We know all those holiday invitations have your head spinning faster than a dreidel -- but please don't dress irresponsibly.

So, the office party invite suggests festive wear. No need for jingle bells. Instead focus on colors and fabrics: deep red, shimmery silver, lush velvet. Match pants with an embellished blazer or a tiered gypsy skirt with a sexy cardigan.

Your friends are throwing a fete at the club, and cocktail attire is in order. The little black dress has been banished until after the new year. Instead, slip into a ruby satin halter gown or a silk chiffon dress with a deep V neckline and vibrant double-ruffled hem.

Neighbors are hosting an open house. "Just dress sharp," they suggest. Pair something lacy with something simple. Kick up a simple skirt with tights or knee-high boots. Top off with chandelier earrings.

Hmmmm . . . now what kind of winter coat?

-- Janelle Erlichman

BE FESTIVE. A red beaded top ($128) works well against velvet pants ($118) and a gussied-up velvet blazer ($198). Top off with a beaded clutch ($29), link bracelet ($8) and drop earrings ($6). All available at Monsoon in Georgetown Park and Tysons Galleria. BE A KNOCKOUT. Stand out in a Sue Wong red cocktail dress ($338) and Nordstrom red velvet shawl. To really wow, add Delmonico earrings ($40), Jessica McClintock beaded bag ($54) and Isaac Mizrahi "Misbehave" satin sandals ($160). Available at Nordstrom.BE SHARP. Pair Worthington lace pants in black and nude ($26.99) with a Worthington metallic ballet neck sweater ($22.49). To accessorize, mix a gold purse by Sasha ($18) with Crazy Horse chandelier earrings ($8.43) and a vintage-inspired Worthington bracelet ($14.85). Available at JC Penney.