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The Globe and Mail

From festive brunches to swelegant soirées: how to dress for the holidays

francisco garcia The Globe and Mail

Daytime chic

Repeat after us: no Christmas sweaters. Instead, think tasteful but with a twist for brunch wear this year. Pairing a tailored blazer with a fancier underpinning of sequins, chiffon or lace, for instance, makes a sophisticated combo, preventing the jacket from veering into preppy. In general, don pieces that are casual but not overly so, chic yet easy-wearing. After all, you don't want to be uncomfortable if you indulge in a second helping of bread pudding.

Formal style

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Whether you're hosting a fête or invited to one as a guest, few fashion statements are as dramatic as floor-length velvet. A fabric mostly associated with nobility, velvet is sumptuous to the touch and against the body, so be prepared for an evening of oohs and aahs. And a long, fluid silhouette is the epitome of elegance - not to mention back in vogue. Since it's also the season for sparkle, now's the time to bring out those finer jewellery pieces, such as a pair of drop earrings or a set of pearls. Treat this as an opportunity to deck yourself out.

Intimate apparel

The trickiest part of dressing for an intimate dinner is balancing the desire to dress up with the temptation to dress down. The goal is to create an outfit that looks effortless; it's the same approach Sharon Stone took when she famously wore a charcoal-grey mock turtleneck from the Gap with a Valentino skirt to the Oscars - a look that holds up nearly 15 years later. To minimize trial, error and exasperation, stick to a pairing (blouse and dress pants, light knit and swishy skirt) that transitions easily from candlelit feast to lounging late into the night.

Cocktail glam

For holiday cocktail parties, the goal is to be festive without appearing fussy. To that end, play with textures, juxtaposing a more tactile fabric with something smooth and satiny. And bring on the shoulder-duster earrings and bib necklaces (just leave the actual ornaments for the trees). Since you're likely to be on your feet a lot, consider an elegant mid-height heel rather than a soaring platform. But the best accessory of all: smart and witty conversation starters.

Styling by Corey Ng (; hair and makeup by Vittorio for TRESemmé Hair Care ( Shot in the home of Warren Green and Shellianne Bedder, director of marketing and sales for Regency Yorkville (

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