Let's just say that you need to keep in mind that basic can be very boring. So instead of being oh-so-practical all the time, this holiday season seek out a signature piece -- a unique dress, coat or pair of shoes that is so out of the ordinary you'll want to wear them everyday.
And if you do find a show-stopping piece that is worth investing in, do the math -- that is the cost per wear -- sometimes it may be a good time to splurge for the long-term value.
Yes, the Cartier watch, the Hermes handbag or the Chanel jacket can last a lifetime. But you can always take the less expensive route to signature style. Keep your eyes open when you shop the stores and browse online. Go for one great look. Here are a few statement pieces that may get your attention (and everyone else's) - taking you from basic, boring and so ho-ho-hum to fun, fabulous and va-va-voom all year long.
--A statement dress. It's a good idea to have at least one of these in your closet, especially at holiday time. Having at least one "go-to" dress that you love to wear year after year (to different parties of course!) is a wardrobe must-have. This season, choose a special cocktail sheath in all-over lace to make a stunning entrance to any festive occasion. Shiny sparkly sequin dresses can also be standouts at holiday galas.
--A statement pair of shoes. If you're not in the market for a new dress, how about stepping out in a glittering pair of haute heels. Shoes can set the tone for the whole outfit. Let's face it; we all love to shop for a new pair of shoes ... especially for evening shoes or boots. I have a pair of Donald J. Pliner red and black suede mules emblazoned with a Celtic cross that I have almost worn out. They are my "go-to" holiday shoes. I buy outfits around them! So check out the shoe salon first: The shoes that are getting all the raves this holiday season are pumped up with platforms, glazed with exotic skins and studded with jewels. Over-the-knee boots with stiletto heels are definitely investment pieces that will work with your wardrobe for years.
--A statement jacket. Check out the new leather jackets. Yes, dressing up or down has never been easier. With the new burnished metallic leathers out there, it's easy to do. Team with a frilly ruffled shirt and pencil skirt for dressier outings or with jeans and T-shirts for casual days. This is one place you will not want to skimp on price, however. Soft and supple are the key words, nothing stiff -- ever!
--A statement clutch. This is where the fun is this season in handbags ... we all have to lug around the totes during the workweek, but come the weekend, it's time for clutching something a little more frivolous. Now I have to admit, I love Nicolas Ghesquiere's white leather clutch in winter white for Balenciaga, but for almost $1,000, I'm going to have to pass this time around. I think perhaps something else in leopard print with feathers ...
--A statement ring or cuff. This is so easy! Check out the jewelry counter in just about every store you visit. You'll find a huge selection of chunky cocktail rings in all shapes and sizes, most with adjustable bands. No ring sizes to worry about. Just slip on and blast a little bling with your holiday outfits.
Another no-brainer way to add instant signature style to your holiday wardrobe is the statement cuff. This bracelet is best when big and bold, whether in metallic gold and shimmering with crystals or in a dramatic, dark hematite pewter that wraps and twists around the wrist. A lot of wow factor for a little price!
--A statement coat. The holidays are the perfect time to find an evening coat that is over-the-top. Look for drama in colorful furry, knee-length jackets, a wonderful printed brocade blazer or a glittering velvet wrap that ties in front. You may not want to take this one off even after you arrive at the party!
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.