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Holiday Trimmings

By Theane Evangelis
Special to washingtonpost.com
Wednesday, November 17, 1999


    Shawls Wrap up in a pretty, hue-drenched pashmina. Reginald A. Pearman Jr./WPNI
The holiday season will soon be in full swing, and it demands the best of black tie. We know that all you Washingtonian workaholics need an easy transition from day into night, and that with your hectic party schedule, flexibility is as important as fashion.

The key to making last year's little black dress or basic black tuxedo look hip again is the accessories. This year, evening is in the details. For women the transition from day into night takes a pair of frothy feminine shoes paired with a luxe purse, dramatic jewelry and a pashmina shawl in an eye-popping color. Men should opt for a new twist on an old theme, and team their tuxedos with a funky retro shirt or a rich brocade vest.

Finding the right accessories can be a daunting task, but we've taken the panic out of prepping for the party by scouting out the best pieces in town. The answer to every woman's prayers is Kafui (1363 Wisconsin Ave. NW), a small boutique in Georgetown whose name means "joy." And the shopping experience at this fashionable Wisconsin Avenue enclave lives up to its name. Choose a little beaded bag ($105) in gunmetal and jet or gold and ice blue by Vieux Carre of the famed Appropo Showroom in New York. Other finds include black-satin purses ($60) trimmed with Pradaesque mirrors by the very hip and (thankfully) affordable Max Studio. Also on the must-have list for fashionistas are the beaded bracelets ($150) by Lee Angel, which, according to Senegalese owner Fely, sell out almost instantly. Everyone is up in arms over these bracelets, which are handmade of Austrian crystal and come in bunches of 20, resembling glittery multicolored cuffs.

    Shoes A sexy satin sandal adds a touch of glamour. Reginald A. Pearman Jr./WPNI
If your feet feel left out of the fun, head to the nearest Nordstrom (Tysons Corner, Montgomery Mall, Pentagon City). The shoe selection at Nordstrom ranges from Nine West to Prada, and with lots in between, the choices are plenty. The season's mandate is ladylike shoes with luxurious details. Opt for high-heeled sandals with silver and black rhinestones ($200) by Petra or sandals dipped in blue-gray glitter ($144.95) by BCBG or covered in the finest satin ($170) by Cynthia Rowley. Think of your shoes as jewelry for the feet and let your imagination run wild. Finally, don't walk out the door without picking up a pashmina shawl ($198) to top off your dress of choice. Be sure to choose one in a bright shade of fuschia, apple or pumpkin. The good news is that you can wear it with everything from jeans to business suits to evening gowns. Drape it over a coat or fold it underneath one as a plush scarf.

Our search for the best men's accessories also led to Nordstrom. Thinking out of the black-tie-box offers fun alternatives to the white shirt, bow tie and cummerbund standard. A simple black tuxedo looks handsome when paired with a gray tuxedo shirt ($85) from French Connection. Instead of the bow tie and cummerbund, try a charcoal and silver paisley vest ($235) by Molly Rogers to complete the look.

Keep in mind that traditional doesn't have to mean boring. We fell in love with a black-velvet bow tie ($49.50) by Molly Rogers and a charcoal and edgy black-striped cummerbund ($275) by designer Ermenegildo Zegna. The cummerbund even has a pocket on the inside to hold your theater tickets. And globe-shaped cufflinks etched with 2000 ($165, includes studs) make a perfect nod to the new millennium.

And, finally, if you're strapped for cash, all is not lost. A glittery hair barrette (for $10 at the Proper Topper, 1350 Connecticut Ave. NW) can be all a woman needs to go from day to evening, and a jazzy silk pocket square ($9 to $20 at Britches) can change the look of a jacket from plain to party.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company


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