Holiday Fashion: Joyful jewel tones

Black skinny pant, Alexander Wang, $350, emerald green cardigan, Equipment, $338, white shirt, Organic, $242, sequined embroidered top, Haute Hippie, $595, all at Knit Wit; large drop earrings, Elizabeth Cole, $230, at First Impressions.
Black skinny pant, Alexander Wang, $350, emerald green cardigan, Equipment, $338, white shirt, Organic, $242, sequined embroidered top, Haute Hippie, $595, all at Knit Wit; large drop earrings, Elizabeth Cole, $230, at First Impressions.
Posted: December 12, 2013

This holiday season's attire is flush with plush navies, inky blacks, and foresty greens, making for a very merry monochromatic time.

Reds are pure. Whites are wintry.

And shimmer? Well, that's everywhere.

"We have a ton of glitzy, luxe fabrics," said Melibea Sarant, manager of Bettie Page Clothing, a Walnut Street boutique that sells modern-day versions of pinup-style frocks. "There is a lot of velvet in deep blues and pretty greens and everything has shimmer, even if it's just a hint."

The multitude of saturated and sparkling ensembles is a sumptuous end to a year that began with a burst of bold primaries and flowed into a lacy spring. Fall was full of fabric blocking - as in heather-gray wool sweaters trimmed in autumnal shaded leathers with a little herringbone check for good measure.

Busy. Busy. Busy.

Luckily, as we transition into yuletide, these monochromatic dresses and trousers create a lean silhouette. Can you think of a better gift from the fashion gods during this decadent time of year?

"You're not cutting your body in a funny place, so wearing just one color makes you look taller and slimmer," said Ann Gitter, owner of Chestnut Street's Knit Wit. "But you need some shimmer, even if it's just a handbag. Without it, you will look pretty boring."

But don't stop at twinkle.

That solid green sheath you plan to wear to the company cocktail party will absolutely pop with a belted animal print coat or cloak.

And your strapless plaid mini paired with all things black leather is a perfect way to add rocker-chic zing. (Must have the fingerless gloves.)

The deep hues not only create the illusion of a not-so-bumpy bod - single shades plus luscious textures also give this holiday's throwback silhouettes a current look.

For example, the curve-hugging mermaid-style gown we associate with a 1950s Marilyn Monroe gets a 2013 Pinterest-worthy twist in shades of blue velvet, courtesy of Bettie Page. Think life-size Christmas tree ornament.

"We call this the wiggle dress," Sarant said. The millennial version of this gown, she said, has lots of spandex and is available in sizes XS to 4XL.

"You can get this dress short or long," Sarant said. "It's always in style."

Another old-school look popular this holiday is the fit-and-flare. This dress came very casual and skater-chic in fall. As we ease into the colder months, this style's hem lengthens. For a more exaggerated look, add a crinoline.

"That extra garment makes the waist look really tiny, so that when the skirts flare out, there is a perfect hourglass," Sarant said.

I'm adding crinoline to my Christmas list.

If pants are more your sartorial speed, Gitter suggests going 1960s beatnik-style skinny. (Note: Gitter said stylistas also are liking the slightly belled boot cut. You can never have enough '70s influences.)

Trousers topped with a white shirt and jeweled vest are cocktail-party ready. Add a sweater in a deep jewel tone - try emerald green - and you have a cozy dinner-with-the-in-laws outfit.

"It's as much about how you put it together as it is about the sparkle," said Gitter. If the vest is too flashy for your family's taste, Gitter said, bring in shine with a belt, handbag, or ballet flats.

Only if your gym routine - or your genes - are flawless do we suggest you go festive in a 1990s mid-thigh mini. By the way, black will be the new black this New Year's Eve.

"If this tiny pencil shape fits you, then it's a home run," Gitter said.

I plan to approach my holiday fashion the same way I will my shopping: subtly lean but thoughtfully lush.

CREDITS

CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES: Bettie Page, 1605 Walnut St., 267-909-9125; First Impressions, 470 E. Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, 610-828-6775; Joan Shepp, the Shops at Liberty Place, 1625 Chestnut St., first floor, 215-735-2666; Knit Wit, 1729 Chestnut St., 215-564-4760; Macy's, 1300 Market St., 215-241-9000; Peter Kate, 3830 Kennett Pike, Greenville, Del., 302-656-7463; Stuart Weitzman, 1711 Walnut St., 215-640-0400; Swarovski, 1421 Walnut St., 215-563-9374; Vows Timeless Bridal Millinery, 764 S. Fourth St., 215-922-0121.

HAIR: Heather Neide, Suede Salon, Spa and Body, 500 Route 73 South, Marlton, 856-985-0700, www.suedesalonspa.com.

MAKEUP: Patty Day and Danielle Cordero, Suede Salon, Spa and Body, 500 Route 73 South, Marlton.

ASSISTANT STYLIST: Mark Barksdale

MODEL: Cynthia Andino (Wilhelmina PA)

PHOTO LOCATION: The Preserve at Little Mill in Evesham; Val Nunnenkamp of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach Realtors, 856-810-5700.


ewellington@phillynews.com

215-854-2704

@ewellingtonphl

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