It's time to celebrate!
The holiday week that begins with Christmas and ends with New Year's is here. And every woman wants just the right clothes - dazzling outfits to light up the night.Finding dazzlers this season isn't difficult. The stores are shining with all kinds of pretty party fashions. Why, if you look around a bit, you might even find some on sale. Remember: Big markdowns usually take place the day after Christmas, and if you received a check from Santa in your sock, what better place to spend it? Anyway, whether you pay full price or find a bargain, there never have been so many good deals available.
Let's say for a minute that you are going out every night during the week ahead and capping all the festivities off with a really gala occasion on New Year's Eve. Well, be happy - don't worry. Enough options are out there so you can be appropriately dressed for anything and everything.
Options. You've heard the word many times before. But it never has been more applicable. Designers, fully aware that every woman has different clothing needs and unique tastes, have aimed at providing as much variety as possible. From sexy jumpsuits to demure ball gowns, from wide and flowing pants to form-fitting sheaths, from skirts that hover around the knees to hems that dip down nearly to the ankles - all can be found right now on the ready-to-wear racks.
You also can find glitz or simple and sophisticated styles that take to dramatic accessorizing. The choice, once again, is up to the individual, say Jack and Lanny Barnard who run the Chalk Garden in Trolley Square.
If you want to talk trends, though, the swing's definitely toward the understated, the quietly beautiful. We're seeing simpler and more elegant silhouettes in the market - those crazy poufs inspired by Christian Lacroix are gone. Extremely short skirts have disappeared, too. So has tarty tightness. Nowadays, short skirts are ladylike - grazing the knee, not riding high on the thigh. Even accessorizing has been toned down since the holidays of last year when the idea was to look like a Christmas tree.
The phrase to keep in mind: "Less is more." And what that means, explains Lanny Barnard, is simply this: Pick a beautiful and classic silhouette and then trim it with just a few well-chosen touches.
There should always be a focal point in accessorizing, she continues. For example, if you're going to wear an absolutely gorgeous pair of earrings, then don't detract from their impact with equally glittery necklace and pin. The eye needs to focus on one accessory more than any other - one piece of jewelry, one belt or one hat should be the "star" of the outfit. Everything else should play a subordinate role.
Large-scale costume jewelry is the hit of the season; metallic shoes are twinkling away and will move on into spring; black patent shoes are very popular, as are hats. And hosiery is making a strong fashion statement - especially when it's color-coordinated to footwear and the rest of the outfit.
As for clothing styles, the evening suit is big news. Wide pants - so wide that they really look like floor-length skirts - also are coming on strong and look sensational on the woman who has the height and slim figure to carry them off.
At least 90 percent of the flowing pants - and all the other party clothes being sold locally this holiday season - are in black. It's the major fashion story and certainly always has been and probably always will be the most elegant and chic color for after five.
The fabrics that are making news: velvet, lace, taffeta and silk.
Floral prints also are blossoming for festive evenings and will continue to be important in fashion as the winter of '88 melts into the spring of '89.