease? Whether your style is sexy, dramatic or demure, here’s how to plan your party entrances (and exits) right now.


Get ready to dress things up this season with glam jewel-studded sweaters, jackets, dresses, handbags and shoes — all in a variety of colors ranging from neutrals to metallics to jewel tones or pretty shades of pink. It’s a trendy look for day or evening — and one that’s guaranteed to bewitch and beguile everyone you meet. These gem-encrusted lovelies can resemble intricate heirloom necklaces worthy of the royal throne or strands of faux pearls and beads with a tongue-in-chic sense of whimsy. “Full frontal” jewels work best on a solid colored background — the better to show off their glittering beauty. Jeweled hemlines on pant legs or skirts are another quick and easy way to add a dash of fun, unexpected glamour.


You’re sure to shine this holiday if you slither into the hottest fabric of the season — satin. Best of all, there’s a satin look for everyone including soft and sensuous skirts and gowns as well as structured and tailored trench coats, bustiers and suits. And they all have one thing in common — rich, sumptuous color! Even a touch of satin in the form of trim or ribbon detail will update a basic holiday look.


Get ready to strut your stuff in lingerie and corset-inspired looks. These intricately seamed, laced, wrapped, tied and layered styles are far more naughty than nice. Steer clear of the hard dominatrix edge by choosing offbeat or downright feminine colors (instead of black) and finish with a pale satin stiletto or strappy sandal.


Of course, most of us can’t live without a LBD (Little Black Dress). This year, knee-length cocktail dresses are far from boring - you’ll find wonderful vintage-inspired fit and flare styles softened with all the must-have special touches of that era - rhinestone brooches, skinny rhinestone-buckled belts, figure-enhancing empire or princess seaming, interesting necklines and jeweled or ribbon trims. Don’t forget to match shoes and handbags!


Looking to make an entrance this holiday season? Go for the extravagant drama of winter white. This season’s styles offer satin suits, sleeveless cashmere sweaters with white fur necklines, shirts with elegant full sleeves or waist-cinching belts and wraps. Pair white beauties with beaded or lace skirts, black tuxedo pants or intricately seamed skinny pants, worn with high heels, of course.


If you love modern, clean looks with a touch of sass, then you’ll feel right at home in dressed up versions of the mod trend for holiday. Think silver metallic, paillettes and patent leather. Or go further back in time with feminine chiffon styles decorated in sequins with 20’s-inspired deco designs. Girly-girls will favor 50’s-inspired strapless dresses, flared just below a cinched waist.


Forget about Cinderella — she only got one pair of slippers and a see-through pair at that. This holiday, you can have glittering jeweled sandals or shoes. Choose from charm-laden ankle straps, beaded wraps and ties that lace around the ankles, strappy sandals studded with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, or gem-encrusted heels that definitely will have you leaving in style. One of each, please!


There’s plenty of ice this season. Should you be lucky enough to own an important diamond necklace or a diamond pendant, now is the time to shine. The rest of us will content ourselves with real-enough rhinestones and cubic zirconium in abundance. Look for diamond-studded chandelier earrings worthy of any red carpet, significant and intricate diamond collars, chains, pendants and vintage-looking necklaces straight out of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry box. Nice ice!


There are plenty of lush, luxe holiday options. Opt for jewel-encrusted tops and accessories, opera-length gloves and layers of velvet and satin in royal gem tones of ruby, deep sapphire blue, emerald, garnet and citrine. To ward off winter chills, choose a wrap of opulent jeweled velvet, chinoiserie jackets or go for fur - a capelet, boa or collar will frame your fabulous face in style.


Want to make an instant holiday trend statement? Throw on an up-to-the-minute evening trench coat styled in shimmering satin. This is your opportunity to indulge in a scrumptious, head-turning color that you will wear over every little black dress you own. Look for “off” brights like lapis blue, citrine or (white hot) ivory for sophisticated chic. True evening coats will have “after dark” touches like rhinestone studded buckles and fancy buttons.

Judy Gordon is a New York-based style consultant and “Today” show style editor. She has been covering fashion for the past decade and is the former style editor of Indie Magazine. You can visit her Web site,, which highlights fashion trends in America. Check out the site for this week’s latest feature.