All the Trimmings

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By Roxy Rowton

This holiday season, glamour, in the form of figure-skimming dresses and tailored trouser suits, encourages dressing up whether for an afternoon theatrical performance or for an evening of dance and champagne.

Satin, brocade, velvet, metallics and lace are the high notes that enliven the holiday wardrobe with luxe details, luminous tones and rich textures. Much like the heroine of a Victorian novel draped in regal cloth from top to toe, the same prettiness and femininity is out and about this season for sophisticated
holiday dressing.

Shaped for glamour. The drape and movement of silk are luxurious and sensuous. Film stars of the late 1920s and early 1930s admired crepe-backed silk for the way it emboldened but never overpowered the female frame. With skirts that swirl and twirl and hues from soft pastels to rich neutrals, dress up
in loveliness for all manner of holiday celebrations.

Silhouette of grandeur. Once the fine cloth of choice for nobility and royalty for the way it traced and exalted the female form, the texture and appearance of velvet are regal and seductive. With fluted hems that cascade to the floor and ruched sweetheart necklines, velvet enriches the holiday wardrobe for all the season’s soirées.

Fashioned for ornamentation. The graphic drama and scale of a metallic garment are expressive and theatrical. Lurex and lamé were the party fabrics of the 1980s. With trousers tapered for liquid-like movements and voluminous sleeves for eye candy, metallics infuse glitz and glam into holiday party

Profile of elegance. The intricate patterns and motifs of lace are beautiful and appealing. This enduring cloth is one of the earliest luxury status textiles and has been the inspiration for sartorial adaptations. With scalloped edges that frame the shoulders, necklines and hemlines, lace is an ideal holiday choice for professional day-to-evening affairs.

Ribbons, ruffles, ruching, embroidery, beading, sequins and other flourishes—the most decorative of sartorial gestures —lend your holiday looks as much refinement as these are fetching. Set the tone for the festivities with embellishments, small touches or long sweeps, that make an entrance and have charm to spare.

Nothing is too dramatic. If there is any season that enunciates party dressing, it is now.

Wardrobe and style consultant Roxy L. Rowton ( spends much of her workweek in the closet or the fitting room helping women look and feel their very best. She has two-plus decades in the fashion, apparel and beauty industries.


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