Twinkle, twinkle, little holiday 

My house looks like the North Pole, and I’ve been listening to Christmas music since August. Even my dog has an array of toasty, holiday-themed sweaters to join in the cold-weather cheer.

That said, there’s a very specific time and place to wear the puffed, appliquéd and twinkling apparel that’s become a quirky party theme. I mean, it’s called an “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party” for a reason, kids. Beyond that, those gaudy knits need to stay deep in the costume drawer.

Holiday wear can still be festive and head-turning, while remaining tasteful. The spirits you’ve unleashed that’s turned your kitchen into a bake shop doesn’t need to translate to your wardrobe.

right, Marissa Baza and Maria Atkinson model faux fur scarves at DNA Galleries.

You can still glam and glitz yourself up without an inflated electric bill thanks to those strands of lights. Get started at The Spiral Beadery & More, Inc. (4327 N. Western; 525-5454). This unique store is brimming with beads. You’ll find freshwater pearls, Czech crystals and every color of Swarvoski imaginable.

You’ll have your pick of focal pendants in a variety of styles. In-shop, you’ll find all the supplies and tools, as well as the guidance, to create a one-of-a-kind creation for that special soiree. It’s ideal for anyone on your shopping list, too. Check The Spidal Beadery’s Facebook page for information about classes and private jewelry-making parties.

Although pretty, jewelry won’t keep you all that warm. Opt for a tasteful and politically correct faux fur scarf from DNA Galleries (1705-B N.W. 16th; 371-2460). Well-made faux fur accessories is one of this winter’s must-haves for an instant shot of glamour.

It pairs stunningly with formal wear.

Leave it on during the party if your dress reveals too much skin for comfort, or smarten up that unembellished dress. Don’t just drag it out for cocktail wear, either; faux fur pairs nicely with casual looks for an added touch of sophistication. No matter how you wear it, you’ll turn heads, and not because people are gawking at Rudolph’s nose glowing on the front of your sweater.

I know what you’re thinking: You need a dress, right? Head over to 50 Penn Place for Route 66 (1900 Northwest Expressway; 848-6166). This high-end haven oozes with decadence and top-notch pieces for us classy broads.

Here, you’ll find tasteful sequined dresses and bright fabrics in beautiful cuts. If you decide to rev up the party with a sparkly mini, sheath or jumper, remember to accessorize accordingly. If it’s gold-sequined from head to toe, opt for a solid faux fur or smaller bracelet. Keep your season bright, but not blinding.

Photo by Shannon Cornman

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