Facebook Twitter

STRONGER UTAH ECONOMY PROMPTING WOMEN TO BUY LAVISH HOLIDAY OUTFITS

SHARE STRONGER UTAH ECONOMY PROMPTING WOMEN TO BUY LAVISH HOLIDAY OUTFITS

Rich holiday dressing is enjoying its second strong year in Utah. The recovering local economy has prompted women to buy lavish holiday fashions they passed up during the lean years.

Retailers are reporting strong sales in everything from familiar classics like red and green sweaters decorated with vivid holiday scenes to the new brocade and jeweled jackets.The hottest holiday looks this year are:

-Red, head to toe. If you are a daring woman looking for a distinctly fashion-forward look, dress completely in red: red dress, red stockings, red shoes. Red has been particularly strong this fall, and fashion arbiters are declaring head-to-toe red as the zenith of the trend.

If you don't want the brilliant red look, you can vary the theme with red tonal dressing that is a little more subdued.

Tonal dressing means wearing different colors that are all in the same color family. A red tonal ensemble might be a cranberry jacket with a plum sweater, a deeper plum skirt, purple hose and purple shoes.

You can also do it in the green families: teal to forest to hunter.

-Bright holiday sweaters. The enamel-bright holiday sweaters are still a popular choice for women seeking a casual, cozy look. Sweaters in reds and greens with navy and white touches are everywhere this year. The Christmas scenes are more elaborate than ever: a kitten with a red ribbon around its neck sitting in a window watching Santa and his sled fly across the sky.

"I think they are an investment," said Anne Rosenfeld, sales promotion manager for Nordstrom. "You bring out your ornaments every year. You can buy one great handknit sweater and wear it every year. You wouldn't get tired of it because you wear it a month at a time."

-The Edwardian look. Velvet is a big part of the look, and the short black velvet jackets - particularly the heavily decorated ones - define the look this season.

The jackets can be coupled simply with a black skirt or slacks and pulled together by an elegant white blouse, Rosenfeld said. Or they can be teamed with dressier pieces like metallic camisoles.

If the jacket is velvet or brocade, the skirt or slacks don't have to be of the same fabric, Rosenfeld said. They can be made from leather, crepe, satin or any other complementing fabric.

Tuxedo dressing is a different twist to the Edwardian look and is also very strong this season, she said.

-Baroque look. Shoulder-duster earrings, beaded belts, dresses with gold brocade trim or the rich brocade jackets. They all characterize the deliberately overdecorated, gaudy and ornate look of the baroque era.

More than ever, this is the season of rhinestones, beads, pearls, crystal, sequins, gold trim, gold braid, decorative leather and fabrics shot with gold and silver.

The ornamentation decorates shoes, belts, jackets, sweaters, dresses, hair clips. If you want a touch of the ornate without the expense, dress up an existing pair of black pumps with a pair of popular shoe clips. "Shoe clips are real hot this season," Rosenfeld said. "That's the new thing."

Another way to get a touch of the baroque without making a major purchase is buying one of the many ornate belts around. Belts this season are more elaborate than they've ever been. Even belts for the office have ornate buckles with charms dangling down.

Dressier belts are crusted with pearls, rhinestones, crystal and hundreds of multicolored beads.

-A crystal pin or necklace can update a holiday look. The crystal, virtually unheard of last season, is wildly popular this year - particularly the Swarovski Austrian crystal.

Ropes of colored crystal can set off black velvet.

Sweaters decorated with large crystal stones - for that matter, sweaters decorated with anything from sequins to beads to braid - are more popular than ever this season.

There is a strong run on elegant holiday pins filled in with clear Austrian crystal. The pins come in every holiday design one could wish: candles, bells, Santa's sleigh filled with packages, teddy bears, rocking horses . . .

"You can wear the crystal in combination with other jewelry. Pearls with crystal for example," Rosenfeld said.